Interviews have always been dreaded by me. His twin brother at school level; Science vivas have also evoked great fear in me. The stern look of the External (examiner) had such an effect that I was almost paralyzed every time. Now after many years, here I sit at the other side of the table. I can’t help but wonder how hideous I would be seeming to the interviewee today!
As you enter the room and face the interview panel, comes the most difficult question in the wrap of being the most easiest one…………”Aur apne bare main kuch batai” (Tell us something about you). When we were hiring trainers for our project, here is what my interviewees told me about them…….
Panel: “You are very young, not even completed your Graduation; how do you think you would convince people during training sessions?”
Interviewee 1: “Its not about study, its about knowledge. When I have knowledge better than my participants, I would be respected. You train me and I would work as best as I can.”
I could not help but admire the confidence of this young ‘not even Graduate’ girl who left all of us amused!
Interviewee 2: “………we are 7 sisters; 6 are married. We lost our father and mother very early. Everyone wants me to get married and settle in life; but I want to work first. Stand on my own feet and be responsible for myself.”
Panel: “Your CV has great experience in corporate sector but absolutely no experience in social sector. Why is that you want to switch to this?”
Interviewee 3:“I agree I have no experience, but I am a woman! I can understand maternal health better than any of you. I want an experience like this……..”
When I got such bold answers in a row, I had to sit back for a while and think that woman is no longer a shy bride in
Bihar. She is ready to take everyone with a storm today. A
common cause (a factor actually) of maternal deaths that we came across during the
interview was marriage before legal age. The answer was prevalent in all age
groups and both the sex. This surely means that we have woken up to the ill
effects of an early marriage.
With a lot of noise from the waiting room, we had to ask our Program assistant to hush them up!
Boss: “Kyu itna shor ho ra hai?”
PA: “Sir, Mahilayen hai na interviewee….jahan 2 mahilayen ho, shor to hoga hi J”
And my colleagues give me a sly smile and go to the next interviewee when I jokingly fume at the comment!
Apart from making me feel proud of women empowerment in our conservative society, the interview gave us many reasons to smile too! Our same old question, “Aur apne bare main kuch batai” (Tell us something about you), tickled our funny bone:
Interviewee 4:“Apne bare main sir? Sir resume to mera hai hi aapke paas…….. (About myself? Well you already have my CV)
Interviewee 5: My name is Virender Prasad, my village is parva tola, my block is Dulhin Baazar and my
is also Dulhin bazaar. (And that ends the introduction he has for himself!) Thana
Panel: Why did you stop working in between?
Interviewee 6: Ji? Maa off ho gyi hai (My mother passed away)……. Well, I am sorry to laugh on that, but Off gyi thi?
Some random people also turned up who were not called prior for the interview. One of them entered into the room as we were about to wrap up the interview sessions for the day.
“Excuse me Sir, Main Devanand hun…..” To which my Boss’s reaction was a real classic” …..to baithiye main kya aapko Nargis dikh ra hu jo itna muskura rahe hain?” We could not stop laughing for a good 5 minutes.
We have at this job become accustomed to take interviews and identify ‘our’ kind of people now! As the day comes to an end, I realize three clear categories of interviewees. One, ‘Just for the interview’ types. This category has not yet completed their education; or working somewhere already coming to ‘just have an idea’ what the vacancy is all about! Second, ‘Trial at the Job’ types Housewives who are well educated and want to utilize their time in part-time jobs. They are here for trials!
And the last one, ‘I will do the job’ who is ‘our person’ (I purposefully omitted ‘our man’!) He/She would accept all the terms and commit to work. But ultimately what the selection turns out to be is the test of time!