“Do you know how to play the game, two truths and one lie?”
“It’s okay, I told her if I die – I die.”
These were just a few things I said during my interview with Graham Allcott – author of, How to be a Productivity Ninja, whilst applying for the position of the author’s assistant. Funny story, and not surprising, I didn’t get the job. However, there is more to it than you think.
I was looking for a summer job, just before my second year of university finished. As I searched through Sussex’s list of internships for First Generation Scholars, and the position titled, ‘The Author’s Assistant’, caught my eye. I immediately applied for it, and about a couple of days later, I was offered an interview. There I was, imagining myself to be part of the greats, for my novels to one day be made a classic, to be held high like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf.
You will be an author, I thought to myself. You will be great. Then I set off for my interview, convinced that if my charm wouldn’t get me the job, then my cream culottes and strappy black/beige heels certainly will.
Even though it all worked out for me, do not do what I am about to tell you! It worked for me, but always remain professional – but above all, be yourself. (Maybe a professional version of yourself though…)
I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, chatting away happily, briefly talking through my CV, and laughed quite a lot with Graham. When I left, and gave him a hug, that was when I realised…it was not an interview. It was a social. I was so unprofessional, as we barely spoke about my experiences and skills. This was because I thought it would be great to play, two truths and one lie. Graham played along and I decided to go first. Here was what I said:
- My brother died twice
- My uncle is on the run for murder
- I was once on TV
As he tried to guess, I then realised I got it wrong. “Oh, sorry, they’re all true.” He was wide-eyed and shocked, we both started to laugh – me because I was a ditz, him, probably because this has been the weirdest interview ever! We talked about my life and experience as a foster child, my mother, and what happiness meant to me. Also, we spoke about my year abroad in Thailand, as of September. This is where the comment, “It’s okay, I told her if I die – I die,” comes in. Like all mothers, mine is extremely protective, afraid that I will get hurt in Thailand. Her natural instincts kicked in, and from the news, Thailand was screaming danger. So, perhaps that was the worst thing I could have said to my mother, in order to convince her to support me on my journey.
Long story short. I definitely left an impression on him, that was for sure.
Days later, I received an email stating that unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get the position. However, it continued on – saying – Graham had offered me a position as the, ‘Social Media Content Creator’, for his business Think Productive. I couldn’t believe how blessed I was, that despite my unprofessional behaviour, someone actually had faith that I could do their business some good – that someone wanted ME to be a part of their team.
I have just finished my 10 week internship, and let me say, God is GOOOOOOD!
What have I learned?
Be true to you, and someone will see all that you can be – before you, yourself, will.