“You good at Excel?”

Here’s a little secret:

I lied to get my first job.

The interview went well. The interviewer (my future boss) and I really clicked. At the end, we even spent 10 minutes talking about my studies, my family, even my personal life.

I could tell I was going to get the job.

But just as I got up to shake his hand and leave, he asked me one last question:

“Oh, I forgot to ask. You good at Excel?”

I thought about it for a second-and-a-half. It struck me that I’d completely forgotten about that part of the job requirements. I’d be tracking everything in Excel, and needed to be ready on day one.

So I did what any ambitious person should do.

“Fluent,” I replied, looking him right in the eye.

We shook hands, I got the offer a few days later.

But the fact is, I had never used Excel in my life. It was a big mystery to me.

But this interview was in April. The job started in June. So I had six weeks to get up to speed.

And get up to speed, I did. I spent most of the next six weeks watching Excel tutorials on YouTube and practicing with datasets on my own. I remember the night before my last final, staying up until 2am trying to understand the difference between INDEX MATCH and VLOOKUP.

When I showed up for my first day, I was better at Excel than anyone else in the office.