Job Interviews Vs Dating: The Emotional Rollercoaster

Dating and going to job interviews have so many similarities. Many clients ask me why they find themselves getting so emotional and even crying if they don’t get a job offer. When you put yourself out there, whether on a date or for a job interview, rejection hurts. We try so hard and we really really hope they like us. In a perfect world we would all find our one true love and have jobs/careers that we love. Until then I guess we have to go on horrible dates and endure fake interviews.

The Date Rollercoaster

When you’re getting ready for a date (I am only speaking from experience so this is from a girls perspective) so many things are going through your mind.

Maybe you’re shocked that this date is even taking place. Maybe you loved this guy from a far and finally after trying to get him to notice you, he finally does and asks you out on a date. You’re now just driving yourself crazy with planning your outfit (rain outfit vs. non-rain outfit). How are you going to do your hair? How are you getting to your date? Is he picking you up or will you meet him there? Is the date during the day or night? What will you talk about? Do you know any jokes? What are you going to eat? (make sure whatever it is it doesn’t blowt you or give you gas 🙂 ) etc. Either way you cannot control your excitement and you can’t even think straight.

The Date
On the day of the date you’re a nervous wreck. You can’t seem to stop sweating. Your hair is not at all what you pictured it would look like and your outfit you chose or bought is just ok. Your confidence is shaken and you’re not sure he will even like you. You’re now even thinking twice about this date and are considering that this might be a big mistake.

Once the butterflies in your stomach stop punching each other and settle down you realize that you’re on your date. You’re not sweating that much and he complimented you on your outfit. Your confidence starts to rise and you notice that both of you are having a good time. The date turns out to be a lot of fun and you’re home now.

Post Date
This is the most dangerous time of the evening. You’re left alone with your thoughts. You’re now replaying the whole date and taking it all apart like a bomb squad takes apart a bomb; meticulously. You’re too hard on yourself and now believe he will never call you again. You call your friends and share your story. They all give you advice but in the end they weren’t there and you feel don’t understand all the little messages you believe he sent. The time from the end of the date to the next time you hear from your date is the longest distance of time ever felt. You’re not eating well and you’re feeling sick. Days pass and no word from your date. 2 weeks pass and you can’t think of anymore good excuses why he couldn’t get a hold of you. You’re devastated. You cry. You find yourself back on the market and start your search all over again.

The Interview Rollercoaster
When you get ready for an interview many things are going through your mind.

You are shocked that you finally got an interview because you have been applying to what feels like 1000’s of job applications. You now have to do some homework and research the company. You applied to so many jobs and it’s actually hard to remember which job this is for and if you’re actually really interested in working with this company. You read over your resume and the job description and wonder why you even applied to this job. You feel totally under qualified and feel that you will be humiliated in the interview. You pick out an outfit that you think makes you look professional even though you hate it. It either pinches you in places that it shouldn’t or just isn’t that flattering. Overall, you are excited because this might be exactly what you need to jump start your career.

On the day of the interview you are a nervous wreck. You can’t seem to stop sweating. Your hair is not at all what you pictured it would look like and your outfit you chose or bought is just ok. Your confidence is shaken. You meet the recruiter and the hiring manager and start to feel less nervous. You start to talk about yourself and are nervous that you are rambling on. They start asking you interview questions and since you’ve heard them all before you have the perfect answer to all them. You’re feeling good even confident that the interview is going well. Some stories you shared even got a laugh and the interviewers are impressed with your experience and skills. You ask them some questions before the end of the interview and then the recruiter thanks you and walks you out.

On the way home you’re buzzing with excitement because they told you that they are looking to fill the position soon, ask for your references and tell you that you should hear back from someone in a few days. You get home and out of the uncomfortable clothes, which now doesn’t look or feel that bad on. You start envisioning your life at that company. You can see yourself paying off all your student loans because they offer you a great salary and life is good. The next day you send the recruiter a Thank You email. A few days pass and no word from the company. A few more days pass and still no word. You start to worry so you email the recruiter and ask for an update. The recruiter doesn’t respond. 2 weeks pass and you get a rejection letter. You’re devastated. You cry. You find yourself back on the job market and start your search all over again.

At the End of The Day
We always look back on the bad dates and either laugh or wonder why we decided to say, do certain things or where certain outfits but we never regret the date. We need to change the way we think of job interviews. Just like dating we want to find people that challenge us and like us for who we are. Sometimes we apply for jobs that we know we are unqualified for but we are looking for a challenge. Sometimes we apply for jobs that we know we are overqualified for but we just want a little bit of a change. An interview is something you should never regret. You should apply to all the jobs that interest you and prepare the best that you can for each of them. Like roller coasters in a theme park, some are fun to ride, some are scary and some just make you sick but you never regret how you spent the day because you had fun.

Have you check out the job board?

13 thoughts on “Job Interviews Vs Dating: The Emotional Rollercoaster

  1. Bob Oedeloem
    August 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I like your article. You are so correct about the slow passing of time post interview. It is unfortunate also that companies do a poor job communicating the status which shouldn’t be so hard with technology. I think companies forget that the way they treat someone coming to interiew may impact if that person whats to ever become a customer or stay a customer.

    1. August 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      Hi Bob,
      I totally agree that it is really unfortunate that most companies/HR departments do a poor job communicating with candidates. Also you make a very good point that candidates are customers as well. Customers that can be lost or gained. Thanks for the comment.

