“There is no substitute for hard work”, this certainly holds true for Umesh, our guest for today. An MBA from Gujarat University landing in the city of dreams, Mumbai and making a name and fame for himself through determination and perseverance. Umesh believes in being the student of life. Thank you, Umesh for agreeing to do this interview. We are certain that your journey will inspire many youngsters and give them the confidence to follow their dreams. Thank you.
We would be pleased to learn about your journey from the beginning. So, please share with us about your first job interview.
What a moment that was! I came to Mumbai (A land of opportunity) from Gujarat in July 2000 to try out my luck. It was my passion and desires to do something in life, which I carried with me.
After a ‘no-response’ period of three months from wherever I applied, finally I got an interview call. I had applied to the company directly.
While, I was excited about the opportunity, I was also feeling nervous and tense. I read my MBA notes of the subject. I also collected maximum information about the Company.
I have always been a religious so, before the interview, I also went to the temple to seek blessings of almighty and prayed for success.
I was called for the interview in the late evening and was supposed to meet the Head-HR however, I ended up meeting a junior guy who asked me a number of questions right from “why I came to Mumbai from Gujarat?”, “how I would be able to cope up with fast life of Mumbai?”, “how I would contribute to the Company being a fresher?” (Why should a company invest in me), “how was I keeping myself updated about developments in the field of HR?” etc.
Following a discussion, that lasted for more than an hour with the Executive – HR, finally Head-HR met me to complete the formality and asked some basic questions.
After initial hiccups, I could gain confidence and did better than my expectations. It was my first experience of the corporate interview and I consider myself lucky for getting a first-ever break with a manufacturing company.
Thankfully, before I reached home, there was a call from the Company that I was selected and could join immediately!
I was feeling jubilant like I got everything in the world!
Which, according to you was the most intriguing interview? Can you share your experience in detail?
Fortunately, I have appeared for very few interviews so far in my career. Each interview has been learning for me as a candidate as well as an HR professional (learning from the interviewer sitting on the other side of the table).
I always remember one interview wherein I got an opportunity to meet President – Human Capital of a very large Corporate. Though the interview started very late in the evening, it lasted for almost two hours.
He had studied my resume thoroughly and made his notes before the interview. He remembered each & every word including some spelling mistakes I made. As I was meeting a renowned personality, I was a bit nervous; however, he put me at so much of ease in the first five minutes itself. For rest of the time, I experienced the process like a discussion than an interview. I learned this quality and I try to inculcate it in each & every interview I conduct right from an office assistant to someone at CXO level.
The interviewer was very clear about the expectation from this role viz-a-viz my profile. He started discussing the Recruitment process and grilled me to check my thoroughness and he repeated the same methodology for the Performance Management system. My answers had been to the point which he liked & appreciated. He also corrected me when he found me going wrong.
Entire discussion took me back to the theoretical knowledge I gained during my MBA and how I applied my knowledge at the workplace, what is the relevance & importance of each aspect and my personal views/choices. After this, whichever interviews I have appeared so far; have never put me under any kind of pressure as it changed my perspective of looking at the interview process.
The first job is a major milestone for many people. Let’s discuss your first year at the job. How was your experience? What were your expectations for your job and your role? Were they all fulfilled? What didn’t coincide with your expectation?
Yes, truly it was a major milestone of my career and today whatever success I have achieved I owe to my first job.
Frankly speaking, I had no fancy expectations for the job & role but I was looking for a career break and learning opportunity. I considered each activity, be it filing or taking a photocopy, as learning in my career. There were some issues with Workers Union and I was involved in supporting role. We had to enter office before 6.00 am and carry out many activities silently. I also went to post office and stamped envelopes which were to be delivered to workmen. There were times when I was involved in preparing salary & wages in absence of our payroll person. A thrilling beginning of my career!
I do cherish those moments even today and I share with my team members with pride.
Fortunately, I did not carry any myths about the workplace during college days hence I went to work with an open slate which resulted in viewing everything as an opportunity.
As a Principal Consultant, Sanjeev is credited with pioneering best practice HR systems and processes for clients. As a Talent Strategist, Sanjeev partners with organizations hiring managers to find, select, and hire top talent which provides a foundation for organization’s future growth
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