Why You Should Treat Dating Like a Job Interview: 7 Reasons the Approach Works

Dating Like a Job Interview

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Dating and interviewing for jobs: Aside from being stressful and potentially awkward, the two might seem to have no correlation. But consider this: Employers have to sift through a host of candidates to find their ideal employee, and singletons similarly have their own pool of prospects to pick from when it comes to finding their ideal mates.

So what if we took some of the employment interviewing tactics recruiters use and applied them to dating? According to licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Seth Meyers, the most effective way to conceptualize dating is to view it as informational interviewing.

Here are seven tips to keep in mind when looking to bring on a full-time partner.

Survey past relationship “experience.”

Just like an employer wants to know how many companies you’ve worked for (and for how long), you should be interested in learning how many relationships your date has had in a given time period. “If he has been with six people in a matter of two years, that means an average of one mate every four months,” explains relationship coach, author, and radio host Femi Ogunjinmi. “An employer would read that record as someone who shows no longevity and loyalty to a specific company. In dating, it shows his commitment life span is short.”

Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

No hiring manager will choose an applicant who demonstrates only weakness. “Courting somebody personally or professionally requires you to leverage your skill set,” says Barbie Adler, founder and president of the matchmaking service Selective Search. “Finding a relationship that capitalizes on your strengths—not brings out your weaknesses—and allows you to improve other areas is the best fit,” she says.

Consider his or her educational background.

Education level is one of the top things employers look for with a new hire. “Employers want to know if you can fit well with the caliber of educated folks you’ll be working with,” notes Ogunjinmi. “In dating, when there is a huge disparity in education, it can be hard to communicate effectively and understand one another,” he says. If witty repartee isn’t of the utmost importance, you’ll still want to take into account how this could potentially affect your future financial stability. “The level of education can also determine how much money one can earn, as someone with no degree typically will not be making more than someone with a Masters or PhD,” notes Ogunjinmi.

Know what your goals are going into the situation.

Things move fast in business, therefore it’s important to know what you want before you start. The same philosophy holds true in dating—not so much the moving fast part, but being clear on your must-haves and your deal breakers. “Making sure you are on the same timeline in terms of exclusivity, meeting the parents, cohabitating, etc., will allow you both to have a solid strategy for reaching these milestones at the right pace,” says Adler.

Don’t act desperate.

Unemployment can cause desperation and panic to grab any position that might bring in a paycheck and fill that 9-to-5 space. Similarly, feelings of loneliness that often come with being single can lead to poor dating choices. “Too often, dating triggers insecurities, causing men and women to fall into a position of wanting to be wanted or liked,” says Meyers. When that happens, we end up picking the wrong person for the wrong reasons.

Be flexible, but don’t compromise too much.

What can you live with, and what can you live without? Both questions should be asked when negotiating a new job and choosing the right partner. For example, if the job pays well, but there is minimal work-life balance, can you live with that? In love, if he fits all your physical requirements but travels every month for work, is this someone you can be involved with? “If you truly don’t see yourself happy living that vision—whether in work or love—then you’ve got say, Next!” says Ogunjinmi.

Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.

This is probably the most important tip when it comes to dating and job interviewing. When you’re honest with yourself and what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to get it. “Dating, like job searching, is about compatibility,” says Meyers. “You have to meet a fair number of people in order to find the right match. You should never take it personally when someone isn’t interested in you. It only reflects the fact that the two of you don’t make a good match.”