Why job interviews are like first dates. Seven signs you’ll be seeing each other again

by K B , updated on July 4, 2015

Sometimes you walk out of a job interview and you just know you’ve hit it off with the interviewer.  You have that sense of warmth like the job is a good fit. You can only think good things about the job, the interview and the employer.

A job interview that’s gone well is almost like a fun first date.

You think you genuinely got to know the other person and enjoyed their company.

I like the dating analogy, because when I take that a step further; I know that sometimes when people are super polite it’s hard to pick what they thought of me.

So if you’re like me and have left interviews wondering how it really went; the following Seven Signs may signal that you will be meeting again.

1) Like a good first date, the interviewer seems genuinely interested in uncovering what makes you tick. Sometimes they’ll keep probing when you have given succinct “overview” type answer . If the interviewer keeps digging for more information, asking for specifics of particular aspects of your answer it’s a great indicator that you have hit upon a skill or attribute skill that makes you a strong contender for the position. If they accept what you say and move on, then chances are you have answered the question to their satisfaction or you are in the process of being ruled out. Be warned here though, if the interviewer needs to continually dig about the same part of your answer you may have not answered the question properly, which may result in you being written off as “hard work.”

2) There’s some mirroring going on. In dating when people like each other they tend to mirror the body language of the other person. Same with job interviews, especially the “coffee chat” interviews, where you are not stuck behind a desk facing a panel.

3) You forget about the time. The job interview goes for much longer than you estimated. As a side note, you can often tell how much time the interviewer has allocated for a job interview by the time they invite you in. So if you are invited in at 9.45, say, it can mean that the interviewers are allocating either 30 or 45 minutes to the interview.  If your job interview goes for longer than than the time you estimate, unless you or the interviewer are chronic “over-talkers,” the fact that the interview has gone over time, means you’ve all had a good time.

4)  The interviewer asks about your salary expectations. I can’t think of an exact dating analogy for this, except this. If your interviewer asks you what your “expectations are” then you are being “qualified” for the role. Having said this, if the interviewer does not ask about what you want, money wise, this is not necessarily a bad sign about your success. Sometimes interviewers assume that you know what’s on offer, or that someone else will qualify you.

5)  Your interviewer asks you about past references. Like dating, talking about relationships early on can be tricky territory. Unlike dating, if an interviewer checks that your referee relationships are still valid and asks for the best way to contact them,  it means they think they’re onto a good thing.

6)  The interviewer shares something about the company. Good job interviews, like good dates, are about sharing information. There are issues when the interviewer talks too much, but if an interviewer tells you nothing about a company, then there are a few explanations. They may want the job interview to end quickly or they are inexperienced/ poor interviewers. If the second scenario is the case, then you as an interviewee have every right to do your own due diligence on the role and check why it is on the market.  Come to think of it, depending on what you want, you could possibly do the same of a date!

7)  The interviewer contacts you quickly. Three things here. If a job is genuinely on the market, and the interviewer has their act together, and the interviewer genuinely likes you, you are likely to hear back pretty quickly. This is like dating. It does sound tough I know, but it’s a fact.

Fortunately though sometimes job interviews are not like dating because (for example) the key decision maker may not be the person you met.

So don’t give up even if you haven’t got all the Seven Signs, you may still be about to get some good news!

Get ahead of the pack for your next interview! Download our free e-book!

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“Because I read so many of your posts, I feel as if you were my personal employment coach. I start my new position in two weeks. I had so many obstacles to overcome and each day you posted a solution to my dilemma and how to improve my search. Thank you so much for your input and PLEASE continue to do what you do!”

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen June 7, 2010 at 6:16 am

Love the analogies used in this piece. 🙂 I’m sure a lot of people out there can appreciate these signs…as most walk out of an interview unsure of how it went…or sure it went one way when it may have been the complete opposite of what they assumed in the first place.

