Posted by: alok | February 20, 2006

Placement Season…..

These days we are having placement season. (Between winter and summer seasons, there is a placement season among B-Schools)

Post Day1, after the M’s and the B’s having selected the ‘super brahmins’, it is the turn for some lesser mortals like me 🙂

So what’s a typical interview day like
Wake up by 7 am, wear a suit, and be seen in breakfast room by 8am, as the interview will start from 8:30. However, some students had the audacity to take interviews at 6am in the morning also. Post breakfast, come to SV1 in hot sun, sweating and report for interview 1 15 minutes before time.

The co-ordinator there says “wait, you are in queue”, you wait for 1-2 hours and then receive a call (its a must to share your mobile number with all fellow students – if you want a job) from the co-ordinator of some other firm… “Where the heck have you been? Your interview is scheduled right now”.. You are wondering which firm to give priority to… in a confused state, you flip a coin and go for one of the interviews. After hoping from one room to other, you get a chance to be interview in one of the firms, and here’s the typical interview like:

Interviewer: So, how many interviews so far?
Me: (Thinking: Lost the count, but is forced to say): This is my first interview.
Interviewer: Why don’t you tell us something about yourself?
Me: (Thinking: Didn’t you read the resume, everything’s written there, what a silly questions), but I blabber a well rehearsed 1 minute monologue.
Interviewer: Why MBA?
Me: “Ever since I was born, I was intrigued by the vagaries of business; the kick that i get by solving complex business problem is uncomparable. So after working for 5 years in IT, I felt its a great time to understand business from a ‘HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE’ and I think MBA has been of great help to me”..!!!! (What an impractical answer – the actual reason is purely monetary – in simple words better salary)

(If its a non IT company)
Interviweer: Why do you think you are fit for this role?
Me: (Thinking: You tell me what fit you found in my resume to shortlist me for interview) but i am constrained to say: I have this capability, that capability, I love the challenge that this role offers me, and blah blah…!
Interviewer: You have so much experience in IT, then why (this) company, or industry?
Me: (Thinking: Had I loved IT, why the heck would i have done MBA), but the answer is: “You know, I love (this) industry, is passionate about type of work, the work culture, the ‘learned’ people you work with…..
Interviewer: (Gives some gyan) You know what .. ‘at your age’ (as if I am 55+ and about to retire), You should not think about changing industry, you are already exposed to one domain, build a strong career in that, however if you are still keen on industry, contact our sister concern , and they will eagerly take you.

(Incidentally, the interview with the ‘sister concern’ was also the same 🙂

(If its an IT company)
Interviewer: Why (this) company, why not go back to Cognizant?
Me: I am indifferent between Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, Satyam, TCS, and the likes… it will be very similar role, and similar compensation. All are same for me.
Interviewer: Thank You .. It was nice talking to you.
(So quick, concise and precise).

Go through this ordeal 7-8 times in a day. And on way back to room, contemplate.. what did I do wrong? I got chucked out for telling the truth, I got chucked out for ‘tailoring’ my responses.

Stare at the laptop, and wait for interview schedules for the next day. Mail comes… holy shit.. its again the same, so many companies, so many shortlists, so its going to be the same day tomorrow….!!!! The greatest hope is…” Once all the toppers, stud guys, are through, then I stand a very good chance”.
Go to sleep with these optimistic thoughts for the day ahead.



  1. Hey Alok,

    I guess….jus saying the truth doesnt really work out sometimes… esp wen u ulet them know that TCS, Cognizant are all same 4 u….ya they may be but u have to also put ur self in the interviewer’s shoes and see y he shld pick u…..maybe the punchline for their specific co. might work…..
    well dats jus my prospective…..
    then again i cld be wrong…but i feel u shld show them YY u wanna work w. X,Y or watever co. it is….

  2. Alok…

    Hang in there…you will get into a good place…Trust me!!!!

  3. From an alum (2003) —
    I am not saying this just to perk u up. believe me I was i think one of the very last persons to be placed in my batch, and that too in a not so sexy IT co. A couple of my classmates also didn’t land any jobs till the very end. But, trust me, we have done REALLY REALLY well in our careers so far. One of them is now second in line in command in a business unit in Infy. The other is with a SEXY IT co in Blore (which is also on campus this year, and i gather is on of the “hot” jobs in ISB this year) As for me, without sounding too boastful, I can safely say if things go according to plan (still keeping my fingers crossed) any of my batchmates including all those guys who typically make the ET headlines for circuit braking salaries would probably give an arm for the job that I could be shortly landing…
    so, keep pegging away dude. marriages and b-school jobs are made in heaven. the rest is a process of discovery…

  4. Hey Alum, Vaibhav and Anonymous,

    Thanks a lot for your encouragement. I agree with you that recruiters will want to hear nice words about their company, but at the same time, I believe that the firm should value one’s honesty.

    Even in my engineering college days, in an interview with Cognizant, I had told them.. “I have no particular fascination for your firm, for me its just the beginning of my career”. Incidentally the recruiter liked my answer.

    Same I did in a company called Symphony 3 years back..”I am looking for a change purely for higher package – if your offer is 50% more than my current offer, I will accept it” Intererstingly, I got the offer though I didn’t accept it, as it was not 50% higher 🙂

    The point I am trying to make is, you will stick with the firm for long ony if you have joined it on a positive note.

    Dear Alum, congrats for your new fabulous job.. I liked your statement.. “marriages and b-school jobs are made in heaven. the rest is a process of discovery…”…!!!!

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