Saturday, 29 January 2011

How to screw up an interview

I've read many posts, articles and stories of how a job-seeker can mess up his job interview (and how avoid it)... This is a post about how an EMPLOYER can screw up

Most interviewers forget that an interview is a 2-way interaction,
usually (particularly w.r.t. the Indian Demographic) there is a high(er) supply & low(er) demand for "Human Resources"

But what Interviewers forget is that  interviewees are also consumers & influencers.

Interviewees are already predisposed to positive cues that reaffirm their faith in the brand (that they may be working for soon), this huge opportunity to build brand salience & engage with a consumer/influencer and make a positive impact, is not only left untapped, but is actually misused creating brand dissonance and ill-will (as opposed to consonance & goodwill).

While a few years ago,this may have been acceptable "par-for-the-course", as "you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette"

In the current age of Social Media &  6 Degrees when, every marketer spends huge amounts just to get Connect on Facebook or be Followed on Twitter, this assumption just does not "hold water"

The Interview Experience 

The Interview "Experience" is paramount in making or breaking a potential Brand Ambassador.And there are many touch points in the process, as illustrated below -

1) Expression of Interest (EoI) - The first telephone call - Who is calling the job-seeker? is the caller educated, informed and adept at handling queries regarding the position /organisation?  how are the caller's soft skills, communication, behavioral competencies and people skills?

2) Confirmation of Interest (CoI) - The first email - What is the content, does it address the queries that went unanswered during the EoI phase? Will a standard template suffice?, or is a personal letter required? Is it comprehensive (Job Description / Company Brief/ KRAs/  Reporting Relationships) ? 

3) Acknowledgement of Application (AoA) - Will a standard "thank you for applying" template suffice, or is a personal letter required? (probably somewhere in between?) What is the content, does it address the queries that were asked by the job-seeker in response to the  CoI? 

4 a) The Call Letter - (if the candidate is shortlisted) ask the same questions as above

4 b) IF THE CANDIDATE HAS NOT BEEN SHORTLISTED - this is a pain point that must be addressed QUICKLY, professionally and without prejudice, providing the right balance of professional tact & directness.

5) The Interview Atmosphere - The First Meeting -  It's official, your 1st Impression is your last - and this axe swings both ways, while there are tomes written on how to prepare for an interview for a job-seeker. There is a LOT that needs to be said and developed on the Employer Branding front. The experience starts from the moment the job-seeker enters your premises - straight from the parking lot, to reception, to the HR coordinator,  the waiting time, are ALL under INTENSE scrutiny by the job-seeker. - and all it takes is a single tweet sent from a mobile phone, for an entire communication campaign and marketing ad spend to come crashing down - Here's an example -

BP CEO Tony Hayward: 'I'd Like My Life Back'

6) Ensuring HR is your competitive advantage - (In hindsight, it is evident above, that the BP CEO was clearly NOT the best person for the Job) - The 1st Interview Experience - is the interviewer's perceived  knowledge of the role AND interest in the job-seeker conducive to attracting the BEST Talent?

YES, they're lining up in the hallway... Waiting to be interviewed by YOU... but there's only ONE GUY you NEED... does she/he WANT to join you?

7) The Negotiation - There are Text Books & DIYs about the ART of Negotiation so i will save some space - Life is NOT a zero sum game  - make sure your offer is a WIN-WIN where you and the job-seeker, both feel like winners - you can buy a man's hands .. but you have to win his heart - Passion comes at a Price, that cannot be measured in monetary terms

8) The Final Judgement (Selection & Rejections) - I cannot stress this enough,  ensure Rejections are dealt with equal (if not greater) tact as the Selected candidate. While the selected candidate becomes your employee, the rejects CAN still remain your consumers & influencers > The way you TREAT them will be the Occam's razor 

This entire post can be summed up in a two lines -

1) Treat rejected job-seekers like your customers
2)  Leverage the Interview don't screw it up

Companies that recognize these aspects as critical to Image Management, are the ones that shall prevail in the long run.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Pain Points in Indian Telecom

While others harp about scams and issues post-event,

I'd like to focus on what things which CAN be done for the FUTURE of Telecom,

I attended the Voice & Data CEO Conclave 2010, while it was an extremely fascinating gathering and everyone was positive on the topic - "Data: the Next Growth Wave" and spoke at length about -

A) The Digital Divide that is no longer urban & rural India BUT between Voice & Data users - (which harks back to my previous post on the Paradigm Shift from the Ear to the Eye)

 B) The Advent of 3G, 4GLTE In India -  changing not just the way we communicate in this country but the very fabric of Indian Society, touching aspects of Education, Health, mCommerce, mBanking and Agriculture.

