Your next interview is probably tomorrow, even if you’re not looking for a job.
A friend of mine has an important first meeting next week with a key customer. It’s a relationship he’s inherited. When describing it to me, he called it an “interview,” which gave me pause; from all external appearances it is nothing of the sort. Most people would say it was an “introduction.”
But of course he’s right. It is an interview, as is any first meeting.
We delude ourselves into thinking that meetings are about what meetings purport to be about – this proposal, that idea, that other collaboration that’s been on the back burner for a while.
The shift comes whenever the person you’re meeting thinks, “Wow, she’s just amazing.” Because then that person (prospective customer / partner / vendor / donor) shifts into a different mode, trying to figure out some way to work with you and some way to collaborate and make the next meeting happen.
When this doesn’t happen, you’re stuck in a beauty contest next to all the other people who offer a similar product at a similar price with similar benefits.
You’re always interviewing them, and they’re always interviewing you. Which means need to sell yourself first, in the right way, each and every time.