Category Archives: Work

Success Theory – Delivering Interview

Rahul Krishna,Manager – Talent Acquisition Group, Espire Infolabs, speaks about the secret of getting selected in job interviews. 

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With the unhappy state of the economy, most of us are looking for a new career Opportunity. You need to have an approaching & compelling resume; you also have to beat out a rising number of qualified candidates on the same position who are your strong contenders. I would suggest on how we can create a probability and have strong chances to get shortlisted and not falling in the below 10 job interview mistakes we do…

01. Arriving Late

We cannot afford to be late or arriving casually late won’t score much. Make sure to show up 10-15 minutes prior to notify receptionists upon you have reached. Getting to the interview early will allow you to familiarize yourself with an alien environment, and gives a sign about your positive personality & Traits.

02. Being Unpretentious
Humbleness is good; however it would not guarantee you get a job. Your interview is getting a chance to manage your weakness & utilize you strengths and accomplishments. Making sure to focus on accomplishments that are more relevant to the position applied. The interviewer should know about your capability when it comes to close the position internally.

03. Deliver the Interview

Only some candidates are able to go till the interview stage, so relax and enjoy the ride. Be prepared to be grilled for up to an hour and avoid glancing at your watch or asking how long the interview will last, since it gives a negative impression.

04. Don’t talk about the Salary
This is considered irrelevant to discuss salary details until you’ve been offered. Bringing up the topic too soon will convince the interviewer about your greed in money rather than knowing more about the Job. Like the way you should never ask the age of a Lady, never start the salary discussion.

05. Do your homework well
Ideally you get time to prepare for your interview, so it is better to know about the company. You should also read about the comments mentioned in Google to have an extended knowledge on the existing employees’ comments. Watch their website and their service offerings, how many office do they have worldwide. Update your resume to highlight the skills most important.

06. Talking too much
A popular belief that the interview is all about you. NO, it is also to hear about the company you’re joining. It is god to zip your lips for minutes at a time or otherwise you will be labeled as a needy. It’s also important to be careful about the subjects you discuss. Although the interviewer will be interested knowing you answering situational answers & past accomplishments and your aspirations.

07. First Impression
A good first impression is prescribed, but there’s a fine line building a good rapport with your interviewer and becoming too familiar. Addressing your interviewer by the last name, unless directed to take the first name. There will be plenty of time to make jokes in the lunch room once you actually land the job.

08. Acting as critic
Never be a critic unless you are paid to be one. No one wants to hire negative mindsets. Speaking negatively about your last job will never make your strong; you can become weak in your candidature and the interviewer can create an impression that you’re a difficult person to get along with.

09. Lie to loose
World is very small, nearly impossible to make mountains out of moles in your conversation. Generally we pump our resumes with some fabricated claims don’t go a long mile. You didn’t won a gold medal in the summer tournament however you just participated, lying during your interview can be grounds for dismissal.

10. Importantly Dressing up
It’s important to dress for success rather showing up in casual attire. Overdressing could also be negative, should be comfortable to what you can carry comfortably however following strictly formals dressing. May be its Friday, however it doesn’t mean to show up in jeans and unstuck shirt. The prospective employer should think that you’re failing to take the process seriously.

Why I Don’t Wanna Work for Infosys

By Ankit Chandra

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Well that’s because I don’t like the Blackberry phone. The blog could end right here, but then if I don’t explain it better, you would keep me in the same category as Infosians, who I dislike anyway…

So what’s the big deal? It happened like this… We are a bunch of Indian students here at an American university, which is kinda considered one of the best in the world, and we feel quite proud belonging to this place.

Even more so when the job fairs happen. There are companies abound that come here looking for great talent and increase their organization’s productivity. All the stalls are brightly lit and the recruiters stand outside their stalls to ‘reach’ out to the students, so that they could talk to them and see if they are a good fit. Even if they are not, they are more than willing to listen to you and explore whatever opportunities there could be for you. Even if it turns out that there aren’t any opportunities available, you would walk away thinking that you had the best conversation you wanted to have, and too bad there weren’t opportunities, but you would want to try again…

The stalls are a story in them all together. draped in their company colors, the stalls are all lit up shining bright. These people go an extra mile to get their stalls looking great for people to get attracted like a moth to fire.

