Trust from the first date

Last night, I spent a few hours drilling my wife. This sounds a lot more fun than it actually was, as unfortunately for me, it was practice for a pre-interview call that she had today. It seems to have went well and she will go on for further in the process. Even though she is lacking some of the experience necessary, she has an abundance of experience in other key areas and a work history that is relatively unique.


However, as I was saying to her last night, a lot of the interviews in these kinds of areas aren't about whether a person can do a job, it is about whether that person is a good fit for the established team. The core skills necessary to do the job must of course be met, but that can be qualified very quickly - it is the personality of the candidate that is harder to establish and how they will mesh with the team. But, this is only one side of the equation, because as they say, it takes two to tango.

My advice for interviews is to treat it like a date where you want to marry and spend the rest of your life with the person, not just sleep with them and never call them again. What I mean by this is, be yourself.

Often when people go on dates they try to impress the other person by not being themselves, fronting as something that they think they are looking for. This is the intuition saying, "I need to trick this person into liking me" and even though it might work to get the person hooked, long-term it is bound to fail as the "real you" leaks out and the social contract was broken. Now, you've changed. This goes for the presentation from the company side too, where if they say "we have a great team" and then the new employee finds themselves in a hostile and acidic environment, they won't stick around.

The other part of this is no matter how pretty the job may be, at the end of the day, most of the job satisfaction comes from parts of the job that aren't tied to the job or the money, it is the people and the sense that what one does has value that delivers this. It is best for both parties to be upfront in the relationship, be honest in what they are each looking for and transparent with wishes.

On the point of transparency, the application required a salary expectation and I think that I have a pretty good answer for this in the conversation. Firstly, be realistic in the actual estimation of the job, but if going further in the interview, have the employer make a suggestion based on their appraisal of the job tasks, as they know with more precision what it entails. However, tell them that you want to start from a position of trust and you will trust that they will be fair, mentioning that if they underpay for the position, you will quickly recognize it and trust would be lost. In my experience, this creates a far better point of healthy negotiation and if the job is valuable to the company, they will pay whatever it takes to meet their needs.

More importantly than the salary though, is having the needs of the relationship met, where each side has to make sure that they are up front about their expectations and responsibilities, which includes the working atmosphere. There is nothing worse than people saying "I am great in a team or working independently" only to find out that they have to be micromanaged or spend their time undermining the team by hoarding work and not communicating. For the right person, good companies will meet the needs of the employee and a good employee, will make some sacrifices at times too, because they value the relationship and are willing to make some compromises.

Building a good relationship with the company is important in many ways and it isn't just about the employee and the employer. Often, the workplace gets the best of us as we have to be more restrained socially, bite our tongue a little more, especially in places where trust is low. When this is combined with work that goes unvalued in an environment with poor communication - people tend to get frustrated and stressed and while they might cover it at work, at the end of the day, people need to go home to their families. This can create additional pressure at home so that neither the workplace or the house is a place where people can relax and feel comfortable and valued.

Relationship building isn't a two-way street, it is a crisscrossing network of tethers that tie people together and create dynamics that affect feeling and behavior. An environment where people are valued, cared for, respected and here trust is maintained, is far better to get the most of individuals and have them feel that what they do matters, they aren't just a cog in the machine to be replaced when worn.

It is very easy to build trust with transparency of thought and behavior, just as it is very easy to lose it when caught lying about fundamentals. Starting the relationship with the expectation that both sides want what is best for the other, whether that is together or apart, clarifies the conditions very quickly to see whether there is a second date, or it is a, "nice to meet you, I wish you all the best in the future".

My wife has enough skills to be considered for the job, but it will be whether she fits into their organization, and they fit for her, which will be the deciding factor. It is better for everyone to go into the relationship with their eyes open, rather than date for a few months or years until realizing, they aren't really compatible.

It is easy to "lose ourselves" when we focus on desired aspects of something, whether that be a person for a relationship, or a potential dream job of some kind. We will miss the warning signs from the negatives as we focus on the positives, the lack of honesty while blinded by charm. When we are ourselves, we are not only more likely to be attractive to the right people, we spend less energy on trying to maintain who we are not, which frees up the bandwidth to focus on other things.

Another piece of advice for an interview is, no matter how great the job appears, how high the salary, how much you need it - desperation is generally a deal breaker. Be yourself and have the confidence to be able to walk away and often, you won't have to walk and you will find positions that are the right fit and work for you, and for them.

[ Gen1: Hive ]