Word Count: 1947 | Estimated time to read blog: 15 min
I felt relieved and liberated – as if a dozen Theme 5s had suddenly come to an end. Having one job offer in hand made all the difference. Now I was no more apprehensive but was actually anticipating the next few interviews eagerly. It really didn’t turn out to be so nightmarish after all! And believe me, it isn’t.
I was done with all the preparations – if you could call it so in the first place. The only preparation I did was to stay away from pre-placement talks because all that talk made me nervous! I had to choose between getting all the company info and staying cool – I chose the latter. Of course, I opened my SADN book one fine day and after giving the first page a serious reading (which is the index page), I fell soundly asleep on the second. I read ‘Snapshots from Hell’ instead and that was about all the studies I did.
My next interview was only at 11 am and I had nothing to do till then. So I decided to g-chat with some of my friends outside of TAPMI. When that was over, I just went around observing what was happening to the rest of my folks. Some were jubilant after getting dream offers; others were tensely awaiting their turns. A totally mixed bag of reactions and expressions.
I still had nearly 2 hours so I didn’t know what to do. And when I don’t know what to do, I exercise – my eye muscles 😉 ‘That’s a nice blouse there, pretty low huh?’ 😉 ‘WoW!!! I had no idea this junie gal can look this hot…hmmn!’…… ‘Ah! There goes my favorite…and there goes another of my favorite….and yet another!’ 😉
“One more guy to go and you are next” declared the junie volunteers for HP and forced me to focus on the right things 😉 Some of the tension returned, but I knew I had nothing to lose now. HP was not very high on my list but the pay-packet was much better than I-Flex so I was giving it a shot. So I stood there in line, again, ‘checking my tie’ and ‘arranging my documents’.
It was then that life changed. I suddenly happened to overhear a conversation between a HR lady and one of our placecom gals – “We are sorry we could come neither for the pre-placement talk nor for the GDs yesterday. It is ok. Just give us some CVs and we will go ahead. Where is our room?”
Until now, I had a problem getting selected for IT companies because most of them were short-listing based on CVs and past academic records. And I guess my CVs would have clogged the drain by now. But the tide had now turned. No short-listing, not even GD. I’m straight in the room and you can trust me to talk!
I was the third to hand over my CV. This was the company I wanted to be in – IT, Bangalore and great pay!
But then, I had a problem. If I got selected for HP, then I wouldn’t be eligible for this one as I would exhaust my quota of 2 offers. So I had to do something. I was now at a crucial crossroad – if I make it to HP, I am better off than I would be in I-Flex, both in terms of pay and profile. But if I deliberately mess up with HP in the hope of staying eligible for the other company and didn’t make it there, I would still be left with I-Flex. What do I do? I decided to risk it.
So when I went in for HP, it was with the intention of not converting it. A brief narrative on what went on:
I entered the room and saw a 3-people panel – a smart chap to my left, a not so smart lady to my right and a bald, overweight man in the centre. No problem guessing who the decision-maker is.
“So marketing huh?”, says the man in the middle, “You were good in the GD yesterday”.
(Damn it! I hope this chap hasn’t made up his mind to take me in already!)
“So why HP?”
And the usual questions follow. Acads, extra-curricular, some important projects and assignments, MIP etc. So far so bad. 😦
Then comes the one that turns tables. “So Hriday, it is a sales job. Hope you are flexible with your locational preferences”.
“Oh! You didn’t cite any such thing during your talk yesterday”
“Ya, but now we are telling you. You might have extensive travel and you need to be flexible with your base location also.”
“I am sorry to say but I have a preference for Bangalore. I already have an offer in hand with a very similar profile and a promised Bangalore location. I would like to know if HP can better that.” I now had the leverage to ask this question.
“We will get back to you in a minute Hriday. Can you wait outside?”
After a brief discussion, they called me inside. “Hriday, we are impressed with your profile and we are ready to accept you.” And he pushes the offer letter forward. “But we want you to reconsider your locational preferences”
“I am sorry sir. I would still want to be given a Bangalore-specific profile. Travel is fine but I want my base location to be Bangalore and no place else.”
“In that case, we are sorry Hriday. Thanks for your time.”
“Thank you sir. I apologize for having wasted yours.”
There I was. But I didn’t feel that good. What if I don’t convert the next? But something deep down told me that nothing can stop me from converting the next. It is my belief that when luck turns out of its way to help you, like in this case, things will always turn in your favor.
