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13 June 2007

2 red pens, Aquafina bottle and INFOSYS!!!!

What a day!!!! What an amazing day!!!! I got placed in Infosys today through college campus interview.... And experience was awesome!!!!

MY FIRST JOB! No one can truly understand how that feels until one arrives at that point. I'm excited, really very happy and in partying mood. But I'm sitting in front of this modern idiot box to let my feelings come out in rather creative way. (Weird person.... as always...)

Even after being kicked out by both TCS and WIPRO in identical manner, i was not at all bogged down by what happened. Even my gmail status yesterday read "If you don't get what you wanted, remember there's always something better that is coming up". I won't say I was not disappointed, but I was not particularly sad. Its but natural for anyone to feel bad when you clear Aptitude test, clear technical interview, appear for final round of HR interview (not to mention prolonged "idle/wait" states in between all these stages-testing your patience, your ability to control hunger and yes... sometimes nature calls! :) ) and at the end of the day, i.e. not earlier than 10pm, you are told "You have been rejected"!

Even today, things were not very smooth, in fact i had even lesser hope initially-compared to last 2 days, reason being the difficulty level of the aptitude test with which the day started. TCS and WIPRO tests were too easy and I was 100% sure to clear the first hurdle. Not the same case with infosys test today. I was not 100% sure, though I kept telling myself "its difficult for everyone, so no need to panic, you'll get through!" T&P dept aggrandized my anxiety by displaying result one hour late and also by not putting my name in the first list of shortlisted candidates. 2nd list was put up after an hour or so and Bingo!!! My name was there! (first in 8th list) I suppose, lists were not sorted based on score; gender was definitely the criteria for sorting, as there was one list consisting only girls, but anyway.... thats besides the point and didn't bother me also. I was only happy being shortlisted. Now again, I made up my mind again for a really long "idle/wait" state but there was a solace! Infosys was not going to conduct 2 interview screenings. Only single interview! What a great relief!!! But here also, I was bit unlucky, my name was called out at about 8:30pm.

I went in, interviewer asked me to sit down and asked for my CV. He took his time in reading CV and (atleast told me that) he was very much impressed. I know he must have read thousands of better CVs before but anyway... I smiled and thanked him. Now the interview:
(He: The interviewer and Me:Myself)

He:You have mentioned Badminton and Table Tennis as your interests. Are you professional player.. have you ever played at some level say state level etc. or you just play with your friends?
Me: Just play with friends sir... I'm not a professional player although I represented my school in Badminton at interschool level. I'm not good player but again, neither too bad!
He: You won some prize there or something?
Me: Frankly speaking, in my school there were not many players, so i was in the team. So, i didn't actually deserve to be in the team...
He: No, but what was the result?
Me:I played in 3 competitions. I won 2 matches in 2 competitions each and in the other, i was knocked out in the first round itself.
He:It is very difficult to judge a person in such 10-15 mins interview. Tell me about yourself, something that you have and is not written in CV.
Me:(Thought for a while and finalyy said) in todays PPT, there was one word which speaker used, you are looking for "Hungry Performers". I see myself as hungry performer.
(After that, I illustrated that with example-my mini project. I wanted it to be best in the class and blah blah...)
He:Do you read newspaper daily? Business times? Political news etc? Do you keep yourself updated?
(For past few weeks, I've not read even a single word from news paper so, i was afraid he might ask me qns abt some recent event)
Me: Sir, it so happens that sometimes I read newspaper for many consecutive days but sometimes there are no newspapers. And also, i don't read much about business world.

(Then he seemed disappointed. He asked me what sections do i read to which i replied "headlines, national news, state, things happening in the city" (the word "things" was wrong i guess). He then asked me to tell him about news in last week's paper if I've not read paper this week. "Musharraf asked Indian govt to call back its troops if peace process is to be continued"). He asked me if i did any kind of preparation for the interview. I mentioned my sister-in-law's help and some sites.He also asked me whether I'm from English medium or not, also asked me about Purushottam drama for which i worked and a way in which script writing team used to work)

He said "you were an editor of marathi section and you have contributed poetries and a science fiction also (in gist), I'll give you one pen and a water bottle, write something about that. You can use marathi, hindi or english as these are the only languages that i understand. Let's see your creativity" and he kept a red pen and aquafina bottle on the table.

