Today, I found myself immersed in a rather unorthodox job interview setting: a coffee shop. It was a first for me and I was pleasantly surprised at how much it transformed my entire interview experience. Typically, interviews can induce a feeling of apprehension and nervousness, but this one had a surprisingly different ambience, one that was calming and put me at ease.
Despite a flurry of thoughts running through my mind, I couldn’t help but acknowledge a level of serenity I’d never felt before in such circumstances. If I ever find myself on the other side of the interview table, adopting this unique method would surely be on my mind.
Selling oneself in an interview can be a tightrope walk. There’s this dance of emotions we do: the need to articulate our accomplishments without appearing arrogant, ensuring that while we acknowledge our worth, we don’t diminish it with false humility. I’ve always found it a challenge, but this setting made it a tad easier.
But, the pinnacle moment for me was not the conclusion of the interview, but a delightful interruption. As my interviewer stepped away for a moment, I happened to look over at a table across the way and there sat a young man. We made eye contact and started up a quick conversation. He revealed that he’d been inadvertently eavesdropping on our conversation. Instead of the awkwardness you might expect from such a confession, he offered words of encouragement, complimenting my technique and sharing that he’d been taking mental notes for his future interviews.
That fleeting interaction was a profound one. It wasn’t just about the praise, but rather the realization that even in unexpected places and situations, there’s always an opportunity to learn and to inspire others.
Whether or not I secure this job, I walked out of that coffee shop with more than I could’ve hoped for: a unique experience, the reaffirmation of my interviewing skills, and a heartfelt interaction with a stranger that truly made my day. So, here’s to unconventional interview settings and to Jeremy – wherever he might be, I hope he aces his next interview.