For someone like me who hates meeting new people and making new friends, networking for a job is not an easy thing. So, all the new (read few) job opportunities that come to me are either purely based on my talent (I heard your ouch!) or impressive profile (I spent an entire weekend working on it!) posted on various employment websites. Also, the fact that I am sitting here in the Himalayan foothills gives me the much needed motivation to let go of the new job opportunities for which I am asked to take an assignment, do a sample write-up or talk to more than 3 people in a week before being offered the job. After all this drama, if I am able to get a few interesting (few!) opportunities, I prefer not taking the interviews on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (The Delhi in me believes in Odd-Even strongly!).
But recently, a prospective employer suggested that there was no hurry at their end and I can speak to them whenever I was ready. I liked the ‘no hurry’ attitude and made a mental note to wait for a couple of weeks before I called them back. Three days later, someone from the prospective employer’s team called me again and asked me if I can be ready for a Skype interview in the next 30 minutes (I wish I knew the new ‘corporate forever’ promise came with a 3-days expiry period!). Reluctantly, I agreed to wash my face, change into a formal shirt and sit in front of my laptop to talk to someone whose name sounded strangely unfamiliar. But this time, I had made up my mind to put no facade and just speak my mind irrespective of whether or not I get the job (By the way, results still awaited.).
Given below is the transcript of the interview:
Interviewer: Hello! Good evening!
Me (Frantically looking for a wall clock around!): Oh evening! (I had left the bed only after the lady on the phone said ’30-minutes to catch the train’.)
Interviewer: How are you today?
Me (Trying to control the ADD problem): Usual! Like everyday! Did not realize what time it was when I got up. Still a little confused about the time zone you are calling from, but I guess I am supposed to say I am fine. Thank you!
Interviewer: So, you are in Sikkim?
Me (Looking for my glasses now, bloody, which Firang knows about Sikkim!): Uh huh! How do you know? (Bloody myopia!)
Interviewer: Your resume says Ravangla, Sikkim.
Me: Oh! Yes! I am there. Do you know where in India is Sikkim?
Interviewer: I googled it just before the interview.
Me: Well! I am not in Gangtok.
Interviewer: Did you say you can’t talk?
Me: No! I guess it’s the internet connection! I am in Ravangla, Sikkim and you have googled the place already! Nice! Wish I googled the company before I got on the call as well.
Interviewer: So, Richa, tell me something about yourself.
Me: No! Please! Don’t do this. Spare me this part of the interview. Everything that you need to know is on the CV that you already have and you have googled the city where I live. I don’t know what to talk about myself. An interesting piece of trivia that not many know is that I was born before the due time (profusely sweating by now!) Can we now move on to the next question, please ?
Interviewer: So, you are a medical student who chose to pursue Mass Communications later…
Me: You know what I had enough of this convincing shit with my parents for switching streams. If you are waiting for me to justify what I did – well! we are done then! No, wait, you are the kind of people who stop people from pursuing their dreams. You – the Engineer maker type – I hate you already!
Interviewer: Okay, then, tell me about your job experience.
Me: Dude, I spent an entire weekend trying to document the 6-odd years of work experience. Can you stop behaving like me and read what you are supposed to read before coming for the interview instead of wasting your time looking for exotic locations on Google!
Interviewer: Okay, I see you got some wonderful reference notes from your colleagues!
Me: What do you mean? Just because you can see a gun on the table doesn’t mean I force people to recommend me! That’s my husband’s! Licensed. Okay.
Interviewer: Tell me something about your family.
Me: I have two dogs. They are lovely. They love me unconditionally. I read this website called DogSpots everyday so that I can make life better for my dogs. The black one is naughty; the brown one is obedient. Do you like watching funny dog videos? I have quite a nice collection, you know!
Interviewer: So, you are a dog person.
Me: Here you go judgmental! See – I don’t hate cats. I don’t hate horses either. I just don’t like rats and ants. But I guess no one likes rats!
Interviewer: So, let me tell you about the role we are hiring for. It basically involves blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and communicating with people.
Me: First 5 points are okay. Communicating with people – how many times in a day? You mean meaningful, business-like conversations?
Interviewer: I guess!
Me: Uh, huh! Can I get back to you on this? (Unplug the LAN cable – my brain is whispering now!)
Interviewer: What’s your salary expectation?
Me: You know what – I am not good at this. My best friend does it for me even in the flea markets. As I am incapable of the negotiation bit, you know, just tell me how much salary you are planning to offer me without making me feel sorry about spending the whole weekend writing that CV on blah.com.
Interviewer: Great! My HR team will schedule the technical round of interview for tomorrow.
Me: Excuse me! I have to talk to a new person and beg for this job again!
Interviewer: Bye! See you!
Me: Did you not say “Good evening Mrs. Bhaskar”! How disrespectful! Anyways, Good evening, gentleman!