9 Things Job Interviews and Dating Have in Common

9 Things Job Interviews and Dating Have in Common

It is much more common to hear someone say “I enjoy dating” than “I enjoy attending job interviews”. Both job interviews and first dates often make us nervous. But while the latter is associated with excited butterflies in the stomach, the former usually carries more negative connotations.


This Valentine’s Day, we want to take advantage of all the love in the air and show you that job interviews and first dates have a lot in common. We hope that once you are aware of this link, interviewing for a new job won’t seem so scary anymore.



Things job interviews and dating have in common:


  1. Get to know the other side better
  2. Make a good impression
  3. Answer and ask questions
  4. See if your values align
  5. Discuss plans for the future
  6. Keep your options open
  7. Share your experience
  8. Compare your intentions
  9. Decide if you're a good match 


  1. Get to know the other side better


First of all, a job interview is an opportunity for both sides to get to know each other. The keyword being “both sides”.


Many people incorrectly think that a job interview is only about the company evaluating the candidate. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 


Think about it: when you go on a date, it is never just one person discovering the other. Both people go to the meeting with certain expectations and a list of things they would like to find out about the other person. 


A job interview is exactly the same. It is a unique chance to see the person behind the CV for the employer, and to get more information about the position and company for the candidate. 

  1. Make a good impression


The candidate’s need to impress the recruiters is not one-sided. Companies also care about their reputation, so they try to provide a positive recruiting experience for the applicants.


What’s more, they are aware that quality candidates are likely to receive multiple job offers. Employers want to make sure that the person they choose for the job chooses them back.


A job interview is your time to shine, but don’t think you’re the only one under the pressure to stand out. 


You, as a candidate, need to show your best side. But the company also wants to make a good impression on you. Remember that. 


  1. Answer and ask questions


There is a range of questions you need to be ready to answer at a job interview. It is crucial to prepare responses to them in advance - but don’t forget to also prepare your own questions.


Neither a job interview nor a date is an interrogation. In each scenario, both parts are equal. This means that both you and the employer, or you and your partner, are allowed to ask and answer questions.


So, before every job interview, make a list of questions you’d like to ask your potential employer. Interviewers appreciate it when candidates ask questions at the end of the meeting because it shows their dedication and motivation to find out more. 


Most of all, a recruiter wants to see that you’re serious about your application, and asking questions in a job interview is the perfect way to demonstrate that. 


  1. See if your values align


It is impossible to build a healthy relationship if you and your partner don’t share the same values. Just as well, it is unlikely you will be happy in your workplace if the company’s values don’t align with yours.


This is why discussing what matters to both of you is crucial when dating and interviewing for a job. It is best to address this topic at the very beginning, since working on something with no future is a waste of time and effort.


When it comes to relationships and professional life, the pillars must be strong for everyone to develop and be content. Common values are the foundation of both areas of life, so don’t disregard them. 


  1. Discuss plans for the future


Discussing how many children you’d like to have may be a bit heavy for a first date. But lighter topics such as where you plan to live, work, or travel in the near future are common date conversation starters.


On the one hand, talking about the future is exciting and a nice ice-breaker. But on the other, we want to make sure that the person we consider dating in the long run has similar plans to us.


For example, being with someone who is about to move abroad when you don’t support long-distance relationships and don’t wish to follow could be complicated.


The same applies to job interviews. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” is a very common job interview question. Frequent hiring is expensive, so an employer needs to make sure that whoever they choose for the position is serious about the commitment and intends to stay for a while.


As a candidate, you are also welcome to ask about eventual plans for future expansion or development areas in the company. If you aim to learn and advance your career but the employer doesn’t provide professional training or an opportunity for promotion, then you might be better off moving on. 


  1. Keep your options open


It is normal to go out with multiple people when actively looking for a partner. Most of us go through multiple relationships before we find “the one”.


It may not be a pleasant thought, but it’s really just about finding the best match. And the same can be said about the recruitment process.


Many candidates feel like they are on the losing side when they walk into a job interview. It is obvious you are not the only one who has applied for the position and have to compete with other candidates.


