Home Featured 5 “Interview-Like” Questions Worth Asking Your Lover

5 “Interview-Like” Questions Worth Asking Your Lover



A few weeks ago, I found myself on the couch with a glass of wine and my laptop. My cell phone was cradled in my neck as my friend begged me to send her a recent picture.

“C’mon! I’m gonna send out a mass text and hopefully find you a man,” she said. “This is my project for the week.”

While flattered by her personal crusade, I politely dodged her request and checked my (now defunct) online dating profile. In addition to drinking, being pimped out, and checking my dating profile, I was also half-heartedly updating my resume (that last activity was probably a mistake). I’m not sure if it was the wine, the distractions, or sheer hubris, but I deleted my personal objectives section on my resume and wrote: I am a passionate, hardworking mutli-tasker…I am not looking for a job; I am looking for an adventure.

This is why your dating profile and your résumé shouldn’t be edited at the same time.

This mistake faux pas, however, made me think: What if I were more upfront about what I want from both professional and romantic endeavors? What if I stopped focusing on being the perfect candidate, and put more emphasis on weeding out opportunities that weren’t good for me? In the same that job candidates are supposed to ask questions of potential employers, here are my five interview questions love-seekers can ask their potential “employers” to find out if they’re actually the best person for the job.

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Love Seeker Question 1: How would you describe the responsibilities of this job?

I think it’s important to understand how your potential “employer” would describe the job for which you’re applying. While bullets on a job posting might give a few hints, hearing the responsibilities from your potential co-worker helps you understand if you are up to the task. My definition of “significant other” MIGHT not include the same responsibilities as my potential beau intends; thus, hearing their position description can help me assess whether or not I’m really ready to take on the task.

Love-Seeker Question 2: What is the potential professional advancement?

Lord, here is a question we should ALWAYS be asking (provided you’re not looking for a bridge job and you’d like a position with growth potential). If you are looking for a wife, and your girlfriend says she never wants to be married, than perhaps this position isn’t the best fit for you. The first step is knowing exactly where you want to go, and then, when asking this question, being clear on whether or not you’re willing to stay in a “dead-end job.”

Love-Seeker Question 3: Can you describe the company’s management style?

I bet you would’ve thought twice about taking that job had you known upfront that your man was an autocratic leader (and an idiot). While I’m not suggesting that one person is the “boss” of a relationship, it’s good to know how the two of you can collaborate as problems arise. When shit hits the fan, are we working together or are you acting unilaterally. Am I allowed to ask questions, or am I left to my own devices? How your partner manages his team has implications on the overall success with this…eh…company.

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Love-Seeker Question 4: What are the top three qualities are you looking for in a candidate?

The saddest reality of (my) life is that I am unable to be all things for the people I love. Asking this question up front allows us to understand how we can fulfill our partner’s needs, AND be realistic about whether or not we have those qualities. If my partner wants someone who is never challenges him, and I know I’m an obnoxious loudmouth (which I am), then I can tell pretty early that I’m not destined to be part of this team.

Love Seeker Question 5: What is the most challenging part of this job?

Do you know how much easier life would be if we could ask this question and get answers like, “My inability to openly discuss my feelings” or “My erectile dysfunction.” Either way, relationships (even the most fulfilling ones) are not without challenges. If we can talk realistically and openly about each parties potential challenges, we’re more prepared when they occur. And if we’re prepared to meet challenges, our partnerships have a better chance of thriving.

My best friend is on the job hunt and we’ve been praying over a position for which we both know she’d be great. When she came back from the interview a bit discouraged I was reminded that sometimes disappointments are making room for something better. So often we get fixated on one specific job, one person, or even one idea. We forget that, even in these challenging economic times, there are other opportunities right around the corner. Pretending that we are perfect for every single job (or person) signs up for lives we may not be meant to lead. Be brave, ask the right questions, and don’t be afraid to seek out broader and better opportunities. The best is out there waiting for you to claim it!

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Ladies and Gents, what job-related questions can we might ask potential partners? Any job-seeker advice that you can apply to love as well?

Patia Braithwaite is a Brooklyn-based relationship writer. Her work has been featured on Yahoo.com, The Huffington Post.com, Florida InsideOut Magazine, and BounceBack.com. She’s currently working on a non-fiction book that explores the various ways men see God and how these views impact their romantic relationships. Check out her musings and more at: www.menmyselfandgod.com


  1. This is clever and very thoughtful. Relationships and jobs, among other things, comes down to human interactions. Being in different fields (med school and business school) I think this is smart way to approach many encounters.

