Pic Credit: isb.edu
Afternoon of Dec 19, 2010: I was at ISB Hyderabad. Why was I there? Cause I was an aspirant who had made it to the interview round.
After the interview and exploring the campus, I was walking towards the main gate when a car stopped next to me. The man on the wheel poked his head out and asked if I want a lift. I smiled and said, “Why not!”
I noticed the man was wearing the ISB T-shirt. So it was obvious he was related to the school. *Ok now. Go easy. Don’t say anything stupid. What if he’s one of the Admission Committee guys!!?*
As soon as the car started, we got talking. After we exchanged names…
Kind-looking man: So young man, what brings you to the campus on this hot Sunday afternoon?
Alert me: Sir, I came here for the admission interview.
Kind-looking man: Ah! How did it go?
Alert me: Was pretty smooth. Not stressful at all.
Kind-looking man: Why would it be stressful? That’s not the purpose of the interview. I strongly believe it should be a casual chat.
Alert me: *smiles* I agree, sir!
Kind-looking man: Who took your interview?
Alert me: *Shit! Shit! Shit!* Actually, I don’t remember their names. They did introduce themselves, but then I started concentrating so hard on the questions and my replies that by the end of the interview, I wasn’t sure. Though what I do know is that in the panel of three, there was one person from the Ad-Com, one from the faculty and one was an alumni.
Kind-looking man: *gives me a I-know-so-many-like-you smile*
Alert me: Sir, I hope you don’t mind me asking. Are you a part of the faculty?
Kind-looking man: Well. I am what they call the DEAN of ISB. So in that sense, I don’t exactly know what I do.
Alert me: *Hmm. The car is running at about 40 kms an hour and the road is made of tar. HOW MUCH would it hurt if I jump out RIGHT NOW!?* Well, in that case, I owe you an apology for not recognizing you.
Kind-looking man: Apology? Don’t be stupid.
Alert me: Well, I guess I ought to know the Dean of the school that I am trying so hard to get into. *I KNEW some research was remaining*
Kind-looking man: Naah. You need to know everything about the school. That’s more than enough.
When the kind-looking man learned I am a photojournalist …
Kind-looking man: So where’s your camera? Where are your pictures?
Alert me: I didn’t get my camera to the campus. Was really confused how an SLR pouch would look with a business suit. Didn’t get prints/DVD of pictures either.
Kind-looking man: But why not? That’s your USP!
Alert me: I agree. But the interview notification email said ‘you need not get anything with you for the interview’.
Kind-looking man: Did the email say ‘NEED not’ or ‘SHALL not’?
Alert me: *smiles* Point taken, sir.
Kind-looking man: *taps my shoulder* Marketing my boy! Marketing! Don’t worry, you will learn.
Alert me: *smiles* I will sir… if YOU let me… next year!
Kind-looking man: *laughs*
The conversation soon drifted to other points. Here are some excerpts:
Very often, aspirants ask us why they didn’t get selected despite meeting all the requisites. I tell them they didn’t get selected, not because they are bad. Rather they can be great, but there’s nothing ‘different’ about them.
It is very important to research on the organisation’s culture before joining it. It is as important as your remuneration and designation. There needs to be a cultural fit.
I guess we should remove the ‘need not bring anything’ statement from the interview notification email. Rather, we must ask them to make sure they bring something. Would be so much fun for the guys who interview the candidates!
Human bias can never be completely eliminated. NEVER!
At the end, I realized the kind-looking man had taken a much longer route to drop me to the rickshaw stand. When getting out…
Kind-looking man: Nice to meet you. All the best and I hope I see you at the campus next year.
Alert me: I hope so too sir. I hope so too.
PS: YES, I will be seeing him at the campus very soon! :) :)