Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Management..part 2..The interview!

(Continued from last post...and sorry about the loong post, i didnt realise it got so big until i finished, but i couldn't think of what to delete..)
The MDI interview, is one i'll never forget. It wasn't too long, But every minute of it was worth talking about! So here's the story..

Dateline --> March 2008
Place --> MDI, Gurgaon

After asking for permission, i came in, greeted them with a smile and sat as straight as i could. The people conducting the interviews were the same as those conducting th GD's. A middle aged man, and a middle aged lady, both who had the 'professor look'..They seemed quite knowledgable, as expected from people taking these interviews..
In front of them, was the sheet we were made to fill up with all our details. Evidently, they had no interest in our resumes. Then they started..

Interviewers (Int) - "Hi Aditya. Tell us something about yourself".
Me - "I am pursuing my engineering from ..etc etc... I live in bangalore with my family consisting of...etc etc...".
Int - "So you are from Bangalore? Which school did you pass out from in bangalore?"
Me - "No, actually i did my 10th and 12th from Hyderabad".
Int - (looking into the sheet) " So you were born and brought up in Hyd, live in Bangalore, and study in Jaipur?"
Me - (smiling)"No sir, i was born in delhi, did my schooling there till 5th class, and then moved to Hyd."
Int - (Smiling)"So you're what i would call a true Indian. And now you're back in Delhi. Its a full circle!".

Int - "Ok, now lets talk about the GD. - "Who do you think spoke the best?"
me - (expected Q, i was ready for it.)"number 10."
Int - "Why?"
(This i did not expect. This was the part where i started making things up..From this point on, i was on my toes, making up answers as we went along)
me - " he said blah, blah and blah, which was against what i said, but he stated his points well blah blah blah..
Int - "Did he say that? I dont recall him saying this. Did you note down the points?"(they had given a paper for that purpose)
Me - (obviously paper was blank, a smile broke out on my face!! So i tried recalling a couple of things he said and told them)"yes sir, this , this and this were some of the things he said."
Int - "You said you support the presidential system, and talk of it like direct voting, but do you know that George Bush was elected in 2004 with less votes than al gore!"
Me - (baffled!!!! i didnt know what to say!!)"Sir, i was trying to support a pure presidential form, not necessarily like one in US".
Int - "But you did not say much."
Me - "Sir, i tried to make my point a few times early on, and got in a couple of points. But after that, it became chaos with 3-4 people talking at any time. I made a few attempts to interrupt and make my point, but kept getting interrupted by cross talk. I could also shout, but i felt that there no point adding to the noise by talking while someone else is talking. If you can't be a part of the solution, then you definitely should not add to the problem! And in that discussion, it was clear that there was no solution.."
(What a dialogue!, thought of at the spur of the moment! I saved my ass!)
Int - "But you didnt talk much. If it was chaos, then why didnt bang the table, stand up on the chair and make everyone listen to your point?"
Me - (Smiling away to glory)"But sir, thats not the point of a group discussion, that would just be a test of who can scream louder. Thats goes against the idea of a civilised discussion that a GD is supposed to be".

Int - (both were seemingly amused at all my answers)" Ok, so tell me a place where Aditya Bharadwaj showed bravery."
Me - ( any of the mad things i've done count as bravery? I decided not to go there, cos though brave, they were'nt exactly stuff mentionable in an interview...So, i started making up stuff from scenarios i'd been in..adding up along the way..)"I was the college chess team captain (i even highlighted the achievement!), and we used to go to BITS pilani every year for the sports meet. There used to be 2 chess events, one of classic, and one of lightening chess. Towards the end of the first event, the fight for a position in the finals used to get pretty close, and we were running for a place in the finals. The people in 3rd place, required all 4 points to get by us and reach the finals, so they started bribing and scheming with their opposing team, saying that they should give them all the games in the classic event, and that they would return the favour in the lightening event. I protested against the practice, saying its unfair, and even threatened to leave if they continued with it".

Int - "But whats wrong in that? Its an agreement between the two."
Me - (Going with the gush of bravery i created, lots of reeeeally big words came out of my melodramatic head)"Because it goes against the spirit of the game, and the tournament. If i were to decide who gets the points in each game, what is the point of playing? I could pay-off a team or two and get the points and win the tournament, that would be no different. If you don't want to play, don't play, But don't kill the spirit of the sport just because of your weakness!".

