Warning: This post is different from our usual posts.
This is an admissions consulting blog dedicated to providing advice, information, and insight of use to applicants, however, the story in this post is a good story — even if not directly related to admissions. Its practical value is limited, I admit. Mostly it’s just a good story.
Our younger son, R, went yesterday for his first-ever interview for a full-time, permanent position as a software developer. He prepped for the event online, with my husband and with me, and with others. Naturally he was nervous, and for more than just the usual reasons.
He arrived a little early, introduced himself, and at the appointed time was meeting with the main interviewer, who handed him an agenda. The first item was a technical test, and as the interviewer gave R the exam, R said, “I would normally never keep my phone on in an interview. However, my wife is expecting any day, and I will take a call because she might need me to meet her at the hospital.”
The interviewer graciously said, “No problem.”
And R’s phone began to vibrate. “Uh, I’m sorry, I need to take this call.” It was R’s wife.
“R, I’m having regular contractions, and the doctor says I should go to the hospital. My mother will take me. Can you meet me there?”
R turned to the interviewer, “You won’t believe it, but my wife is in labor. I need to meet her at the hospital.”
The interviewer just said, “Why don’t I just introduce you briefly to John, and then you’ll go.”
R shook hands with John, and then both men insisted, “Get out of here!”
The interviewer walked R. out and said, “Well if it does work out that you work here, you will have the best interview story of anyone on staff.”
Take-aways (they’re pretty thin today.): Never say “never.” You should never take calls in an interview — except if your wife is expecting or you are facing equally serious situations. And if a company or school is upset at your taking a call under such circumstances, run the other way.
Similarly, some say you should never write about Topic X. However, sometimes — occasionally — those “never topics” actually work. If X was highly influential, relevant, and you have something insightful to say, it might work for you. Don’t ignore the “never do’s,” but use your head and sometimes, yes, do! Also, (plug alert!) an admissions consultant might be able to give you guidance, or at least an informed, objective opinion.
Oh, do you want to know what R and his wife had?
By Linda Abraham, proud grandma, founder of Accepted.com, and author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.