You are always in an interview, whether you realise it or not. Every interaction is part of the interview process; we are always “on” and we have to constantly remind ourselves of that.
Quite often, the person we are when we’re in a private setting with our friends or family, is quite different to the person we are when we’re with new people in public. And, to a certain extent, that’s fine – our connections with our friends and family are going to be much stronger than with strangers or acquaintances. However, the person you believe you should be or the way you believe you should behave, when the right person is around, is the person you should be full stop.
We have to become that person more generally, as that way it will be easier and more natural to act the “right” way towards the “right” person. It’s like that time-old question: who are you when no-one is watching?
In fact, this is how I came to cut J Cole’s hair. I was doing a favour for my sister-in-law, who had asked me to cut a friend’s hair. Her friend, Eddie, came to the shop, he sat in my chair, and I treated him as I would any of my customers: with respect, politeness and great customer service. He left happy and with a clean shape-up. Fast-forward a couple of months… it’s Sunday. I’m in church and I see a couple of missed calls from Eddie. I step out to call him back and it turns out that he’s with J Cole, who’s in need of a haircut and couldn’t reach his barber. And who did Eddie think to call, me.
You can’t determine which situations or interactions will develop into opportunities, and, in the same vein, neither should you treat each situation or interaction with the ulterior motive that it will be of personal benefit to you, or you’re getting something out of it. It’s not genuine and people will see straight through that. Only be mindful that you never want to leave a situation and think, “did I miss that opportunity because I didn’t act right?”
Furthermore, in this age of social media, it’s even more important that you present yourself in the right manner. If you think no one is watching and you’ve got Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, then think again. If you’re putting “stuff” out there, that “stuff” is being watched. And equally, remember that you too are always interviewing someone else. Whether it’s a customer in your chair, the person sitting in your shop, or the guy or girl you went on a date with, life is an interview; present yourself well at all times.