Jul 26, 2014

Why interviews make no sense

Interview experts across the globe advise you to be yourself in an interview. Well, if that has to be followed, you would just end up hurling abuses at the interview panel. Moreover, expletives don’t really go well with formal attire and that borrowed tie and suit. Most of us have been through job interviews at some or the other point in our lives. There are some questions which 99.9% of us would have faced at every damn interview. These questions are to interviews what Sooryavansham is to SET Max - redundant, repetitive and obsolete. Let’s crack them, once and for all.

Tell me about yourself:  This question is mostly the first to be asked even before you take a seat trying your hand at aligning your tie-knot to the center and carries no meaning or relevance. It clearly depicts the nervousness and lack of home-work done by the interviewing panel and while you answer this question, they get to read your CV and build up subsequent questions. 99% of the interviewers don’t even listen to you as you answer this question. If you want to double-check, try blabbering anything irrelevant and you shall be astonished that nobody noticed!

Why should we hire you?:   Well, a team of experts at their end went through your profile and did numerous checks before calling you for the interview. They haven’t wasted their time as well as yours in the interview process for no reason. They consider you fit to work for their company, and yet they want to hear it from you. Tell them how they would lose a great resource to their competitor if they didn’t hire you.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?:  Most recruiters think of this bland question as a wicked trick to undress the candidate. They would happily ignore your strengths but would be hell bent on interrogating you about your weaknesses. How on earth would your weaknesses benefit their company when they have never worked in your favor even once?

Why do you want to work at our company?:  Be frank and tell them that it is not only THEIR company for whom you want to work. Tell them about the interviews you would be heading to after finishing theirs. Tell them about the offers you have in hand. Make them feel inferior. Gain an upper hand.

Can you work under pressure? Try answering this with Yes, but I charge an extra million for every ten Pascals and then observe their faces.

Tell me something about our company: Another stupid question. You are reminded of the times when you have to keep waiting for 99 hours in the ladies section of a shopping mall holding a kid/ shopping bags and your wife/girlfriend suddenly emerges out of the trial room and asks you: ‘Main kaisi lag rahi hoon?’ in spite of having three life size mirrors in the trial room. Whatever your answer is, she’s still going to buy that dress.

How much salary do you expect?: Put forward a figure, and the next question they will ask is how much you got paid at your previous job. Counter-question them by asking how much they used to pay the person who was earlier in charge of your job. The funny thing about companies is that they will always ask you how much your previous company paid you but never reveal what they used to pay the earlier guy. Somewhere in the race for jobs, we have forgotten that companies need candidates as badly as candidates need jobs. It is somehow falsely assumed that a company has an upper hand over the job seeking candidate.

Where do you see yourself five years from now? Let’s see if you can afford me for a year; then we shall see for the next four’, you are prompted to say. But your education and etiquette have ruined you to such an extent that you keep on speaking shit like career, hierarchy and promotion.

Why did you resign from your previous job? Well, this is an uncomfortable question. No matter how much you have lied in your life, you always fall short of creative answers for this question. While your brain constantly thinks of the peanuts in your pay-slip or a bad-ass boss, you always end up mentioning good career/brand/money as the reason. If you have mentioned creativity as one of your strengths, here is the chance for execution.

Why should I hire you from the outside when I could promote someone from within? This is outright meaningless because companies hire recruitment agencies and pay them to find candidates for a job. Some of the recruitment agencies are even secretly owned by the spouses of those gentlemen with shining suits who are interviewing you! Promoting someone from within would mean loss of commission for the recruitment agency. No way they’ll do it.

How do you feel about reporting to a younger person? Tell them that your wife/girlfriend is younger to you and doesn’t even pay you for obeying her. You would be more than happy to report to a younger boss as long as you get paid for it. Impress them with stale quotes on age and intelligence/maturity.

Looking back, what would you do differently in your life? This is a game changer. Look back from the chair, literally. Pretend as if you thought deeply. Then answer: I should have knocked the door before entering. I am deeply sorry that I screwed up your Candy Crush scores.

Jul 22, 2014

When it rains in India

Most parts of India have got their first monsoon showers. The people there are done with going crazy about pehli baarish. However, rains can mean different things to different people, depending on lots of factors.

If Bobby Deol’s Barsaat is the first thing that comes to your mind when it rains, you are as jobless as him. Look around if you can see a Kent purifier shining in your kitchen and an alcoholic oldie trying to suck blood out of your dog’s body because the answer to every question is Kutte, main tera khoon pi jaaunga.

