Friends at all times… morning in the class rooms, night in the chat rooms. Professors of all kinds… some try to explain what they know while some confuse what we know. Exams every now and then… but preparations only just before. Practical’s every 6 months… some worries about the output where as some are worried about viva. Most of time at canteen than in the class room. All these combine our college life which is considered as the best of our life. The whole equation changes when it comes to the end. Some are focused on next steps, while some are confused. But then the one thing that is a common motto for most of us is campus. At least to answer the questions of our parents, neighbors, relatives and friends. Everyone is focused on cracking an interview as it is a common belief that cracking a job in campus interviews is easier than going out and trying on our own. When it comes to on-campus, the expectations are much higher and preparations are much lesser. I am now on in the mid of one such day of my life. My first interview.
Out of 200 odd students who came to attend the interview, only 120 made it through the Written and out of them only 60 were selected in the technical round. Some are tensed, some are worried, some are relaxed and some don’t care. It was a common belief that in on-campus interviews, if you clear the Written and Technical, you are almost at the edge. The final HR round started and each candidate is being called inside one by one.
“You are the next candidate. Be ready.”
“All the best Prudhvi.”
“Thank you Shankar.”
“Hey Shankar. Tell him Congrats. Not all the best.”
“He is the Best Student Award achiever, good at communication. Everybody here knows that he is definitely going to be in the selected list.”
“Oh wow. Here comes the fortune teller Mr. Vinay.”
“Prudhvi. We all know that you will do some magic inside and will crack this.”
I just smiled at my friends and went inside the room for my HR round.
“May I come in?”
“Take your seat.”
“Nothing mam. Good evening.”
“A very good evening Prudhvi. By the way, no more calling sir’s and madam’s. This is not school or college anymore. I am Rupa Jeykar and you can call me Rupa.”
“Okay Rupa. Sorry.”
“That’s fine. So, how are you feeling today? Is this your first interview?”
“Okay good. So, tell me. How are you feeling today? Interview is like a gateway between your college and a whole new world of opportunities and learning to be successful in your life. How do you feel that? Feeling excited about that?”
“To be very frank, right now I am not feeling anything Rupa. The only thing that is running in my mind is what’s next?”
“Yes. I can understand that. It’s the very common confusion that runs in the mind of young people especially during the final days of their college. Okay. Let’s start the interview. So, Prudhvi, tell me something about yourself.”
“Myself? Okay. I am Prudhvi currently pursuing my BTech…”
“No no, not that. Tell me something beyond, something which is not there in your resume. Your short term goals, long term goals, your ambition in life.”
“I have not thought of that far yet Rupa. The one thing that I always tell to myself is that. No matter how far I go in life and how successful I turn out, I should not change myself and my foot should always be on the ground.”
“That’s very interesting. I never heard such an answer from youngsters. Very good. So, when will your exams be over?”
“In the mid of May.”
“Okay, if you made it through in this round, then you should be reporting in our campus by June 1st.”
“You mean June 1st of this year?”
“Yes, of course. And also you should sign on a 2 years bond with our company.”
“Are you not aware of bond?”
“Ya, I am aware of what is a bond. But, I am not aware that we need sign on a 2yrs bond. We were not informed earlier.”
“But that’s common for every fresher.”
“Yes. But I guess there are some companies without bond.”
“There are. But, very rare.”
“And also, we were not aware that we need to report immediately after the examinations.”
“We are right now in need of fresh talent immediately and so we are calling quickly.”
I remained silent for a moment. When the HR observed me, she started questioning me whether I have some problem with the joining date and bond.
“Prudhvi. Seems you are not fine with the bond and reporting date?”
“I am just thinking Rupa. The first thing is bond. Because, if I sign on bond. I cannot quit for 2 years and what if I am not comfortable with the environment there?”
“Is this the first time you are going to stay away from home?”
“No Rupa. I am not talking about that. Any place, anywhere is okay for me. All I am thinking is what if I am not comfortable with the job or role there?”
“You seem to have lot of confusions and questions in your mind. As a fresher, you should be ready for all these things. This is the start of your career and you should be feasible enough to mould yourself to any kind of situation.”
“Yes Rupa. But, I already told you right. Growth in life should not change what we are.”
“Prudhvi. I can understand. This being your first interview, it will be this way. I am going to give you 5 minutes. Decide and tell me quickly.”
“No Rupa. Even after 5 minutes my answer will be the same.”
“Okay. The final decision will always be yours. You may leave now Prudhvi. Nice talking to you.”
I dint understand in what sense she said that its nice talking to me. Whatever it may be, I was not okay with the bond and the joining date and so left the place. After walking few steps, I just stopped and turned towards her.
“Mam. Oh sorry. Rupa.”
“Yes Prudhvi. Is there any change in your decision?”
“No Rupa. I wanted to ask you one thing.”
“I don’t understand one concept.”
“Right from the childhood to till college days, we were told that we have to respect elders, we should not call them with their names and all. But now, when we are educated and graduates, we were being told not to call sir and madam instead call with their names.”
Now, she remained silent. I waited for few seconds. Then I understood that she has no answer for that and so left the room.
“Hey Prudhvi. How did it go? Everyone came out in 5 to 10 minutes. But for you it took almost 25 minutes. What magic you did inside? I guess HR is flat for your answers?”
I don’t know what to tell them. As usual, I simply smiled for their questions.
(3 hours later…)
Finally, the results were out. Celebrations started among the people who made it through till the end. Our placement officer is reading out the names of the candidates who got selected. All my friends are so eager to hear my name because they don’t know what happened inside. But, I am not even listening to the list. I was just thinking. “Is job the only path to walk after college?”
When the entire list is completed, all started questioning me.
“What happened Prudhvi? We were actually very sure that you will get through it.”
“Prudhvi. That’s okay. It happens. This is your first interview. There are many opportunities in the coming days. I guess a better one is waiting for you.” – My placement officer is trying to console me. No one knows and no one will ever know what happened inside the four walls. But, there is one person who can understand completely what would have happened inside. Now, I should go and face her.
@“No matter how successfull we are, our foot should always remain on the ground”– Mr. Venky Bond