Job Interviews Are Like Dating

So this afternoon I have my first job interview in over seven years. And I am going into this much like when I buy a car or go on a date. What? How are those related? Well, let’s look at all those things we do when interviewing for a job.

I am not sure how all of us go into our job interviews or our dates. I can only speak for myself. But at no other time do I make sure the clothing I pick is just right, my makeup is just so, and my hair is tamed from the lion copper curls I sport. I get just as nervous about a job interview as I do about dating. The sweaty palms, the overheating, the thought that I probably should have used all the deodorant, not just half of it.

Candidate: What’s the company culture like?

Interviewer: Incredibly stressful, competitive and to be honest, a little vicious.

So there I am sitting in my car, my heart racing and I am thinking to myself, ‘Ok. Is this going to be a hero or a villain?’

Think about it. We will be at our jobs more than we will spend time with our family in most cases. That goes for cars too. I know my car lasted three times longer than my first marriage. (Long story.) And my job lasted twice as long as my first marriage. So with that in mind, a job interview is like a date or buying a car! Who are we going to match up with and spend the majority of our adult lives with?

I, for one, would prefer it to be someone super handsome and a bit of a hero in the job sense. Maybe even in a loincloth. I would have a hard time though answering any questions in the job interview if a man in a loin cloth showed up. And now I am considering how I can get a job where that would happen often. Obviously that fella would end up in my novels.

Today though, I could be meeting my next villain. The man will be professional and ask all the appropriate questions and I will contemplate how devious I can make him for my next villain. None of these thoughts are terrible things to think. It only comes natural when deep down I am a writer and inspiration is all around me.

I will, however, approach this job interview and all of them like I did this last round of dating. I am better established in my life. Do I need a job? Yes. But I am not so desperate as to take anything thrown at me. That was the same for my last first date. Say what? Right. My fiance and I met up at a restaurant after some comical moment where he tried to take me to dinner in a library. It was adorable with attempt, and a complete fail. Already I was inclined to like the guy.

Once that was out of the way,  we broke all the first date rules by talking about our exes, Dave Ramsey (a finance guru), and the love of food. We then proceeded to find ice cream. Because you know how girls SHOULDN’T be eating like normal on a date. Whatever. I then did the ultimate no no. I sat him down and I said “Look mister. I am a grown woman with two kids who come first. I have my own house, my own car, and a good paying job. I don’t NEED anyone. But I would LIKE to find someone to share experiences with.”

Are you sweating yet? Or are you flat-out yelling at the screen going, ‘NO! Never say that!’. The thing is, it worked and was honest. So that is how I will interview as well. I know I NEED a job. I understand all that. But to go in with desperation will do neither of us the credit. A job interview is like trying on a date. Will we fit? How will we get along? Is there anything annoying about them that I can’t stand right now? I guarantee that if my first marriage was short, an ill-matched job is even shorter.

Relationships are hard. It’s like a full-time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks’ notice. There should be severance pay, and before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp.
-Bob Ettinger



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