Throughout your years in the job market, you’ve likely heard the common metaphor: Interviews are like first dates. I happen to be quite fond of this particular analogy for a number of reasons.

First, it acknowledges that interviews, like first dates, are awkward. The primary step to diffusing an awkward situation, is to acknowledge its inherently uncomfortable nature. Instead of feeling ashamed or guilty, recognize and claim your feelings of anxiety and apprehension. These feelings are absolutely normal given the scenario.

Second, by aligning interviews with first dates, it reminds the interviewee that this is a two way street and a two-party tango. Often, we focus all of our attention and energy on the interviewee. Pre-interview, the interviewee is inexorably plagued with the common questions: what is the perfect answer, the perfect question, and the perfect outfit?

Rest assured uneasy applicants, like dating, it takes two. Both parties come to the table, whether in the boardroom or a romantically candle-lit restaurant, with something to gain, something to lose, and something to prove. Remember, the person sitting across from you is likely just as nervous. Interviewers are human too, and like any other date, they want just as badly for you to like them too.

Thirdly, all that unsolicited dating advice that you undoubtedly received throughout the years, and all those dating stories that you’ve accumulated, whether worthy of a romantic comedy or horror movie, will now be doing double duty. Taken out of context these life lessons of love can be successfully applied to your new, career-driven reality.

In our next blog post, we’ll revisit some old adages and classic dating advice to deduce surprisingly relevant professional recommendations.