I am next in line for the company. I get a call from the Titan junie volunteer to appear at the venue immediately as I am next for that interview as well. I tell him that I am waiting to get into another.
“These guys are not waiting. They are planning to leave very soon. What do you wanna do?”
I now have to take a call. I have already kicked HP. What do I do?
“Ok man, I am not coming. Send the next guy in. It’s final.”
“Sure, as you wish. I’ll tell them.”
2 sacrifices. Will it work? What if it doesn’t?
Door open, smiles, greeting, intros and the usual questions:
“Tell me about yourself”
And the usual answer…creative, writing, designing, not good at math, no finance subjects…….
“So you said you are creative. Have you organized any events?”
“Yes ma’am, I have. Lots of them starting from school. Here in TAPMI I was part of the committee that organizes an event called ‘Episode’ and I…..
“Oh! You belong to Litcom!” she cuts me short.
I knew at this point that the interview was over and I had made it. If she knew about Litcom and the way she exclaimed positively (you should have seen her face!) there was no way I could not get selected unless I took an axe and rammed it onto the table.
The rest went on fine. Some amount of bad weather but nothing to beat the Litcom generated good impression 😉
“Hriday, we are pleased to inform you that we have selected you.”
I thanked them and walk out. So in the end, it was Litcom that gave me a job! And you guys sniggered at us when we ‘humbly’ called ourselves, The Gods, huh? 😉 I almost said ‘Hail Litcom’ instead of ‘Thank you’ when I walked out of the room.
Gyan time. Again, my opinions and interpretations and should be accepted/dismissed as such.
When playing pool, it is necessary to position the cue ball well: Now that you have read my three interviews, do you notice a common trend? If you look carefully, you will notice that every subsequent question, whether good or bad, was a fall-out from my previous answer. The chances of your interviewer totally dismissing the current stream of thought and going for a different one is really rare. So choose your answers well. I made the mistake of telling I am bad at math and acads so I drove a few nails into my own coffin. It is vital that you talk something good about yourself in each successive answer, generate interest and leave sufficient room for continuity.
It is all in the mind: When answering the questions, perceive the reactions intently. Is the lady sitting in front of you nodding approval? Is the interviewer in front of you raising his eyebrows in alarm? In my case “Oh! So you belong to Litcom?” was a dead give-away. While on the one hand it is essential to notice such spontaneous reactions from the interviewer, it is equally essential to contain yourself from resorting to such spontaneity yourself because you have lost the bargaining power.
All life is a game of luck: Alexander might have drawn his own fate line with his sword when his astrologer told him he has no fate line on his palm at all. And you too might be a strong believer in hard work, merit and its pay-offs. But believe me luck can change things like no other. I have seen it happen – it happened to me. What else can you say about my interview? No acad questions, no technical rounds – they didn’t even ask me if I have heard of Kotler (My answer would have been ‘NO’) 😉 And I got a job talking only about extracurricular activities and interests! Sometimes, believing in your convictions can do you more good than thinking logically. After all, faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. So make provision for luck – be prepared for the unexpected. But don’t ever count on it until it really happens.
Who says it’s an equal game?: Confusing? Am I contradicting my previous blog entry? No! That was an opinion at a different point in time – when I had no job at all. This is when I have one job. And I say it is unequal because once you have one job, you no more feel equal. You feel superior. And you can leverage that to your advantage – to assert your confidence levels, in bargaining pay-scale, profile, location…you name it. Use it to your advantage and see what suits you best.
And lastly, HAIL LITCOM!: Yes. I have reason to say that. I emphasized my extra curriculars and other related talents because I was looking for a job on those lines. I was not looking for an academic, excel sheet restricted job. It might be one of the reasons why no technical or subject related questions were thrown my way (I shudder at the thought of one!) 😦 So you think about what kind of a job you want and accordingly highlight your talents and achievements.
PS: Litcom got me a job and I am glad it did. I am the 3rd generation ‘LitGod’ here in this company. I now organize programs, road-shows and other allied publicity events for my unit here. My next event is a roadshow due on Dec 19. And despite being busy with that and despite your miserly 21 comments as against my expected 25 on my previous post, I took time to write this blog. Hope this helps you. 😉 Comment on this one at least and let me know.
And guess on whose campus we are having our event on Dec 19?? HP!!!! 😉