C) The Lost Opportunity of Bluetooth Technology and the advent of NFC Technology & LBS Services

But what I Really took away from the conclave, were the 10 laser-focused and sharp pain-points that  Satya N Gupta, said about what is Ailing the growth of Telecom & Data Services in India, Here's what i understood -

1) Multiplicity & ambiguity in the government's regulators - TRAI, DoT, WPC, USO, TCC, CCI, VTM ....

2) The emasculation of TRAI from regulator to recommender from Y2K

3) One Size Fits All Policies for both voice & data AND all the Telecom Players in India, irrespective of size of operations

4) The complete non-existence of telecom spectrum wholesale & resale policy guidelines

5) Spectrum underutilization due to mismanagement and lack of spectral consolidation - too many gaurd bands (a guard-band between adjacent channels, due to the unpredictable doppler shift of the signal spectrum because of user mobility. )

6) "Regulator Capture" - The govt makes the regulation implementing bodies "AUTONOMOUS"- but their independence appears only on paper as they are run by ex-govt employees, or govt officials on deputation or secondment

7) Banning Resale of Spectrum - Locks the exchequer away precious future valuations benefits

8) Multi Node Taxation -  licensing & revenue sharing levies, spectrum tax, service tax ....

9) Outdated Accounting system of Fully Allocated Cost isntead of Long Run Incremental Cost (LRIC) or better still Forward Looking LRIC - (An Excellent reference Source is:

10) Lack of a CONVERGED Regulator with Powers of Implementation of Policy completely disconnected from the Govt.

Any Thoughts ???

(All Credits are to Satya N Gupta and all misunderstandings are mine)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Capitalism in Hinduism

Here is another plagiarized post.... for the simple reason that... I'm continually searching for positive spins on Capitalism and Mr. Nadkarni has given a credible theological  perspective

 Capitalist within


   On DHANTERAS wealth is worshipped. All that gold, silver and precious stuff is to be laid out, to entice the Goddess of Wealth to shower greater prosperity on the house as she supposedly flits in and out at night during the festival. 

Strange as it may seem, the ‘owl avatar’ of the Goddess is singled out for worship during Dhanteras along with traditional Lakshmi-puja.
She is the goddess who rides the great white owl (Ullukavahini),
which also signifies silent transience of wealth. The Goddess’s bird of the night also symbolises sleepless wisdom; it also accompanies the Goddess Athena in western tradition.
No one knows the transient, or some would say fickle, aspect of wealth as its devotees. In his recent study of capitalism, American Colossus, H W Brands highlights, for example, “the terrifying difficulty of remaining at the top once one has arrived”. The famous tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt was said to be a pucca ‘water man’; he was entirely devoted to the steamship even as railroads “threatened to relegate river transport to the status of the fax”.
Vanderbilt’s antipathy to trains was reported to be so deep that he chose to refer to them “as things that go on land” instead of naming them! But he couldn’t run away from looming obsolescence of river ways: he recovered his acquisitive wits just in time to grab the shares of the New York & Harlem Railroad in the 1860s and was thus able to delay the decline of his great fortune, albeit only by a few decades.
The one lesson that stands out from studies of wealth worshipping votaries of Mammon is that of capitalism as a force of creative destruction, a notion first introduced by the German sociologist Werner Sombart and later popularised by the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. He used the term to describe the process of transformation
that accompanies radical innovation. To less savvy eyes, this can truly seem to be as whimsical or magical as the entry of the Goddess’s great white owl!
In the vision of capitalism evoked by Schumpeter, what sustains long-term economic growth is the entry of that economical creature, the entrepreneur, even as it destroyed the value of established companies and labourers that enjoyed older monopolistic advantage.
So on Dhanteras, we ought to worship the ‘entrepreneur within’ that sees every problem as an opportunity; even as he leverages catastrophes into capital.  

From The Cosmic Uplink in The Economic Times


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The 45 Lessons of Life by Regina Brett, 90 years old

I'd like to start off this New Year on a Lighter Note with this piece - Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of Cleveland , Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

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