Job Interviewing: A Lot Like Speed Dating

Posted by The Editors on October 19, 2011
Job Interviewing: A Lot Like Speed Dating

We’ve all heard that the interviewing process is analogous to dating. It’s a means of getting to know one another to determine a possible fit, ideally where both people are on the same page when it comes to what kind of future they seek.

I hadn’t thought much about it past this fundamental similarity. That is, until a recent interview subject for a guide I’m reporting: Getting Your Ideal Brand Management Internship, used dating analogies to describe the two assistant brand management internship offers he was torn between. 

Company X was, in his words, “the hot girl” that everyone wanted to go out with. Since everyone wanted to go out with this company, he thought he should, too. He felt that when he was with the “hot girl,” he was on his best behavior since he didn’t want to screw anything up. “But in the back of my mind,” he said, “I knew that if I did something stupid, she was going to move to the next person because that’s just how she rolls.”

But he wasn’t the hot girl type. This other company, Company Y, “was the girl I could totally see myself with and who would laugh at my dumb jokes. I knew we’d have a very comfortable relationship,” said my source.  And Company Y was the internship he eventually chose.

So how did he get to know the girls, or in the realistic sense, the companies? It all has to do with interaction and how you feel about the company your interviewing with. We’ve talked what it means to be a “cultural fit” for a job in a previous article, but it’s just as important to know how to find your perfect match.

Here are some tips to figure out whether you and the company have a bright future together.

Get to know the company
Look on their website, Google them, and pay close attention to your surroundings if you interview at the office. You can tell a lot about a company’s atmosphere by looking at the way people are dressed, the pictures on the walls, and the overall office setup. Honestly ask yourself if you could see yourself walking up and down these halls everyday.

Find out the numbers
What are their staff numbers? Are they going up or down? These numbers could indicate employee turnover. It’s also a good idea to find out the company’s year-end revenue. Finding out how financially secure a company is can make you feel better in the long run about starting a job with them.

Assess your expectations
Did you go into an interview feeling one way and come out feeling completely different? Did all of your questions get answered during your interview? Think about the impression you got from your interviewer and all the people you met.

It’s necessary to talk to half a dozen people to see how you feel about the company. It may seem like a lot of work, but when you’re dating a company that’s large, six people is barely enough to get a true sense of the firm’s personality—or what type of girl they are.  

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