How I Got Into XLRI Jamshedpur After 6 Interview Attempts
This quote from the Irish poet Samuel Beckett can be found on the left forearm of Swiss tennis player Stanislas Wawrinka. At Australian Open 2014 he became the first player in 20 years to beat both the top seeds en route to the trophy. It was his 9th season on the tour and his first Grand Slam title. But why am I talking about a tennis player on a community for management students you might wonder well that’s because throughout my life I have failed multiple times and each time it was this quote that kept me going.
Interviewer: Why is your graduation percentage so low Mr. Singh?
Me: Pune University parsimonious in handing out marks, tried too many things, new place, didn’t like engineering (Truth :p) etc etc
This was the question that haunted every interview I ever sat for. The 30% gap between my 12th and graduation scores was the first thing that caught every interviewer’s eye. I tried various combinations of the reasons stated above but to no avail. I wrote the XAT 4 times scoring 99+ in 3 of them and appeared for a combined total of 6 times for the interviews (BM+HRM) before I finally converted the BM interview call last year. Every year I prepared a new answer and every year it got shot down and I finally realised that nothing but the truth would work so I told them that I did not make the required effort and that is why my marks are so low. But, telling the truth is not enough one has to show that they have tried to overcome these failures. That’s where the Fail Better part comes in, sometimes when the going gets rough one just needs to put their head down and get to work. That’s what I did, I concentrated on my job and received 2 awards for my efforts, these awards helped a lot in convincing the panel that my engineering marks were not a permanent indicator of my ability and that I had actually tried to mend my ways. I also read up on business and kept tabs on the happenings in the corporate space which came in handy during the interviews.
So, what can you take away from my struggles?
Firstly, no obstacle is big enough. It’s just that the bigger the obstacle more is the effort required. People will tell you that you can’t do it and it would come from those closest to you not as a criticism but as a concern, concern that failure might destroy you. When you are that heavily invested in something the ones closest to you are the first to realise that it might end up hurting you. But, it is you who has to decide whether the fight is still worth fighting or not. If you still have the fight in you after getting a sound thumping my advice would be to listen to the naysayers but ignore their advice. The only way to be sure of a result is to not enter the competition at all, so why not give it your best shot who knows you might get lucky, I know I did!