Yesterday a colleague of mine was rhapsodizing about a Wednesday afternoon well-spent, having got to interview a pretty girl (what is it with men?? why does it all have to begin and end with pretty girls?) and I was lamenting about the need to have more women on the interview panels. That was when I was reminded of my first interview, in the final year of my college life.
The one factor which stands out in my memory from those tense, will-I-ever-get-into-any-company panic-stricken days is BJ. He was the man representing the HR/ people function of our company. As I was telling my colleague, he was one of the principal reasons why I decided to be where I am (I did have another offer, lucrative in terms of the company being among the top notch IT companies in India, but decided to stick with this one, much against the wishes of my dad :))
Apart from the fact that he made each one of us feel absolutely comfortable, what was important was the inspiring way in which he spoke. Asking us the relevant questions he elicited the answer to the primary question in our minds, ‘is this the company where I want to be?’ from us. He clearly elucidated the reasons that set apart our company from the others. More than us being in need of a job, he gave us the assurance that it was the company that was in need of individuals like us. I, for one, believe that the best in an individual comes to fore, at times when somebody places enough trust in him/her to say that they believe he/ she can do the job and do it well. Along with the talk about the work and stuff, he took pains to get us talking about our other interests and spoke at length to us about it. All in all, the interview left us feeling confident and very good about ourselves.
But the story doesn’t end there… due to various reasons the joining date for the bunch of us was put ahead by a few months. All through those days of after-graduation still-not-working state, when we were doubly insecure after all our batch-mates had started work, he patiently and courteously answered every single email and phone call, answering the stupidest of our queries. There were numerous questions and doubts in our minds and he clarified them all. He even took us all on a conducted tour of the office premises when some of us landed up at the spot to get a first hand feel of how the matters stood with regard to our joining etc.
It’s such small nuances and attention to detail that really makes a difference, I think. Not only does it inspire self-confidence, it goes a long way in establishing that loyalty and trust towards the company, which lays the foundation for a long association with a secure sense of belonging. Hence, it’s extremely important, the kind of people who are a part of the interview panel, more so when we go visiting campuses for recruitment.