  2. Replace #4 with a question about "previous employment experience". Asking people to describe what they're looking for can be dubious on at least two levels: 1) you're already on a date so you have some idea of what they like and 2) people don't know what they like (or at least will settle for which may be why they are single). I know mad women who are "bawse" in their work worlds, but look to be more dismissive in their romantic ones– they would never say this, of course, but it's a cue to pick up on. Besides, it avoids those awkward moments when you're like "oh, you like dark skin dudes… I see"

    "Previous employment experience" is much more interesting because it gives you insight into how they see themselves through the behavior of someone else. If you previous ended with a scene (cause?), you/they got bored (mentally, sexually, etc), you found out secretly they're Haitian (shots fired), etc. MUCH more interesting and more relevant.

    Good list though.

  3. Yes, I agree with all of this. What a lot of people do is ask question number 4: What qualities are you looking for? And try to wing the rest without actually asking. Question number one is where a lot of us mess up. While most know the basics we assume the other person knows everything we expect or want out of an SG and vice versa we assume we know everything the other person wants based off of question 4.

    What your last partner required or considered a SG might not be what the next person wants, needs or requires out of a SG. What one job requires that other might not deem that important? Ladies definitely ask a man what he considers the definition of a BF to be , you’d be surprise to see that sometimes your definition and his don’t line up.

  4. I feel a little wary about the questions.In the beginning, everybody is putting their best face and foot forward and saying what they think the other person wants to hear. People lie, but their actions don't. We all know we can bomb the interview, but still be qualified for the job.
    My recent post Giving Up Our Hearts and Our Parts

    1. Agree people can lie. These migth not be first date questions but each one should be asked and reviewed as time goes on….

  5. I've read/seen something like this before a few years back- but it was written by a Guy and let's just say the artilce Did Not Sit Well when reading the Comment section…….

    Trust, the questions Sound Good and even Comparing a Job Interview to a Relationship Evaluation is Clever, but Cosmo, Sister 2 Sister, Essence, and other Women-oriented magazines and websites have done this Plenty of times. Many people (Men & Women) when Looking for a Job ALSO do evals to see if the "position" is even Worth Applying, and in this instance One could switch these questions around- 1) What ARE the Expectations of this job?, 2) What are the "perks" of said Open Position?, 3a) What IS the Management/Supervision Style?; 3b/4) How Professional IS the Manager/Supervisor?, and 5) What Exactly IS the Most Challenging Part of the Job &/or "position"??? If the Company, Postion, Perks, and/or the Boss is Wack, None WILL Apply and the Reputation will be Just as Bad, if not Worse

  6. i completely agree with number three.I recently broke up with my boyfriend of 4months. In that time, I notice he has difficulty dealing with normal relationship challenges. he hates to say sorry, can’t take a portion of the blame if something we planned didn’t work. if he’s challenged in any way he shrinks or clams up. no point trying to air my feelings to him, he’d just go telling me he’s in no mood for any arguements. i dumped him, because I know he can’t be the man and really direct our relationship to a desireable end.

  7. Most of the questions I ask would make no sense to other,(i.e)”what is the longest you went without showering?”. That question has helped me see if a man takes himself too seriously and, I found out one of them had been to jail before having to do a background check.I am more concerned with how my s/o reacts to disagreements, while considering my feelings and putting ego to the side.

    1. I’m somewhat the same way, I won’t just ask what’s yo name, what’s yo sign, I’ll toss out different things see what she bites on.

  8. Patia is becoming my favorite writer here (maybe because I’m a sucker for metaphors and a woman’s perspective that isn’t riddled with #whohurtyou material) anyway doe…..I think most dates are like interviews, sometimes to a fault as even in interviews we’re so preoccupied with being chosen we forget that the one on the other side of the table has needs too. We wait until it’s too late to ask the questions about the work environment, negotiating your worth, expectations, how long to until one should expect an offer or should you keep looking.

  9. I love a good metaphor! Love this take on it; which is basically saying that it'd be best if people have upfront AND ongoing conversations so both partners are in the know of what's going on and so that expectations are made aware of. If more people were talking with one another, and not their friends, about what is really going on in their relationships and what they are looking for, there would likely be less heartache consequent to mismanaged/misunderstood roles in said relationships. Of course, I am at fault, as many people are, of not being as upfront for fear of rejection, etc., but there can be much relief at recognizing your fit with someone sooner than later–and you won't know unless you're talking.

    Personally, if I could these days, I'd also like a list of (3) references, a hard copy and digital copy of your relationship transcipts and a cover letter. On letterhead.

  10. You have a heck of a way of getting people to think. This would not only be good for people who are thinking of starting a relationship, but also it could be amended for the folks already in one to see how their goals are progressing, and if the goals are getting closer together as the relationship goes on.
    My recent post Painful Transparency


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