3 Truths about Dating and Interviews – Alternative Mavericks

Have you ever been rejected in love? Have you ever been rejected by firm after an interview?   There is an underlying feeling common to both situations – a feeling of not being good enough or maybe that feeling of anger towards the object of your affections / the firm….After all, nobody likes rejections.

On the other hand, a fortunate few have experienced that exhilarating sense of thrill and joy when they get the opposite sex to say yes for a date or when they get their dream company to make an offer – the feeling of having conquered the world is common in both situations .

In many ways, matters of the heart have a lot in common with matters which concern our careers.



Getting a date is just as hard as getting an internship or a job.  Everybody looks for that ‘perfect fit’. An IIM degree just gets you a bit closer to the goal but it is no guarantee of success.  In fact, sometimes, the IIM tag creates performance pressures and raises higher expectations as well – much to the junta’s disadvantage.


Let us assume a level-playing field – it does not matter what is your educational pedigree or how good looking you are. Pedigree and looks make up for a good first impression. 3 critical factors – your knowledge, your confidence and your comfort zone can sustain the impact ahead.


1)      Your Knowledge:  Imagine you met a girl at a party and you really took a fancy to her. You want to take her out for a movie. Do you just call her up and ask her straightaway or do you first get her to know you? Is she single or does she already have a boyfriend or for that matter, does she even like going out with guys? What does she like to do in her free time? Is she studying or working somewhere? What are her likes and dislikes? With the help of Facebook, LinkedIn and such sites- you do your ‘background research’. Then you ask common friends to help your cause.  You will try to figure out every possible thing to know about her before you approach the girl.

Now take this analogy and apply to firms – This time, you will browse through the company website, Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles and news articles to gather all the important things to know about the firm. You will ask your friends and seniors who work there to tell you more about the firm, its culture, its likes and dislikes.  Essentially, the more you know about the other party – the stronger are your chances.

Showing them how keen you are without coming across as desperate is the first big step you have to take towards achieving your goal.


2)      Your Confidence: Confidence is how you project yourself to the other person. Just as in an interview, you would want to appear well-groomed, well-behaved, easy to talk to, assertive and articulate, similarly, you would like the girl to see you in a positive light.  Over-confident people come across as cocky and arrogant while those lacking in confidence project themselves as uninterested or dull.  Confident people draw others closer to them, overconfident people drive others away.  Practice your handshake; keep a few stock phrases in handy, have a correct and upright posture, be courteous and respectful and finally – Don’t be a jerk


Job Interview_InsideIIM


Source: Daniel on Flickr

3)      Your comfort zone:  A comfort-zone is what helps you deliver your best output. An easy-going carefree chicken-chomping beer-guzzling Punjabi bloke may find it that much harder to connect and woo a traditional Brahmin orthodox simple girl because he is out of the comfort zone (a few exceptions always delight us). By the same token, an HR focused student will find similar difficulties to cross over to investment banking. Not impossible but unlikely. Playing in your comfort zone means playing according to your strengths. So choose the right goal that matches your interests, is to your liking and allows you to bring your best qualities out.  Something akin to choosing the right person to avoid expensive mistakes.  Remember there are always going to be limited job opportunities and plenty of candidates fighting for that role – just like there are hundreds of suitors for a great gal.  So pick your battles wisely.


Of course, there are several other important factors which are critical too. Dating and getting the right job both focus on the principles of compatibility. Understand what are you most compatible with and try to aim accordingly.   Because in the end – skills can be taught, but how do you teach compatibility?


Wish you all – Happy Dating 🙂 ….. and Happy Interviews


– Raheel Shah


Raheel did his MBA from a well-known institute of management in western India. He believes that everyone is a genius but if you measure a fish by its ability to climb a tree, you will find the fish to be pretty dumb!!


About Alternative Mavericks

“Alternative Mavericks”, weaves different stories to present unconventional view points which challenge the readers to not accept everything at face value. Raheel has completed his MBA from IIMA. He loves working on new ideas and is constantly coming up with new ways to solve old problems… Add Raheel to your Canvas by going here



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