A Husband's Guide to : What Interviewing for a Job Can Teach Us About Our Marriage

As a ubiquitous middle manager at a Marketing company I do a lot of interviewing.  Recently people have noticed that I seem to have a knack for finding the right candidates and rejecting the wrong ones.  In fact the past couple that have been hired against my suggestion have been so bad that people now will not hire a candidate without my approval.

During a recent round of interviews I was going over my methodology with a colleague and explaining how I decide on candidates.  My process involves three main steps :

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : My Interview Caveats

  • Get them comfortable.  I believe I have a much higher chance of getting honest answers if the candidate is at ease.  I crack jokes, sit casually, and make sure they don't need anything like a beverage.
  • Vary between experience and attitude questions.  No one wants to sit through an interview with a hundred "Tell me about a time when you..." questions.  At the same getting a million "Tell me why we should hire you" questions can also be off putting.  I like to vary asking a couple experience questions and them some attitude opinion questions.  One of my current favorites is tell me what your biggest professional pet peeve is?
  • Pay Fucking Attention!  Here is the key to my success.  I listen to what they are saying and because I have made them comfortable and asked the right questions I get to pick up on all the things they might try to hide or don't want me to know.  If a candidate, when asked about a difficult project, spends more time talking about the barriers he faced because of other people that candidate is most likely a victim and not proactive.  If a candidate, when asked about a task he did not enjoy, talks about it being beneath him, then he has a chip on his shoulder and is not willing to pay his dues.  Or, if a candidate, when asked about a professional mistake in his past cannot think of one, then he is not someone who is able to view himself objectively.
I know what you are thinking, what does this have to do with marriage?

Actually it has a lot to do with marriage.  We must use the same techniques in interviewing as we do with our spouses.  Not because we want to trip them up, but because we want them comfortable enough to answer our questions honestly.  Sometimes marriage discussions can be tough and if we do not take the time to make our partner comfortable, ask the right questions, and pay attention we might miss out on something.

If you are a newlywed you might be thinking, that will never happen with me and my sweetie, we tell each other everything.  If that is true, awesome. But the fact of the matter is as time goes on in a marriage it can get harder and harder to share your true feelings.  You might not be willing to admit something, you might want to spare your partner's feelings, or you might even want to have more time to process something you are feeling.  But in order to have a great marriage you have to be willing to have the hard conversations as well.  

Conversations about finances, when to have kids, sexual concerns, and extended family issues can create a very tense situation.  But if you take the time to put one another at ease, ask the right questions and really pay attention you can have a meaningful and fruitful dialogue.


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