This is what the farm looks like when you drive up to it.
For a while, I thought that the farm is really what I fell in love with. I felt an overwhelming sense that I belonged on this farm from the moment I got out of my car.
But also, the moment I got out of my car, I fell in love with the farmer.
And I did not fall in love with the farmer when I went to check him out at the farmer's market before I agreed to drive out to his farm. Which tells me that love at first sight is a combination of things: the right setting and right person.
I had love at first sight with my first husband, too. I remember seeing him in a group. I remember asking him if he's Jewish (very important to me then — I wanted to raise Jewish kids) and I remember us being surrounded by the smartest people in LA who were trying to figure out nonlinear media before anyone had even heard of the Internet.
The setting of smart people talking about ideas primed me to fall in love, like the farm setting primed me the next time.
This started getting me thinking about how you fall in love at work. With your job. I think it's also love at first sight.
When people are interviewing each other face to face, it's clear that all the candidates are qualified—everyone has been screened to know that the potential employees are skilled enough, the potential company is interesting enough, the job is a decent enough fit. So that leaves chemistry as the important thing in an interview. And I think it works similarly to falling in love.
The obvious corollary, of course, is looks. We are can't help choosing to work with people who we think are good-looking. It's against the law, yes, I know. But we do it anyway, often subconsciously.
The idea that our love-at-first-sight tools work similarly for other relationships is not that far-fetched. First, it's clear that researchers at Ohio State University found that after just a few minutes of meeting someone face-to-face, people decide what sort of relationship they want to have with that person. And that decision is a good predictor of what will happen in the future between the two people because people act in accordance with their decision.
Here are ways to apply what we know about love at first sight to getting the job you want:
1. Interviews during ovulation are bad.
Women are more likely to fall in love with a man when ovulating. But ovulation changes the type of man women seek. Women prefer gender stereotypes during ovulation—which means not only a square jaw, but a dominant caretaker and a poor-communicator –questionable traits to seek in a co-worker.
2. Telling someone you really want them is good.
You are more likely to have love at first sight if the person likes you. We are naturally more attracted to people who give us cues that they are attracted to us. So telling the interviewer how much you really really want the job is not optional.
3. When discussing your skills, focus on complementary not similar.
We are genetically predisposed to fall in love with someone not like us—it keeps the gene pool safe. So when you want someone to fall in love with the idea of working with you, focus on personality characteristics you offer them that they don't already have.
We all know that love at first sight does not mean love forever. And it doesn't necessarily mean good for you, either. But love at first sight is fun and exciting and invigorating, and I'm certain it's good for the workplace—that is, if it is possible to have love at first sight with the idea of working with someone.