I was nervous that day since I was appearing for a panel interview for admission into an MBA program. I had done well in the exam and the discussion forum and had been practicing my answers to ‘standard’ MBA interview questions. Needless to say, I was anxious and stressed. After about 30 minutes of sitting around in the waiting area, they called out my name. I sprung from my seat and started rushing towards the interview room. I opened the door and as soon as I got in, I tripped on the carpet and fell flat on my face.
Yes, you read that right. I fell flat on my face in front of a panel of six people who were all there for the single-minded purpose of evaluating me as a potential MBA candidate at their prestigious institution.
I got up, composed myself and started walking towards the panel. All this while I was wondering what kind of impression this must have left on them and how this would impact the interview and the admission process.
Once I was back to my senses and my nervous energy left me, the Chair of the panel asked me if I was ready for my interview. I said I was and the first question that the Chair (who I found out later was the Director of the institute) asked me was: “What do you think is one positive consequence of falling in front of this interview panel?” I thought for a fraction of a second and answered, “I am glad that I fell in good company.”
That was the only question that the panel asked and I got admitted into the MBA program.
Trigger: tripping on the carpet
Problem: did the accident make a bad first impression
Quest: trying to decide whether the accident ruined Taruna’s chances of being admitted to the program
Resolution: coming up with a witty response to the first question!
Purpose: We’re all only human! A bad first impression is recoverable. :-)