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HR Speak
Imran Shahnawaz
Saturday, April 1, 2006
Sreekanth AK
Head-HR, CA (South Asia), Software product company Headcount: Over 1,200 employees in India

What I like:

During interviews I look for the candidate’s knowledge on the subject, ability to articulate, intellectual honesty, energy and fit to the job and organization. An interview is a two way process, the interviewer tries to understand the candidate’s capability and potential. The candidate needs to explore the organization’s ability to provide his/her career options and needs. I remember, four years ago, a candidate was interviewed for a technical position and during the process I found her more suitable for a support function. I shared my impression with the candidate and she responded to me that her long-term plan is to pursue a career in the support function. I arranged the interview with the concerned hiring manger and she got selected for that position. Today the candidate is very successful in that job. To sum up the interview is an exploration process. Hence do not limit or constraint yourself to a particular job or title. ‘Be intellectually honest and open.’

What I don’t like:

Lack of homework and ability of the candidate to understand the job and organization. A candidate needs to have long-term plans and must have wishes to grow in an organization. They need to ask questions to the interviewer, which provides them information on career and growth opportunites within the organization. A year back I met an extremely knowledgeable candidate who had the right fit to the job. During the interview process, I never got a question from him on career opportunities and long-term growth opportunities, which the company could provide. I initiated this discussion and the feedback/ response was discouraging. Finally, I did not select that candidate. Always think of the bigger picture of the job and the organization, and do not get blocked in the job/title or for the short-term gains.

Ranu Gupta
Director-HR and Training
Applied Materials

Nanomanufacturing technology solutions provider
Headcount: 12,600

What I like:
During interviews I like to judge candidates on three parameters - consistent record of delivery, interpersonal maturity and good communication skills and customer-focused results. All these highlight their good track record of meeting commitments with consistent and positive feedback. I believe, candidates who understand the importance of their key internal / external customers, and their needs will be recognized by their customers for exemplary delivery.

What I don't like:
Most candidates apply for jobs without having a clear picture of their long-term goals and aspirations. Once we appointed a candidate who was technically bright and a good fit in the company's value system, however he moved out within the three-four months of joining. The reason was he found his expectations and company’s requirements were moving on two different directions. It is in the interest of both the candidate and the employer that a candidate comes in keeping her or his “eyes wide open.”
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