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Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Interview...

So, here's the "play by play" account of the telephonic interview that I had last night. Well, as "play by play" as possible.

Time: 11pm. Location: Bangalore. Calling from: Somewhere in the US...although I was informed that they were going to call me from London (not after the 'bombings' eh?)...so, as they were planning to go out for lunch after interviewing me, I was inching closer and closer to "the sack".

Introductions were in order, and they (two interviewers, a man and a woman) introduced themselves. It being my turn next, and being asked to talk about why I wanted a job as a "Research Associate", I answered by saying that I had been contacted through Monster.com and that because the 'description' seemed interesting I looked into it...and that I was glad to have come this far along in the interview process. Chuckles and 'mild' laughter...and then she responded by saying it sounded like I 'really wanted' to get a research job. Hmmm.

On to the next question, I think it was to describe a project that I'd worked on in the past and to describe it for them. So, I started talking about something I'd done at work in the last couple of months, and talked about how most of it relied on secondary sources etc. A moment of silence...followed by a "follow-up question" that tried to reverse the scenario. Nailed it...because I knew exactly what he was aksing about, and he responded by saying that he had had a similar experience with that. The next couple of questions were about how I would handle an annoying boss/colleague and what I would do in a team to motivate them to acheive the goal. First question? I said that honestly I would let things slide as far as humanly possible because that's how I normally deal with people breathing down my neck...and if things got out of hand I'd either tell the person in question about it or try and inform my supervisor about it to find out what can be done. The second question, I said that I had no idea because I had been in teams that worked well and everyone did their share, as well as in teams where people slacked off and the 'others' had to pick up the slack and get shit done. At this time, I was ready to either curse uncontrollably or to snore as loudly as I possibly could. No matter, more brief silence and then onto the last question.

Who is your favorite basketball player? Easy. Shawn Kemp. "Why" he asked. Because he played for the game, he wasn't all about the money. Mean dunker (dunkist?) no doubt...but there was a time when he was the 6th highest paid player on the Sonics...in spite of being one of their starters and 'stars'. That meant some dude on the bench was getting paid more than he was...didn't say this though. And then it was time for me to ask any questions.

First question was about something that the company was offering in terms of business processes within the organization, bu not in India. The second question was about why this company had decided to come down to India now...what had they identified that appealed to them enough to set up shop here. The usual answer...huge talent pool, market potential. Wait, in fact, the first question I asked them was what time it was where they were. And when they asked me and heard that it was "a quarter to midnight" they apologized profusely.

At the end of it, I felt like I hadn't really made an impression...but I was happy because I felt I'd been honest. I mean, I tried BS-ing, but I was only willing to take it so far. It was an interesting experience, and it went off in a very casual manner. Not really the kind of 'casual' chat that you want to have at midnight, but then again, it was interesting. So, after that, I watched Baywatch for half an hour and then went to bed.

Funniest thing though...the first time they called me, they couldn't hear me, but I could hear them...and so they hung up and called again. In that split second, I was all nerves! I even considered switching off my phone and going to bed as if nothing happened. But then, the words, "What the hell yaar" flashed across my mind, and I decided to go through with it. Crazy yaar...simply madness.
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