Looking forward to your next installment. 🙂

Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter if you need me)

tekiebelu August 23, 2010 at 4:18 am

RT @InterviewIQ: #interviews Why job interviews are like first dates. 7 signs you’ll be seeing each other again http://interviewiq.com.au/why-job-interv

sunnydietitian August 23, 2010 at 4:20 am

RT @InterviewIQ: #interviews Why job interviews are like first dates. 7 signs you’ll be seeing each other again http://interviewiq.com.au/why-job-interv

SoCalAmber August 23, 2010 at 4:34 am

RT @InterviewIQ: #interviews Why job interviews are like first dates. 7 signs you’ll be seeing each other again http://interviewiq.com.au/why-job-interv

J_Bulwer August 23, 2010 at 5:11 am

RT @InterviewIQ: #interviews Why job interviews are like first dates. 7 signs you’ll be seeing each other again http://interviewiq.com.au/why-job-interv

J_Bulwer August 23, 2010 at 5:11 am

@InterviewIQ awesome! Thanks for sharing!

InterviewIQ August 23, 2010 at 3:58 am

#interviews Why job interviews are like first dates. 7 signs you’ll be seeing each other again http://interviewiq.com.au/why-job-interv

Luke C October 5, 2010 at 10:53 pm

haha I once dated my recruiter. I wasn’t an ideal candidate for their time management but I got the job!

Cath November 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Some good tips here.
I just had an interview last week, and waiting for an answer, feels like the week is going forever.
I feel the interview went really well, I know they did try contacting a referee, although i dont think they have managed to catch him, bit of phone tag going on.
This has me wondering?? Could this blow my chances if they are unable to get in contact??

I followed up with the employer yesterday and I should know early next week now, as they stated there still doing checks.

Fingers Crossed!!

Karalyn November 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Hi Cath, Thanks for the comment. Nothing wrong with letting your referee know they are or will be being stalked by the employer as well. I have done this and often the referee has handed their mobile number out. Best of luck. Karalyn

Cath December 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Ok so I have a question.
I have put in a job application, I sent a quick email to ensure they had successfully recieved it, which they reply they had and would let me know onces applications had been short listed.

Applications closed dec 3rd so last friday, Is it TOO soon to follow up on the status of my application or should i wait acouple more days.
It is at an accountants firm which i am not sure may close over the xmas period therefore being busy with other matters.

Karalyn Brown December 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Hi Cath, Call Friday pm. That’s a week, and enough time for them to decide what they are going to do at least. If they are advertising this close to Xmas, I would say they’re keen to fill it.

OnTheBallCommunity (@OnTheBallCom) December 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm

http://t.co/DpCN8eff < Candidates take note: Interviewing is (a little) like Dating!

Ann March 2, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I had an interview with a Canadian and I’m Asian. I know that my skills are hard to find in the industry I’m in and the interview went well in my opinion. It took 3 hours! He showed me around the office and got to meet the CEO. The interview also went to to a cup of coffee outside the office. The interview itself wasn’t like the usual ones, we were discussing work, tasks, plans and stuff about the company. I was giving him ideas and he was sharing as well.

However, I got strange feeling that I will not be hired for some reason. I think that you can never tell… We’ll see soon if I got the job!

Karalyn March 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Hi Ann, I will definitely keep all digits crossed for you, sounds promising.


Resumes To You (@ResumesToYou) (@ResumesToYou) April 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm

How did your job interview go, really? http://t.co/DPkukpQJ

nanc6242 August 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I have been enjoying the articles you post, but the dating analogies are great. I have often said online dating has prepared me for online job searching, unfortunately I find myself unsuccessful at both.

admin August 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm

There are some similarities with job searching and dating! Glad you’re enjoying the posts.

admin August 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I’m glad you’re enjoying the posts, and yes online dating and job searching are strangely similar! lol

@PosIgnition February 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Why #job interviews are like first dates. Seven signs you’ll be seeing each other again: http://t.co/gW9e3c6e via @InterviewIQ #jobinterview

The Career Center (@careercenter) April 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

7 signs that indicate if your interview is going well! http://t.co/GGnTjlLhHO How do you gauge your interviews?

News America Mktg (@NewsAmericaJobs) April 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

Your interview is a little like a first date… how do you know if it’s going well? @careercenter http://t.co/xeMX605lgU

UConnCareerServices (@UConnCareerSvcs) April 15, 2013 at 11:35 am

7 signs that indicate if your interview is going well! http://t.co/qhm19abbw7 How do you gauge your interviews? RT @careercenter

Vincent Schilling (@VinceSchilling) April 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

How did your job interview go, really? http://t.co/sQ9cxyTv8C

umflintadvising (@umflintadvising) April 18, 2013 at 8:17 am

How did your job interview go, really? http://t.co/kVtm1eLrjE

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