Thursday, February 16, 2006

Resume switch!

Preparing for interviews used to be exhausting work. Staying up late the night before...memorizing stock prices and the previous quarter financial statement...well not quite...but you get the picture. Generally a quick review through the "About Us" link usually gives one sufficient material to talk about in relating ones innate values with those of the company.

A few weeks after deciding to reject my earlier GE offer, I was glad to recieve numerous interview calls from several consulting and financial firms. Well, I know an interview is far from actually landing that wonderfully thick packet in the mail, but still, its defn a step in the right direction.

Today morning was my first interview of the season with UBS and I was up till 2 last night (well truthfully I only started preparing around 12), looking over the job description in detail and reviewing the company. Unlike several other companies they had a fairly good page on interviewing tips and several humerous anecdotes, as well as, do's and don'ts...which were quite practical and not the generic cliched maxims heard at the usual career counselling seminars.

One story was about how an MBA student accidently spilled red wine on his interviewer during an informal dinner and how he handled the situation fairly well. Instead of panicking he apologized sincerely and laughed about his unfortunate clumsiness. ... interesting read.

So I walk in today fairly well prepared and feeling confident...which is good, I mean, its only my first interview this season.

First shock - two inteviwers squeezed into the tiny interview cabins at our career development center. Damn.... didn't expect to be double-teamed on my first interview. Besides I've never had more than one interviewer in the past.

Allright...its cool...I can handle it. The usual smile, handshake and introductions. A sincere and composed demeanor while looking excited about the interview. Well its not all as superficial as it sounds. I guess once I'm in the room, and for the most part I'm quite excited about the interview.

The interview started with the usual brief about how it would be a behavioral interview and they would be taking notes while asking me questions mostly foccused on my past experiences....yeah yeah.... I've heard it every single time, somehow it still doesn't make me any fonder of behavioral interviews.

Then the interviewer sitting across from me tells me - " Hope you're in the right company, cause I don't think we can do much about helping you get into Microsoft." and hands me my resume.

My eyes glance at my objective and it reads

" ...seeking summer internship as a project manager at Microsoft...."

Yikes ! How the hell could this happen ??

I mean I know my MS resume was up on the CDC website as was my resume for UBS. I'm usually careful about these things...checking, double checking...sometimes to the extent of paranoia. Could it be the system or was it just me clicking on the wrong link when I submitted my resume....... Who cares ?? ... SHIT... Time to Panick!

But even with all of these discordant thoughts at the back of my mind and my heart jumping around....somehow I did impress myself.... I just glanced at it nonchalantly and with a smile handed it back. Shrugged my shoulders... sincerely apologized for whatever reason the switch was caused, with another smile assured them that I was here for the UBS interview and not MS and just sat back composed..waiting for the interview to start.

Prob not the ideal way to go about it....but defn better than stammering and staying nervous for the rest of the interview. And it worked out... cause they asked fairly detailed hardcore behavioural questions and I was pretty satisfied with my answers. All honest and detailed, (didn't have to make up a manically depressed or over dominating team member), concise and well summed up, in my opinion at least.

I'll wait for the final verdict, when I find out if I get selected for the On-Site call in a week. But that was defn an experience !


At Fri Feb 17, 12:00:00 PM GMT-5, Blogger Sujata said...

Yikes!!...I'm scared now...I have some important interviews coming up soon...amazing that you were so cool...I'd probably have dropped something on someone and hightailed outta there...
Hope the rest go well...
Best of Luck!!

At Mon Feb 20, 06:25:00 AM GMT-5, Blogger Hiren said...

Nothing works well all the time but as cricketer Dhoni said, "Confidence is the name of the game".


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