After scratching my head for sometime (not actually) and pondering over what to write, I finally scribbled something like this:
मेजावरती लाल लेखणी
निकट तिच्या आहे पाणी
मिश्रण करता 'लाल पाणी'
वेगळी मात्र 'रक्ताची गाणी'
He: wah wah... That was good.... chhaan! and said that i can go. (He seemed very much impressed again!)

I came out and i was very happy because of the climax of above-mentioned interview. However, there were still 34 more candidates and it took them more than an hour. Test of my patience (those who know me, know very well how impatient i'm) was not yet over. Myself along with 4 more candidates were again called for an interview against a new panel (speakers for ppt presentation in the morning). I guess, we were on the borderline of being rejected/accepted. Here again, I was called in at the very end.

He:How was your day Vedhas?
Me:Fine but hectic to some extent.
He:Why hectic?
Me:Cause had to wait for long for the interview and i was very much hungry. But just before the last interview I went and had food.
He:So, you had your food! Good, so are you comfortable now?
Me:Yes, I'm
He:Vedhas, Tell us something about you and is not written in your CV.
Me: In today's ppt you mentioned some things about candidates. Transparency,Adaptibility, compatibilty..... (waited if i can recollect anything more) I feel I've all these qualities.
He: Forget ppt, tell us something that is very much unique, which your peers do not have. When I say Vedhas, what will come up in anyone's mind, what will one notice?
Me: (Smiling) May be my specs... (But he didn't smile) But yeah... My truthfulness. Many people who know me can vouch for my credibility.
He: any other quality?
Me: My convincing power, despite the problem that i have.
He: Ok, here's one pen, now convince me to buy that pen. Have a look at it for 20 secs and start. (actually he gave me less than 10 secs... cheating cheating! :) )
Me: You must have hear about reynolds company, right? Do you know reynolds company?
Me: That is what! It is very well known comapny. Now look at this pen. Its manufactured by reynolds. The name of the brand is fusion. Why fusion? Fusion is combining of some things. (bad sentence, i know) In this pen also, many good things are combined. Just see, its written o.5 which means diameter of the tip is of 0.5, which means you can write very finely. If it was larger you won't be able to right in a small space. There are many pens in market, Cello Technotip, Cello gripper. Look at this pen. (I took out a pen from my pocket) Its 0.6. Now you may ask, whats the difference? its just 0.1, but when there is a small space to fill in your name, difference of 0.1 will make a huge huge difference. Now come to its grip. It has got grip...
He: But why should i need this grip?
Me: see, its made of rubber. Its elastic. It gets stretched and compressed depending upon your own requirements, so that hand won't be strained. Now why THIS pen? You can buy similar brand from market , but there is a difference. Look at this. "Infosys" is written on this pen. Here's the main difference. You won't get such pen in the market with "infosys" written on it.
He:That was good! Do you have any questions for us?
(I told them i didn't have any. I told them that i read their website, but had very little time for preparation so preferred visiting wikipedia. And said "Its growing fast, I don't have any querry or any problem working for Infosys")

We students gathered in room no. 11 and 15 mins later, infosys guys came to the room. They started off saying that they were disappointed, some of us lack communication skills, some were not "fit", were planning to take more than 150 students but have finalised list of 125. He started reading out the list. As he talked about communication skills, i knew my chances were diminished (those who know me, know why). But i continued listening with a hope. After few pages, even that hope was near extinction. When he arrived at the last page, I saw that only 5-6 names were there on that page. Disappointed yet again, i started packing my bag, and my name was called out at the very end. You won't believe (I myself didn't), but i heard a great sigh from the whole class after my name was called out. I won't attribute that to myself, i guess it was because many of my friends were present in that class. I became very happy and cheerful at the very instant i heard my name in the list.

We all came out of that room and hugged one another, celebrated, sghouted and what not! and it was past 10:30pm.

(I have written down the exact interview answers without any grammatical correction above. I'll be happy if you post your sincere comments about the story, grammar or vocab or anything else you may want to add)