My First Interview (Humour is also a way of saying something serious.)

Submitted by Rahul Kansal on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 12:37pm

During campus placement, one company visited our college and started the procedure for selecting 2 candidates from our 33 students’ batch of engineering. After document checking, written objective test and GD (group discussion), only 5 students were shortlisted, including me (I didn’t know what my rank was, anyways). The next and final step was to crack individual interview. I asked my seniors for any useful tips and they warned me not to wear jeans but a formal dress with a tie. I didn’t have any idea as I always used to wear jeans and t-shirts. The final day came and I was sitting in the waiting room with 4 of my classmates. Yes, I was nervous as I didn’t have any past experience of interview and moreover, I was alone among 5 candidates to wear a tie (and that too my father’s tie, anyways). My turn came; I entered into the office and saw 3 members of interview committee, 2 gentlemen and 1 lady. Lady was sitting in the centre and anyone can predict that she was the senior-most among them. I was made to sit in front of them.

Lady: “What is it, which is yours and you do not use, but others always do? ..... (Pause of some seconds, to be precise, 3.47 seconds and then-) I mean your ‘good’ name please?”
Me: “R..Ra...Rahul Kansal.” (I became more nervous due to two reasons; (1) I didn’t have any idea that my name was really good or not, (2) I forgot to wish them greetings; anyways)
Lady: “So, Mr. Rahul Kansal, tell me about your yesterday and today. Don’t choose any shortcut but tell me in detail, any incidences that you remember.”
Me: (Thought in my mind: does she know about my yesterday’s late night party? Or she smelled my hangover) “I went to a mall to buy a formal shirt, trousers and a pair of shoes. I purchased ‘this’ shirt and ‘this’ trousers from Blackberry at discount of 20% and paid Rs. 2000/- via my ICICI debit card. Then I went to an ADIDAS outlet and choose one pair of shoes that cost Rs. 2300/-, but when checked, balance in my debit card was only Rs. 1800/- and there was no discount available (At that phase of my life, I was dependent on my pocket money only and it was very less). I was running out of time and also suffering from COLD, so I skipped the idea of looking for other shoes and came back home (and I didn’t tell the lady that I attended an evening party with my friends) and today, I came here in your office but lift was not in working condition and so, I took ‘what goes ‘up’ and ‘down’, but still remains in the same place’. This is what I remember about my yesterday and today.”
Lady: “We have informed the technician to get right the lift. Now, tell me the full forms of ICICI, ADIDAS and COLD”.
Me: “ICICI is Industrial Credits and Investments Corporation of India, ADIDAS is All Day I Dream About Sports and COLD is Chronic Obstruction Lung Disease”, (Now, I was not nervous rather confident).
Lady: “Good, I know what you mean by ‘what goes ‘up’ and ‘down’, but still remains in the same place’ (Stairs!); now, tell me how many steps you took in our office stairs?”
Me: “7+9+7+9+7=39” (I tried to bluff her by counting on my fingers).
Lady: (smiling) “Even I don’t know the number of steps but I know that you were just pretending to count on fingers. Actually, I checked your academic record; you have been a topper and also a scholarship holder, so there is no charm in asking you technical questions. I just wanted to check charisma of your mind. Ok, now, let’s see, can you speak 50 words, that do not contain the alphabet ‘A’, in 1 minute, means 60 seconds.”
Me: “…, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve.....(continue)........forty eight, forty nine, fifty!” (In this way, just counting, I told her more than 50 words, without the alphabet ‘A’, in one minute).
Lady: “One more word, without the alphabet ‘A’, is ‘Excellent’; you are standing up to my expectations. Now, just assume there are sixty cups on a table. If one falls down, then how many remain?”
Me: (Thought in my mind: Quite easy and obviously right. ‘Verbally asked’, the answer is 59! But is it? and I responded-) There are six-tea-cups on a table, so if one falls down then 5 tea-cups will remain and obviously, mam, u didn’t want me to answer 59.”
Lady: (smiling) “If u had said 59, even then it was also correct, anyways, you keep a good hold on the English language, but there is one word that is always pronounced incorrectly, you also do, what is it?”
Me: “The word ‘incorrectly’ itself.”
Lady: “Not only you, even I pronounce it incorrectly, in fact everyone does.”
Me: (interview was getting me out of my comfort zone and to put a break, I asked-) “Mam, if I am selected, how much salary will I get?”
Lady: “You will be absorbed as a trainee for one month and you will get Rs. 5000+10%=Rs. 5500/- for 1st year. Is it ok?”
Me: “Yes mam.” (Thought in my mind- Wow, now I will have enough money to buy at least two pairs of shoes after one month)
Lady: “Tell us about your hobbies, habits. Do you drink?”
Me: “I like playing chess, swimming, watching cricket and appreciating music (don’t use the words-‘listening to music’ and one more favourite hobby is - sleeping) and I don’t drink (I knew it was merely a question, if it had been an invitation, I would have said yes to drinking, anyways)”.
Lady: “Are you right-handed or left-handed?”
Me: “I can play Polo.”
Lady: (slightly confused) “I asked, whether you are right-handed or left-handed?”
Me: “I already said that I CAN PLAY POLO. Polo is the only game, on this planet, that cannot be played by left hand.”
Lady: “Ohhkk, that means you are right handed. What type of job are you interested in?”
Me: (I didn’t have any idea about it, anyways I had to answer and I said-) “Any job of an engineer that requires much of smart work and less of hard work.”
Lady: “I am asking you all these questions because I have to do job analysis and then job description and job specification; then job evaluation, performance appraisal etc. We also have induction, training and development programmes. Hey, do you know all these terms? If not, you should better read a book named ‘HRM’, I mean ‘Human Resource Management’.”
Me: “OK mam and I will remember that ‘HRM’ means ‘Human Resource Management’.” (Thought in my mind: what you want to read, if it is not available in any book in the market then you should write it; although each and every book was meant to be written.)
Lady: “OK, you will soon receive a call from our office. If you don’t receive a call in a couple of days, you can ask me about your status at my email- [email protected]”.
Me: “Thank you mam, Thank you sir, Thank you sir. By the way mam, do you know the full form of YAHOO?; I know and I will mail you at [email protected], if I don’t receive a call from your office in a couple of days”. (The lady was stumped on my googly.)

(I came to know that one sir was there to check my documents and second one was there to check my body language and expressions and after a couple of days, I received their confirmation. I was among the first two to be selected (even today, I don’t know whether I was 1st or 2nd, anyways). I clearly remember the first day of my joining; I requested that lady to have a snap with me and she smilingly agreed; even today, I have kept that ‘priceless’ snap with me. The company is Indian Acrylics Ltd. (IAL), Sangrur. I did this job for only 3 months. I left it to do post graduation and to write books for engineering students. That lady asked me to read a book on HRM but I choose an alternative; instead of reading, let’s write a book on HRM. Today, including this book, I have written 7 books and 2 books are in process. In 2007, I was selected as SDO in PSEB. Please feel free to catch me at Facebook or I will personally attend you at [email protected]; Jai Hind.)

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AEE, GHTP, Lehra Mohabbat

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