The Unsuitable Candidate

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It was supposed to be a regular day of the week but it wasn’t a regular week of the month as time was marching towards the month end. I was expected to make sure that the targets within the territory allocated to me were achieved but not to go beyond as it would have led to even higher targets set by the senior management for the next month on the basis of assumption that there is a boom in the market. A lot of motivational books quote that in order to achieve success in life, one must define goals for himself and set a clear target in order to achieve within a stipulated time.Corporates have been taking inspiration from this philosophy but probably might have forgotten that achieving the targets does help an individual to move in a particular direction but the fun in doing it gets lost the moment they are not defined rather imposed on a person. Well I may be wrong in this considering that I am new to this profession and has been passed out from college and working since last 6 months. But on a personal level, that single thought of “Is this really something that I want to pursue in my life” does prevail on my mind every single day triggering the state of restlessness and instilling a moment of fear in me. It almost sound ironical that I run from street to street everyday so as In-Sure people against occurrence of an unwanted event in their life but I myself am not Sure about the path on which I am running on and the events that are expected to occur in my life.

As these thoughts kept on pondering over my mind along with a morsel of roti I was biting at a dhaba during lunch hours, I received a call on my mobile from an unknown number. After wiping off my hands with a tissue, I picked up the call.

Me: Hello !! Who’s this ??

Caller: Hi ! I am calling from XYZ company. I have received your resume from an online job portal and I want to schedule your interview tomorrow 11.00 a.m. for the position of Client Servicing in our advertising firm. Will you be available?

Here was I who had to make a decision while having lunch at a dhaba on the sidelines of a highway amidst the noises of horns by heavy trucks that too for a job interview scheduled for tomorrow which also happens to be the second last day of the month to achieve sales targets. Appearing for the interview would have meant that I was required to spend the entire day for the process losing out on my sales calls and probably not being able to achieve my target. The scene of my boss blasting me off in front of the entire team for my under-performance started playing in my imagination. Without any further reluctance or hesitation, within the next two seconds I went on to state my decision to the caller

Me: Yes. I will be available.

Caller: OK. I will mail you the address details. Please come at the venue along with copy of resume and a passport size photograph.

In the evening at home, I began preparing for the interview next day. I was really excited at first place as I was considering it to be a change of fortune for me. Honestly I had the same feeling thrice in the past two months since I uploaded my resume on job portal. Still I felt that this time I am gonna make it to the final. Initially I thought since I have already gone through this procedure for once during campus placements, probably preparing for this again won’t be as difficult. They would ask general questions like what have you done in your previous job, strengths & weaknesses, where do you see yourself in 5 years and related other questions which I had already mugged up from various career building sites. Then I went on to check the company website and straight away checked its Gallery section to get to know about the ambiance of the office. The office did appear to be vibrant visually with colorful work stations. I somehow started imagining myself to be working in the company after seeing the pictures of company’s Shimla trip. I also wished in my heart if that girl in black sweater to be in the same team in which I would be working. As I came back to reality, I started wondering why would they have shortlisted me at first place for their interview round since my professional background is in a diametrically opposite sector. Probably the software which they might have you used for screening of applications must have taken the keywords from my Achievements section on resume “Winner of Ad making competition in college“. Further questions began to erupt in my mind that could have been asked as if why do you want to switch, what makes you suitable for this job since you don’t have prior experience in this sector, salary expectations etc. I began to frame stories to be woven about me getting a job in an insurance firm in campus placement but having a desire to work in advertising industry since I have done lot of creative activities in my college. Again I went on to imagine how I would be celebrating tomorrow evening once I will be having an offer letter in my hand. After getting done with my preparations, I went for sleep so that I can be charged up for the next day.

Next morning I left at 10 a.m. to the venue for interview. Also I stopped at the nearby temple to offer my prayers to God. I reached the venue 15 minutes earlier than my reporting time. I told the receptionist about my interview scheduled for the day, she asked me to provide my resume and take a seat. I realized that there were two other candidates lined up for interview for the same profile who were occupying the sofa wearing a black formal suit with a folder in their hands. Without making an eye contact to them, I took a seat on the adjacent sofa and waited for my name to be called upon. The time passed and it was 11.45, but still no sign of HR calling my name. In order to pass time, I even peeped around to see if that black sweater girl is available at the office premises. Suddenly a woman came to me smiling, took my name and asked me to come for the interview. I followed her to the meeting room, she switched on the lights and asked me to take a seat.

Interviewer: Lets begin with a small introduction!

Me: Mugged up Shit

Interviewer: Can you please elaborate on your current profile ?

Me: Mugged up Shit

Interviewer (after taking a slight yawn): Why do you want to switch?

Me: Mugged up Shit

Interviewer: What was your previous CTC?

Me: * lacs p.a. (I told her but won’t be disclosing it to you)

Interviewer: OK. Thanks. You can wait at the reception.

Me: Thank You

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I came back to the reception and noticed that the other two candidates were still occupying the sofa with a dumbstruck expression. The next candidate then went on for the interview. After five minutes, the receptionist asked me to take a call on their telecom.

Me: Hello !!

Caller: So you can leave for the day. We will let you know about the 2nd round next week.

Me: Ok. Thanks

Well my hopes of celebrating that evening quashed but still I was hoping to come back to this office space for next round and ultimately getting the offer letter. But before that I had to face the brunt of not achieving the sales targets for that month. The visual that I imagined about my boss blasting off on me did came true in the sales review but what I was waiting for was the other visual to happen in reality of me working in the advertising space. The days passed and I kept on checking my phone every half an hour about any call, message or e-mail. I even sent a mail to their HR in order to inquire about the status of my candidature. Few days later I was at the same dhaba having my lunch during a sales visit when my phone vibrated with an e-mail notification. It was from the company HR and I  just read the initial few words of the mail ” We regret to inform…”

I immediately locked up my phone with disgust and began to wonder what better could I have done to convert this opportunity. I prepared so much for this. I delivered to my best but still fell short of it. Will I be getting a similar opportunity again. And if I do get it, will I be able to convert it that time. I even started to become a little philosophical with thoughts as in “Humans are expected to make mistakes but the power to adjudge it also lies with other humans“. I consoled myself that probably I was unsuitable for that job and god must have had some other plans for me in future. After having these thoughts, I began to think about the targets to be achieved for the coming month. While I was have a bite of my food, I again got a call from an unknown number. I expected it to be another call from destiny which might be even better than the earlier one and certainly more suitable. So I went on to pick up the call.

Me: Hello!! Who’s this ?

Caller: I am calling from ABC Bank. I have a credit card offer for you. Will you be….

Me (after disconnecting the call): F***ing Shit !!

P.S. : This is a fictional blog and doesn’t bear any resemblance to any person living or dead. Though bits and pieces of it must have been experienced by some.

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