Job Interview – The Right Answers?

800 371 Kamal Karanth

Are there Job Interview questions that have no meanings, but we still continue to ask? I wonder about the consequences if we could give the real answers that come to our mind than what they want to hear!  Just Imagine if we answered with the following answers in the interview

1. What do your parents do?

A: You want to hire them or me? πŸ€”

2. Are you married?

A. Are you running a marriage bureau?

3. How many children do you have?

A: Seriously?πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

4. Does your spouse work, and where?

A: Will I get a higher salary if s/he is not working?πŸ˜‡

5. Any particular reason only your team was laid off?

A: I am also trying to figure that out, dude!🀨

6. If you are so career-oriented, why are you on a break for six months?

 A: There is something called β€˜life’ that I had to attend to so that I can be my best in my new job

7. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

 A: When will you guys grow up? Can’t read up some new questions?πŸ˜†

8. Why should we hire you?

A: If you don’t know, then why am I here?🀐

9. What’re your hobbies?

 A. Attending job interview

10. Where is your home town?

A: Wherever I get my next job

11. Where do you intend to be 5 years from now?

A: if I get this job I want to fire you one day so that 5 years from now I   would be in your seat and asking more intelligent questions.

12. You are returning to work after 5 years. After this long maternity break, will you be able to cope with the work pressure?

A: Have you delivered 2 babies, managed them, the spouses, parents, and In-Laws?🀫

13: Now that you have taken a break and returning to work, you will have to start at the same salary where you left as that’s the last work experience you have

A: Would you have offered the same if it’s you or your spouse or sibling?

Some of these questions have very little relevance to the job that is being offered & they continue to have an impact on the selection process!

I am as guilty as many of you on this front.

Performance Vs Behaviour

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Are performance and bad #behaviours two sides of the same coin? Otherwise how else do you explain the behaviours of most top performers in organisations too? Should we say, its pure jealousy of the lesser mortals due to the adulation around the top performers?

Carefully look at your colleagues who are superstars in terms of their performance. The best design engineers, sales toppers, doctors with maximum patients or anybody whom your employers label as #superstars. Besides the confidence arising out of their current success, there are a few more striking things that are invariably noticeable.

i. β€˜I know everything’ attitude, poor listening skills
ii. Scant respect to systems and processes. Will always be last to submit reports. Furthermore, they are quite likely to be late or don’t show up to calls.
iii. Poor interpersonal skills with peers. You will find them mostly in bosses cabins.
iv. Name dropping. Their access to leaders gives them privileged information and they tend to show it.

Resign and Stay Back? The repercussions!

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Some of us resign and regret, some of us stay back after quitting and then regret. Which one are you?

Have you resigned and then stayed back?

I think many things change in the next phase of stay after you offered to quit or threatened to leave and then got retained.

So, how does the work context change on these fronts?

Your own mindset

Once you have shot this resignation arrow and stay back, every time you have a bad day or a moment are you likely to regret the decision of having stayed back. Every time you want to make an argument against any decesion you may tend to step back feeling a sense a grattitude for your employer/boss who retained you.

Your Boss

Your supervisor is likely to think of you as somebody who can quit again. HR would work with this at the back of their mind even thinking of replacement options should you resign again?

 Counter offer

Lets say you stayed as your current employer matched your 50% salary hike of a competitor. Would you be under pressure to perform better?

Only we deserve every new role and promotion?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
When my boss announced my peer’s posting at Hq as the new Product Head I was dumbstruck. Though he was my best friend I did not like the ‘news’. Every time a promotion or an external hire for a new role is announced whats your typical reaction? I always felt surprised or shocked if that announcement wasn’t me πŸ™‚ Some of the organizations broadcast new roles and call for internal applicants, assess them, interview and painstakingly give feedback to people whom they think aren’t ready yet. Many Employers still do internal ‘black box’ consultations and announce their new appointee. Sometimes, we get to know from the market that an external search is on. I worked in both kinds of employers and benefitted from both processes. However, when I used to get promoted without a transparent announcement of the role or a formal assessment process I ‘felt’ my peers looked at me with suspicion. It made me feel as though the bosses favored me. But, the self-righteousness in me eventually used to lead to euphoria. No doubt that for every role/promotion, there are always multiple deserving candidates. But, in our ‘diary’ only we deserve every new role and promotion? Btw, that ex-colleague is today based overseas and heads a billion dollar biz of a pharma MNC.

On your last day at work, what are your emotions?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
On your last day at work, what are your emotions like? Relieved/Heavy? There she was ‘dressed up’ like never before and full of energy. I should say I had never seen her so happy before. I asked her what the occasion was, “today is my last day here” she replied. I couldn’t hold myself and asked, “seems like you are so happy to leave us, are we so bad? Does our last day emotion depend on ‘why’ we are leaving or our ‘next’ destination? I reckon its a combination of both. If we are leaving a place which was a nightmare I am sure its a huge hashtagrelief. It sure calls for a celebration. But, an additional factor can also be about the excitement of our new role, employer or salary. It goes without saying that we join every job with the hope that its a step up to our career. That compensates for any sadness of leaving the previous job. Send-offs today are more a celebration than teary-eyed farewells that they once were. Maybe becoz leaving nowadays is common & hence whatever emotional quotient attached might have lost its relevance. The friendly colleagues are not missed due to Whatsapp, FB or instagram. The friends at work are happy that you got something better and they can talk/meet you more freely. The happiness of your foes needs no explanation πŸ™‚