But in times of active job search, candidates also go through multiple interviews. Of course, you shouldn’t point that out to the employer - they are aware without you having to state the obvious.


In dating and interviewing, both sides are equal. You have the same right to “try out” other opportunities as your potential employer or partner before committing. 


Think about it this way: when you have been invited for an interview or to a date, you have already made it past the initial screening process. Out of all the other applicants and people, it is you who has been chosen. 


Focus on this in moments of doubt and remember that you must have already done something right. Now it’s just the question of showing off your strengths and seeing if you click. 


  1. Share your experience


Both in dating and professional life, your experience has to align with the other side’s expectations, and vice versa. If you are looking for an entry-level position, you would find a mid-senior job too challenging. Similarly, if you’re just entering the dating scene and are focused on people your age, dating someone significantly older with a lot of experience could be intimidating. 


It works the same the other way round. If you are experienced enough for a senior position, a junior role would leave you dissatisfied. Or if you’re ready for a long-term commitment, getting attached to someone who just wants to have fun and can’t make any promises could get you hurt.


Reciting your entire romantic history on the first date is a bit extreme, but you would probably try to at least feel out where the other person is at when it comes to experience and the willingness to commit. You would try to avoid entering a relationship you could see progressing too soon or too fast.


This is the same reason a company asks for your personal experience during a job interview. You already know what they do and for how long, and can find out more by asking questions. But our personal stories are not as easily accessible as those of public businesses.


The only way a recruiter can establish whether your experience is a good match for the job is if you tell them about it. This is why you should never lie in your CV and downplay or exaggerate your professional achievements. It could land you in a job you’re not ready for or one that’s not stimulating enough for you. 


  1. Compare your intentions


This is somehow tied to the previous point about experience. You wouldn’t be happy in a give-it-a-try kind of relationship if you’re searching for long-term commitment. You would also feel stuck in a job with no professional development prospects or a lack of possibility to climb the ladder if you’re looking for career progression.


On the other hand, you would feel trapped in a serious relationship if you’re not ready for anything beyond casual dating. Or getting included in future plans would make you uncomfortable if you consider a particular job just a stepping stone in your career.


Comparing your needs and expectations is one of the main aspects of job interviewing and dating. You need to establish if you’re on the same level and part ways if it turns out you’re not.


For example, an employer might feel insecure about your application if they’re looking for a long-term employee and see that you have been job-hopping for the past few years. The best way to address such concerns is to talk them out and be honest. 


  1. Decide if you’re a good match


Everything you have done on a date or in a job interview so far ultimately leads to this: deciding if you’re a good match.


Do your values align? Are your expectations the same? Do your future plans overlap? Are both sides willing to make an effort to keep this relationship strong and healthy? 


Those are some questions both parties need to ask themselves both in dating and the recruitment process. 


Whether they decide to meet again or not afterwards is also up to both sides. If your partner decides to invite you for another date and you refuse, it’s fair. If you’re interested in another date and the other person isn’t, it’s also fair.


If you get the job and accept it, that’s great. If you don’t get it, you will need to move on. Or if you do get an offer but refuse it, that’s absolutely fine. 


The key is that you both had a chance to introduce yourself and get to know the other side before deciding what’s next. 

The stage of getting to know each other through dating is exciting. Most people enjoy the novelty of starting a new relationship, of finding out more about the person who’s going to become an important part of our lives.


A job interview is no different. We spend a third of our lives at work, so our workplace is like a second relationship, so to say. We should pay equal care to finding a job and an employer that is a good match for us as we do looking for the right partner.


Dating and interviewing for a job have a lot in common. Hopefully, you understand now that the recruitment process is a game played between two equal players: the employer and the candidate. 


Just like most of us have to go on numerous dates before finding “the one”, the majority of people need to participate in multiple interviews to get the right job. It is the way the world works, and it’s nothing personal. Although it can get tiring after a while, it is only a matter of time before you find your match. 


At Europe Language Jobs, we wish you the best of luck in your personal and professional life - on Valentine’s Day and every day of the year!

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