So i did go to IIT Madras last week to recruit. Turned out pretty good in the end. We found around six really good candidates and it was a tough decision whittling it down to the final three to whom we have made offers. We are very happy with the entire process and also with the people we finally got, and I must say that placements at IITM are much much better than they used to be when i was there – both in terms of opportunities and organization.
Back in college, we used to frequently crib that a certain company’s shortlist is “arbit” and that a lot of “deserving people” didn’t make the list while a few other not-so-deserving people made it. We used to crib that “comapnies just look for stuff like IIT and extra currics and don’t read the CVs properly”. Having seen it from the other side, I must admit companies werent’ too far off the mark.
When you have a large number of CVs to shortlist from and a small amount of time, you just scan through the CV and look for points that stand out and pick them. As simple as that. For example, when I saw that one guy had been selected for the International Math Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC), I immediately put him in the shortlist (we finally made him an offer). However, “domain knowledge” plays its part here. I KNOW that if you have been selected for the IMOTC you must be pretty intelligent. But I may not know the same about some other exam/scholarship/program and thus miss out some good people. As they kept saying in our MBA, life is full of tradeoffs.
At this point I must say that I am pretty impressed with the way I take interviews (and the HR of my firm seconds me on this). I am very hospitable at the beginning, make the candidate comfortable, but don’t hesitate to go at him/her if i think he/she is bluffing! And I am especially proud of the fact that I could make up a mini-case while talking to one of the candidates about where her house is located (not so complicated, but helped me quiz her about various search techniques)!
Also, I managed to fulfil a long-sought revenge. At most interviews I go to, I’m asked “why doesn’t your CGPA measure up to your JEE rank?” and have been grilled over it a number of times. I had taken a vow that on the first available opportunity I should ask someone “why doesn’t your JEE rank measure up to your CGPA? Did you get that CGPA by mugging by rote?” And managed to fulfil that when one of the shortlisted candidates turned out to be hte Civil Dual topper (JEE rank 2XXX; CG 9.4). Her answer was also interesting – I think because i underperformed in the JEE, competition in my IIT class was lower, so I did better! I liked her honesty but for some other reason we decided not to make her an offer.
Of course, a lot of people seemed very weak on fundamentals, and our job of whittling down from thirty to eight was not tough at all. After that, of course, it was quite a tough decision i must say.
All in all, a good feeling. Yeah, on one side, I was playing wiht peoples’ lives and careers. But on the other I think i did a pretty good job so it’s ok.