Face Facts. They're Just Not That Into You

A few years ago a pop cult book came out that made a splash. It was aptly titled, "He's Just Not That Into You." The basic premise of the book was a wake-up call for women who make excuses for why dudes don't like them and waste a lot of time analyzing what may or may not be. Well, that idea was so popular (even if the concept was not so novel) it was blown out into a movie slated for release in 2009 starring none other than everyone's favorite single gal pal, Jennifer Aniston.

I have a friend and we spend time here and there IMing swapping dating stories and job hunting tales. She always tells me, "You need a job." To which I reply, "You need a decent date!" What I don't always tell her and what I've begun to suspect is that it might easier to find a lead on a job than it is to go out on a promising date in NYC. And that's a scary prospect, especially given our dreary economy.

But there are common sense signals in the way of indicators that are pretty universal when it comes to both the job market and dating world. I short, I get it when my friend says, "Hmmm...maybe that means they're just not interested?" in reference to an unfortuitous sign from a prospective employer I've interviewed with. So here are a few themes I've picked up on in my job hunt that usually indicate they're just [really] not that into you:

  • Parting Doesn't Need To Be Sweet Sorrow: Whether you've finished an initial phone screen or made it on to the final in-person interview with the hiring manager, at the end of the interview, the person on the other end should give you some verbal cue as to what the next steps are (i.e., "we'll be in touch to set up another interview with X"). The more straight-shooter they are with you, the better the sign. If someone just leaves you with a non-committal, "Thanks for your time" without expression of next steps, move on. And if you're still not sure, ask them about their timetable and see if it elicits any sort of statement regarding your standing.
  • I Had You At Hello: It's a fallacy to think that you'll go into an interview situation and fall in love instantaneously with the people there. You may love the idea of the job, but more often than not when you visit a place for the first time, both you and your interviewer have on a protective layer of distance since you're still feeling each other out and deciding if it's a good fit. Proceed with caution, but don't take it personally if you're not sensing "warm, touchy-feely" vibes the first time out. That doesn't necessarily mean they don't want you to come back.
  • The 48-Hour Rule: Generally, in my experience, when an employer wants a follow-up with you, they get back to you within 48 hours after last contact. Translation: Don't sit around for weeks pining over one job when they haven't gotten back to you and run the risk of missing out on other golden opportunities. If you're still not convinced that they aren't over you and need more proof, send a follow-up email and see where that gets you. Lick that wound. Bandage it up and don't throw any pity parties. You have better places to be and be seen.
  • Don't Waste Your Time On The Could Have Beens: Whether it's a job interview or going out on a date, you're presenting the best you. Even if you feel like you want a second chance or could have done better, if it's the right fit the pieces will come together so don't sweat it too, too much. As I learned watching Jim Carrey on "Oprah" yesterday, there's an abundance of all things in the universe. That blanket statement carries over to good men and great jobs.

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