Are you asking the right questions on a date?


I used to work for a telecommunications company while I was in college. While I was there I excelled and was promoted to be a team supervisor for this company. I was young full of energy and ideas but had no idea on how to properly hire people. The interesting thing about that was, that most of my supervisor peers, some much older than I, had the same experience in hiring people. Sometimes it seemed like we were hiring anyone and everyone that came in the door. If you had a pulse, an ID and a SSN you were hired. I say that jokingly however that’s what it felt some days. Our turnover rate was crazy. We would hire 40 people and maybe 15 would make it to their 1 year anniversary. We had an actual revolving door situation going on. It was a noticeable dilemma and many of my peers saw what I saw however just didn’t have much motivation to stop the cycle of the revolving door. More than just lack of motivation it was more of not knowing what to do about the problem. It was like sitting a 7 grade math student in front a calculus book and asking them to solve an equation, but the 7 grader hasn’t even taken algebra 1 yet. Any company I was ever involved with I always had a desire to make the company better some how. Even at a young age this company wasn’t any different. I went to my director at the time and asked him what was his views on our turn over rate. We shared the same views that something had to be done about what was going on. However he lacked the know how as well. We exchanged ideas and communication that day however I walked away from that meeting thinking, that nothing wasn’t going to change. I few weeks later I received an email from the office of the director. The subject title read “Mandatory Training.” I opened that email and it was a training on “How to Hire the right Candidate for the Job.” Looked like my conversation didn’t fall on deaf ears. The day of the training came and I was excited about what was about to take place. I had no idea what to expect I just knew that it looked like we were going to make some changes around the company as a whole. Over the course of the training we as a company and a group of ill prepared managers and supervisors didn’t know what we were doing in the hiring of people. We had the “warm body” syndrome. Where we just hired people just to say we had somebody, rather than hiring the right quality person for the job. One of the most important factors of that training was that I found out we were asking the wrong questions in the interviewing process. The following is a sample of the type of questions we would ask:

  • Do you like computers?

  • Do you like talking with people?

  • Are you reliable?

  • Are you punctual?

  • Do you like working with people?

  • Are you a team player?

All these questions were relevant to the positions we were hiring for however that told is nothing about the person’s previous working pattern or the character and personality of the person we wanted to hire. These questions required yes or no answers. It didn’t give us an indebt look at what type of employee we were potentially hiring. It just told us that they knew how to say yes or no and the knew how to talk. In the interviewing process we wanted to create dialogue and get a sense of what this person was actually bringing to the table. After taking the training here is how those question went:

  • Tell me about a time you had to work with computers?

  • Describe a time you had to use you communications skills to overcome a problem?

  • Tell me about a time on your previous job that they solely relied on you?

  • Tell me about a time that you had to be on time, but was running late; How did you handle that issue?

  • Describe your last experience in working in a group environment?

  • Talk to me about a time you had to work in a team? What was your experience? What were your challenges, if any? How did you overcome those challenges?

The questions after the training required us to dig a little deeper with our questioning. We had to talk a little bit more but it also created a dialogue and conversation with the candidate. This gave us a better opportunity to evaluate the potential and possibility of the candidate and painted a clearer picture of what they brought to the table. As a result our turn over rate went down and we were able to hire more quality people rather than just warm bodies.

Now let’s take this same principle to the dating world. How many times have you gotten involved with someone and found out that they were not the person you thought they were. You guys went out on a date talked about your favorite foods, or favorite movies; you talked about things but you did get to the meat of the that person. You knew nothing about their character but you liked their personality. You just met their representative that they were bringing to the table so they would be on their best behavior. I know it may take time to really get to know a person but sometimes when we meet a person that we potentially want to date we also don’t ask the right questions to even understand if that person is worth investing or spending any of our time. In this chapter we will go over some typical questions that one may ask when you first me someone. We will then go over those questions and make sure that we are asking them in a opening ended manor and not just asking closed ended questions. Before we get into those questions I want to talk about Character vs. Personality.

