What company looks in a candidate ?

mba aspirants

All set to enter into the corporate world? You must be excited — and tensed too.  And I am sure several questions must be swimming in your head: which profile to choose, which course to join, which technology to study and, of course, that big fat question — will I get company of my dreams.

Folks, I’ve interviewed a lot of candidates, for my current and previous organization. Amazingly, I fail to understand the thought process of an applicant during the screening process. Essentially they forget most of the tricks taught during their management program.

When we believe Google knows all, you search the web and end up with so many confusing ideas, like what’s your body language telling? Are you showing your real self? Do you have the personality to do the job? Are you resourceful?   These may puzzle you but organizations these days are clever in selecting a candidate.

We usually give a simple case study to solve and judge the candidate on different parameters and surprisingly we find most of them scoring low. I’ve put in my thoughts around 5 big common but so uncommon notions around the interview process which I thought will be helpful for you.

  1. Be smart not over-smart
  • You need to put in all your efforts to ensure you don’t behave like a fool. Perhaps this is an important life lesson. Most people think just to dissect words, by giving wrong references and exchanging peculiar examples will help them crack an interview. They are absolutely clueless about how much the interviewer is silently mocking their idiotism. Basically, detouring never fetches great results.
  • The idea is to answer what has been asked, it’s good to back your statement with an example but the pattern should match. Say you are talking about vendor risk, you should not suddenly jump and link it to payment processing. This confuses the interviewer and put you at risk.
  • The theme is KISS (Keep it simple stupid)
  1. Get off my back 
  • Many candidates are rejected because of their casual attitude to answer the interviewer. Even though they don’t have a fitting reply to a question, their tendency to speak more and eventually digress leads them to a downfall. By telling “I don’t know, but can I come back to you with an answer if required” will make you a bigger and a better person.
  • Don’t steer in a circle to find a corner i.e. by bugging the interviewer with your vague illustrations, lecturing him on the learning you have in your MBA classes will not work.
  • Organizations prefer smart idiots over a stupid genius any day. Perhaps a person, who doesn’t know, can be trained but a person with an incorrect knowledge will be a disaster. Even the great champions acknowledge they don’t know everything.
  • The idea is not to stretch the envelope.
  1. Sell yourself
  • I’ll tell you a secret. Organizations these days are desperate for talented and dynamic professionals. Leaders go an extra mile in terms of compensation, joining date and employee benefits to pull in the right candidate. It’s all about how well you fit the bill and how keen are you to fit the bill. But it’s quite sad to see the applicant miss this loophole.  
  • Be prepared to sell yourself. Applicants should carefully read the job description, research the market dynamics, organization vision, mission and core values. Align your sales pitch in accordance to the Job description. No one knows you better than you. The true sign of intelligence is the imagination to sell.
  • The goal is to sell ice to an Eskimo.
  1. mba graduatesHigh and mighty Attitude
  • Organization accepts that a candidate with a constructive attitude is a rare find. I’ll give you an example. I interviewed a candidate who had amazing communication skills, unexpected domain knowledge and immaculate interpersonal skills but we observed one imperative behavioural characteristic. During the interview process his attitude towards life and work was found to be very indecisive. He hemmed and hawed when we asked direct questions.
  • Organization don’t like when they are kept hanging in the air. They judge you on your attitude. They constantly look if the candidates can handle problems without cribbing, be a potential billable resource and fit in well with the team. You ought to have an attitude which is positive, constructive and inspiring.
  • The notion is don’t carry “devil may-care-attitude”.
  1. Be a Leader
  • One of my all-time favourite sayings is “Leading is like a love affair, every fool can start one but to end it tidily requires considerable skills”. Today organization suffers from a leadership crunch. Business units often complain about the lack of talented people who can lead their vertical. Perhaps they constantly look out for candidates who will lead the team, who will inspire and motivate the team members. This is one quality which gives you an edge over others.
  • You need to show your leadership quotient to the interviewer, request a moment to talk about the activities and initiatives wherein you have demonstrated leadership skills. In those 30 minutes they really want to see the leadership quotient in you. They primarily consider if the candidate can roll up his sleeves and turn the game or if he’s a kind of a person who just enjoys his past laurels.
  • Rally the troops, don’t become a case of blind leading a blind.
  • The mantra is “You can’t make an omelette without breaking the egg”. I’ll prefer a candidate who doesn’t necessarily be a great fit for the role, but if he’s proactive, has the ability to lead, above all has a great attitude towards life. He or she essentially should be a cog in the wheel for the organization.

THINK plenty before taking the plunge. Once you take that leap, start swimming. Don’t let the thought of gain or loss or success or failure distract you. It is important that you play the game seeking the goal you have.

If you act just for the boss at the workplace, you cannot act your role with dedication. Act not for the boss in the cabin but for the Great Boss within.

All the best! I’m sure you will be a great success.

Contributed by Vaibhav Chandra ( Class of 2007-2009IBS HYDERABAD )

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