Job Interviews and Blind Dates
By Bernadette A. Moyer
Does it seem like job interviews might just be a tad bit like a blind date? Where we don’t know what we are getting until that actual face-to-face occurs and we are looking at this person, the candidate? In one setting we are looking for a professional relationship and the other for personal reasons but either way, we are looking at the potential candidates to fill a void, a slot or a position.
For many years I held interviews to fill a variety of positions from assistants to managers to directors and interns. My gut instincts were almost always right on target. In the dozens and dozens of professionals that I have engaged in employment, few times did I ever sense that I made a bad call or that I made a bad decision.
Much of the decision making came from my ability to retrieve the answers to questions like did I view the candidate as someone that I could manage and work closely with and did they carry themselves professionally. Could I trust them to do their job and what kind of trouble shooter were they? When faced with a challenge could they work their way through it and find answers? Or did it stop them in their tracks? Were they self-motivated?
It has been decades since I have dated or even been on a “blind date” but it seems like when we bring people into our circle whether it is for professional reasons or personal ones, we want to make sure that it is a good fit.
Last year a friend went out of state for a big job and a big interview when she returned we were discussing her interview. Her read was that she didn’t get the job. She was 100% certain it was not going to go her way. We were actually talking about it when the call came in and she was offered the position.
What she thought and what actually happened were two completely different outcomes.
In the past few years I have interviewed for new jobs and interviewed with potential clients all the while being “on” and knowing that you are being ranked and judged. Can this person fit the bill? I have asked the key questions and been asked the key questions. “Why do you want to work here?” “What can you do for this position?” “Why should we hire you and work with you?” and the classic “Where do you see yourself in 5 years and 10 years?”
Last year I interviewed in a panel interview after making it through several screens. They did their homework as it was one of the most notable interviews I ever faced. I left there uncertain as to the outcome. Within hours I was called and accepted the job. I loved the panel that interviewed me.
About a year ago I interviewed almost across the street from where I live, I immediately knew I did not like the person nor did I want to work with them and for them. I am certain she sensed it too.
My answer when people asked me how an interview went is always the same, and it is the same when I am interviewed by potential clients, “I gave it my all and you never know what the competition is and who else they are looking at to fill the position.” As a result I never take it personally if I don’t get the job.
Last month I interviewed for an hour and a half with an Executive Director, I liked him, I liked the mission and the location. I had a great tour of their facility and I learned so much. It is coming up on a month and I haven’t heard a single word. What I know is that he had four candidates and that I thoroughly enjoyed our time together and I learned so much more about the work that they did. It was a good interview whether I got the job or not and I would be willing to financially donate to their cause. They are doing such greats works with a mission that is both near and dear to my heart.
Today my newest job interview was cancelled due to a snow storm. This will give me a longer period of time to study their works and to imagine myself working there. What I know for certain is that I always end up right where I am supposed to be and if it is meant to be it will be.
I do think though that job interviews like first dates and blind dates have some things in common. We are looking to include or disqualify the potential candidates. We do judge people by how they look, how they carry themselves and what type of education do they have, we want to know that they can handle what they are signing up for whether it is for a job or a relationship.
Our social skills and our communication skills are tested when we interview just like they are tested when we are dating. In the final analysis, interviews and dates are very much alike when it comes down to it because we never really know what we are getting until we risk engaging that potential person.
So here is to all those that are taking risks in relationships for both securing employment and finding love and companionship. Just putting yourself out there and going through the process adds to our skill set. Each encounter offers us something new to learn. We learn about others and we learn about ourselves.
Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer