March 01, 2015

THE DIFFICULTY OF SAYING 'NO'

AN APOLOGY OF SORTS

Last Saturday, I was called up to conduct interviews for a vacancy in my team, the first in my three and half year long career. It was nearly four years since I had answered campus interviews in the final year of my BE and to be frank, I was as very nervous in the beginning. In fact, I got up an hour early just to brush through the training material so that I would not end up making a fool of myself in front of candidates whom I was suppose to 'grill'. At the same time, I was happy too; after all, at a time when jobs are drying up, you do not get an opportunity to conduct interviews very often, more so since my company is not one of those 'mass recruiters'. I wore the same blue T shirt with thin white lines that I had worn while appearing for campus recruitment drives. Probably, this is what they mean when they say 'life has come full circle'.

Thank God for the fact that I had a experienced partner in a senior colleague who had conducted several job interviews in the past and is a master in identifying the right people for the job. That made my life much easier. He was extremely confident in his approach and knew what kind of questions to ask. That confidence rubbed on me and in my own opinion, I did a fairly good job. Of course, I did make some minor mistakes and there is a big scope for improvement, that is if I ever get a chance to do these kind of things again. By the end of the day, we had together interviewed three candidates, sending two to the next round while rejecting one person.

This candidate hailed from a small town and was working with a consultancy in a neighboring state. Though he was technically good, we were not sure whether he would fit into the team or not. After a round of discussion with other colleagues, we 'rejected' him. It took me more than two hours for me to get over this. I have always had this habit of finding it extremely difficult to say 'No'. There have been times that people have taken undue advantage of this and have made matters difficult for me. I am aware of this and have been trying hard to correct it. I know what I have done was not wrong. Still, when I think from the interviewee's perspective, I do feel unhappy. After all, every one wants a better job, more perks and a hefty salary.

Later in the day, I discussed this with Habbu Sir over a call. He being more pragmatic amongst us, tried to reassure me saying that I had done complete justice to my job as an interviewer. Probably God has something bigger and better stored in for that person. Wasn't Amitabh Bachchan rejected by AIR much before he became one of the biggest names in Indian cinema? May be my impression of him was completely wrong; may be someone else interviewing him recognizes his true potential and hires him. May be, in the next few days or weeks he might land up in a job where he would have much more job satisfaction than he would have got had he joined my company. Of course, that is something that I might never know. All I hope is that person does well in life and gets all the things he rightly deserves.