Friday, October 13, 2006

On Fearlessness

# 7 On Being Fearless (or at least confident)

Dating is just an interview with the threat of sex. You’re both on your best behavior. You may have a discrepancy or two on the old resume. While there’s a fine line between outright prevarication and slight exaggeration, do try to work that casual reference to the Nobel Committee into conversation. You didn’t actually say you won the prize, you just mentioned the Committee. See the distinction?

But you’ve got an opening to fill. Depending upon how you’ve advertised your position, you may have lots of applicants. Or you may have a more specialized niche which needs a highly qualified candidate. Some women just want a man. Others was a post-graduate degreed, Italian-speaking, non-sports watching man who likes to give foot massages. Obviously, these are two very different types of applicants. You should be working your network of contacts. Nothing is better than a great referral. This is why people pay good money for headhunters. They help weed out a lot of unqualified applicants.

Now think about the last time you interviewed someone. Yes, your last interview, not your last date. We all remember how that went. If you didn’t get to do the interviewing, think about the interviewer. That’s the mindset we want. The interviewer wasn’t nervous at all was she? That’s because she’s in charge, Marge. Have you ever seen a nervous interviewer? Doesn’t happen. That’s because it can’t happen. You're in charge. Be fearless. You've got to go from being that shy nun to that super-efficient governess to whip those kids into shape.

That’s the same attitude you’ve got to have in dating. You’ve got to separate the good candidates from the bad ones. You’re the owner, operator and CEO of this little company we call MeDate Industries, LLC. You’ve got a fiduciary responsibility to your heart to get the best man to put on this job. There are lots of people who want this opening. It’s your job to sort them out. You can’t be shy or hesitant. Don't know what to say? Start with "Hi." It's that easy with us men. We don't care about what you said, we're just happy you're talking to us at all.

Look them in the eye, size them up. Are they shifty or nervous? That’s a possible felon. Sketchy about their background? Possible jail time. Long gaps in memory? Drug use or blackout drinker. This is the time to go digging for some dirt while you can still get the straight scoop. Once they’re hired, they’re much tougher to fire.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What’s your biggest flaw? How do you deal with a conflict? What do you bring to this organization that’s different from all the other candidates? All those bullshit questions that everyone better have a prepared answer for. Why are you looking to date someone right now? There better be a good answer there.

Unfortunately, you can’t just go down your checklist, make your notes and then say, "Okay, we’ll get back to you if we’re interested. This process takes a couple of weeks." You’ve got to be sly about it and ask questions in passing instead of making it look like an interrogation.

You’re the one making this decision. You’ve got to project an air of confidence. If they think the company is going down the pipes, they may not want to sign on for this task. And unfortunately, you’re never going to get the really candid answers you want to your questions.

You’re going to have to do a lot of behavioral observation here. There’s a great scene in The Rachel Papers where Dexter Fletcher finally gets to see what Ione Skye is really like. And everyone is like that. Everyone’s got some annoying habit that may drive you up the wall. It may be tunelessly singing or dropping makeup removal cotton balls on the floor instead of the garbage can which is RIGHT THERE DAMMIT or pathological lying. The trouble is no one will volunteer this information. You’re going to have to divine it. You don’t have time for anything less than being confident if you're going to figure this all out.

Trust me, you’re in control. Take careful mental notes. Watch what they do, not what they say. Thank him for his time and tell him you'll let him know in a few weeks if you're interested. There are lots of candidates out there. Start sorting them out. You're in charge so you'd better act like it.

(Editor's note: Sorry about the lack of images. Blogger is being cranky with my graphical enhancements today.)


Anonymous said...

I love these posts...I was almost going to make one the other day from the married womans point of view but lost my mojo...I will let you know when I do ;).

Kate The Great said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Between you and Red, one of my regular commenter/readers, I have no excuse but to grow some breasticles as she put it and PUT MYSELF OUT THERE.

But it's so scary.

Kim said...

I have a friend who is kinda short and, well, she could stand to lose a few pounds...BUT she's super confident and guys love her.

I, however, am fearful instead of fearless so I'm going to die alone.

Good times.