The Best Internship Interview ever

The Best Internship Interview ever.

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“Is this the StupidSid office?” I asked timidly when the door opened, yet I already knew the answer.

Everyone beyond the door sat in a clean, formal attire. There were around six, maybe seven, of them. Some sat nervously, tapping their foot on the floor in impatience; others were checking their resumes every five minutes, searching for mistakes or errors. One was fidgeting with his bags, removing his files and folders and checking and rechecking, whilst wiping a bead of sweat off his forehead.

You could truly sense the tension in the air.

However a small group of friends sat in one part of the StupidSid Office, chatting merrily as if nothing else mattered. I purposefully didn’t listen in as I, too, was nervous while I took my place on one of the empty seats. In just a moment, I too started to tap my foot on the floor, I too started to fidget with my resume. Just like that, I too became a nervous, scared applicant for the StupidSid Campus Ambassador Program.

“Please send the next applicant!” said one of the applicants, who might have just finished their interview. They didn’t seem that tensed.

I heaved a sigh of relief as they left. There was a definite skip in their step. Perhaps the interview wasn’t that scary.

I sat for a few minutes, preparing the answers as they came to me. The questions to those answers had been Googled by me a few hours before. Every possible question that they might ask in an interview, be it ‘Why do you want to work here?’ or ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ popped into my head, and I knocked them away with my thoroughly prepared answers. Then I realized this was an internship, not a fully-fledged job, so I smacked my forehead. Some of the other fellow applicants turned their heads to me.
Now before you judge me for being nervous and scared, let me make a note for you: This was my first interview. I had no experience. I had never given an interview in my life. I didn’t even know the procedure, the dressing sense or the process properly. A little hints from my older friends and cousins was all I had before I stepped into that office.

As another person appeared from the inside and left, four people appeared in the room. One had a writing pad in his hand, the other took names of the next batch of applicants. “Kunal Nayak?” they asked as my turn came and I immediately raised my hands. It took a lot of courage from me to do that simple task.

How are you going to give a fricking interview if you need courage for raising a hand? Said my inner voice sharply. I ignored it.

“Okay,” said one of the interviewers (maybe?), “Everyone, please come with me. We will have the Group Discussion now.”

RED ALERT!

My mind went into overdrive. All I had expected was an interview, with a fairly empty sheet of resume in my hand. I had not expected a Group Discussion. Panic started to course through my veins as I got up and followed the others to the next room.

As we each took seat in a circle, I looked at the faces of my fellow applicants. Each had a look of worry. I was not alone in this. I sighed once more, internally. The four of the Stupidsid-ers looked at us, and one of them sweetly assured us that this was a simple round of GD. He guaranteed that there was nothing to be worried about and all we had to do was talk a few minutes on a topic they would give us.

That is when I noticed a thing that these four had in common: they were like us. Perhaps a tad older than us, yet they looked cool. They looked human. They seemed friendly and young. They did not look khadus at all. I wanted to smile, but I didn’t. Why should my competition know that I was happy?

With a little bit of comfort, I looked on with determination to win this one, ready to hear the topic.

“Can e-learning replace classroom learning?” the topic of GD was announced and that’s where it began. The first round had begun.

“First 30 seconds will be the introduction to each of you and the topic,” said one of them, “the next two-three minutes will be the discussion. Finally, each of you will conclude their thoughts on this topic. Start with you,” they pointed at a kid next to me.

As each of us got introduced (and of course I was focussing so much on myself that I forgot to listen to the names of the others) we began to think of the topic for a few minutes. Now, three extra minutes were given for us to discuss. Everyone stared at the other. Who would begin?

And then I did. I don’t know why or how, but I began the topic with my views and talked and talked until opposition came. That is when things got interesting. Perhaps seeing my confidence, or perhaps noting the comfy atmosphere, one by one, everybody started talking. The GD seemed more of a friendly (yet official) chat than a GD. All the time, though, the Stupidsid-ers were watching each of us carefully.

As the GD ended, we were to sit outside once more as they called in each one of us individually. We did so, as the tension broke. No longer was it very scary. Sure, the tension was still lingering because the main interview was next, yet the applicants were less nervous than before.

While we sat outside, one of them called for any of us to begin. Two of us had to go first for the interview. Two of the Stupidsid-ers would take one person’s interview while the rest two would take another’s. This, I felt, was a good idea since there were so many of us. This also ensured that the interviews were dealt with quickly. Brilliantly done, StupidSid.

Nobody got up. Everyone, once more, was looking at the other, waiting for someone to get up. Besides, nobody likes to go first. And then, of course, I got up. Perhaps my stupidity was enough to join stupidsid.

They led me to another room, and two chairs stood facing one. I took my place, they took theirs.

I handed them my resume, ashamed that I had not done much in life. I am (was, in reality) in my second year of engineering, so of course my resume only had a little of this and a little of that. Others carried files and folders full of achievements, while I sat with nothing but an SSC and HSC claim of passing on my resume.

Perhaps the nervousness of a shabby resume showed on my face, because the interviewing StupidSid-ers laughed and comfortingly said not to worry. Again, I found them really cool. I found them helpful AND friendly, yet they seemed professional. Their charm as interviewers was not full of Darravne(scary) but instead they seemed super comforting.
They asked me a bunch of questions that were not too difficult, to be honest. Questions about my amateur blog, their own product and my experience with their apps surfaced and these were all great questions. Nothing about my poor performance in a few of my past exams, neither about my inactivity in college nor about anything personal… They simply wanted to know if I really wanted to work at Stupidsid or not.

I made my decision that I did want to work there as a CampusSid (Campus Ambassador at Stupidsid) because this was one of the most satisfying interviews I had ever given. Thanking me for attendance, they got up and gracefully dismissed me for the day and I smiled and shook their hands.
“Next please,” I said to the remaining applicants smilingly to give them support, and left the office with a skip in my step too.

