“The next round will be Group-discussion”, she beamed as she said it as if she knew that she was screwing with us.
“Excuse me!” She looked at me with wide brown eyes
“No! My friend said that there will be no GD for this interview!” I stammered
“Well, that was the rules until last month. Our new HR manager has changed the process altogether. Is there a problem” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement.
Of course there is a problem. “Nope! Looking forward to it” I beamed
“Awesome” She smiled again. “We will jus call you in about 10 minutes”
She left the room. I looked around at the other faces sitting with me.
One guy’s face said – “Oh shit I’m screwed!” Probably mine did too.
Another looked so confident that I wanted to kick his balls.
Two girls, both looking tensed, still managed to continuously talk.
We just completed 2 rounds of online tests and aptitude. 5 out of 30 people remained after just 2 rounds. That was alarming enough. I hated GDs! I just hated them. I can never speak when I am supposed to. Personal interviews are so much easier.
There are two things I hate most about GDs:
- I think for a long time to put in a point and when I finally open my mouth for it, somebody else puts in the exact same point.
- As soon as I start speaking, every eyes in the room turns towards me. That scares the hell out of me.
Anyhow, exactly after 10 minutes, we were called into the room. We settled in and a guy came forward and announced that he is the new HR manager and that this was his first recruitment drive in this company. He spoke about his profile for about 2 minutes. I nodded and smiled and tried to act like I was listening. The only thing I could hear were my own heart beating. I quickly looked at the guy sitting next to me to check if he could hear it. But he still had that confident smirk on his face.
“Well, we are keeping things simple here! The topic we discuss today is – What is the most pleasurable thing you do everyday!” His smile was worse, much more cunning.
Everyone looked perplexed. All, like me, were expecting some current affair. The first to recover was the confident dude – “Food!” he said.
All eyes turned to him. He took the attention surprisingly well. He beamed at everyone and started to talk about how he loved food and how it was very important and yet the most pleasurable thing to do everyday – enjoy each meal, he said.
My stomach growled. Oh crap! This is not the time to feel hungry.
A girl quickly took over and said that being with the family was her heaven.
The other guy said he loved to ride his bike and loved going on long drives.
The second girl was now staring at me, urging me to take over fast so that she can think of something in the meanwhile. I was hoping for the same thing.
The HR said, “What about you?” I tried not to look at him, but out of the corner of my eyes I could see that he was not looking at me. I sat up more confidently and smiled at the second girl. She stammered a little and then screamed – “Prayers!” She quickly cleared her throat, realizing that it had come out in a higher pitch than she intended it to. Then she went on to say how prayers helped her connect to God and how it gave her the strength to face everyday challenges and so on.
“O.K., this leaves just one person!” All eyes were on me.
I prayed! I prayed for an earthquake. I prayed really hard.
“Well, what about you? What is the most pleasurable thing you can do everyday?”
My stomach rumbled again.
“Go to the loo…” I mumbled.
“Excuse me!” He said, wide-eyed
The woman who had led us in giggled.
The rest of the gang broke up into laughter. All seemed so relaxed now.
I looked back at the HR, more confident now. “This couldn’t get worse”, I said to myself. He was smiling too. “Err… Would you care to explain?”
“I hope so…!”
“Well… All I want to say is… When you have the urge to go to the loo, you certainly cannot think about food, can you?” I looked at the overconfident guy sitting to my right. His smile was gone.
“The only long drive you want to take is to a public restroom”
“You cannot even think of your family”
“And, surely the only thing you pray for is a toilet!”
“That is the most selfish moment in your life. And yet when you finally do sit down on the pot with your pants around your ankle, at that particular moment, there is nothing else that you want to do.”
I wrapped up and leaned back in my chair and let out a long sigh.
There! That is the worst GD ever in the history of GDs!
Silence. Deafening silence.
The HR manager asked us to wait in the room and he, along with the other woman, left the room.
Those were the worst 5 minutes of my life.
I just wanted to dig a hole and hide in it. The girls were still giggling, probably about something else, but I kept thinking that they were pointing at me. I did not look in that direction anymore.
The over confident guy patted my back, “You nailed it, bro!”
WHAT? I smiled at him. How rude!
The HR manager returned.
“We have selected 3 of you for the final interview to be conducted tomorrow at noon. Of course, all of you have done well, but we have only two open positions”
Nobody moved in their seats. I shuffled.
The first two names he announced where of the overconfident guy and the first girl who spoke about family.
Then he took a pause. “This was a close contest!” Everyone says that.
“And for “Out-of-the-Loo” thinking, Nikhil Harindranath!”
This post is dedicated to my best friend - Vysakh Chandra, who hates GDs as much as I do.
P.S. I did not get this job. I did not clear the personal interview held the very next day. But that was good. My next interview was at VGCS. I got the job; I made a lot of friends, learned a lot of things, and did work for almost 3 years before quitting. And, I have never told this story. Not even to my best of friends.