By Amanda Wallin

This new series is all about exploring the psychological and sociological aspects of working in an office. Each week I will delve into a different area of office culture and will use the help of scientists and journals to help guide my thoughts!

Week 1 – Is this an interview or a first date?
To get this series started I thought it would be fitting for us to start with the concept of…getting hired! This post is all about the interview process and how employers/employees find the right “fit” for their office. In order for offices to be both productive and effective all of the pieces need to fit just right. It can be very difficult to progress if one or multiple members of a team are on different pages. Thus, interviewing and hiring the right people play a huge role in office culture.

An article that I found recently very interestingly describes the current state of hiring processes: “job interviews are increasingly becoming more like first dates.” This is so accurate! When you go in for an interview you are certainly not being critiqued solely on your skills or experience. Your personality, comfort level, confidence, and willingness to work in a team setting are just a few other key areas of interest for employers who are considering you for their company. Doesn’t this sound similar to the dating scene?  You could go on a first date with someone who, on paper, seems great! They have an awesome resume or track record, good job, went to a solid college, they have a place to live, and all of that is fantastic. However, when you meet them they could be the totally wrong fit for you! What if they don’t have a sense of humor or similar values? What if they have a bad attitude and don’t treat you well? Do you still want to have them around just because they look good on paper?

Employers and interviewees have a strangely comparable relationship to people who are in the beginning stages of dating.  You have to play your cards just right. You want to show your true self and highlight your best features. Yet, you need to do this without seeming arrogant. You also don’t want to seem desperate, so you play it cool. Although, now the problem is you may present yourself as not caring enough. It’s a delicate tango that can leave your head spinning!  This process, while tedious and sometimes frustrating for everyone involved, is so incredibly necessary. Employers need to make sure that their new hire is going to meet the needs of the office and compliment the team with their assets. In other words, the new hire needs to fit. The same article mentioned earlier states that “a fit is where there is congruence between the norms and values of the organization and those of the person.” In order to find the perfect fit, the interviews/dates are crucial.

It is important to find someone who not only gets the job done, but can contribute positively to the environment. Ultimately in either situation, if you make the wrong choice and the person is not a good fit, a break-up or blow-up is inevitable!

Good luck to all of you on your future interviews/dates!