Going on a job interview is more like going on a date than ever before. 

Job interviews – like dates - have always boiled down to two basic questions: The interviewee wondering, “Will they like me?” and the hiring manager thinking, “Will they stick around?” 

But researchers at Northwestern University found that, these days, hiring managers are more likely to consider something else: “Do I want to hang out with this person.” Instead of evaluating applicants based solely on skills and experience, more often, companies are evaluating them as if they’re a potential new friend, or romantic partner. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean they’ll hire you if you’re unqualified. But hiring managers are paying more attention to factors they’d consider when choosing a friend or a mate, like, whether you went to the same school, or share the same hobbies. Or whether there’s a mutual “spark” that could turn into a genuine friendship. 

In fact, the similarities between dating searches and job searches are becoming so similar that the dating site eHarmony is creating a job recruiting website, to match companies to candidates.

What’s the takeaway here? 

Before you go to your next interview, Google the person you’ll be meeting with, and look at their Facebook page to find out their home town, if they recently ran a marathon, or if they have a cat. Anything that you two may have in common.

And when you get to the interview, look around the office for things you might have in common, like, a love of fly-fishing, or a collection of animal figurines. 

And find a way to bring up the similarities in casual conversation, because the more alike you and your interviewer are, the better the chance you’ll be considered for the job.