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ST Team
Thursday, June 1, 2006
Srini Vudumula
HR Manager, Tavant Technologies, IT Services provider, Headcount: 1200 employees globally.
What I like:
An attitude of I-can-make-it-happen, an infectious passion for what one does and a deep belief in one's ability to truly make a difference is what I always like to see in a candidate. I believe it is candidates' confidence that explains what’s there in the resume. However, what is important is to understand the business perspective first.

Once I met a candidate during an interview. After understanding the company's business perspective he asked focused, relevant and probing questions that impressed the interview board. Besides he also substantiated his points with data and instances that has given strong credibility to the 'been there - done that' factor.

What I don't like:
People with low ambition communicate their disinterest through their body language such as drooping shoulders, not meeting the eyes while speaking. Years ago I met a candidate who was prospecting a job for a people managerial role. He had a very low voice, low on energy and for every question; I had to make an effort to get answers out. It was really difficult for me to imagine handing over a team to that person. Candidates should understand that interview forum is the entry point to an organization. Their knowledge and confidence is the key to cross that barrier.

Aruna Padmanabhan
HR Manager, Freescale Semiconductor (I) Pvt Ltd. Designs and Manufactures embedded semiconductors, Headcount: 625 employees

What I Like:
Having a glimpse of passion in candidates' eyes is very important to move forward. It can be for their overall career growth. I believe the moment they want to grow, their passion, the energy level gets transferred towards the organization. I noticed this passion sometime ago when I met a young candidate. Usually during an interview, candidates ask what will be their role in the organization or which group they'll be working in.

However, this candidate with two years of experience asked what is the company's roadmap for the short and long-term period? Based on this roadmap where I'll be in the next five years. He said, I have a vision about my career. Can this roadmap be helpful in fulfilling that? I was amazed to hear that. I believe that kind of people drive the organization forward.

What I don't like:
Most often I have noticed that candidates think the HR interview is just to discuss about salary and package. Having that notion in mind they straightway ask the interviewer how much the company can pay. I have met so many candidates who want to switch just for getting higher package and we let them off, as we believe that a person with such attitude can spoil the organizational culture. What candidates should understand is, HR interview is not just to discuss about salary, but also to scan the candidate's ability and passion.

Malvieka Joshi
HR Director, Ciena India Pvt. Ltd.
Optical network management solutions provider
Headcount: 60 employees

What I Like:
Personality of the individuals describes their energy level. Having an affirmative attitude and mindset is very important for candidates that help them to take any situation as a challenge. I believe if one's mind and attitude is clear then they can win over any circumstance. That plays a vital role in projecting candidates' transparency. Years ago, I met a bright young boy during an interview for a finance position. He was very sound on technical lines. As we were about to close his HR interview, he mentioned that he is doing a course on 'International Finance.'

As our company works six days a week, he needs full day off every Saturday and twice a month on Friday. He was so candid about his career plans that the interview panel liked his transparency. We selected the candidate for the position and while being on job he completed his course and secured a gold medal.

What I don't like:
It is obvious that people switch job due to various reasons. But having a complaining attitude creates a negative impression about the candidate. This highlights the lack of maturity in a candidate. What they should understand is what and how to share. Many times I have noticed that people complain about their previous organization. Interview is a forum where one has to discuss about the future not about the things that went wrong with the candidate in the previous company.

Sanjay Sakat, HR Head, Compulink Systems Ltd, IT Services and Products Company Headcount: 175 employees

What I Like:
Candidates should possess a clear idea about their objectives and vision when they come for an interview. This creates a positive image about them and helps match the candidate expectation with the company's expectation. Usually candidates' run behind better technology, position, and domain. A year ago I met a candidate who was more interested in learning business needs of the company. He was very excited to learn new thing. Today he is one of the top performers. He joined as a software programmer and currently holds the post of senior software programmer.

What I don't like:
Sometimes candidates who appear to be optimistic do not posses a clear perspective. Having different ideas are good, but what candidates should understand is at the end of the day the work they do is a pure-play business. Though the IT industry is known as knowledge-based industry it runs on client orientation. Often during interviews candidates put forth a lot of fancy programming ideas. What they forget is the basic concept of the industry in which they seek job. Two weeks back I met a candidate during an interview for the post of Team Lead.

Though he was sound about his ideas and expectations, the sensitivity related to client expectation and customer relation was missing.

Pradeep Kizhakkethi
HR Head, RelQ Software, Software quality management and testing services provider
Headcount: 550 employees

What I like:
Willingness to make a difference by learning new thing and presenting ideas in an impressive way is the most striking feature in a candidate. During an interview I met a candidate who had researched well about the requirements of the post he had applied and presented extremely well. I appreciate such level of learning capabilities, good conduct and personality.

What I don't like:
Though some people have excellent credentials, they are not tuned to take higher responsibilities. To move in the career ladder one has to take higher responsibilities, especially for experienced people. One cannot grow with the same work that has been assigned, they need to be on their toes. I believe a candidate should be confident enough to take such responsibilities.

Reena George, HR Head, Indiagames, Wireless games developer
Headcount: 280 employees

What I like:
Candidates should posses a go-getter attitude as it helps them to grow even if they are not technically proficient. I believe with right kind of attitude they can grow much faster.

They should be confident to accept what they are. Few days back I met a candidate who mentioned that he is very optimistic, confident, go-getter. When I asked him to put forth an anecdote that can highlight these qualities of his. He was smart and said if you give me any assignment and a deadline then I would deliver it within the deadline. One should possess that kind of confidence.

What I don't like:
People generally try to portray an image of an ideal candidate in an interview rather than presenting what they are. Especially experienced people do this kind of self-marketing to impress interviewers, the reason is they know very well what an ideal candidate would be. Once I met a candidate who was prospecting a job for customer service. During the interview when I asked him how would you manage a situation where a customer is in raging mood and you have to deal it politely?

The candidate started portraying an image of an ideal situation. Though he presented himself impressively, he failed to substantiate the situation with a realistic approach.
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