HR Speak

Date:   Tuesday , January 31, 2006

Venkat Krishnan
General Manager-HR
Helios & Matheson
IT Services company
Headcount: 1200

What I like:
Using skills and talent at the right time is the most important thing in a candidate. One day our company's network was down. It so happened that a candidate who had turned up for an interview the same day gave some suggestions to deal with the problem, which actually worked. The board members liked his approach in solving the problem. Now he is working with the company.

What I don't like:
Candidates should provide genuine information. They should know what their resume says, often candidates are not sure about the information they provide in their resume. A candidate unsure or unawares of his resume creates a negative impression. Giving wrong information about current salary package, misrepresenting experience or education qualifications puts off every HR manager. It is often better for a candidate to say 'I don't know' to a question than bluffing or giving vague answers.

V Kartikeyan
Director- HR
Texas Instrument
The company is into digital signal processing and analog technologies
Headcount: 1,200
What I like:
Substantiating answers with examples is an added advantage during an interview, but it should reflect the crisp part, which is necessary for that specific question. Once during an interview for the senior level position, I met a candidate. When I asked him about his ability to handle a team of above 40 people, he said I do scrip level reviews, round table meeting and one-on-one meetings. That was the key points that I was looking for that post and now he is working with us. Everyone gives answer to a question, but what is essential here is to hit the bull's eye.

What I don't like:
Though some people have excellent credentials, they are not tuned enough to stay focused. Once a candidate who came for an interview, was so engrossed in his response that he talked far more than what was required. And to the worst, he didn't even sense the changing body language of the interviewer. Instead of talking too much in air a candidate's response should be crisp and to the point.

David Nallathambi
Alcatel India
The company provides communications solutions.
Headcount: 1,100
What I like:
Candidates resume should be balanced between the information provided and the knowledge they posses. Recently we called a candidate after looking at his attractive resume. He works in GE Capital Services, though he looked impressive, he presented himself more impressively than what he mentioned in his resume. In response to a question he gave a detailed description about shared services from conceptualization stage to the final stage. That drew our attention towards his indepth knowledge on the subject. However, in India the story is on the other way round too, where resumes look more impressive but knowledge level does not match with what they mention.

If the candidates cannot articulate the work they had done in the previous company they are not worth to be hired. Meeting interviewers' expectation during an interview is the most important thing. Candidates applying for the post of team leader should express how they have handle a team before. If they can't then no matter how much knowledge they posses they will be termed as a failure.

Rachna Patel
Senior Manager-HR
Logica CMG
Computer consultancy and systems integration company
Headcount: 1,700

What I like:
If a candidate is well dressed that creates a good impression on the interview panel. Many candidates dress casually and few just walk-in even without a proper shave! This obviously creates a negative impression. If a candidate is seeking a senior level position then formal attire is an absolute must. When you work for global companies, where mobility matters appropriate dress culture plays an important role.

What I don't like:
Most candidates do not listen carefully to the questions posed in the interview. Once I asked a candidate what was the biggest achievement in his life, he quickly replied, "I got married". When asked about his professional achievement, he thought for a while and replied, "I got married!" The candidate should be alert and understand before they make a statement.