I heard a story once about a unique interview practice of a high-level executive. When hiring someone new, the executive would take the interviewee out for breakfast as part of the interview. At the breakfast, he would ask the waiter to purposely mess up the interviewee’s breakfast order. Then he would sit back and see what happened.
How would the interviewee respond? Would he get angry? Would she ignore it and let it go? Would he calmly let the waiter know about the mistake? Would she let the small problem ruin her day?
The thinking behind this practice is that our character really comes out in the face of adversity. Anyone can look good when everything is going well. But that’s not the reality of the world we live in. Life is difficult, and the people who rise to the top are able to face adversity head-on and solve life’s most challenging problems. The executive wanted to get an inside look into how his interviewee responded when life threw them a curve ball. He could have asked an interview question about it, but it was better to see their response in real life.
How do you think about and respond to adversity? Do you get mad and stomp your feet, complaining that life isn’t fair? Do you shrink back from your difficulties, not believing you have what it takes to solve your problems? Or, do you stand up like a man (or woman) and face adversity head-on, not just trying to get through it but knowing deep in your soul that this is what you are made for.