However as I reached the exit of the building, I realized my biggest mistake: I had forgotten to ask them their names.

You want my current thoughts on it? I am very excited to work with these talented people. They seem professional, kind and employ a set of very good work ethics. You have to start somewhere, and StupidSid seems like a great place to do just that.

Thank you, StupidSid.

P.S; I ended up getting accepted as a CampusSid the very next day.

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Tales of the Rainwood

Since when I have lived here, in Goa, Panjim, this behemoth of a creature has stood its ground firmly. It always would sway in the wind, as if made of foam and yet seem so sturdy. The gargantuan of a tree, Rainwood would be right in front of one’s face when they looked out of my window.

  When asked about its origins, most of them would just shrug and smile because they never considered as a tree. It had always been there and that fact had rendered it an obvious part of the environment.

I remember as a kid being fascinated by trees and plants and might I add, there were not few but instead many in Panjim. The whole city had its streets lined with trees. Shrubs and bushes of unknown species dotted the hidden alleys and roads as if trying to defy the existence of man-made urbanisation. Flowering trees adorn the heart of Goa to this day and is the most hauntingly beautiful scene I have ever seen.

This particular tree was the first tree of its size that I had seen. From the window of the living room, this tree would call out to me by the rustling of its leaves. I was a short kid back then, and seeing that I was not allowed to leave the home alone, I would stare out the windows all day whilst imagining a great space battle—all on the huge tree.
And the weird thing about the tree was that it was a complex network of branches. The huge trunk, at least a few feet wide, had branches of all shapes and sizes sprouting out of it. It reminds me of that kurkure commercial ‘Tedha hai par mera haiiiiinnn‘ (yes in that weird tune).

The branches itself had been designed in such a way that each one had a different type of fungi growing on or out of it. Mushrooms of queer smells and colors; moss covering the branches and twigs like a carpet of green velvet; insects of strange yet beautiful sorts, crawling in the niches of the wood…

As the monsoon would hit, the tree would glow. Literally, GLOW. The leaves would be greener. The moss covering the wood would be a hundred folds greater. Birds would take shelter of the thing, as if the thing was their mother, protecting it. And I swear to God, the tree would grow more as the rain would pelt it.

As the years flew by, the monsoon grew fiercer. Storms, rains and thundering grew ten fold. Winds of great speeds would sway the thing as if it were made of foam. I wondered about it, always. Then I would realize that the trunk was hollow. That was the speciality of these Rainwood trees. They were hollow, yet looking sturdy; huge yet comfortingly small; rustling loudly yet pleasantly.
Maybe or maybe not but the tree would make the environment cooler. Panjim would be smouldering hot in summers and this tree would make it a lot less so. And it would also become fresher.

And the cherry on the cake?

I realized when I grew up that it wasn’t the only tree there. The whole street was lined with Rainwood trees (although smaller) and each was an exact copy of the other. They guarded either side of the Road like an army of statues.

The rain could not kill them, the wind could not make them fall. They were surely very strong.

In closing, I would like to say that this tree has been my own support in its own weird way. How a tree could be a source of so many childhood memories, I will never know!!!! But it still stands grandly, waving at each new kid that lives in the building.

Hey Bleedsters!
After a long time, I am writing this post on a tree outside the house where I grew up in. Why about a tree?
Well, someone asked me to. This is more of an essay of sorts than a normal post. Tell me if you like it!
Love,
Kunal.

The Summer-Monsoon Vacations of an Engineer

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They say that you’re a budding engineer when your vacations are starting when other people’s vacations are ending.

They are absolutely right.

If you have seen my last post, you might know about the whole mango story. What you might not know is that I was feeling a bit home sick.

“But Kunal, Mumbai is your home! You have lived here since the beginning of time!”

Yes genius, but I meant hometown!

Anyways, the one thing I realized is how difficult it is to change a habit. For the last few (what? Few? More like a gazillion) years, every May I used to visit family with Goa. Everyone knows that.

But when I entered into this Engineering stream, I realized that maybe things had changed forever. For one, the tests keep coming. They never end. One day there is submission, another there is something called “tutorials” then the day after that there is some kind of a practice test and before you know it, BAM– no, not an explosion! The freaking end semester are back!

Then there is the odd timing. No holidays for Diwali. Summer vacations are in Monsoon. Monsoon vacations (Ganesh Chaturthi) are non existent. The great Winter vacations are only 5 days worth. Everything is haywire.

And of course then there is the constant fear of KTs. I will not bore you guys with my thoughts about KTs again. See my earlier posts for that.

Hey, here’s a thought: am I a Sheldon Cooper?

“Who the Frick is Sheldon Cooper?”

Seriously? Have you been living under a rock? He is the super-genius from the show Big Bang Theory.

Yeah, back to Sheldon Cooper (before my own mind diverts its attention with stupid questions!), what if Engineering has turned me into some kind of a weirdo who can’t handle change.

An old backstabbing ex-friend told me a long time back that I look like Sheldon Cooper, am sarcastic like him and brilliant like him. He was wrong on all accounts.

“That’s not true. You’re still brilliant!”

HA-HA! You won’t fool me again, brain!

So am I Sheldon Cooper without the genius brain? Or is it simply human behaviour to resist change.

Or…or what if its a habit! Having family trips every year at the same time has some how programmed my brain to think it’s okay do it. On the bad side, its not a bad habit like smoking or drinking. So, its cool!

Anyways, I will be gone for a long time, since my Summer/monsoon vacations have started! After that… BACK TO WORK!

Until then, I take your leave! Sayonara…

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