You get all spiffed up, try to put your best foot forward (haircut notwithstanding...) - you make sure to be well groomed, smell nice, clean, bright-eyed.
You think positive thoughts on your way there. "This could be the one! Relax, be yourself, smile a lot, and you'll do great!"
Upon arrival, there's that awkward moment where you introduct yourself. You shuffle your feet, try to smile easily. "Uhh, you must be [person you're meeting.] It's great to finally meet you!" You both try and compliment each other, put each other at ease... but in no time flat, sharp questions are being asked. "What are you looking for, in terms of your future? Where do you see yourself in five years?" Ignoring the prickles of flopsweat under your arms and on your forehead, you do your best to answer ... all at once intelligent, suave, glib, easy-going, but very serious. You want to say, "I'm easy to get along with, and tons of fun - but I'm trustworthy and ambitious, too!" But you can't just say that, so instead, you hold forth on how much you value people like that, so they will infer that you yourself have those qualities.
At the end of it, you can't be too commital - you have to seem enthused about future contact, without seeming desperate, or clingy - and if you get called back, that's when the serious negotiations start - that's when you know they're interested, it's just a matter of on what terms, and when.
The big difference isn't the pain, frustration, dread of the dreary-day-to-day grind (that's the same) - the big difference is that an employer will GIVE you money, while a girlfriend will COST you money.
Even so, I wish the women of LA found me half as desirable as the employers do - this is getting ridiculous. At least two interviews a day all this week, with job offers and second interviews coming up as fast I can book them. Actually even faster, since I only have so many hours a day I can miss my current job.
Yes, yes, I know. This is a problem you all wish you had, and I'm grateful that I'll have my pick of opportunities - so far no word from the cruise line, but other than that, it's been astonishing.