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You survived career interviews, here’s how to survive in-laws’ interviews

By Winnie Mabel November 25th, 2023 3 min read

For many of you, you’ve probably faced a job interview panel not less than five times in your life if you are lucky. For millions others, facing interview panels have become so common and routine that they rarely go a week without not sitting down before a panel.

And this has morphed into an industry where we now have coaches working to prepare individuals on how to pass job interviews. They call themselves career coaches. They teach you how to dress, carry yourself before, during and after the interview, how to speak and most importantly, how to answer the interview panel questions.

Many people attribute getting jobs after sitting down with paid career coaches to pass the interviews. Now, imagine, wouldn’t the same coaching be great if one was about to face potential  in-laws, especially at the first meeting?

In-law conversations tend to make or break romantic relationships. If in-laws do not like your personality, your mannerisms your career prospects, your family background or how you handled a past issue with their kin, then getting them to like and approve of you will be an uphill task. Even though modern society does not care much about potential in-laws liking them as long as their partner sees a future with them, there is something to be said for respecting people’s cultures and preserving familial ties- hence the need to want potential in-laws to like you.

So then, how do you survive the first ‘interview’ by in-laws?

The first thing you need to do is to have a serious conversation with your partner. In this conversation, it is best to discuss what the both of you envision for your shared future in terms of marriage, children, co-existing with extended family, managing finances, investments and religion among other topics. This way, when you go before the extended family or parents-in-law, you present a united front. Imagine how embarrassing it would be to give diverging views on sensitive topics right before them instead of having discussed them before hand and arriving at a consensus.

In this same conversation, you must also discuss the extended family and what their cultures expect of married couples and marriages. Here, you will learn how the in-laws handle certain matters and this will help you find common ground with them on some issues. This will also prevent culture shock as it tends to leave potential spouses- especially those who already said yes to marriage- feeling trapped with no way out.

Thirdly, self-evaluate. If you know there have been things said about you that reflect poorly on you, try and polish up on them beforehand. Work on polishing up your manners, refreshing yourself on how to use courteous language and your capacity to listen politely and actively at the same time. Do not go before potential in-laws and space out when discussions are being held. Take time to listen politely and then actively and relevantly respond to what you’ve been asked.

The fourth thing to do to survive in-laws interviews is to be your genuine self. Be your real self and express sincere interest in your willingness in being part of their family; and joining your families together. Do not pretend to be someone you are not just because you do it when you are with friends and your own family. If you are the type to use language of grandeur to come across as a ‘big man/woman’, tone it down because you will come across as a braggadocio. This will have big consequences on you later, especially financially.

The fifth thing to do to survive this in-laws interview is to prepare for random questions regarding your interests and views on various topics such as politics, religion, economy, socioeconomics and other life topics. These questions will definitely be a test for them to evaluate your character and humanity, and see how their kin will live as your partner. This is because some of these topics are used to evaluate your line of thought, your problem solving capabilities, your empathy and your logical thinking- things that are also  needed for marriages to survive long.

Lastly, and most importantly, prepare on how you will assure them that their kin will be safe in your hands. Beyond love, most in-laws just want to know that their kin is entering into a life where they won’t struggle or suffer to make ends meet and that they will continue to grow as an individual. They will need assurances that you won’t clip their kin’s wings to become the best version of themselves and you won’t keep them away from their family in the long run. Assure your in-laws that no harm will come to their kin and that you will actively be part of making their lives easier and better than what their parents did for them. This is the joy of many parents to hear, and they will willingly let go of their kin to begin their lives as a married person.

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