So I was having a good time in the job fair, talking to different recruiters, and having a quality time there… And then I walk into this next row of stalls… this row was kinda different. It had mostly hardware and earth moving equipment companies. As I walk down through the aisle, there came this corner… the stall was blue, and it seemed that either the lighting was not done, or some of the bulbs had prolly blown away. The caption there said, ‘The world is flattening.. are you ready?’ hmm… when i looked around there was just one person in that stall, and just above his wavy hair, I read the name, Infosys…

The recruiter here was kinda weird. He was sitting behind the table stall and was totally screwed on to his Blackberry Phone! a few people passed in front of him, and he didn’t seem to notice. I thought it might be his boss on the phone, and I would come later…

So I took a round of the hall and then went back to the stall. This time the recruiter was talking to someone. So as was the case with other stalls, I stood in line waiting. Generally, recruiters tried to give equal time to all people waiting in the line, and made sure that the line didn’t feel ignored. But the guy here at Infosys, looks at me, and says ‘I am talking to this person, and will take time. You can go and have a round of the hall, and come back after 5 mins.’ Well, umm taken aback by that, I smiled and said, OK…

So I took a round and went back to the stall.. The chat was still going on, and now the recruiter was actually sitting on the side of his table and it seemed that it was more of a gossip mode than recruiting. And he was still playing with the Blackberry in his hands while gossiping with that kid…

‘aah nevermind’ I thought, and moved on to Yahoo.. By the way, I went for the final rounds of interviews with Yahoo at SF, and they have a rocking atmosphere and campus. And of course, you are treated very well there…

How to Make Your Boss Love You? – Part 2

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So, how did you fare with the Bully, the Manipulator and the Liar? Did you try some of the tips suggested in the first part of the series? This part contains a few more types of bosses and tips on how to handle them with care.

The Goody-goody

shutterstock-a-good-bossSupportive, encouraging, competent, soft-spoken – did you have the good luck to come across a boss like this? Such miraculous personalities are rare and when you chance upon them, you should make sure that you are in their good books. Most often than not, the goody-goody will always think well of others, since they like to have a positive outlook. However, a problem with them might be their tendency to give second chances to the slackers. If you are a slacker, you will have a gala time. However, if you are hardworking, you might feel frustrated by the number of chances your boss gives to the non-performers.

How to deal – ‘Slog’ is the word you have to take very seriously with the Goody-goody. Work very hard and learn as much as possible. If you do manage to befriend her, you can quietly advise her about not giving too many chances to slackers. However, if your relationship is that of a boss and reportee, it’s best to work hard, be good to her and at the end of your tenure, request her for a strong reference.

bossThe Unpredictable

Does your boss sing praises of you one day and then not give you an appraisal the next day? Does he have frequent mood swings? Then you can easily categorize such a person as unpredictable.

How to deal – The best way to tackle such moody souls is to steer clear of their ways on their bad days and speak to them only when they approach you. Also, you can try limiting your communication with them to urgent office matters. Keep in mind that they treat everyone in the same way because that is how they are and try not getting negatively impacted by their attitude.

The Incompetent

Incompetetnt-BossIf your boss taunts you about your qualifications and tells you blatantly that you are not performing to your optimum, you can assume that he is under-confident about his own skills. A self-assured boss will never try to show you down. Contrarily, he will tell you that he has higher hopes from you.

How to deal – People with complexes are slightly difficult to deal with…all the more so when such a person is your boss. There are two ways of tackling such a boss – either develop a thick skin or leave the job.

Why Don’t Indian Companies Take Their Web Presence Seriously?

By Ankit Chandra

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My friend Gaurav Sharma (name changed for privacy) asked this question. He is the CEO of a leading Indian web solutions company, so his question has got to have a good mix of bewilderment, frustration, anxiety and most worryingly, facts behind it…

This is an interesting question, and when I began exploring it, it unravelled into a many folds of Indian society, and economics which I think we all see, but maybe overlook. I come from a unique (remember everyone is unique? 🙂 ) background of Anthropologist father, Zoologist mother, Bachelors in Engineering and MsBA in Technology Management.  So I tend to have diff perspectives (which more often than not, confuse me more than anyone else) on issues close to my heart. This one sure is: after all, it is things like these that make India look technologically inferior, and not up with the rest of the world etc etc.

So back to the question. I will try and put out my reasons for the question in separate posts: to save you from information (read opinion) overload, but I hope it makes an interesting read.

Perspective 1:

Lets begin with an example.

Any person who grew up in South Delhi would know of Lodhi Sports. This is a shop we respected as one of the few ‘up market’ sports showrooms in Delhi. In the early 90’s it was rare to see exercise equipment in many shuttered shops. This one was all glass and had a wide range of exercise equipment. 20 years later, Lodhi Sports has expanded to many shops around Delhi, in big shopping malls etc. Now look at their current site: http://www.lodhisports.in . It doesn’t even open currently.

Now, its target market very much overlaps the active internet users category in Delhi, so I think it does make sense to at least have a functioning site! That leaves us with two options, either the provider is off the track of the consumer doesn’t want it. As in most cases, I think its the chicken and egg problem.

