Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You're Hired!!!

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
      I am a 27-year old Engineering graduate from Kerala. I was born in Kerala but spent my childhood in the Middle-East, (to be specific) in Oman. I did my Engineering from Kerala in Electronics & Telecommunications. I started my career with Aditi Technologies as a technical recruiter. Over the past 6 years, I've been moving up the ladder and currently work as a Recruitment Manager for Avvas Infotech, a newbie in the consulting industry. My strengths include strong communication skills (written & spoken English), an aptitude for technology and consider recruitment as an art. As an individual, I used to blow off a very short fuse but I have managed to mellow down over the last couple of years at the professional front.
     My hobbies include Reading books, watching English movies and following the EPL. I've been an athlete, cricketer and footballer for most part of my life. I have been active on my blog for the last few months and love listening to songs from the latest Hindi & Tamil movies.
     I could answer further questions about myself, my work or anything that is mentioned on my resume. And that's the least I expect from those who interview with me. I have interviewed at least 200 people over the last 3 years and my ratio is a miserly 1:15. Most of these people were interviewed to work with me, and there are certain benchmarks that have been set.
1. Communication: I expect the person to understand my question, and I would love to understand their answers as well. MTI is acceptable, but that doesn't imply that the conversation is rendered as a song-and-dance sequence. Moreover, spelling mistakes on the resume is a red flag. I had someone who wrote "Good dessision maker", "hared worker" & "proffessional."
2. Tell me about yourself: I am hard-working, dedicated and a quick-learner. At one point of time, everyone I interviewed (10 in a day) were quick-learners, hard-working and dedicated. I don't expect my team to work for 12 hours, rather I'd prefer smart workers who can manage their time well. When people come up and say they are dedicated, I ask them if they were dedicated to their studies. Since they couldn't muster enough dedication for that, it would be unlikely with work as well. I would love to ask the quick learners to try Euclidean Geometry for starters.  Other common strengths include go-getters and never-say-die attitude. I give random puzzles to the latter, and they say it's not solvable within 2 minutes.
3. Weaknesses: I appreciate people who actually know their weaknesses. Some of them walk into the room stating they don't have any, some others state that they wouldn't want to reveal it (right out of the HR gospels). Nobody is perfect is what one person told me.
4. Dress to the occasion: The freedom to choose their clothing doesn't mean that a pair of low-waist jeans and un-buttoned shirt forms the attire. Add to it an unshaven face and unruly, long hair. I'll ensure that the security doesn't let you in.

5. Attitude: I love people with attitude. As long as it stays beyond the first 10 minutes. If you manage to stay in the room for 10 minutes.
6. Honesty: 'The best part about being truthful is that you don't have to remember what you said." It might sound irritating for a genuine candidate but the best way for any interviewer is to ask the same questions twice during the interview.
7. Career plans: A candidate with an MBA in HR and loves recruitment (claims so);
Me: Where do you see yourself 1 year from now?
Candidate: HR Manager
Me: Great, and 3 years from now?
C: Businessman.
Me: Sighs.
8. Hobbies: Please do not copy paste this part of the resume from someone else. It's a humble request. I've spoken to candidates who claim reading as their major hobby. It's fine, even I like books. But, if you've read one book (5-point someone because my friend forced me to read it) in the last 5 years, mention it in achievements. Expect the interviewer to ask questions about the last book that you've read or the movie you've watched. I had one person tell me 5 hobbies. None of them were on the resume (he had no clue about the actual ones mentioned in the resume as if to suggest that I had put it up for him).
9. Reasons for change: Better growth. Totally understandable. Better work environment. True. But, not at the rate of 4 companies/year. Exponential growth is only in boardroom meetings, not career prospects.
10: Resume: A resume can tell you a lot of things about a person. And looking at it again while a person speaks about himself will tell you everything else that's left out. Prepare a concise, personalized resume. Moreover, ask about the job and how you would fit in the scheme of things.
11: Salary expectations: One wrong answer and one wrong question. Wrong Answer: Company standards. Your compensation is directly proportional to your ability, current salary & expectations. Think about your realistic expectations before attending the interview. Wrong Question: How much will you pay for this job? Read the above once again.
     Any Questions?

     I don't hire people based on their academics (few could have fared worse than me), family background, caste, creed or religion. There are 3 parameters that I try to gauge over the 20-minute period that I spend with them. Communication skill (as mentioned above), Attitude & Basics of recruitment (for freshers I would prefer some sort of creativity). I also check whether their nature would fit the work environment (I've had an unpleasant experience in the past). A great recruiter needs to reach out to the masses and the ideal candidate would love talking to people. Lastly, I let people know why they are hired or rejected from the company's perspective.


  1. wow... lovely post :) am yet to attend an interview
    will keep this post in my mind..
    Keep sharing :)

  2. Interestin insight into a recruiter's mind... Nice!!!