A Rant on Indian Interview System

interviewIt’s not that i hate interviews. They are a must part of hiring process. But, I find things glaringly different in the way they are conducted in India and Overseas. With years of experience under my belt and having worked for a couple of companies so far, I had the opportunity to attend Indian and Overseas interviews for jobs. Really, I find the Indian interview system really ridiculous.  I have attended a few interviews for my consulting projects with the current company. Leaving the results of the interviews,  i found the entire interview process really stupid. Here is me, talking to all my interviewers so far:

1. Please read the CV of the person carefully. It will tell you very clearly the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses too. If you think the weakness is too big to ignore, PLEASE DON’T CALL THEM FOR AN INTERVIEW. It is not your job to tell the interviewee where they lack, they already know. May be, chances are they are already working on them.

2. If you think the candidate’s skill set matches with your requirements, highlight the areas you need them to be good at and grill them at it. See if they can satisfy you with the requirements. If the role is functional, please ask functional things. If the role is purely technical – start asking coding and design questions.

3.  PLEASE DON’T ASK QUESTIONS only because you assume they need to always asked as part of the discussion. For a Program Leading role, isn’t it funny to ask the candidate if they know the “CONNECT BY PRIOR” clause in Oracle?  Alright, if you must – ask them.  But, don’t belittle them if they don’t know. Its ok to not know the answers to everything you have worked in your career.

4. With the advent of new age google and old age human brain, people can learn things and gather information on the go. If the candidate cannot answer something in the interview, that just means that he needs 5 minutes of time and an internet connected browser OR a 2 minute phone call to the person who knows the answer. People know what they know, and most of the times they know from whom they can know what they want to know. So, PLEASE GIVE A BREAK and before you put your pen down for the feedback – think if they can achieve what you want by google. If yes, close your eyes, leave a deep breath and just leave the feedback floating in the air.

5. End of the day – CAN WE PLEASE LOOK AT A PERSON AS A WHOLE, other than a body with a coding capabilities? It’s disgusting.  If people must learn coding, they will. If you are interviewing me for a senior management position, and I cannot decide between a fork and a thread process – do I disqualify?

I think the Indian Interview System places too much emphasis on things that are absolutely not required for the job and they think the interviewee must know regardless. CODING!  If you cannot remember all your SQL / PL/SQL commands and start uttering out C++ / Java code – no amount of experience will help you out from the Interviewee’s illogical questions.

My humble request to all the interviewers conducting the interview:

1. Please grill the person on technical aspects only if you really require them for the job. Otherwise, ask them and check if they can. Otherwise, please trust Google to do the job for them as the entire world does.

2. Conduct the interview based on what they are good at. If you are not good at what they are – please prepare yourself.  It is not the interviewee’s problem to be good at what you are working on. If they are kickass perfect in whatever they are working at the moment and they prove themselves in the interview to be a good learner – they can do your job. Afterall, your company is not launching a mission critical satellite into the space, is it?

Have a good day and keep rocking guys!

* Image Credit : www.careerealism.com

Author: Saraswathi Pulluru

Aham Bhrahmasmi.

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