Your sales guys walk with a chip on their shoulders

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Your sales guys walk with a chip on their shoulders and have the tendency to cheese you off? Are they also likely to walk away with all the limelight in the organisation? Do they have better access to the C-suite in your organisation? The leadership team tends to give in to all their demands? You are in operations and slog long hours to fulfill customer demands and feel short-changed when it comes to fair treatment, incentives or recognition? In your opinion sales-guys have scant respect for internal processes, they are only interested in their customers getting what they want. You must have wondered how they are able to build good relationships with customers when they behave like jerks internally with their own colleagues? This Operations vs Sales has been an evergreen battlefield. When I used to sell products I felt my manufacturing peers never understood sales needs. When I got into services Industry my opinions did not change either. When operations became part of my team I saw the other side of the coin. But, Heart of my heart, that bias for salespeople continues πŸ™‚ I say that becoz of the man in the mirror? Or Sales-people really need special treatment to ensure their ego is kept high to earn the organisation’s livelihood?

Do you work next to your boss?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Do you work next to your boss & you feel liberated when s/he isn’t around?

On a Friday evening, I was at a #theatre for a late night movie & I bumped into my boss who was also there with his family. Next day, when he summoned for a review of my #sales activities I couldn’t call it a coincidence. It was my first managerial job and I started to envy all my peers who were posted outside the regional headquarters. That day I swore never to work again in the same location as my boss.

Fast forward a few years, I was heading a branch in another firm; the cricket world cup was on. I got the TV from my home and installed in the office hallway. One of those days our Director came to my office unannounced. Nervously, I looked out of the office to see my colleagues enjoying cricket, Even before I could react, she shook hands in appreciation & said “I like the way you engage the team” That day I wanted to tell the world that one shouldn’t miss working at the Headquarters.

Should your boss always be better than you?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Should you boss always bebetter than you in your area of work? Is that the most important reason for which you will respect him/her? I always felt disadvantaged as most of my bosses were more skilled than me. I did not have a great relationship or liking for some of my bosses. But, being a sales guy for a significant part of my career I have to admit that most of my bosses were damn good with customers. Once, my team member said he didn’t want to take his boss to sales meetings. His explanation: The boss was not making any difference to the meeting but was insisting he should be taken to client calls. Sales contexts are unique, your bosses can get found out if they cant convince a customer. The best part is that the action happens in your presence. I used to take my bosses to the toughest customers for some sadistic kicks. But, guess what! my bosses used to make a mark there too. My rationalisation! hierarchy matters and the customer listens more with bosses  πŸ™‚ If you are in Technology or any other Industry would your expectation be any different? You expect your boss to be more knowledgeable than you in various technologies?  Are bosses expected to be Gurus who know everything or facilitators who bring the best out of you?

Do you take a Flight to work every Monday?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Do you take a Flight to work every Monday? Flight? Yes, it’s a Monday and it’s likely some of your colleagues have taken a flight to be at work. How do they look at work? Tired for sure! Some senior executives work in one city during the week and live their weekend in another city. Working spouses, Ageing parents, school growing children have made career mobility complicated.Therefore, we negotiate leadership roles within the organization or with new employers in this travel mode. Employers also believe this 5-day appearance in the so-called ‘city of work’ is a win-win. I believe this is neither in the interest of the employee nor the employer.  Mondays & Fridays are spent on semi-sleep, part breakfast and adrenalin pumping travel ( Packing, Uber to the airport, Check-In, Security, Boarding, Deplaning rush, baggage wait, Ola search to reach office/home). How do you think these travelers fare on both days?  Mondays are about reaching the hotel in the evening for the rest. Fridays you are homesick and the travel anxiety to reach home takes over. So, its a kind of 3 days workweek for this full-time traveling executives. I have been there and I wish I could say “Done That” I think I was Unproductive.  Maybe I was an outlier!

Ex-Colleagues as Customers: Good or Bad?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Ex-Colleagues as Customers: Advantage or Disadvantage? Business prospects become easier when there are known faces. To start with you don’t have to give sales pitches, you don’t begin with a zero. The element of familiarity should be comforting. But, if the familiarity is because the prospective customers are ex-colleagues would it be an advantage?  I would say it depends on your past Karma πŸ™‚   Many of my peers, bosses, team members are in influential roles. They are either CEOs, VPs, Directors or Senior Managers of large corporates. I was very proud of this vast network when I quit my last job. As an entrepreneur who was intending to build a staffing company, I thought this alumni network is an advantage.  The last year this network has been on trial πŸ™‚ The Good news is people still pick up my calls πŸ™‚ But, Some emails go nowhere, few WhatsApp messages evoke a response but no outcome.  That’s when I realize this long professional journey has had unknown casualties. Then I ask myself how come I did not realize the quality of my relationships over the last 2 decades.   At the same time, I can’t deny the overwhelming support received from many ex-colleagues at the same time. I am sure you would agree that what goes around comes around πŸ™‚