Interviewing Is Like Dating
I have often run into situations that this statement is true. The act of interviewing like dating can make candidates as well as interviewers act in irrational and even down right crazy ways. Candidates lose perspective and take everything way too personally and interviewers totally lose sight of what is common courtesy and sometimes even common sense.
Here are some real life examples:
A candidate was interviewing for a development job. She was living on one side of the country and the job was on the other side of the country. After two very good phone screens, the recruiter working with the candidate followed up with the company to see if they were ready to fly her out for a face to face. Instead to the recruiter's surprise, the hiring manager said he had already left the candidate a message that they wanted to make her an offer.
Now you would expect her to think what great news! "They love me so much after two phone screens they want to make me an offer!"
Well think again...
Now compare this to dating, you have been on two dates and suddenly you get a phone call from budding romantic partner saying they love you and they want to move in.
How do you think most people would react?
Nine out of ten would be a bit freaked out by this. "Will he ask to marry me in a week?" "Hell I have never even been to where he lives, it could be a rat hole?" "Is he a serial killer?"
And sure enough the candidate freaked out as well saying she was "feeling pressured" asking "is there something wrong with this job". The recruiter, thinking fast, worked it out for her to go for a face to face so she could see the area and also the office. But, by that time, the damage was done. The candidate suddenly got sick, and could not be reached because of a sore throat and could not talk on the phone. Two days later she texted the recruiter she had taken another job.
Lesson learned: Doing things in the right order does matter in interviewing, dating and disarming a bomb. Cutting the blue wire before red can be very dangerous.
Now on the flip side to this often candidates move to fast and talk themselves right out of a job before they even know it is right for them.
For example: A candidate submits his resume through a recruiter for a sales job. He receives an initial phone screen from human resources. During the call the HR person tells him to his dismay that the position requires you to be in the office every day and that the commissions for this job is expected to be $30K less than what was represented to him.
Unfortunately, it is not that unusual to have HR & hiring managers to have different ideas as to what the job requires or even pays. That is why recruiters are so determined to speak with the hiring manager to take a job order.
Well now back to the example. The candidate, in a very upset tone, calls the recruiter who set him up for the interview and says that even if he wanted another interview, he is not interested now as he was lied to about the position being located in a virtual office and commissions were uncapped.
So after a long conversation the recruiter calms the candidate down enough and assures him that the job is in a virtual office and the pay is uncapped because that's what the hiring manager said. So a second interview occurs and the candidate actually gets the job.
Lesson Learned: Interviewing and relationships are a work in progress. A job description often evolves as candidates are being interviewed and priorities change. Also the truths you have on the first date as you are trying to impress the person in front may be quite a bit different 3 weeks later after you have had two or three dates.
Now besides the dating comparison, both these examples show why having a recruiter is an important component in many hiring processes. Would A-Rod or Payton Manning think of negotiating their own contracts, of course not!
Unfortunately, not every company can afford using recruiters or have a strong internal recruiting staff and actually do a good job of hiring on their own. But still there is nothing like having a Jerry Maguire to navigate you through the "match.com" mine field called interviewing.
I know I had you at Hello...
Carl Schumacher - Career Coach, Executive & Technical Recruiter