Venue: Indian Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Date: February 22, 2018
Session: Afternoon Session (12:30 PM)
In the Interview panel, there were 2 males and 1 female. I will be referring to them as M1, M2, and F1. M1 in his late forties or early fifties, M2 in his thirties, and F1 had a face that only someone bored of existence can have. M2 looked like someone who was bored of the bullshit interviewees had been telling him.
M1 opened the door and called me in, I went in without saying anything to him. Wished the other panelist good afternoon and took the seat after handing over the documents.
F1 (before I sit properly): Tell me a bad habit of yours.
Me: I am not intuitive at times.
F1: Then how do you make decisions?
Me: This is not something that happens every time. I am not intuitive only in some cases. For example, a friend recently remarked that people in Delhi have very different dressing sense from people of Mumbai. I have stayed in Mumbai for some time. But I never observed this myself before.
Another thing, until recently I used to pronounce the z sound as the j sound. I never got to know that I am pronouncing it differently. It would be ज़ but I would speak it as ज.
M1: Zebra, right?
Me: Yes, so I would pronounce Zee News as Jee news. I didn’t even know that these were two different sounds.
F1: I don’t think there is anything bad in it.
M1: I don’t think it’s bad at all. Even Pranab Mukherjee used to pronounce like that.
Me: Sir, maybe not a bad thing but when I found out that during my 22 years of life, I had never even noticed it.
M2 (Going through my certificates of Coursera) to M1: This seems to be an increasing trend.
M1: Do they give proper assignments?
Me: They have assignments, but most of the time they are not necessary. They have quizzes as well at the end of each lecture.
F1: You have taken a pay cut from your previous job. Why is that?
Me: Mam I wanted to have some corporate exposure…
M2: So, in 4 months you realized that you have to go incorporate?
Me: I had an ed-tech venture of my own, I took up this job because I wanted to understand the students’ behaviour and expectations from a teacher’s perspective. I wanted to understand the ground reality myself. When I felt like I had learned enough I switched to have some corporate exp…
F1: Which specialization do you want to major in?
Me: I haven’t decided on it, I am open to all, but I am inclined towards Finance due to my Mathematical background.
M2 (hands me over a rough sheet): Write me a formula related to Finance and Mathematics.
Me: [Wrote a formula for the present value of money from periodic constant future cash flows, explained the terms]
M2: Draw the curve of Present Value vs the r.
Me: [Drew and explained how]
M2: What if the amount of the constant future cashflows is higher, how will that impact this graph?
M2: How can I find the area under this curve?
M2: Okay, integrate 1/(1+r) ^n
M2: For the same future cash flow, will the present value be more for India or for Japan?
Me: Sir Japan has a lower interest rate compared to India, so the rate used for discounting will be less and the present value would be higher.
M2: Why is that? Why is the rate lower for Japan?
Me: Sir Japan is a developed country, so their growth rate is less. That’s why the rate is lower. Japan even had a negative interest rate sometimes back. So, if the rate is around 10 percent for India, it hovers around 2-3% for a developed economy.
M2: Why does this happen? Why does a developed country have a lower growth rate?
Me: Sir, as a country is developing, after a stage there is a saturation point. They will need intensive capital and much more innovation to continue growing at the same rate.
M2: Is the graph of this saturation concave or convex?
Me: Sir it will be concave downwards like this [Drew]
M2: You are working as a Decision Analyst…F1: What does a decision analyst mean? M2:Do you extensively use statistics during your day-to-day work?
Me: I haven’t done it till now, but others in ZS do.
F1: You have worked here for only one month.
Me: I am currently working here.
M2: Oh, ok. What is the capital of Cambodia?
Me: I can’t recall.
M2: Where does Cambodia lie?
Me: Sir I can’t recall its geographical location right now. Cambodia has a lot of Hindu temples, it’s famous for this.
M2: How did you get your first job at Rao?
Me: It was through campus.
M1: Besides it helped him in CAT.
Me: Told him how CAT and JEE are largely unrelated.
M2: How many Vedas do we have?
M2: Name all of them.
Me: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda, Atharav Veda
F1: What kind of books do you like to read?
Me: I like reading things that are mind-stimulating and challenge conventional wisdom…
F1: Write the names of five books you have read.
Me: Thinking Fast and Slow, I just wrote this and was interrupted by M2
M2: Who wrote it?
Me: Daniel Kahneman
M2: Okay, continue
Me: I read 100 years of Solitude some months ago
M2: Who is its author?
Me: I can’t recall the name, it’s Gabriel something. He is Spanish, and the book was also originally written in Spanish. He is a famous author.
M2: He is a famous author. what is he doing now?
Me: Sir, he died long ago.
M2: Continue with the next book.
Me: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
M2: Where is it set in?
M2: What’s the capital of Afghanistan?
M2: Continue with the next book.
Me: I have read Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill
M2: Where was Napolean from?
M2: No, the original Napolean.
Me: Can’t recall.
M2: What was his last name?
Me: Bonaparte and Napolean was from France
Wrote and Spoke “Atlas Shrugged”
F1: Who wrote Atlas Shrugged?
Me: Ayn Rand
F1: What is the philosophy of Ayn Rand called?
F1: Explain Objectivism to me in one line.
Me: I can’t explain it in…
F1: Okay, take two.
Me: [Explained. Also told something thing my takeaways from Atlas Shrugged, the character of Hank Rearden and rational-egoism of Ayn Rand]
M2: Is it a he or a she [for Ayn]?
Me: It’s a she.
M2: Are you sure?
M2: When was the book Atlas Shrugged written?
Me: In the 1960s
M2: Tell me some events that happened in the 60s
Me: Jawahar Lal Nehru was no longer the Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi took over. India was having a war with China, and Pakistan. Lal Bahadur Shastri died while returning from Tashkent
M2: Okay, that will be all.
M1: Just one thing. Do Rao Edu solutions visit your campus?
Me: Yes Sir.
M1: They recruit engineers, and people take up the job?
M2: Better than digging coal in mines.
I smiled and got out as fast as I could.
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