Professionally unprofessional

An umpteenth company rejected my application for a job today. No surprises for me. Most of the times I go to companies to get rejected. Anyway, I’m narrating you a sequence of events of my job interview an extremely professional IT company (as they are known outside. They are US based) and their unprofessional ways when it comes to rejecting.

Nov. 3 2008: I receive a call from the recruitment manager of this ‘professional company’ where I’m breifed about the role and screened for a skill sets match. I’m called for a personal round the next day.

Nov. 4 2008: I reach there at the stipulated time only to find the recruiting manager out of office. I’m told he is on his way and some one else will attend you. Then after waiting for half an hour and repeated reminders, some other HR personnel asks me to appear for a test. I protest but agree to take it. Following the test, I’m interviewed by some guy, who I identify as a sales executive. I wonder, if I’m being hired as a manager, why is a junior guy interviewing me? Finally I get to meet the recruitment manager of this ‘professional company’ who makes me fill out a form and tells me that they will get back to me in 2 days.

Nov. 7 2008: I write the manager back, asking for a polite feed back. ON the same day evening, he sends me an email saying I was rejected and apologises for it. I’m obviously surprised, but ask him a feedback as to what went wrong.

Nov. 10 2008: I get a mail from the same manager telling me they found my English inappropiate. I’m surprised. Upon asking, he tells me that its not how ‘Americans’ like it. I thank him and feel that I was indeed lucky.

Nov. 13 2008: I get a call from the same manager from the ‘professional company’ offering me a second chance to qualify myself. I decide to honor the call for a good will, but clarify the profile before hand. I’m called the next day.

Nov. 14 2008: This time I ned up waiting for an hour before I’m given a chance to improve upon my earlier test. On asking, I’m told that the test is the part of the recruitment process. (Basically it required me to compile answers to questions featuring in a typical proposal document. It also had a creative writing section.) I’m again told that they will get back to me.

Nov. 27 2008: AFter few reminder mails and two calls, I finally hear from the ‘professional company’. The manager tells me that I will get a call from a director based in Bangalore, India. He calls on the same day. We spend another 85 minutes on phone discussing about me, about the role, the company, global market, recession etc. Finally he says I’m shortlisted and I shall hear from the HR shortly. I dont!

Dec. 8 2008: After umpteenth reminder, I get to know that I was rejected. No reasons given, no explanations offered.

After a month long procedure, I was told I’m not suitable. To be very frank, I didn’t understand what they were assessing in me. I feel I was hard done by so called ‘professional company’

Me and job offers

Yesterday, a distant friend called me up and asked if I could refer him for a sales job in some company. He was even willing to do door to door sales. Sadly, he was a victim of lay offs from an MNC, thanks to latest crash of American economy (I know the economy hasn’t crashed. But I’m optimistic) :mrgreen:

Interestingly, he was the same guy who mocked at my luck saying how incompetent I was to crack job interviews at multi million dollar corporations with 10,000 goats tied at different desks. Well, and he came to me yesterday because the same company no longer needed him. So much for a secure job 🙂

Its not about him, there are enough other people who ask me why did I change 4 jobs or why haven’t I worked with big brand names. I have a simple answer, we couldn’t get along. I have a goal for me. And I try to align that goal with the organization who considers me or employs me. If I feel the mismatch, I don’t go there or I leave them. I can not work with people who are just working or sitting in their offices for the heck of doing it. Such are the people who dwarf the growth of the company. And I have no time to waste on morons. Life is too short, I need to learn a lot and climb to where my destiny lies.

Quoting a recent experience with a CFO of a mid sized (by their definition) company. Right from the moment he said hello to me, he was down right rude from the word go. He had a problem with me switching jobs. He had a lady who called herself the HR head of company. And then poor fellow me was grilled and stressed, almost coerced to accept that by working in a company for only a year, I behaved in an unethical manner. Because I just gained whatever knowledge I wanted to and moved on. I some how knew all my explanations would fall flat on the table. So I said this, “Mr. <snip>, forget my ethics… you run an off shore software development shop. Are you not stealing jobs of innocent Americans? Is it ethical?” Bingo! The old man was taken aback. It was his turn to explain. He said most of the Americans drop out of college because its a culture there. Hence they don’t get literate resources blah blah! … And hence we are not doing any thing unethical. I said fine. Now as the interview progressed, we argued on some more things. Then came the time to throw my hot blow. I asked him why couldn’t we Indians build a Firefox or a Chrome. At his explaining best, he told me how we Indians are brought up in a culture which is service oriented. He went on and said that some American geeks conceive the products, write core architecture and send the non core activities to us. Why can’t we do it? because we are not brought up in an environment to think out of the box… they are.

Now for the knockout punch: I said Mr <snip> you just now said that there is a shortage of brainy resources in America. Now you are saying they develop the product and we provide services because we can’t conceive products. Are you not contradicting yourself? He was pissed off… and there went my offer letter. 🙂

PS: For the record, I have rejected more jobs than people who rejected me in interviews. I wish some day I find a perfect match.

Me and telephonic interviews

I’m not an expert to tell you how well should you appear for an interview. However I’ve given and taken enough of them to list down things that you shouldn’t be doing in interviews. This post specifically refers to telephonic interviews.

Today morning I had a telephonic interview with the GM of Harbinger Group, Pune. I’m ashamed to tell that after a long time, I actually failed to impress a guy on a telephone. Taking a cue from there and also considering my small experience in grilling candidates on phone, I’m listing 5 basic but very valuable tips things. Read and enjoy.

  1. Do not eat, drink or stand in a place that will invite enough noise disturbance. Your voice is your only weapon. So it needs to go fully into the ears of the interviewer. Munching, sipping will drive him away.
  2. Do not narrate stories. Telephonic conversations are interesting only if they are with your loved ones. Keep your conversations short and to the point. If possible, try to make it interactive. Since you can’t see the person’s face, you can’t make out if the guy is enjoying, getting pissed off or even listening to you.
  3. Do not go under prepared and panic. Telephonic round helps you to keep a reference copy handy (a printed document about the company, latest news and some information about the industry). Take full advantage. If you are being called on a mobile phone, use the hands free. (For technical interviews, you can keep your books and notes open.)
  4. Discussing confidential information about previous employer (say clients, projects) is not advisable. Some companies record the calls for security and training purposes.
  5. Avoid negotiating on the phone. (Salary, profile, location etc.) Its better to discuss this in person.

I hope the points were helpful. Good luck to all hopeful.

Addendum: I have posted the exact Harbinger interview on CE. Interested readers can click here to have a look.