You probably had to interview in order to get your job. This interview process is an extremely important part of being hired because it tells the employer many things about you – how well you think on your feet, how well thought out your answer to questions are, how you present yourself, etc. Passing the interview is the key to getting the job.

Have you ever considered interviewing (or being interviewed for) the next love of your life? It’s an interesting question when you consider that the interview is really the first 4-5 dates!

Most first dates last between 1 to several hours. That’s very long interview in anyone’s book! How well you do here can make or break the future relationship. Your entire perception of the other person is going to change dramatically during this time. Trust me on this one – they always do.

Let’s talk about how to conduct the first dates (interviews) to determine what you want to know about the other person – and how to interpret what you learn – as well as how to be interviewed.

1. You need goals!

This is the most important – and the most often missed – aspect of the first dates; let alone, relationships. You need to know what it is that YOU want! If you don’t know, (and by “know”, I mean know specifically), then you’re not going to have the information you need in order to make good decisions about this person.

Yes, I know that if you’ve read many of my articles, you also know that I harp on having written relationship goals. This is the single most important thing you can do to get exactly what you want. As I constantly say, if you don’t know what you want, then the very first person that walks by is the right one because they fit exactly what you’ve asked for.

Don’t make the mistake so many people make and just leave this up to impressions only. Sure you want to have a good impression of this person (and to leave one of yourself), however, many people go on dates thinking that if this person doesn’t WOW them, they aren’t the right one. That’s foolish! Not everyone makes a great first impression.

On the other hand, if you know what you’re looking for, not only can you ask your date about these issues, you can also apply answers to them before you even ask! Many people will volunteer great information about themselves that you can use instead of specifically asking. You’ll already know to be listening for these things and will recognize them when you hear them.

2. Determine what’s important

One of the most difficult aspects of the first dates is to separate what is real information out from what is not.

People on first dates want to present themselves in the best light. They want to seem confident, bright, funny (and fun), positive, interesting, etc. They are also usually nervous. This nervousness can cause many people to overstate their accomplishments, beliefs, goals, history, etc.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard women say (or received letters from my readers stating) things that are totally contrary to what I already know she wants. For example, she might mention during one part of the date how “independent” she is (which I’ve written a large amount on my website; the “Independent Woman Syndrome”: only to find out later that she’s never even been on her own!

Another thing I often hear on a first date is something like, “I just love being single” as though that’s her goal. How ridiculous is that? If a woman really wants to STAY single that’s fine, but she isn’t likely to make good relationship material. Likewise, going on dates isn’t a very good way to remain single.

The point of this is that many contrary things are said during dates and you have to learn – or glean – what is real information from what is misdirection. The simple way to do this is to just bring it up again later on in the conversation. If your date really feels this way, their answer will be the same every time you ask.

3. Work it into the conversation

You don’t want a date to seem like an interview. If you just rapid-fire questions at your date, it’s not going to be very much fun for either of you. The point of these first dates is to get to know someone and to establish rapport and connection.

The best way to do this is simply to listen to everything said. When you touch on a subject that’s important to you (again, based on your goals), you can ask more about that topic. I’ve included a short list of topics that you will want to ask about later in this article.

At the same time, you can also let your date know more about you and your goals too. You shouldn’t just unload on someone; and trust me, I’ve seen this happen often! The point of a date isn’t to simply take one breath and see how many words you can spew with it. It’s a give and take process. You get some information and you give some information as part of the exchange.

4. Review the answers

You probably didn’t get every one of your questions answered, in fact, I hope you didn’t! One or two dates probably aren’t enough time for you to know everything you want about the other person.

In order to save time, many people will extrapolate certain things said into other areas. Women are particularly notorious about this. For instance, if a man says that he’s looking to settle down, she might interpret that as the fact that he’s boring. Obviously that wasn’t what was said, and women have to really watch themselves to not read too much beyond what a man says. Likewise if a man says that he wants an “exciting relationship”, she might take that to mean he’s looking to date lots of women and is a player.

Experience information (such as past relationships) can really help you understand how someone views their own future. These become examples of what you can expect, but you should look beyond what is said into what they really mean by asking them specifically. If what was said doesn’t make sense, why not ask them to clarify or even to give examples?

5. A basic interview template

Are there basic things you want to know about another person? You bet there are! If you combine these things with your goals, you’ll have everything you need to make a decision about the person. Here a simple list of things to ask:

• What are you looking for in the near future? (a relationship, fun, casual dating, etc.)
• Tell me about your last boyfriend/girlfriend/relationship.
• Why did it end?
• What would you do differently next time?
• How about your long-term future?
• What things do you look for in a partner?
[…and my personal favorite:]
• What do you think that YOU bring to the table that makes you a good partner?

6. After the date

After you end the date, you should reflect on what things were said and how they apply to your goals. This lets you see how the person fits with what you want. If you didn’t ask a question, that’s fine – you now have a good reason for another date. Likewise, if you didn’t understand the answer to something, you can always ask again later.

Best regards…

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. Having written 3 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World™" series) and is working on others, hundreds of articles, been on hundreds of radio and TV shows, he is funny, direct and intuitive. Do you have a burning question that needs an answer? Are you a man that wants to better experiences with women, or a woman that wants to better understand men? To learn more, go to