Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am growing old..

Oh yes.. some people I know would be overjoyed with the confession. A reminder to such folks -- all of us are growing older with each passing day.. so are you, so is my little girl. She is 2 years,5 months old now against the 2 yrs, 4mnths last month. So much to wipe off the smiles! But I do feel old today, old enough to preach people the importance of honesty, old enough to disapprove the lack of integrity in the younger lot, and old enough make remarks like -"In our times.. blah blah blah!". Is it really so long back? It is less than 6 years since I graduated!

Let me tell you what happened today, so that my rant starts making at least some sense. As I already mentioned sometime back, my company is recruiting these days. For me, that translates to a couple of interviews per day, out of which few are held over the telephone. The intent is to perform an initial screening and save the candidate the trouble of having to come over if we do not see much promise. I did one of these telephonic interviews today. The profile of the candidate was good, a fresher from a premier institute and I went in thinking that this is going to be easy. We would be calling this person for a personal interview in any case. We exchanged niceties, and I asked him about his academic interests. He mentioned something about OS and logic. Fine, I said, we shall start with some puzzles. I gave him a question, and waited patiently for him to come up with an answer. He talked out loudly while working on the problem. I understand that, some people talk to themselves rather loudly especially when they are trying to concentrate hard. Then I heard another voice.I felt the phone line is playing tricks.. Again, I heard 2 voices at the same time. I grew confused, and asked the candidate if he had somebody with him? No Madam, pat came the reply. I blamed myself for hearing imaginary voices. But then, it happened again. I started hearing very keenly. There were at least 2 more people on the other end helping the candidate solve the puzzle. I could have done away with the interview there itself, but just to be sure, I asked him some more, similar questions. The hushed voices kept filtering through his voice. The interview ended in around 20 min, and I was already fuming by then. This is so not done! How badly can you need a job to fall to such levels? And how optimistic can you be to believe you could get away with this? He is a fresher with 2 placement offers already made.. I would have called him over for the next round with eyes shut. God knows how badly we need good people, but to qualify as 'good', you need to be honest first. To cut a long story short, I just returned to my place, gave him the lowest rating and sent the feedback across. Do you think I did the right thing?

4 comments:

kopili said...

I don't know Violet - what I'm about to say you may not like, but since you asked I thought I may as well put in my thoughts on this.
Was once a time when I was a stickler for honesty - never cheated/copied in any exams in school/college. Never told a lie - you know that kind of honesty. This was when I was 22.
Now I am 32. Today, if somebody cheated in an exam or copied from others, I dont really feel the same indignance. If something like your interview incident happenned to me, I would be angry at the guy for insulting my intelligence - come on, after all, I can hear you guys.

But I don't think I would be angry in a moral kind of way - you know, how can you cheat kind of thing. On the question of whether I would call him for an interview - I would tell this guy to come for the interview, but with his friends in tow so they could help him solve the problems :-)

Violet said...

Kopili: Yes.. It did get a bit personal, insulting as you said, hence the outburst. He was too optimistic to believe he could pull that off..
I have never lost by being honest which is why I still believe so much in it.. but at the same time, I have no say whatsoever in what other people do. Writing such a preachy post made me feel really old. Thanks for your comment Kopili,I liked it :-)

lostonthestreet said...

You did a good thing by not hiring him- he was just plain stupid.if i were him I would have had friends write the solution for me to read it out :-)

Violet said...

lostie: If you have the good sense to plan it so well, I warrant you can crack the questions on your own, in no time. All I asked were some simple aptitude questions!