When I Took My Own Interview

 | September 09,2013 05:36 pm IST

Masters in Business Administration is not a degree, is not a Diploma - It's a state of mind, it's a way of life. (Too heavy).

Let's elaborate.

My mentor once raised a question in the class, "What all should a perfect manager have?" This is what most of us could come up with - hardworking, smart working, disciplined, sound decision-making skills, persistence, people skills - some one also suggested luck.

Almost surprisingly for us and amusingly for our mentor, he was able to relate it all to a Rickshaw puller. From negotiations regarding the fare of the ride to deciding to stand outside a bus stand for more customers, from working all day with hard work and persistence to choosing a profession which allows him a vacation whenever he wants and also allows him to be his own boss, each of our adjective was fitting in impeccably.

What we ignored was the word "perfect" He didn't ask us about any ordinary Administrator, In-charge, Team leader, etc., but what he wanted was a perfect ilk.

After this, we asked ourselves what interviewers look for in a Manager or aspirant and we all ended up correlating ourselves with our own perfect manager, which further led to realization of partly what we are and partly what we all so desperately wanted to be. PERFECT.

The following lines are not regarding how to ace an interview but about what to do a few months before the interview and why it is important to make introspection a life long habit. It's about asking yourself questions so that you know what YOU are all about. An interview doesn't start from you sitting in a room with 3 to 4 pairs of eyes staring at you but with you looking deep within yourself. It starts from introspection. No army has ever won a war without knowing what or where its strengths-weaknesses lay.

I am with my self 24/7, in other words I am the only person who has been with me all my life yet how many questions can I answer about myself.

Questions like:
Why MBA? Why in finance? Why after 2 years of work ex? Why not after 2 years of work ex? Favorite Subject? Why Economics? What are your strengths? Give Example from your professional life. Why should we take you? Your academic record is just average - and we are looking for toppers. Or the only thing good about you is your academic record - we feel you are just bookish...

These questions will haunt you only till the time you are painfully unaware about yourself.

Most of us are ambiguous, me too and if I had to choose between Ambiguity and Clarity I would choose Ambiguity everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. At this stage in our lives, Ambiguity is good. Ambiguity allows freedom. Freedom to explore, freedom to experiment, freedom to look around and open more doors of what might be possible.

Identifying oneself is not always easy as it is not always easy to be brave. We are not the same that we were before class 10+2 or before graduation or before our first job. We change. Thus, it is important to contemplate regularly about the most important person under the high heavens. YOU.

You should be ready with your SWOT at any point of time (in your life). Do your SWOT honestly, thoroughly and sincerely (and tell me if you are not surprised) relate the results with your aim both long-term and short term, and if you don't have any set aim, well, then write your own obituary. Trust me when I tell you this, writing your own obituary works beautifully well as a definition of your goals. Taking a SWOT test and not working on your weaknesses is the same as not taking it at all, so make sure that you also have a plan to ameliorate in the weak areas. Also see if you can add one new strength to your resume every six months (if you are able to do it, tell me how).

Your biggest challenge isn't finding a path - it's picking one. Think long-term.

As Mr. Alex Hitchens likes to put it, "You cannot use what you do not have." Therefore, be aware of all your capabilities and the level that you can reach at them. Be yourself. Accept the fact that your highest level can be someone else's starting point, let's face it, some people are clear winners of the luck sperm contest and are natural at the game. Whatever you do, don't loose your own identity. Originality attracts lasting impressions.


On contrary to this, Mr. Baz Luhrman wants you to take on the world as an explorer, he says, "Do one thing everyday that scares you." I have tried it. It works. Apparently, Mr. Luhrman likes to keep things simple and has recapitulated all the self help books in this one sentence.

Be advised, this is to be taken purely in the sense to improve yourself. Don't quit your job because you don't like Monday mornings but do that chapter of Quantitative Analysis. You could never understand or initiate a GD or stand up to what seems right. Do this and you will end up respecting yourself more than ever, which should further result in a boost in your confidence level. Remember that there might be no right way, there might be no best way, but there always will be a better way.

Finally, fantasize your success as much as you can, imagine your self making that dream sales pitch you always wanted, imagine yourself walking in a board room with eyes full of envy, unsuccessfully avoiding to stare at you, imagine the "I wish I had that brain" look on your boss or teacher, imagine confidence, imagine yourself innovating, imagine being resourceful, imagine vision, imagine being a grey dog of your surroundings, imagine yourself managing, imagine passion, imagine yourself zealous like a sportsman and expressionless like a poker player, imagine empathy, imagine power, imagine being effective, imagine picking yourself after falling down, imagine actuation, imagine a greed to lead. IMAGINE SUCCESS, IMAGINE PERFECTION.

Innovate the manager within. After all, management is a way of life - is a state of mind. Isn't it?

Contributed by -
Pramod Sood is employed with the Retail Loans Division of a private sector bank for the past three years & is aspiring for CAT.