Interviews and Dating

29Jun09

It occurred to me today how much interviews are like dating—specifically blind dates. You send off an introduction and hope it’s interesting enough to get the other person to call. You talk on the phone for a little bit and hope you sound interesting enough to set up a date and time to meet. When you finally meet, you hope you sound like you are interesting, intelligent and a good match for them. You look nice and don’t say anything stupid. No spinach stuck in your teeth. Once the “date” is over you go home and hopehopehopehope for another call for a second “date” or even better a “relationship”.

Worse is that it’s like you’re trying to get a date with the best looking girl in school. You don’t get to send the note straight to her—you have to give it to someone who knows someone who knows one of her best friends. Still worse, if ANYONE in the chain wouldn’t hire/date you, you’re done. You don’t get to even look at the final decision maker. Thanks for playing, here are some parting gifts—oh, no we don’t even have any of those. Why are you not the chosen one? You never really get to find out. You’re just not quite what they’re looking for. If you ever do learn who they actually pick, you wonder why them? What do they have that I don’t? Even if you manage to find out the truth, is it really going to be that helpful? The next company/girl is going to have their own set of tastes—we like that they speak Esperanto/I just like redheads better.

Recruiters? They’re like a dating service. They have their magical and mysterious set of criteria that find the “perfect match for you”. Slight difference: headhunters get paid by the company for finding the match for them while dating services get paid by you to find lots of people for you to date, although they both only get paid for making matches. Bigger difference: dating services will keep making contact with you while if you haven’t spoken with a recruiter in the last two weeks, you’re as good as dead to them.

Job fairs are like speed dating. You have just a few minutes to make your good impression and maybe leave some contact info. But at least with the speed dating your talking to the person who actually wants the date. Job fairs? Remember who you gave the note to when you were trying to get the date with the beautiful girl? At the job fair you might be talking to them, or you might actually be talking to their younger sister.

Fortunately, I’ve had better luck with romance than with job hunting. I just hope my next business “date” goes well.

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