Character can to be defined as a pattern of qualities of a person that are distinctive from other persons that make up that individual’s personality. Character traits are both good and bad. We all have a certain level of character typically a person’s moral beliefs contribute to their character. Personality can be also defined as a set of qualities that are distinct to that person, which makes them unique as an individual. The difference is that personality is commonly associated with outer appearance and behavior of person and is usually learned or developed while character deep-rooted and a part of the inherited make up of an individual. Let’s look at some differences between character and personality.

  • If you sit down to a meal and without fail your potential partner reaches out their hand and wants to bless or pray over their food. – That’s Character

  • When you go to a party and your partner is outgoing and the life of the party. They really know how to keep that party going – That’s Personality

  • Your potential partner respects your choice of celibacy and does not try to push or persuade you to change your views – That’s Character

  • Your potential partner is confident at work and loves to be in control. They run the show and like to be in charge to make sure things go right – That’s Personality

Here are some positive character attributes:

  • Honesty

  • Respect

  • Compassion

  • Punctual

  • Loyalty

  • Fair

  • Maturity

  • Apologetic

  • Attentive

Here are some negative character attributes:

  • Demanding

  • Selfish

  • Jealous

  • Loving

  • Disrespectful

  • Careless

  • Inconsiderate

  • Stingy

  • Impatient

Positive Personality Traits

  • Optimistic

  • Charming

  • Confident

  • Suave

  • Persistent

  • Valiant

  • Exuberant

  • Trusting

Negative Personality Traits

  • Laziness

  • Picky

  • Finicky

  • Sneaky

  • Self Centered

  • Impulsive

  • Cowardly

  • Malicious

At the end of the day character can be summed up as what has been instilled in you based on values and personality can be what you appear to be. Character is who you are personality is who you want people to believe you are. Lets not get fooled on how you we perceive a persons personality and think it’s their character.

Let’s take a look at how we ask questions when we first meet someone. What we ask is not as important than how we ask it. How you ask a question will either create dialogue or just give someone the opportunity to tell you what you want to hear. Remember we are discerning their character and their personality. Here are some typical first date or getting to know you questions.

  • Do you have a good relationship with your parents?

  • Do you have a good relationship with your ex?

  • Are you ready for a relationship?

  • Do you like kids?

  • Are you romantic?

  • Do you like to go to church?

  • Do you like going out on dates?

Look at the questions we’ve listed. These are typical questions people may ask when they are getting to know someone. These questions are closed ended questions and only allows the person answering the questions to give a yes or no answer. Let’s be honest; have you ever found yourself asking questions like this and then later finding out that the person was not upfront with you. Have you ever asked any of these same questions? Lets see how we can ask the same questions however create a different type of response. We are requiring more information from our conversation and creating dialogue to discern what type of person we may be really dealing with.

  • Tell me about the relationship you have with your parents?

  • When was your last relationship? How long did it last? Why did it end?

  • Describe your ideal relationship; is that what you are looking for right now?

  • How is your relationship with your kids? (If they don’t have kids) What is the relationship with any kids that may be in your life? i.e. Nieces, nephews, family members, etc.

  • Describe your ideal date?

  • Tell me about your moral beliefs and what makes up you belief system?

  • What is your idea of a great date?

I have listed here a few ways to ask open-ended questions to give you an idea of how to create dialogue when getting to know someone. In addition to these 7 questions, at the end of this chapter I have listed more thought provoking questions. At the end of the day you cant receive what you don’t require. You won’t know what you don’t inquire about. Asking the right questions in the right way can open up a great dialogue and paint a better picture about a person’s personality and their character.

Here are some more sample questions to create a dialogue with someone that you are interested in getting to know:

  • What’s your current passion in life?

  • Who is the person you admire the most and why?

  • Describe your philosophy on personal debt?

  • How did you choose the career that you are in?

  • What is your idea of a committed relationship?

  • What is your greatest regret?

  • What are 3 goals you have for the next 12 months?

  • What is most important in a relationship to you?

  • What was the last book you read? What was the greatest take away from that book?

  • What is one thing you would like to change about yourself?

  • What is your most embarrassing moment?

  • How do you handle anger?

  • What do you do to relax?

  • How do you think men and women love differently

  • Do you think relationship counseling works and why or why not?

  • Are you parents still together?

  • Define love?

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