‘Persistence And Honesty Helped Me Land An Internship’ – Richa Agrawal – IIM Bangalore
Ever imagined an interview where you believe you performed exceptionally poor and fear that the performance would leave a mark in your memory for a long time, but the interviewers liked you for your honesty and persistence. Ever imagined that you answered “No” twice to the question – “If you put yourself in our shoes, then do you still believe we should select you based on your interview performance?” and still they announce a “Yes” in the verdict. Truth is stranger than fiction indeed. Let me tell you the story of my interview experience during summers in detail.
The recent summer placement was a roller coaster ride and the peak of it was the interview of the company in which I got selected. The interview began with the most usual question “Tell us about yourself?” – the answer to which I could never complete in the entire interview. The remarks began with my first statement in the answer “I am from Jaipur”. They asked if I know Marwari (P.S. I am a Rajasthani, but do not know Marwari well. I know it is bad, but this is the truth). On answering no, at first they expressed regret over my ignorance (they claimed themselves to be Marwaris) and then decided to take my interview in Marwari. I smiled and accepted the challenge. Thankfully they melted with my smile and agreed to spare me here. Then began the real show of stressing me out.
They started tearing apart each number mentioned in my CV. They alleged that I got my CV made by my friend. They mocked my win of Yellow Belt in Taekwondo (they called it too trivial to add in a CV but I am proud of the belt which I won after a failed attempt and was a great learning in life). They cut me short in every answer and yet said that I speak a lot and most of it is nonsense (Contrary to the usual comment that I speak less which I am used to hearing from my friends). But at their every attempt to irritate me, I would smile and tell them “let me clarify, let me complete what I want to say”. On incorrect answers, I would be made fun of and for every correct answer, I would receive a comment that I have crammed the basic details about the company and profile. Truly speaking, I got a bit nervous and was unable to answer the simplest of questions (simple in my opinion, though I don’t know if they actually were tough ones to crack :P). After 40 minutes through the interview, I thought I had already lost the battle, so why not enjoy the discussion. But I had a fear that I would miss interviews of other good companies on campus because of this stressful yet interesting discussion. Immediately I realised that all this is not in my hand, so I relaxed, tried my level best to answer every bouncer thrown at me and enjoyed the tantrums.
After 55 minutes of intense grilling (while it was a sweet interview of 25 min for ever other selected candidate) came the final stroke of interviewers – “If you were sitting in our seats, how would you rate your performance, and should we hire you based on your performance?”. I replied, “maybe yes” and then came the tantrum – you speak a lot, reply in yes/no. And I replied, “NO”. The response came that I made the verdict of my destiny myself and can leave the room. I came out of the room, sad and dejected, calling the volunteer to schedule my other interview as fast as possible.
The volunteer calmed me down and asked me to at least wait for the interviewers to tell about their choice. The interviewers came out of the room (which they didn’t do for any other candidate) and called me. They again asked me the same question “Based on your performance, should we hire you?” I said a straight “NO” and then they replied “YES”. It is my honesty and persistence that made them select me. And they asked me to promise them that I would be like this all my life, no matter in which company I go into and in which phase of life I am in. I really liked their gesture and came running down the stairs to my friends to see that a lot of my friends have already removed their ties i.e. they too have got their jobs. The scenario was entirely different (all wearing their ties) when I went into the interview room. The place in itself started to look lovely. And then began my mission to help my classmates land their dream jobs.
Many more memories associated with the experience and this is my long story cut short (I know it’s still too long)… Hope you enjoyed reading it… 🙂