The Interview

The Interview
Harshvardhan L Pande
T.Y. B. Tech

It was the biggest day of my life; my very first interview. The last few days had been very hectic, solving loads of aptitude test papers, going through Complete Reference for the third consecutive time. Herb Schildt was my best friend along with Balagurusamy and a host of other people who took pleasure in writing computer books that just refused to fit in my college bag. All the grades and exams and aptitude tests were now to be tested one on one with the interviewers.
I had a hurried breakfast and left home. Riding a bike, my friends, is not as much fun when its raining and you have to reach dry and looking good for an interview. The Raincoat – I think they call it by that name because it is as good as wearing a coat of rain. The thing is that while it pretends to save you from the rain, it actually has planned a diabolical conspiracy to wet your clothes and shoes while you take it off! The Raincoat Gods didn’t spare me that day.
My well combed hair was in utter disarray. It’s funny how your own body works against you when you need it the most! My own hair was conspiring against me. I tried to urge them to get set, but no they wouldn’t budge, it was only after I used my trusted ally – the comb – that they fell in place [a few hair fell off onto my comb, but baldness was not an issue for me that day].
I found my friends, sitting together, going through important questions. I sat with them for an hour listening intently to questions that were “sure shot”! Well, not a single one of them was asked. The interviewers had “surely shot” them off their questionnaires.
Then finally I was asked to enter the room where the interview was to take place. Then after 5 minutes I was informed that I had to go back, because they’ve gone for lunch. Here, my future was at stake and those people were interested in a free lunch. The HR finally arrived. As always the HR was a deceptively beautiful person. Deceptive because as calming as she seemed externally, I knew inside she was waiting to destroy me and tear me to shreds. I sat down on the chair. She went through my resume. Here’s a part of our conversation.
HR: So you got 93% in HSC?
Me: Yes ma’am. [I wanted to say, “No I forged my marksheet, I actually got 71%, watcha gonna do about it!”]

HR: Why do you want to work in this company?
Me: Because I think it is a great organization with a great reputation and would nurture my talents to a higher level, while giving me an opportunity to grow in the corporate field [Yeah, right! You want to know the truth, the stock of this company is out of the roof, I’m gonna be richer than all my cousins and that elusive XBOX 360 will be mine with my first salary, not to mention the latest cell phone and who knows, a new bike]

HR: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Me: My strengths are that I am diligent, zealous, honest and a hard worker. As far as my weaknesses are concerned, I’ve so far removed them as soon as I found them. [I nailed that answer, all thanks to, of course, the HR never found out that it always took me an hour to get a simple linked list node to work correctly, but who cares?]

HR: In your project, what role did you play?
Me: Well, we had divided the work equally and I was able to do my designing and coding modules well within the stipulated time frame. I was very comfortable working with a team. [Actually, I had to do most of the work in the last 3 days… I’ll never work with those idiots in my group again]

HR: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Me: I aim to be an asset to this company. [I’ll definitely do better than you]

HR: All the answers you’ve given have been satisfactory, but somehow you’ve been very politically correct, almost like clichés. Am I right?
Me: Ahhhh… Ummmm… Ahhh… [Dammit, even she visits]

The HR started laughing, “Relax, I was only joking”. Thank God, I said mentally. I just realized how fast my heart was beating. I was very close to my first ever heart attack. Just then I had a weird thought in my head. What if I got a heart attack and wrote a note before dying that the HR was responsible, would she go to jail?

HR: Do you have any questions?
Me: No. [Excuse me ma’am, if I had a heart attack just now would you go to jail for culpable homicide not amounting to murder? No… Oh, then I don’t think I’d like to have a heart attack and die!]

After the HR round I went through for the technical, I won’t bore you with that stuff, because what transpired in there would only be of interest to Herb Schildt and Balagurusamy, because they didn’t write anything in their 1000’s of pages that would remotely have helped me that day]
But then after the technical I was out again in the room nearby, waiting with the rest of the herd.

I’ll cut to the chase; I got that job, more because of my ability and brains rather than Uncle Herb’s textbook. I went on to buy more than a cell phone and the XBOX. My fear of HR’s also reduced a bit and am glad to be working for this company, because they have a great work ethic. [And an ever increasing stock] Good luck with your interview!

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