If you stay in Mumbai, rains are as terrible as a natural catastrophe. You are probably adept at anticipating rejection from 87563235512 auto rickshaw guys for plying to Andheri East because your accident policy doesn’t cover you for death by miraculously disappearing into potholes while walking. The local municipal authorities feel that the best they can do to solve the water-logging problems is to put up a board that says ‘Caution: Water-logging area.’ By the time you manage to reach home at 1:00 am, you sincerely pray to God that it rains so heavily that there is no office the day after. If at all there is office, you decide not to take a bath because you rely on Reliance for a shower in the metro.

If rains make you romantic, you might be a loyal Saffola consumer with a young heart.  You still have unparalleled faith in the power of love or you are simply waiting to get laid. You might not have to go through the horrors of travelling to work every day which is the reason why you feel a book + coffee + rains + sitting by the window + smell of the rain makes a perfect quadratic equation. Good for you.

If rains make you rush to the terrace/balcony for collecting the dried clothes, my heart goes out for you. You have been caught in the vicious circle of married life. You are extra careful about not bringing in mud with your shoes when you step inside. With the onset of monsoon, the cloth lines miraculously shift from the balconies to the interiors of your home.
If rains make you feel nostalgic in a sad way, it is quite likely that you had a failed relationship in the past. You can sit at home, turn off all the lights (if you are lucky enough to have power) and listen to the most depressing ghazals and guzzle some rum from a steel glass.

If you rush to grab a plate of fried oily snacks when it rains, you are a Gujju by heart. Your belly is large enough to rest a plate full of hot pakoras & green chutney. You take pride in having a big belly because it simply reflects how prosperous you are. What more, you are even able to maneuver your car merely with your belly as it rubs against the steering wheel.

If you are staying in an area that draws electricity from the state electricity board’s naked overhead cables, keep candles handy. The electricity board will drop the switch immediately when the first line carrying the current gets wet, and shall resume the power only when the last line carrying the current has dried off.

If you feel like going on a long drive when it rains, you are lucky enough to be born/staying in a city with good roads, or you might have inherited a healthy wealth from your ancestors which makes it easy for you to barter gold for petrol. The TATA sky connection at your home has anyways stopped functioning even before the meteorological department’s website was updated with a rain forecast, so no use staying at home.

If you have an intense desire to fabricate and float paper boats in the puddles of water which may later on become breeding mansions for the mosquitoes, you are either a child, or there is a child in you (no, not pregnant) or you are an adult unlucky enough to do this stuff as a kid.

While we are laughing away at this, let us have a moment of silence for Vishwa Bandu Gupta’s cloud CD which might be at the risk of losing all its data due to the storms and rains. (Ref: Vishwabandhu Gupta - Cloud Computing)

Last but not the least, watch out for your friends updating their Facebook statuses as: “I love walking in the rain, coz….” Unfriend them without a second thought.

I shall take your leave now because a high quality video of Tip Tip Barsa Paani with the Yellow Sari clad Raveena Tandon has fully buffered and is ready to be played.

Jun 15, 2014

Social media, Anti-social repercussions

A young techie got murdered in Pune over some Facebook post. I have deliberately avoided writing ‘Muslim’ because blogs don’t have TRPs. Nor do I interrogate people for knowing what they had for lunch under the pretext of saying that the nation wants to know it and then interrupt them while they speak because my opinions are called conclusions. Moreover, as the epic subtitles in a pirated DVD of a Nana Patekar film say, ‘Look Hindu Muslim blood same same’.

I remember the time when social media existed solely for ‘fraandshipss’ and was not taken seriously by anybody. Orkut was the market leader and anonymity that time meant uploading a shirtless photo of Salman Khan as your profile picture while keeping your original name and sometimes IQ too. From those days till date, the evolution of social media has been phenomenal. Lots of social networking sites have come up, vanished, stayed or went unknown. Between ‘look ma, what I made’ and ‘just prepared yummy pasta, yay’, we grew up, and so did the reach of social media.

As the rule of the universe goes, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. (For the ‘cool’ guys, poison refers to actual poison, and not your drink in a shallow glass which costs you a kidney and a human sacrifice at a bathroom sized pub in a city which never sleeps because an SUV can run over you any time if you sleep). Once the reach of social media increased, it started becoming a new way of getting noticed and heard. Flaunting muscles in front of the mirror is now replaced by a check-in at a gym. Praying to the Lord before food is now replaced by uploading a mandatory picture of the dish on Facebook and consuming it only after someone comments ‘yummmyyy’ on that picture. According to a survey done by nobody, every third person on social media either owns a DSLR or guitar or is a voracious reader who loves black coffee and dark chocolate or is a shopaholic or is a metal junkie or a combination of multiple things thereof.  You might be disowned by the ‘cool community’ if your Facebook profile doesn’t have albums named Sunburn, Metallica, Honeymoon, Goa and the mandatory ‘New Yearzzzz Eve picssss’.  Starving kids in Africa would have been dead if some of us hadn’t contributed an X amount of likes to a picture of a cloud in the sky which looked like Sai Baba because the journalists at India TV thought so. Posting a R.I.P. message miraculously makes the deceased get a fully furnished 3-BHK in the heaven with a high speed broadband connection and a Macbook so that all he can do is to look at your post and thank you.  Every time you post a good morning message, a rooster somewhere strangles itself to death.   

