Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chronicles of an Interviewee

At the outset, I’d like to warn you that this is not a post on; how to crack interviews or how to look presentable or how to prepare for one. If this is what you are looking for, stop reading right away, close the window and yeah, let the others read on.

I’ve attended so many interviews that I can write a book on how to whatever in your interviews. All I have to do is find a dumb publisher you will buy my bullshit, and then I will become the “Gyaani Guru – Interview Mata ki Jai Ho” types.

Well, that can be a book, and we will discuss that in detail another day.

This post is about; how to talk to random people at interviews, how to make a fool of yourself, and how to do serious timepass while you wait for your call.

An interview process is akin to waiting at a doctor’s clinic. You don’t know when you will be called, you have no idea how it will progress, and the result is beyond your control. I hate doctors but I don’t end up hating all interviewers, there are exceptions though. The interviewer at the FMCG Company was extremely cheeky, so cheeky that I really wanted to kick him on his groin.

I had nothing to write about so I’m publicising my interview escapades on the blog ok?

At the end of this post, you might come to three conclusions; A) this girl has attended too many interviews and is probably real dumb. B) This girl has too much time on hand, and therefore is crapping. c) I line marofy too many people.

Interviews are fun when you take them in the right spirit. Most of them border on being extremely comical or very sardonic or plain depressing. You can’t classify them one category, it’s usually a fair mix of all three.

In all the interviews I have attended so far, all of them have been always been off campus. This means I go to the corporate office, fight it out with random candidates from other colleges. In other words, I’ve always been out of my comfort zone, I don’t have a placecomm who stands by my side after each round, nobody to speak to or even smile at. So, a chatterbox like me will naturally or unnaturally strike conversations with equally random people.

The idea behind this is to – size up the fellow competitors. More like, are you smarter or Am I smarter. This makes good sense because, you get to show off to the crowd that you are the one who gets along with most people, and also increases your popularity quotient. I don’t do this for the popularity factor, I do it simply because; I cannot keep my trap shut for more than a quarter of an hour.

The next thing to do is an interview apart from acting smart is – keep a book handy. It depends on the position you are applying for. Handwritten notes carry more weight. You deceive people into believing that you have actually prepared.

I wouldn’t say I’ve had the best time, but they have not been bad experiences at all, irrespective of whether I make it or not. Though I did not make it list is longer till date.

This was my first interview of sorts with an HR company, and I was shit nervous, because I had not been to a serious interview before, and I had almost messed up my telephonic. At this point, I must mention that the guy who conducted my telephonic had a super sexy voice! I was torn between admiring the voice and answering questions. So there was this employee at the corporate office, who saw me sitting all alone in the waiting room, walks up to me, makes small talk, and breaks the news – wait here for another 15mins the VP will interview you. I almost passed out. And then he went on give me some real good gyaan on companies and I being a smart lady must crack the interview.

The next best one was at the glass company! There was a candidate with a guitar – Something like Surya from Varanam Aiyiram. When you have a caricature like this, and a curious case like me on the other side, this is bound to happen. I jumped at the guy with this super duper smart question – are you here to play the guitar? This one smiles at me, and I go aawww. I know I was very shameless, very me. The guitar guy was applying for a higher position, and I turned out to be the ONLY girl in the hall. Now I’m dead sure that India has a very bad, male-to-female ratio.

The bestest of all was this – the bank! This was also off the campus, but we were a bunch of “finance titans” on the prowl. All of us cleared 2 rounds and then they call us for the 3rd round. The interviewer starts quizzing me about core finance. Greek and Latin to me, but I did manage to make some sense. At the end of god knows how many questions, he asks “So, Sandhya, when do you plan to get married?” If I was out of my senses I would said- now, ippo, abhi. Thankfully common sense got a better hold of me, and I had to go back to the room where the classmates were waiting for me. Point to be noted here is – this interviewer was a perfect picture of geekiness, chamathuness and that charm. The glasses and the clean shaven look did me in.

This happened in the latest interview:

I: Sandhya, I see you are wearing blue. Is it to match the company's logo?

Me: (mind voice) I did not know there existed a company by your name until 15hrs back, I did not know what you guys do until 2hrs back, and I had absolutely NO idea you logo was blue in colour until I reached your office 15mins back.

Now, ladies and gentlemen I’d like to ask you this – is it only me or are all of you like this only?

**Taps fingers on the table**

I’m waiting for an answer!


Prashanth Rajan said...

Amazing that you still have time to admire male characteristics in the midst of an interview !

vEnKy said...

u r at the height of vettiness

gitanjali.j said...

It's not just you :) Wear the gloss, and turn on the charm :D And for the record, I'm not letting you anywhere close to my bhaiya ;)

Krishnan said...

Nice documentation of experiences !!!!! u wore BLUE & became SAWAARIYA !!!!!! great ...dont worry ur just getting warmed up with interviews.......I have attended so many....when usually a interviewer asks a question i say " Already asked & answered question please " its nice to have interviews....u get 2 meet new people who have noting to do productive with their time & r paid for nothing !!!!!!!

Praseela Nair said...

"what not to do at Interviews" would sound better a caption for this post...Chetan esshtyle. And now girlie, stop daydreaming abt the "junta" at interviews( Sandy esshtyle) and focus on reality per se. Don worry . That " someday" would turn up when u land up in your "dream job" which will match up to ur fantasies. But till that time stay focused. This is a mantra for daydreamers like us....Good one di.

sawan said...

thts quite an exp! m stil wondering does guys actualy bring in guitar for an interview :P naice way to write such an exp :)