I have interviewed hundreds of people. I’ve given talks on hiring and helped others in my industry learn to weed out people with resentments, abrasive personalities, and authority issues.
I’m good at it. I can tell within the first five minutes whether or not there is potential. The longer the interview, the more likely the candidate will be acceptable as an employee.
“Dating is not a business!” my friends tell me. True, it isn’t. But, the concept is the same.
Dating is an interview. It’s about screening for compatibility, testing for integrity and fidelity, and weeding out the undesirables. Like my interviews with prospective employees, if you can tell within the first five minutes that the person won’t work out, end it. Seem harsh? Perhaps. But why waste everyone’s time? If it’s not a good fit, it’s best to send the person on their way.
Recently, my co-author Leah and I featured a podcast with potential questions to ask on a date. Leah and I often come from very different angles, which is why our podcasts are so entertaining, especially to ourselves. We came up with seven questions to ask, listed as follows:
What’s your funniest experience on a first date?
How long have you been single?
What was your longest relationship?
What do you do for fun?
Dogs or cats?
Are you lucky?
Have you traveled?
Leah and I had a lot of fun exploring the reasons for asking those questions. Dogs or cats? That has a lot to do with allergies. What was your longest relationship? Well, that has to do with your ability to commit. But, here’s more to the interview than simply asking questions. How you ask the question, and wait for the answer, will help determine the effectiveness of the interview….errrr.. I mean, date.
1. You: 20%. Them: 80%.
When asking the questions, allow the other person time to talk. You should be talking only 20% of the time. Let them talk 80% of the time. You won’t find out anything about them if you’re talking about yourself.
2. Ask the open-ended question.
To help them talk, stay away from yes or no questions. Ask open-ended questions that allow them to elaborate on their answers.
3. Ask why?
If you have difficulty framing open-ended questions, simply ask “Why?” after they answer. And don’t stop at one “why”. You can keep asking “why”.
4. Let the silence sit.
It’s ok to let the silence sit for a while. They will keep talking to fill the gap. Shooting out questions, one after another, is likely to end up with you not making the cut.
Have fun coming up with questions! And above all, have fun on the date.
Robin Sassi is co-author of "Charmed Divorce". She lives in San Diego, California and currently coaches individuals to help them live a more positive life through a step-by-step customized process.