Sunday, December 5, 2010

Facing the (On/Off) Campus Recruitment Interview(part 3) – Questions and Answers.

Hi All! If you thought that I have forgotten my promise, here it is what I promised. Part1 and Part2 of this series have received the most hits so far, which makes me certain that many of you are very much interested in getting jobs! And why not.. everyone needs it… so once again, here I am to share with you my experiences.In this post we’ll deal with answering the Questions of the HR Round.

Question 1. Tell me about yourself.
Importance of the Question: Anyone would like to know who they are hiring. This question can be a part of the Technical Round too. This is the most asked question in any interview.
What they are looking for: A brief about where you come from, what you like, how you are as a human being. What are your good qualities. Apart from your technical knowledge how are your socializing skills.

My answer: I come from a small town called Saraipali in Chhattisgarh-Orissa border. My parents weren’t able to afford education for me and my brother  and so I was brought up by my maternal grandparents and maternal aunts. I was topper of the class throughout my schooling and won many awards in Sports, Music, GK, Aptitude, Elocution competitions at District and State Levels. My aunts thought that I had potential and sent me to Bangalore for 11th & 12th. I was kind of scared to go to Bangalore, as it was a big city and a new place and I wanted to take up arts, while my aunts forced me to take up maths; still I comfortably managed. Luckily, the same year, my college started started IIT-JEE coaching in association with Bangalore Academy of Specialized Education (BASE). I topped the entrance test and got the coaching for free. IIT was a new thing for me. I had never heard of it before. After two years in Bangalore I got homesick and decided to join NIT Raipur where my maternal grandparents lived.

I saw the condition there and I was unhappy with the placements and the branch –ECE- which once again was selected by my aunts. I decided to quit NIT Raipur and make my own decisions. Then I joined BIT Mesra with a branch of my choice- IT. I am pretty happy with that decision. I had no idea of computers and technology prior to joining BIT Mesra. All that I know today, I learned during my engineering years.

What I actually told them:
  1. I know financial management
  2. I can make my own decisions
  3. I learn pretty fast
  4. I am a good orator
  5. I am intelligent - atleast a little bit.
  6. Most important – I can adapt to changes.

    Question 2. Tell me 2 of your strengths.
     Importance of the Question: I guess all of us know why this question is very important. They need to hire someone with extra-ordinary talent or an ordinary person with an extra-ordinary focus and determination.
    What they are looking for: How will my strengths help their organization. And am I really good enough to join their organization.

    My answer: (After thinking for sometime, to make them feel that I haven’t already mugged up the answer!, I did not mug it up, but I did know what to say). I am very good at finishing the job before deadlines. Even when the schedules are tight and I have lots of things to do. I can reduce my sleep, cut down my other activities, but some how I manage to do the job. Actually it often happens that I don’t get sleep if I don’t complete a job at hand.

    Secondly, I really love to learn new things and try to apply to my job at hand. As an example, I was learning Computer System Architecture and Vedic Mathematics at the same time. I got the idea of using vedic algorithms in computers and in hardware to speed up processing. That’s how my research work started.

    What I actually told them:
    1. I know time management
    2. I am a bit workaholic
    3. I know stress management
    4. I am a good and fast learner
    5. I got good application skills
    6. I am doing a research work in CSA
    Note: they had asked me only 2 of my strengths!

    Question 3 Tell me 2 of your weaknesses.
    Importance of the Question: Pretty important. Everyone should know what their weaknesses are. You are human and definitely you have your weaknesses. If only you know your weakness, you can get it right.
    What are they looking for: Do you know your weakness? Do you dare to accept them publicly? And if you know, what are you doing to overcome them?

    My answer: Sir can the weakness be a bit personal? (Again to make them feel that I am thinking!) The answer usually is either a ‘Yes’ or ‘Tell me whatever you feel’.
    Sir, my first weakness is my Health. I am asthmatic and highly allergic to smoke and dust. Though that makes my parents less worried, coz they know I am not going for Smoking or Drinking, but it often affects my work and my exam scores. However, I realized that Exercising and Yoga helps to control them and now its somewhat under control.

    As for the second weakness, I would say, I found out during organizing events for my club – Microsoft Software & Technology Club. I realized, howsoever honest and dedicated I may be, howsoever hard I work, there will always be a group of individuals who do not like my working style or are not happy with the way things are, who will be unsatisfied. I realized I can’t eliminate such people, but if I talk to them as a friend I can definitely reduce their numbers.

    What I actually told them:
    1. My major problem is Asthma, which is not as big after all
    2. I can look towards the brighter sides of my problems.
    3. I know the importance of HR Management
    4. I am honest and dedicated to my work
    5. I have a club and so I got organizational skills
    6. I try to keep the group together.
    7. I know my weaknesses and I am trying to work it out.
    Note: They had asked me two of my weaknesses!

    Question 4 Tell me about your most recent project.
    Importance of the Question: Its tells them what kind of work you are doing.
    What they want to know: What are you really interested in. How much you have learnt. Are you just a book worm or you got some creativity?

    My answer: Depends on the job profile. I am not discussing it here, since most of the times I need to explain it to them using pen and paper. You can mention your project focussing on – why you undertook the project? Why are you into such a topic? How much you know? How will that help you in your career.

    Question 5: Give me one reason why should I hire you?
    Importance of the Question: Most important question! It also tells them about your presence of mind.
    What are they looking for:  Why should they hire you!

    My answer: I am a good learner and pretty much committed and focussed to the job at hand. When I am doing my job, I am doing the job!

    P.S. All the answers are what I have given in my interviews and they are the answers that came straight from my heart during my first interviews and I got the reward as:
    1. Selection as MSP (it was an all India exam during my time)
    2. Marketing internship offer at Microsoft - in just One interview round!
    3. Placement at Samsung India Electronics R&D Lab (the only company till date, that allowed me to sit for OnCampus placements, due to my 6.56 Absolute CGPA.)