Reason 1: Coming of age of Indian consumer.. A little more distance to go…


Generally this is what I think other people call as maturing of a market, and I agree. Indian consumers have only recently begun taking a computer for granted in their living rooms, and fewer of them, between 3-8 crores have begun accessing the net actively. The definition of active here is using the internet at least once a month. It is pointless to say that if a person is only ‘accessing’ the net once in a month, he/she is definitely not comfortable looking at it as a utility. It seems more like a picnic; once a month, to try out something ‘new’.  Hence, it seems, that an average Indian internet user is still not getting on to the net to use it for transactions, and information gathering for purchases. That, will take time. Maybe something similar to plastic money and time taken for its traction in India.

Perspective 2:

But then I think internet and cell phones came up almost at the same time in India. And there is no points guessing who won the race. So whats the deal there? The utility of cell phones, and initial investment for cell phones is much clearer to people. And hence, the reception to cell phones is like a raging forest fire. And people indeed are benefiting from it! Whether Internet provides the same amount of value to Indian people is something I cannot comment on. I think it does, given the kind of stuff people in other parts of the world have done from it, but then one can disagree very well on this.

So then why nature chose cell phones over Internet? I think first because every thing about cell phone was very well modularized and tangibly managed. prepaid cards made it easy, compact, hassle free, and decoupled from any kind of red tape, for people to start making calls cheap. Internet revenues on the other hand still depend on credit card swiping. The infrastructure needed for cell phone companies to work on was revolutionized into the ‘Indian model’ now so widely studied across the globe. Internet however, could not come up with its own India strategy. Maybe all the smart brains were still busy making money from the cell phone market. Then the content delivered on cell phones was inherently local, unless of course you call an international ‘talk to me’ lines. Here too, Internet lagged much farther behind, because of its ‘broadcasting’ model vs. the peer to peer nature of phone calls.

Reason 2: Lack of macro-environment support and luck?

2 technologies, equally promising, but ultimately having very different paths…

Ultimately, while cell phones transformed themselves into the Indian context very well by providing cheap calls to lower costs, lightening speed information on prices for farmers, cheap way of keeping in touch for long distance relationship lovers, for moms to check up on their ‘in school and not bunking’ kids, and free sms etc etc, Internet couldn’t really strike the same chord in the daily lives of Indians. It could not go much beyond educated, and computer literate people to the non english speaking housewives, moms, lalajis, and Gangu Bai for the betterment of their daily lives.

Does it mean Internet is irrelevant to India? Absolutely not; it just needs to wear colors of India over it, and ultimately go beyond rediff and naukri. The sites like Saleraja.com, mouthshut.com are getting into different spheres of our lives, beyond the traditional demographic which was being served…

S Venkateshwaran On Dysfunctional Organization Cultures And Falling Corporate Empires

ganesh article on Culture

A reader of Mission Sharing Knowledge S Venkateshwaran had this to say on one of our previous articles. Since we thought the comment to be really relevant, we have published it in its entirety. 

Dysfunctionality tends to occur in those organization more often than not, where the Boss is either a self made person who thinks that he / she knows how to run the business, or has an aggressive approach to business more out of the need to over achieve. I have worked in an organization where the Boss was so stern that he would keep pushing people in all directions. Every day would start off with meetings in which all the heads had to participate.

This would go on for an hour (discussing the activities of the previous night in terms of production targets etc.), followed usually by two or three in depth meeting with selected departments and finally followed by end of day meeting to review what was supposed to be done in the day. At the end of it all, he would rave and rant because work did not happen. To ensure this, he would make all the Heads stay back late.

The irony was he wanted a strong HR team that would “fearlessly” tell him when he was wrong. Quite obviously, when that happened, the poor guy was out of work the next week. Highly emotional, and rigid, the person would shower abuses which would put a rickshaw driver to shame.

The only group of people who were able to work with him, were, not surprisingly, those who could flatter and live up as his ego alters, who also used the same technique of imposing themselves on the poor “lower the line” persons. Not surprisingly, attrition was very high; but this did not affect him, even though others in the company knew the reality but choose to keep quiet.

Based on my observations, some of the traits of a dysfunctional Manager I would think are:

Tells you to do something you don’t want to do, but blames you when it goes wrong.
Says He / She wants you to take responsibility, and then publicly overrides your decisions.
Loves to be in front when there is a big audience otherwise will send sub juniors to attend a customer.
Intimidates with aggressive words and posture, knowing that you will never confront but becomes a pacifier when confronted. .
Handles meetings as though he is the only speaker.
Revels in the invention of creative curses for just the right occasion.
Verbally approves new requisitions, later denies doing it.
Gets too personal in his berating.
Ride you mercilessly while pet employees can do no wrong.
Always right: when confronted with mistakes, blames them on someone else.
Fiercely protective of pet projects.
Highly compulsive and obsessive about minute details.
Displays a good understanding of the “Good Cop” and “Bad Cop” routines and generally practices it.