Int - (Taken aback by the sudden flow of words)"But then, if you were stuck in the same position, what would you do? If you were in a position to make the deal, would you?".(Then a smile came across their faces!)
Me - (thinking...Damn these guys are good!!! If i say no, then i'm a fool, and not fit to be a manager. If i say yes, then i'm backtracking all the big words i just said!!! Finally, with a sheepish smile, i said) "I would leave that descision to my teammates".
Int - (bigger smile!)"But you were just talking about principles, and the spirit and things like that.."
Me - (Smiling back)"Sir, when i go as the captain of the team, i am answerable not only to the college, but also to my teammates. And a descision like that affects them as much as it affects me. Being equals, they should also have a say."

(I was feeling like a royal fool by now, knowing well, what an ass i made out of myself! I was laughing at myself, and so, by this point, it was quite a jolly interview, with everyone smiling, and me even showing my teeth once in a while!!)

Int - "Ok, Aditya, tell me about your reading habits."
(Reading........habits???????????? whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?? i've read about 5 books in my whole life!!!!!)
me - (trying to buy some time)"I read mainly fiction".
Int - "Ok, what were the last 3 books you read".
(after virtually scratching my brain to get past asterix and archies! Then i remembered the few books my sis bought for me and i read over the last yr or 2! Finally i thought of 3!!)
Me - "'The magician', by somerset maugham"(big author, small book, 200 pages)
Me - "'The death of ivan illyich', by leo tolstoy"(Bigger author, smalled book!! This book was about 100 pages or less! in big font!!)
Me - "'The prelude to foundation', by isaac asimov".
(if they asked me for 2 more, i would just say dan brown and then maybe Tinkle!!)
Int - "Ok, what magazines do you read?"
(Me smiling even more that i saved my ass and managed to remember 3 books!!)
Me - (Buying time, cos i didnt remember any names!)"I read mainly automobile magazines"

Int - "Ok, so whats the best car in india today according to you".
(I couldnt remember too many car names, cos i hadn't watched TV or read a car magazine since i came to college!)
Me - (buying more time, smiling even more, trying to sound as if i know stuff!) "In which segment?"
Int - "small or Mid range".
(I almost let out a squeel of joy, this guy knew nothing about cars!! But i still couldnt remember any names apart from Ford Ikon, which went out of production 2-3 years earlier! I kept thinking, what is that orange car that prof in college has...)
Me - (Finally, showing teeth while smiling by now)"Maruti Suzuki Swift"
Int - "Ok , so whats the most important thing in a car?".
Me - (trying to buy time)"Value for money!"
Int - "Yes, but name 5 the things u would looks for in a car".
Me - "Power, fuel efficiency, design, interiors and value for money"
Int - "Design and interiors, aren't they the same?"
Me - (All happy, cos i knew he would ask me the difference, as he knew nothing about cars, thats why i told him those two!) I explained it..

Int - Ok Aditya, Thank you!

As i was leaving, he stopped me and asked.
Int - What do you think is most responsible for car accidents?
Me - (didnt know what to say, so a tongue in cheek comment came out)"The driver!".
Int - (laughing) "yes, but what part of the car"
me - "sir, the tyres and the drivetrain"(I had no clue what that meant!! i just read it somewhere!)

Int - "Dont you think, its the steering?"
They had a nice laugh. and he said that last part wont count in my interview, it was just a joke.

I came home, knowing well how bad i screwed up the whole thing, amazed at how closely they scrutinized everyone and smiling away at the most jovial interview ever! Throughout the interview i was smiling, and so were they. I kept trying to make up answers as i went along, making mistakes along the way, but it was pretty obvious that they realised that..

But imagine my surprise, when i see my name on the waiting list !!!! On one of the top 10 management institutes of India!!
And in the second list, my name even got confirmed!!!! They must've seen something that i didnt, to actually select me!!
As i said before i started out, i still didnt join the place,,but this is one interview i shall never forget!!


  1. well i think its a great interview - if you can laugh and get the interviewers laughing thats 50% of the job done. i don't think theyre really trying to determine if youre a genius (your scores would do that) or if you're well read / possess vast amounts of info at your disposal (that's not really such an achievement once you get to the top, and they know that). theyre trying to figure out if you can keep your cool in a situation and think on your feet. so you pressed all the right buttons ;)

    of course, as someone who's only been at 1 interview her entire life i wouldnt be the authority on this... but i've had mocks hahaha B)

  2. adi pls change the typo in the title :( :( :( call me anal retentive if you like but i keep growing disproportionately upset by it everytime it strikes my eye! and i use igoogle so it strikes pretty often!!!!

  3. that you pointed it out..
    that typo's even getting to me!!