Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dear Interviewer...

Hi friends

Off late, I have had the fortune (or misfortune) of attending interviews for various HR positions for different firms across India. They have ranged from telephonic interviews to videoconference calls. However, I’ve noticed one commonality in all these interviews i.e. the HR Manager, who is supposed to be my future boss, acts so naïve and ignorant, it makes me think – is the quality of HR in firms really worse than what I’d imagined it to be?

Let me give you one example for a recent interview, for the position of AM – HR (Talent Acquisition) at a reputed Telecom company. The position mentioned the following roles and responsibilities:

Ø  Responsible for Talent Acquisition for entire Chennai and Kerala Circle.
Ø  Handling end to end recruitments (which I’m doing in my current profile)
Ø  Responsible for Induction and Exit Interview.
Ø  Handling entire vendor management (which I can learn quickly)

I can guarantee you that my anger
 supersedes that of Cartman any day... 
After I’d applied for the position, the consultant told me that the role involves 80% Talent Engagement and 20% Talent Management as its profile. Naturally, I assumed that I would not be shortlisted for the profile, as I have had no experience in the former area. However I was shortlisted for the Interview. Now before you read further, please note the following points:

Pt. 1: I never exaggerate in my CV. I mention exactly what I did, in plain and simple words. With reference to the work experience, I mention what I did in the specific areas I have had experience in.
Pt. 2: The HR head interviewing me has my CV in front of him.
Pt. 3: I was shortlisted after seeing my CV and considering me fit for the role (which I assume is the case with most firms)

During the Interview, I was asked the following questions:

Q1. “Ok so did you join the firm through campus placement?” “Yes sir I did”. “Ok, so why did you opt for STC?”

The response I should have given: I would request you Sir to kindly refer to my CV which says “IIM Lucknow, batch of 2009”, and recall that the year 2009 was the toughest year for placements across all B-Schools. It’s not rocket science – if you’ve been in the HR Domain for at least three years, you would understand why I joined my current firm. A more appropriate question would be “Why still in STC?”, which I would have been happy to answer.

Q2. Your CGPA is so low. Why is that so?

The response I should have given: Sir, I am not joining a MBA institute for doing my SECOND MBA. I am here to talk about my potential to work in the profile that you have advertised in various job-sites. If my CGPA did matter, why did you shortlist me in the first place? I don’t want to give excuses about my CGPA - I agree it was pretty dismal - but I can show you my mark-sheets, and prove that my FGPA for HR is more than 7, more than a point above my actual CGPA.

Q3. We are actually looking for someone who did more than what you did in your current profile ...

The response I should have given: With all due respect (read: WTF dude!), I request you not to mislead me with your current profile. I have been very honest with what I’ve been doing in my current work. If you wish you deride my past or current achievements, please do not call me for an interview. It wastes time and money, both ways. I have sent my CV for a reason – not for using it as trash paper.

I want you to consider – why would a person working in a very similar profile want to shift jobs? Especially since you are willing to offer less than the average MBA package for students from “premier B-schools” (which you desired for your current profile). And yes, I would also like to remind you that what I did in the past should have no bearing on what I am capable of doing in the future. The interview is as much to ascertain my job fit, as it is to evaluate my potential for the role being offered. If you are not a good judge of that, it’s better we don’t meet, because if we do meet and if I am told once more that I am not good enough, without proper and credible evaluation from your side, I might just have to give you a piece of my mind.

(The author is a pissed-off premier B-School grad, who works in the Personnel Division of a Mini-Ratna PSU)


Deepak said...

HR - Howla Resources.

Raghu V N said...

nice!! I'm expecting the same in my future!! I thought, 7 CGPA is more than enough!!

praneeth said...

awesome post varun..part of the problem is most of the employees across verticals and industries are allowed to carry on the stupidity no one challenges the status quo

Aashish Sood said...

Firstly, let us hope that he doesnt get to read this! If, however, you dont get through then ask for his mail id and send it across to him!

Secondly, good straight from the heart writeup; which I loved a lot!

Thirdly, these interviews are so insanely stupid esp since most of the interviewers dont tend to go beyond a rote set of questions!

IIM ka Sarkari Babu said...

@DK: HR manages the remaining Howlas working in the company :D

@Raghu: It is, if you have other talents :)

@Praneeth: Thanks :) Exactly, this is something I'm trying to change in my own organization... Slowly but surely...

@AS: I didn't get through, but I would love it if he comes across this post accidentally :D Thanks :) Seriously, my promotion Interview was way better and more to-the-point...