Memorable interview moments from students who landed lucrative jobs
From being asked to describe the colour purple to a visually-impaired person to being advised to not jump ship when new opportunities come along, UPES students, who landed lucrative job offers with companies such as ONGC, Schlumberger Limited, and McKinsey and Company, describe their most memorable moments from the campus placement interviews
Interviews can be a nerve-racking experience. No matter how many self-help books one reads or videos one watches on tips and tricks to calm oneself down before interviews, when sitting face-to-face with a panel of experts, it is common to break into a sweat.
But are the interviews all fire and brimstone?
We asked some UPES students – who landed lucrative job offers with companies such as ONGC, Schlumberger Limited, and McKinsey and Company – to relate their most memorable moments from their interviews during campus placements and they came up with some really interesting answers.
While there are the usual straightforward knowledge-based questions, there are also quirky queries, amusing anecdotes, profound advice, and even some morale-boosting pep talk.
‘Describe the colour purple’
Anjali Kukrety of B.Tech. Computer Science Engineering with Specialisation in Cloud Computing and Virtualization Technology (School of Computer Science), was selected by McKinsey and Company for the role of a PPI Analyst at a salary package of INR 12 LPA.
She was asked by the interview board to describe the colour purple as she would to a visually-impaired person.
Even though designed to put the interviewee in a bit of a tight spot, Anjali remained unflustered and used her “creative imagination and expression” to give the best possible answer.
“As I could not use visual components to describe the colour, I told the interviewer that I would try and relate the colour to other senses like the sense of smell and touch. So, I could tell the person about the smell of lavender flowers when they bloom or I could hand him an aubergine and ask him to feel the shape of the vegetable and remember it each time he hears the word ‘purple’,” Anjali recounts.
‘Expressions are deceptive’
Anvesha Singh of B.Tech. Applied Petroleum Engineering with Specialisation in Gas (School of Engineering) secured the job of a Field Engineer at Schlumberger Limited at a package of INR 33 LPA.
She was told point blank ‘expressions are deceptive’ when she walked into the interview room with a bright and cheerful smile.
Trying to hide her fear and anxiety, Anvesha had put on an air of confidence and the brightest smile she could manage, but she says that it did not go unnoticed by the interviewer.
“It was the time of the interview and as usual, we were all anxious. However, I knew that this was my chance to shine. So, I looked in the mirror and told myself that it was now or never. I decided to enter the room with the biggest cheerful smile, ignoring whatever was going on within me,” Anvesha says, recollecting the moment.
She says the interviewer admired her display of confidence as he was aware of how anxious and afraid the students were.
“The interviewer was extremely impressed with my effort as he knew how nervous we were. To put me at ease, he said that expressions were deceptive. He emphasised that it was okay to be nervous, but that one should be able to manage it correctly,” Anvesha adds.
‘Don’t jump ship’
Aprajita Katiyar of MBA Oil & Gas Management (School of Business) bagged the role of a Marketing Officer at ONGC at a salary package of INR 23.61 LPA.
She remembers the moment when she was advised by the interview panel not to job-hop too frequently.
“The interview panel made it clear to me that to grow professionally, I should stick with an organisation for a considerable time period rather than jumping ship the moment a new opportunity comes along,” Aprajita says.
“They advised me that this will enable me to build trust and enduring relationships. I would be able to contribute that much better to the organisation that has invested in me and helped me gain exposure and experience,” she adds.
‘You didn’t leave us feeling ignored’
Sandeep Kumar of MBA Oil & Gas Management, who was selected for the same role and package at ONGC as Aprajita,wasespecially thanked for maintaining eye contact with all the interviewers while answering one expert’s question.
“One of the interviewers asked me a question and while answering it, I addressed all the panel members. The interviewer appreciated my gesture and told me that I didn’t leave the other members feeling left out. Generally, we answer only the person asking the question. So, maintaining eye contact with everyone worked in my favour,” Sandeep says.
‘What does your father do?’
Kulvinder Singh of MBA Oil and Gas Management too landed the plum offer from ONGC for a Marketing Officer.
He says that he was thrown off by the very first question the interviewers asked him.
“It was a surprising moment for me as they asked me what my father does,” Kulvinder says. “I used the opportunity to highlight my potential. I told them that my father runs a jewellery business and that I was the client manager for his business. The interviewers were happy with my answer,” Kulvinder quips.