The trouble with us is that, our brains instantly think of destructive ideas whenever we see something free, public or unguarded, be it a state transport bus, Indian railway coach or social media. Morphed pictures and memes of famous people have been doing rounds on social media lately. Depending on your IQ, you can be the one who posts funny stuff or you can be at the other end of the spectrum and lynch such people because you think you are the ultimate savior of the universe.

Grow up guys! A legendary ruler who had won several battles single handedly is not bothered by your opinions nor does he need you by his side to kill people and protect him.

For the ones posting the funny stuff, hold on till the government releases a detailed annexure of topics on which you will be legally allowed to crack jokes. Till then, troll responsibly and keep cursing yourself for being born in a country where a terror bombing attack by a neighboring country is just ‘condemned’ and a Facebook post faces a strong action instantly.

Now kindly excuse me while I go and pimp about this blog-post on my Facebook profile.

Jun 12, 2014

Why you don’t need to study

The recent board results came as a surprise to many of us. Lots of innocent kids have scored percentages which most of us have only seen in the progress bar of a download manager. They will now slog hard for the entrance exams to get into the factories that produce engineers and doctors. It will be an intense competition, with the clear rule of survival of the fittest. If you carefully observe the scores of these students, the only thing that would vary is the digit in the tenth decimal place. 

There is a second category of kids who will suddenly emerge into the race track from the bushes near the finishing line while you are almost confident of your victory. Before you even know, they would be kissing the medal and doing a victory dance. You suddenly realize you got fooled. You might have been born intelligent and hardworking, but they were born reserved. If you belong to the latter lot, you must stop reading here and continue to hate the former lot for no reason.

Indian parents spend more time deciding the academic qualification and profession of the kid than a good name for him. That’s why the country has engineers called Jimmy, Tony, Pintu and Rocky. Our society conveniently differentiates individuals on the basis of their academic qualifications and professions. The B.A. or B.Com. guy hardly gets tea or coffee offered at a relative’s place. Not to forget, the one who is pursuing distance education is  disowned by the entire society. This is the same society which made ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘3 Idiots’ churn huge numbers at the box office. But back home, it is always Sharma ji’s son who is a superhero.

This builds up peer pressure among the parents, and the kids also get a taste of it. A relative’s son studying abroad is the best ever measurement metric of success for the Indian parents. The kid is put under constant pressure from the first day itself and is shown a ‘carrot and stick approach’. ‘Study hard for the 10th exams, and you are set.’, ‘Study hard for the 12th exams, and you will get a good college.’, ‘Study hard for the college exams, and you will get the job of your dreams’. This just doesn’t end here! The carrots keep on changing with time, and the stick keeps on growing longer. In the process of having a constant focus on the carrots, one doesn’t realize when he hits a wall called death.

 Most of the things that they teach in schools never find their application in real life. Twelve years since I passed out of school and I still don’t remember the last time I used a differential equation to calculate my grocery bills. The invasion of India by the Mughals has not affected my love for Mughlai dishes in any way. But I still regret not being taught financial management in primary school. 

After all this slogging and getting degrees with jumbled alphabets, you get the biggest blow of your life. The guy who used to steal your homework and tiffin in school now owns a company and he might just hire you so that you now get paid for doing his homework or counting his money because he was bad at maths. The guy who your family never let you play with because he was an ‘arts’ guy now has a bestseller novel in his name. Worse even, the guy who dropped out of the school and introduced you to Naughty America is now a youth president of some XYZ political party. 

In the blind race of grades, you kept on relating achievement and purpose with education. You were busy acquiring knowledge when the others were busy sharpening their skills. You were running to win, and they ran for staying fit. They are fit, and you are now struggling to fit in.

Note: If you realize during your childhood that you are not exceptionally talented or gifted, get formal education. Don’t stay uneducated hoping that you’ll turn out to be Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Dhirubhai Ambani. Stay hungry if you wish, but don’t be foolish.