Total number of applicants (Marketing, Finance, Systems and HR) – 350 +
Number of applicants in Marketing only – 288
Total number of Selections – 11
Selections in Marketing – 3
That boils down to a hit ratio of 288 : 3 for Marketing
The selection process comprised of a GD and two rounds of PI – one Technical and other HR. Being a non engineer I was wondering what would be in store for me in the technical interview ofcourse if I clear the GD.
The Group Discussion
28 GD groups were made in all. There were 5 moderators in 5 rooms.
I was in the 2nd Marketing GD group which turned out to be the very first for the moderator in my room. The guy was a South Indian… it looked like he was searching for intellect…
As soon as our group of 12 people entered the room, he asked us to be comfortable and surprisingly he started appointing tasks to the group members. One guy was allotted the task of time keeping – he was told that the GD is going to last for 20 mins out of which 5 mins will be given for thinking process and 15 mins for the GD and he was the one to keep track of the time.
Another girl in the group was given the task of summarizing the GD even before the GD started.
I didn’t get either of the tasks and felt like I have lost it here itself. I was just like the rest 10 people in the group….
The topic was thrown – Consumer is the king in India.
The timekeeper started his task… and obviously he was the one to start the GD coz he was the only one to announce the end of 5 mins. He took full advantage of it and began with his points in favour of the topic.
Gradually others started entering the GD – most of them in favour of the topic. and all were ready to eat each other. I somehow entered the GD after about 3.5 mins of discussion and there was something different – I was against the topic.
Couple of more speakers came up against the topic. There was a 3:9 ratio (against the topic : for the topic). The 9 people started hounding the points of the other 3. The GD got very messed up and the moderator was hardly able to make out anything.
One guy in the GD took the initiative and convinced people to speak one by one so as to make some sense rather than making a fish market. I lost it here again coz I was not the one to display the leadership quality.
Now starting from one end the people started speaking. I was number 6 and my turn came in the middle.
I knew this was the only chance to showcase everything I had…
I started my points which included various red tapes laid by the Indian Government and the Monopoly in few sectors. I got around 2-3 minutes to speak. Following me the rest also spoke up and the GD got over.
Everyone was waiting for the results and I was the sure the guy who brought things under control will definitely proceed to the PI round. But the results said something different – I was the only one from the entire group who cleared the GD.
The Technical Interview
Interviewer – Hi Arpit (I didnt even reach upto him)
Me – Good Afternoon Sir
Interviewer – So Arpit I has just going through your CV and I see you have done quite a lot. But when I see your marks I am disappointed 80% in 10th, 85% in 12th, 75% in graduation and just 68% in PGDM. Are you on a downturn now ?
Me – Not at all Sir. As you can see Sir. I am involved in a lot more things than just academics.
Interviewer – Ya I can see that you are the President of the Student Council but I dont give a shit. You came here to study… that was the only thing expected out of you and that task is undone.
Me – Sir I have been the most regular student in the college and have imbibed all what an MBA should but after sometime I realised that its not only the academics part that matters for an MBA. Its more of a blend between knowledge and skills. I kept up with the knowledge as well as enhanced my skills though various activities of the college.
Interviewer – But still, 68% marks is nothing – Its holy shit..
Me – (He was stuck at this point so I decided to agree with him) I agree that its not much.
Interviewer – So you didnt do what you came here for ?
Me – No wont say that but I could have done better. I will try to pull back in the upcoming exams.
Interviewer – I see you have done a lot of things on the internet.. a couple of websites to your name.. I would rather like to offer you a developers profile.
Me – Sir, as I am not an engineer, I might not fit into the developers profile. Neither I would be able to deliver nor you will be statisfied.
Interviewer – But there are a large number of vacancies in that profile. If you agree you are definitly selected.
Me – Sorry Sir. I am here for a Management Trainee – Pre Sales job.
Interviewer – But I have only the developers profile for you.
Me – Thank you Sir but then I don’t want the job.
Interviewer – I am delighted… Good. So you want Pre Sales. What can you do there ?
Me – If I am convinced with the proposition I can convince others too.
Interviewer – Don’t talk out of the book. Come on sell this to me (pointed at a glass of water)
Me – OK. Sir 70 % of your body is water….(before I could go ahead)
Interviewer – Again bookish…
Me – Sorry Sir
Interviewer – Why cant you simply say that I am interviewing 40 students today. I will be thirsty continuously speaking. I would need water and thats why I should buy that. Keep it short and simple.
Me – Yes Sir
Interviewer – What are your hobbies ?
Me – I am very fond of the internet. Exploring new services. And collecting e-books. I have around 20,000 ebooks in my library.
Interviewer – So did you ever read them or just collect.
Me – Its more of a collection but I read few bestsellers.
Interviewer – What have you read so far ?
Me – I recently read – Made in America, Alvin Tofler’s Powershift, The third Wave and Future Shock
Interviewer – These Alvin Tofler books are too old.. may be published way back in 1970s.
Me – Yes Sir… but that time he predicted the future and the future is now. So it finds great relevence with whats going on now.
Interviewer – OK Arpit. It was wonderful talking to you.
Me – Same here Sir.
(There were many other instances in the interview which I cannot recall. The interview lasted for around 18 mins)
After a very long wait the results were out and 10 out of 40 Marketing students moved to the next level.
The HR Interview
The HR interview was different. It was a structured interview with the same set of 4-5 questions to all the candidates.
The duration of this interview for every candidate was not more than 3 minutes.
Interviewer – Hi Arpit. How are you ?
Me – Fine Ma’am thank you.
Interviewer – Are you aware of all the locations where HCL Tech is and do you have any preferences of location ?
Me – To my knowledge HCL Tech has major operations in Noida, Gurgoan, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. I know there must be many more but it hardly matters for me as I am free to relocate anywhere. Though I will prefer a North region.
Interviewer – Why North ?
Me – I just want that the language should not act as a barrier in my growth.
Interviewer – Language will never be a problem as everywhere in HCL Tech we speak English.
Me – Its fine for me. I am free to move anywhere.
Interviewer – What are you future plans ?
Me – Short term or long term
Interviewer – Tell me both.
Me – Initially I want to learn nuances of business by working in the corporate for atleast 10-12 yrs and after that I would implement the same in my own venture when I put up. In the short term, I want to scale up and get promoted in the shortest specified time to subsequent positions of the company.
Interviewer – Do you want to ask us something ?
Me – Yes Mam. I wanted to know, whats there in HCL Tech apart from work ?
Interviewer – At HCL Tech, for fun, we work more.
Me – OK. But you said you follow ‘Employee First’ policy what do you make them do apart from work ?
Interviewer – We have sports clubs, literature club and various such activities where you can participate.
Me – Ya, thats what I wanted to know.
Interviewer – OK. Thank you Arpit.
Me – Thank you Mam.
The final results were out and a total of 3 students were selected from Marketing and I was one.