This is not a post but nostalgia. This post is actually a transcript of the first interview of my life. It was for a top Indian Software Consultancy Company (referred to as “XYZ” from now on). I remember that it was July 9th, 2001 and it was a really rainy day in Bombay. While coming to the college I was totally drenched and was looking rather distraught! I cleared the aptitude test and then came the Big One – The Interview!
I went to the interview thinking that i wanted to completely screw up the interview (coz I was interested in some other company) so i went there casually dressed with a demonic smile on my face >:-) . In hindsight, I think the way I appeared for this interview was really gutsy for me and I probably couldn’t have done that had I been craving to get a job in this company. Here is the transcript of the interview.

XYZ: So Mr Rajat … tell me about urself and ur family in *short*
Me : In the year 1980 i was born in allahabad and spent the initial yrs of mylife in blah blah blah ….and completed my schooling in Shree Ram Welfare Society’s High School, Andheri(W), Mumbai . therafter i went to Sathaye College….(blah blah blah) and i came to this college thinking that this college would be good.
XYZ: & how did u find this college?
Me : (thinkin for a while and then with a heavy heart ) ok !
XYZ: Rajat y did u chose our company (XYZ) instead of other companies.
Me : i did not choose XYZ i’ve just come for this interview ! In fact u guys have come to our college (for on-campus placements) i haven’t come for this interview.
XYZ: but would u like to join our co.?
Me: i’ve come for this interview ! what does this indicate to u?
XYZ: give me one reason why u want to join XYZ?
Me: i don’t want join XYZ… i’ll goto any other co. that comes next…as a matter of fact any other co. will take me!
XYZ: Mr Rajat in this form (these guys had given us a form to fill in whichwe were supposed to write the salary we desired which i forgot to fill… oops faux pas ? well not quite) which we have given to u , uhaven’t mentioned the salary u want…. what r ur expectations?
Me : I want more!
XYZ: MORE !%#$%$#$ y do u want more?
Me: because i know i’m worth it!
XYZ: u say so but it is for us to see whether u r worth it!
Me: put me to test and i’ll prove i’m worth it !
XYZ: but why do u want more ?
Me : everybody wants more so what is wrong if i want more!(the guy seems to be pissed off to my delight)
XYZ: but u must be having some expectations , don’t u?
Me : yes of course , i have . but u r not gonna live up to them. u had made it quite clear the salary u’ll be offering to us … so it doesn’t matter what my expectations are u r gonna give only what *you* want to give us , so there rests the matter.
XYZ: tell me about this person whom u know & works in XYZ.
Me : He is my cousin and he stays at andheri.
XYZ: so what have u heard from him about our co. ?
XYZ: but u might have heard something at least!!!!!
ME : we meet at social gatherings and the last thing we want to speak about is XYZ!!!
XYZ: ok tell me about ur project … this assembler
Me : blah blah blah
XYZ: ok … so in ur form u write u want “A GOOD NETWORKING PROJECT PREFERABLY BASED ON NETWORK SECURITY” . what do u know about networking?
XYZ: (a very surprised Mr. Sleepy said) NOTHING !?!? then how can u say u want a project in it?
Me: well , i’ve attended a few seminars @ IIT and it ensured me that that was the only field i’m interested in.
XYZ: then ur interest may change after studying the subject!
Me : No, it won’t change!!!!
XYZ: wat do u know bout networkin?
Me: latest happenings … blah blah blah
XYZ: suppose that we don’t have a project in network securities for you then what will u do?
Me: i have written that it is my ambition to work on a networking project…AMBITIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS FULFILLED.
XYZ: Rajat … there is a rule in ur college that if u get 1 co. u r noteligible for the rest.we offer u 16k .. so if tomorrow infosys comes and offers u 20k wat will u do?
Me : I WILL GO !!!!!
XYZ: u’ll go !?! that means you are after money ?
Me : who said that !? i never said that ! i want more money but more important than that is the work environment & the kind of projects i get. if i getbetter projects there i’ll go money is secondary but still important .
XYZ: (as if trying to juistify a lesser salary) u know rajat that on paper their (Infosys) salary may look large but 20% blah blah blah ….. 12.5 % blahblah blah …6% blah blah blah … (and lots more statistics which lasted foran eternity as far as my viewpoint goes)
XYZ: do u realise that XYZ has a 3yr. service agreement or u r chargedRs.50,000/- . what are your feelings about that?
Me : it is absolutely wrong.
XYZ: why?
Me: The word “bond” itself says that u r “bound” to the co. no matter what.
XYZ: that is why we don’t call it a “bond” we call it a “service agreement”.
Me: ok…that’s just another name for it. i personally think that instead of”binding” people to ur co. u should create such an environment that people like to stay in ur co. with their wishes and so the co. will benefit if peoplework with their wishes.
XYZ: do u havre any questions for us?
Me: yes , sir i do! in ur qns a few minutes back u mentioned infosys and in ur pre-placement talks u said u r no.1 software co. of india. how can u say thatwhen all that we see in the newspapers is infosys and with u comparing urself to infosys?
XYZ: infosys is 12% blah blah blah … 19% blah blah blah …(and lots morestatistics that made me feel as miserable as our indian cricket team witheverything out of control)does that answer ur qn?
Me: ya! sir may i ask another question ?
XYZ: ya sure! (with some uneasiness)
Me: sir, this yr. we have seen our seniors get whole lot of “back out” letters! what r ur feelings about that?
Me: i mean r u people going to do the same with us?
XYZ: (i think this was it and he lost his complete cool and he pointed to me & said sternly) till this date our company has not given any “back-out” letters to anybody.
Me: Thank u .sir. it was a pleasure!

This was the first interview of my life and I ended up getting selected for this company. It was a great experience working there and I realized that money is not everything! At the end of it I think I was not rude but dangerously honest in giving my answers and this plan could have backfired on me but it didn’t … may be I was lucky or may be this was destiny!