My first job was with a company that I had audited as an article during my Chartered Accountancy. There was no formal interview. That was in 1968. After about 5 years, I wanted to go for a change of job. Here’s a snippet of my interview with the finance director of a British company with operations in India, Mr. Shepherd:
He: Badri, you have credentials good enough to get you a job with any of the top companies. How do we know that you will continue to stay with us?
Me: Mr. Shepherd, I promise you I will not leave you before completing 4 years. But I cannot promise to stay with you beyond 5 years.
He: Why do you say that?
Me: I am confident that I will train my assistant to take over my job completely within 4 years. I will have nothing new to contribute after 5 years in the same job. Unless I get a different opportunity, it will not be in your interest to retain me after 5 years.
He: What is your role in periodical management reporting with your present employer?
Me: I have introduced annual budgeting, monthly profit statement and detailed variance analysis of actual over budget.
He: What is the profit level of your present employers?
Me: The latest published financials of the company reveal a profit of xxx crores.
He: Are they making enough profits this year, rather, what are their current profits?
Me: I am sorry Mr. Shepherd, professional ethics do not permit me to answer this question.
He: Badri, when can you join us? Can you join us tomorrow?
They gave me an appointment letter with a grade higher than the maximum scale they advertised.
In interviews, I believe it makes a better impact, if a candidate:
- Clearly and confidently speaks about his own thoughts and intentions rather than shifting blame on those with whom he was associated so far.
- Never spills out the trade secrets and disclose information, which the earlier employers passed on to him in good faith or he had access to while executing the duties.
Maintaining these basic ethics gives confidence to himself and to the new employer.
Editedby Meeta Kabra