Your next interview

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.

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5 thoughts on “Your next interview

  1. The only bad thing about always being interviewed or interviewing others is that it’s a vertical relation. I’d prefer the term negociation which is more horizontal from this point of view.

    However, you are right, totally right.

  2. Claudiu, thank you for your comment. I guess I’d say that both people are interviewing each other. So it’s dynamic.

    My concern with calling it a “negotiation” is that it might put the focus and energy on the thing/topic being discussed, instead of the people and their interaction, which I think is the real focus (often unstated).

  3. Never thought of it like that… Yes, people should be at least in many situations, the real focus.
    You just got myself something new to think upon.🙂

  4. Sasha – I’m meeting somebody for the first time tomorrow, and you just got me thinking about how I’m going to prepare for the “interview”. Thanks!

    Steve

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