The alarm clock was ringing consistently.
Sumit woke up with a start, put in on snooze and pulled the pillow over his head. Ten minutes later it rang again. This time around he sat up on the bed. Realization suddenly dawned upon him.
It was D Day.
His interview was scheduled at 10.30 a.m. at one of the top MNCs.
In spite of having proper qualification and adequate knowledge, nervousness and anxiety gripped him as this was his first interview. He had made extensive preparation by making lists of probable questions that he may have to face and rehearsing suitable answers for them standing in front of a mirror. Time had come to display those skills.
He got up from the bed and headed for the shower determined to prove himself.
Sumit knew that he had to appear professional and well groomed to make a favorable impression at the interview. Thus a shave was also needed. He also knew that he could never appear in an interview in a pair of jeans and a T shirt.
However, coming from a lower middle class background did not help matters much as he was at a loss as to how to dress properly. He had a limited number of shirts and none seemed suitable for wearing at a business meeting.
He shared his plight with his friend and neighbor Ajay who came to his rescue.
Ajay decides to lend him an ironed and clean formal shirt and a matching trouser. Sumit wore them, polished his shoes. A mild deodorant helped him feel fresh.
Finally having his confidence restored a bit, Sumit set out.
Travelling by bus he arrived at the venue fifteen minutes earlier. Given the traffic situation of the city, he did not wish to be late for the very first interview of his life.
He smiled at Rita, the receptionist who greeted and directed him to a seat at the lounge where many other aspirants were waiting for their turn.
After about an hour he was called for the interview.
Sumit knocked at the door and was asked to enter. Three interviewers were seated at an oval table and were busy discussing something amongst themselves.
“Good Morning”, Sumit greeted them with a smile.
Nobody seemed to notice his presence. He waited for a minute, but received no response yet from anyone.
“May I take the seat”, Sumit politely asked.
Now he was granted permission and the CEO, IT Head and HR Manager introduced themselves.
Drops of perspiration were trickling down Sumit’s forehead. The CEO said, “Would you like to have some water before we start?”. Sumit took his seat and sipped from the glass of water offered. It helped to calm down his mind and he felt to ready to face the first question.
It was the question that he had expected.
“Tell us something about himself”, said the HR Manager.
Sumit spoke about his qualifications at length which made him a good fit for the position in IT for which he had applied. Being a fresher he did not have major professional achievements to showcase but he had lead a team for a project on IT at college. Under his leadership the team had won at the college competition and his efforts had been praised by all.
Next it was the turn of the IT Manager who quizzed him, “What is your greatest strength? Any weaknesses that you would like to share with us ?”
Sumit replied that he was a quick learner and determination to achieve time bound goals had always been a priority in his life. Also clear multilingual communication skills helped him to collaborate with diverse people.
He had read somewhere that it was important to put a positive spin on a perceived weakness. Thus he said that being a highly detail oriented person, his attention to details in his job ensured that the quality of work he produced was always top notch.
At this point the CEO took over and asked him point blank, “Why do you want this particular job? Why have you chosen to apply for a role in our company? “
Sumit replied that he loved information technology as a subject and had in depth knowledge in it. He also kept himself up to date on the latest developments in the field.
He had also done extensive research on the MNC before applying. Thus it was easy for him to speak about the annual turnover, name of managing director, number of branches, current projects that it was working on, etc. He also mentioned that it had always been his dream to work for that renowned MNC.
Having all this information at his fingertips proved Sumit’s zeal and enthusiasm to work for that particular brand.
For a sales role someone else might say that he had a gift of the gab and can effectively convince people. Or for a customer support role one may say that he loves the continuous human interaction and the satisfaction of solving someone’s problem.
Sumit had tried to appear attentive, responsive and display enthusiasm as well as a courteous manner all the while maintaining eye contact with the interviewers. He shook hands with them and thanked them for their valuable time.
The interviewers responded by saying that they also enjoyed meeting him and if he was selected he would be contacted shortly.