16 February, 2013

Final Frontiers - Chapter 4/8

Dear Juniors, note one thing very carefully. When a PlaceCom tells you, ‘it’s urgent,’ it usually means that you’ll be made to wait till the end days of the world. If you thought the events of AutumnFest never start on time, take them just as a preparatory measure for your placements. After reaching the venue, I waited 4 hours for the interview. Now, I can tell you that the wait for the interview is much worse than the actual interview unless you have a Mills and Boon or Munni and Sheela along with you. Finally, when I was called in, it felt like the most idiotic conversation I’d ever had and trust me I’ve been through shitheads. Allow me to highlight some of the stupidest questions I was asked.

So, you’re studying Aeronautical Engineering and you have a decent CGPA. Why do you want to join consulting?

You’re the one hiring for consultants you tell me, did you come to TTI looking for MBAs? Or do you want me to say that I don’t like Aeronautics so that you can pound on me for having an unstable mindset? I’m here because you pay well and “consulting” sounds good. Darn I’ve spent 4 years at TTI! Like shit I know what consulting is or why am I applying. And what the hell do you mean by a “decent CGPA”. I’m a lower Satti in Aero, that’s like the Nakul-Sahadev of KGN, but you know crap about engineering colleges as well.
But this is not what I should be replying.

Sir, I’ve always been fascinated by consulting. Here I get to solve multiple problems, interact with multiple clients and get a chance to learn from the elite in the corporate industry. Consulting allows me to create an impact on lives (read balance sheets). Plus, I love to travel. I think this desire to work in an environment where I get to learn the know-how of the finances, marketing and public relations across verticals of different industries makes me best suited for consulting.

Are you comfortable with coding?

No, I’m a noob at coding. I’ve completed 6 depth courses in MATLAB, C and JAVA and you can see that on my CV and still you have the nerve to ask this question. Why don’t you hire the CS guys whom you’ve actually come for? Oh wait, you don’t have enough money to pay them in your company. So you’re looking for coding freaks from other departments to hand over the redundant mind-numbing coding job which organizations from the west have outsourced to you. In short, to make a couple of small bucks, which will just be a handful of change from the US, you create the image of India as a software hub with all Indians as drone computer coders and then you come to TTI for recruitment you sick bastards! And oh by the way, I really can’t code too much. So please tell me now that you won’t select me. Seriously this tie is killing me.

Sir, I’ve completed a number of courses in MATLAB, C and JAVA. Also during my internships, I didn’t have the relevant coding skills at first but I was always quick to learn. I scored Excellent grades in my Programming and Data Structures Laboratory. Technology has never been a barrier whenever I’ve been asked to do something. I always take coding as a tool, not as an obstacle. [Puppy Dog Eyes]

Tell me a weakness you have. Tell an incident when your weakness let you down and how you overcame from it.

Tell me about the time when you lost your virginity, whom you did it with, and what was your reaction when you realized you are gay? First of all, if I had a weakness worth talking about, I’d have already worked on it. Plus, you’re not willing to accept an answer which is academic, personal or medical. What you’re asking for is a specific term you can raise your eyebrows at. What you’ll get is an answer where I’ll prove that I have a trait which is not exactly a weakness and how I use it as a strength. Ultimately, the only thing you’ll learn from this question is how well have I prepared for this HR part of the interview.

Sir, I trust people very easily. Though it helps me connect with people at a greater level, it has been disturbing to me in some crucial dealings. For example, once I was taking the One Ring back to Mordor when an Orc caught up with me. I didn’t understand much of what he said but I believed him to be trying to help me. I allowed him to tie my hands and hang me upside down on a rod. Only later did Gandalf burn him and tell me that I shouldn’t trust Orcs, Ogres and CEOs so easily. Since then I’ve never put my faith in anything which did not grow a grey beard. [Awkward pause] Or a white beard.

Tell me an incident when you’ve influenced a group

Once during the dead hours of the night my wing was arguing whether the GPL of a fellow wingie should be with rubber chappals or slippers. That’s when I brought out my new Adidas shoes and that’s the last I saw of them. But this worked in motivating the group and someone also brought a bucket-full of water. Sir, it hurts bad during a GPL if your butt is wet. It hurts more if it’s someone else’s birthday and you’re getting GPL-ed just because you went inside the mob looking for your shoes.

Once during a Product Design competition with my Hall, they’d decided that they wanted to make the helicopter like the one in Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots. However, being from Aeronautical, I knew that it was impractical to plan the device within such a short span of time (plus they’d asked me if it I could help them make that and it was easier to tell them that making it is not possible than telling them that I know nothing about Aeronautics), but I suggested another idea with improving the efficiency of a washing machine. We ultimately worked on that project and even won Gold in the competition (I still wonder how!)