How to Make Your Boss Love You – Part 1

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“My boss is a nice person, but for some strange reasons he does not like me…or so I think…not sure!”

“Guess my boss was a Hitler in his previous life!”

“I don’t know what she expects from me. She cracks cheap jokes all day long…of course, according to her it’s not cheap…but I find them quite distasteful!”

How many of you connect to these sentiments? Assuming that most of you will, let’s try and unravel a few traits of managers and ways of appealing to particular types!

The Bully

BossDo you get frequent mails from your boss, threatening you to complete a particular work on time, or else…? Did you make a killer presentation, which had a punctuation error on the twelfth slide and for which you were reprimanded by your boss? Is he always trying to intimidate you into performing your task? If your answer to all this is yes, then your boss is a sure-shot bully!

How to deal – Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple way of dealing with this kind of people. All you can do is project yourself as a reasonable person. Put your foot down whenever you feel he has crossed the line. Your boss might respect you when you stand up for yourself because, in a way, you are speaking his language.

The Manipulator

manipulative-bossThis type of people will never explain their requirement clearly to you. Instead, they will drop hints and expect you to find your way out. Such qualities in managers generally surface in case of great power difference. You can recognize your boss as being manipulative if he sends you running off with tasks to multiple directions. Initially, you might feel good about being given the responsibility to accomplish numerous tasks. However, you have to keep evaluating your goals. If you feel that the tasks are not helping you accomplish the career goals you have set for yourself, you have to speak up.

How to deal – Talk to your boss privately about your career goals. Tell him about what you aim to achieve, but you have to remember to make your boss look good in the process. Hurting his ego will not do you any good. With some patience and skill you will manage the manipulator.

The Liar

liar1-e1334603938595Has your boss promised you promotion after you complete a hellish project? Have you completed several such difficult projects without any promotions in the horizon? If yes, then you must accept it that your boss is a liar and that he is trying to extract as much work from you as possible, free of cost!

How to deal – While you have to keep your interests in mind, you cannot afford to get into the bad books of your manager. The best way of dealing with such a personality is by getting things in writing. May be you can start a chain mail and keep your upper management in the loop. A chain mail will be your best defense against false promises.

Employee Recognition Is A Must

Rahul Krishna, Manager – Talent Acquisition Group, Espire Infolabs, speaks about one of the best practices of the industry – Rewards & Recognitions.

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Some of the best Rewards & Recognition strategies are those that cost the least. The behavior that is recognized and rewarded is always the behavior that is repeated and widely spread by word of mouth, Simple Virtue.

This is a part of the global Recognitions & Rewards that energizes and engages employees to achieve your strategic goals. Employee recognition is a communication tool that highlights the most important outcome employees create for your business. When you reward your employees, the action and behavior you wish to see more frequently in your employees is inevitably repeated.

Reward programs prove more beneficial to the company than to the employees. Companies which have an effective program in place realize an increase in the average return to shareholders as opposed to companies which do not have ways to recognize employees. Only one in three Indian employees is working at full potential.

Dos & Don’ts: Designing a process in which managers get to select employees who will receive recognition might not be the best thing since the selection would inevitably happen on the basis of favoritism. A Process that single outs an individual, upon the individual contribution you made in the company’s growth, for instance, “Employee of the Month” or “Individual Contribution Award” will be more effective and motivating for employees.

For such recognition programs, each employee would receive a thank you note, hand-written by his Chief Reporting officer. This should spell out why the employee is receiving the honor/recognition.

The note would include the potential for the employee to participate in a “DRAW”. Gifts may range from a movie ticket to a dinner booking with family. Alternatively, it can be cash rewards.

National Employee Appreciation Day: This will be a perfect period to kick off a long-term employee recognition program. These appreciation days are important things when you recognize your employees in a Town Hall Meeting, and explain why the organization has chosen him/her.

As you can see, employee recognition programs are complex, and we need to architect those parameters to filter people. How is one person different from another person? Each program is custom-built to meet the needs of your organization.

In short, you need improve your bottom line as these resources are doing the real hard work and we have to measure our own employees by boosting employee retention and encouraging performance improvement.

For employees who wish to analyze their potential, you need to do the below following:

–  Utilize all your strengths
–  Manage your weakness

Please write these above on a paper and work to improve your own skills and the organization will recognize you as a potential candidate for the Student of the year Award! 🙂 Just joking Employee of the month goes to you, my friend.