  2. August 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Dorothy,
    Today is the first day I read your blog, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect time. Last week I got a job interview after a long search. I am a recent graduate from design school, and the architectural company that interviewed me seemed perfect for me. They complimented everything about me, and the people that interviewed me all said my portfolio was better than theirs. They said it was the best portfolio they’ve seen from all of the people they interviewed, but that they still had to go through the interviews to make it fair. I got a call back for a second interview yesterday and I was so ready to start working and couldn’t stop picturing how my life would be working there. It was everything you talked about in this article…that crazy rollercoaster. This morning I got the unfortunate email saying they decided to hire the other person that also got called for a second interview. I cried. But! I now feel better because it’s the first time I’ve gone through this, and reading your article lets me know I’m not alone, and a lot of people actually feel like this. So thank you Dorothy 🙂 I’ll be reading more of your fabulous blog.

    1. August 10, 2011 at 10:46 am

      You’re definitely not alone Lucy 🙂 I am sorry you didn’t get the job but that’s how it goes sometimes. Just try to learn from this experience and good luck on your next interview. Thanks for the lovely comment and Good Luck!

  3. ES
    August 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    O my gosh, that is soo true! Ive been going through this exact cycle from lack of appetite to the thinking too much to calling my freinds to review my thoughts on how it went and all and than not being satisfied. Thank you for posting this. I don’t feal like the only crazy one with this problem. He he.

  4. ES
    August 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Well, I guess that wasn’t the point of the aricle, but It was still helpfull.

    1. August 15, 2011 at 7:08 am

      Hi ES,
      You’re definitely not the only one who over analyzes and replays the whole scenario over and over again. Glad you liked the post and thank you for leaving this message 🙂

  5. August 25, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Another Great Article Analogy Dorothy! You are absolutely right regarding the similarities of Job Interviewing and Dating. Being a recruiter myself, I tell applicants I am more in the “Match Making” business being that I have basically two target groups…the Applicant and the Organization looking to hire. My job is to know enough about both and set them up on a date (interview) and hope all goes well. Most applicants are thankful for the interview but with your spin on things in this article it helps me with explaning why some connections are just not made during the interview. Thanks again for another great article.

    1. August 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks for the kind comment Bobby.

  6. Cindy
    March 9, 2012 at 9:02 am

    So, I interviewed with a couple of companies this week. However, the companies and the actual job descriptions were not exactly what they seemed to be on paper. Once I started asking questions and learning more about these companies and jobs, I realized that this was not a good match and wasn’t what I was looking for. At one point during one of the interviews, I almost felt like walking out in the middle, because they completely changed the parameters of the job since they posted the original ad. At the second company, I managed to find out what the job pays (it was not stipulated in the job ad)…and the low salary, including NO benefits, no sick days, no paid vacation, etc. was not something I would be able to accept.

    How should a candidate handle this type of situation? Should I have just told them on the spot that I’m no longer interested? Should I follow up with an e-mail? How should it be worded?

    In another interview, I just loved the job and company, and I wanted the job so badly that I was overly-nevous and I think I blew the interview. I received a rejection phone call the following day. I was really devastated, because I knew I was the right fit for the job, but my excitement and nerves got the better of me. Funny thing is that, during the interview I felt that I may have been just slightly UNDER-qualified, but I stressed that I had the aptitude to learn the missing skill. Upon rejection, they told me I was OVER-qualfied, so decided to go with a more junior person. WTH?

    1. March 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

      Hi Cindy,
      When you realize in an interview that the job is not right for you I would never walk out. I would suggest you finish the entire interview because it’s always great to get more experience and work on your interview skills. It’s up to you if you want to follow up with an email but I personally would wait to see if you were offered the job or even asked to come back for another interview. Again, going to interviews is a great learning experience if you can spare the time. Regarding you blown interview. Nerves can really kill your chances sometimes and sometimes the way a job description is written it can look very impressive and make you feel under qualified for the role but in reality the recruiter and hiring manager really know the truth and you may have been over qualified. Never a dull moment in the weird and wacky world of recruitment 🙂 Hope that helps.

  7. Cindy
    March 10, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Dorothy, perhaps more details are required: For one particular job, it was advertised as 3-4 days per week with possibility of full-time in near future, and had quite a few responsibilities listed. When I went for the interview, they told me they changed what they were looking for, and now only needed somebody 2 days a week, 3 days maximum, and it was mostly for book-keeping duties with most of the other tasks now removed. They asked if this was ok with me, if $xx. per hour was ok with me, etc. etc. Of course, none of these things were ok. Should I lie and say “yes, everything’s just great, I’m still interested.”? That’s not really being honest. The same would be true for any job interview where they revealed their salary and if it’s vastly below the industry standard, then I would certainly not be ok with it….so how do I answer without lying? If I pretend to still be interested, and then they offer me a job that I don’t want, how would I reject their offer, without revealing that I lied about wanting the job?

    1. March 10, 2012 at 11:39 am

      Hi Cindy,
      If you don’t want the job then you can tell the company whenever you want i.e. during the interview or later. I don’t think you are pretending to be interested and you’re not lying. I think everyone should take a day to really think about the interview, the role that was presented and then make a pros and cons list and then make a decision. That is why I prefer you tell the company later so you can really think the whole thing through. I hope that helps and remember you’re not lying you just decided that salary is important or the hours of work per week and you, as the candidate, have every right to change your mind.