The idea of beginning a new journey to find your perfect match is always scary, intimidating, but surprisingly exciting. In the beginning, a woman tends to look for a man with whom she can find a secure and loving relationship. A man is asking himself, “What is she going to wear?”, “How will this date end?” AND “Do I want to see her again?” Does this sound familiar Hiring Managers? In this example, the woman is the potential hire and the man is the potential employer.

Before we even start interviewing, we can unknowingly sabotage the relationship. Potential hires have been hurt by a previous employer and feel undervalued. They want someone to hold their hand and tell them it is going to be OK. They want their Knight in Shining Armor to swoop them up and say, “I’m your dream job – I pay great, I have an amazing work life balance and I never get upset with you”. An employer is overwhelmed with starting the process all over again – all that lost time training the past hire, the money invested in them, we will never find another “Andy”….

Sound familiar? Before any good relationship can start, we need to keep an open mind. That means opening ourselves up to options we wouldn’t have considered. This is where we will now begin to explore Stage 1: Attraction. This is the stage we experience our initial attraction to a potential hire.

To properly attract and be attractable, one must be prepared! Remember your first date? Maybe you got a haircut, bought a new outfit, and practiced dinner conversation in the mirror. The same goes for preparing for an interview. Potential hires should be preparing their best suit, nothing to revealing (it’s just the first date!) and putting their best foot forward. DON’T FORGET TO SMILE! Eye contact, eye contact, eye contact.

Oh wait, we skipped a step! The dating profile! (I mean resume of course). People by nature are self-absorbed. The first thing we do when we begin to write our resume is we talk about ourselves. The soft skills we have and how we are Amazing. Your employer doesn’t really want to hear what you Think you are, they want to know what you have done. People are seeking matches to make them both a better person, so your resume should talk about the value you bring to an organization. Quantify your results – how do you drive the bottom line?

Remember, your resume is the first representation of who you are in 30 seconds or less, just like your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, whatever. Avoid being the person that has a selfie kissing the camera or drinking a beer with friends. CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURES!

The same goes for you Mr. Employer. Why should someone want to work for you? What is attractive about being part of your team/brand? Things to consider and potentially advertise to find your next match.

Attraction and the Interview Process

Aside from how we present ourselves, we also go through a question and answer phase of getting to know someone.  From a high level view, the attraction is there, but we need to get to know someone past what’s on their resume.  Are they really who they say they are?  Or, did they “beef up” their profile and use someone else’s picture?  Are their intellect, hobbies, quirks, way of thinking, etc. attractive?  Essentially, “job interviews are like first dates.  Good impressions count.  Awkwardness can occur.  Outcomes are unpredictable”.

I will be experiencing a series of “awkward” moments this weekend, when I volunteer for speed mock interviews with Dress for Success.  My goal is to help these potential All-Stars rise above the “awkward” and present themselves as polished, articulate and professional woman that make an impression with employers.  I think this exercise is great, because it is just like speed dating, an opportunity to get a quick snap shot of who a person is.

The Author of the “Five Stages of Dating” explores several common dating insights that I think align perfectly with interviewing.

“After being receptive to a man’s advances and appreciating their efforts, a woman doesn’t owe the other anything”. Ie. Just because you applied for a position and were over prepared for the interview, doesn’t mean the company HAS to hire you.

“Distance not only makes the heart grow fonder, but gives a man the opportunity to pursue”. Ie. Don’t stalk the interviewer after your interview. Send one thank you and give them time to review their notes and do their due diligence in interviewing other candidates. Aggressiveness in looking for next steps will turn them off.

“When a woman is too eager to please, a man doesn’t experience the distance he needs to pursue her.” Ie. Be poised and confident in your interview, but not over confident. Don’t come across as desperate, that if you don’t get this job you don’t know what you will do. Also, don’t speak to any negatives about your job search, it makes you seem undesirable.

 “When a roman reaches across to unlock a man’s door, it defeats the whole purpose of the date and confuses their roles”. Ie. Don’t take over the interview. Let the interviewer lead with questions and answer as appropriate without going in round-about answers.

“Don’t fall in love right away.” Ie. This one is for employers. Don’t jump at the first candidate who impresses you. Do your due diligence with interviewing and exploring your options.

Pretty interesting, huh?  Dating is sounding more and more like interviewing isn’t it?

Kristi Telschow, CEO – WorkDynamX