my first experience of an official interview(opjems)

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Disclaimer: This interview was a successful one. You are advised not to follow this approach. You can follow it on your own risk.It just describes my personal experience. Luckily it worked 🙂

Preface: I had been selected for the interview round of OPJEMS scholarship after scoring better than other 18 students in the written test of opjems which involved questions testing your decision-making skills. The news of my selection was a big surprise for me.

Interview:

(The interview was conducted via video conferencing.i was jittery and nervous before the interview as expected.)
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me: hi, good evening sir.
op1: good evening, it must be quite dark out there in guwahati now, isn’t it?
me: yes, sir.
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op1: you have an interesting profile, anurag. you have shifted from Bhagalpur to Delhi to Guwahati, it must have been a long journey.
( I am at loss of words at such an unexpected question. I had no idea which adjective to pick to describe my journey. just look at my response)
me: It has been an enthralling and long journey.
(I had no idea from where did that adjective come.)
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#personality test
op2: Tell us the qualities that your friends associate with you.
me: patience, perseverance, confidence (though my voice was shaking literally), intelligence
(suddenly there’s a power cut and the connection is lost and i take a sigh of relief for a moment)
(back again)
op2: you are smiling ,what else do you want to say?
me: (smiling) my friends say about me that he makes a lot of PJ’s.
(op1, op2 and op3 are all smiling at me now.i don’t know whether i have made the right statement.)
(yorker#1)
op2: so anurag,are you now going to tell us a PJ now?
(I am speechless, later when I reflected back, I should have said a PJ even though it may be really poor. Perhaps,they wanted to test my performance under stress.)
me: Right now, i can’t tell you a PJ. Hopefully, by the end of this interview, I would have said a few PJ’s. PJ’s come spontaneously to me.
op2: Tell us who has been your idol?
me: My elder brother has been my idol.
op2: Why? What qualities do you like in him?
me: My brother is smart, has the ability to think quickly. He has always guided me and I wouldn’t have reached IIT if my brother hadn’t shown the path to me.
(bouncer#1)
op1:why do you think that you wouldn’t have got into IIT?
me: I mean to say that when a child is in school, he hardly knows which career is best for him.When I was in 10th, my brother got into IIT. So, he showed to me that there exists a possible path.
op2: Do you think you have inherited any qualities of my brother?
me: I have tried to catch up on making quick decisions from him.
op2: Can you give an example of it?
me: (stumped,vague answer) At times i take quick decisions. But there are times when I would have differed from my brother.
op2: So, you can think differently?
me: yes
op2: good
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# situation-handling test
decision#1
op1: Suppose you and your friend are giving an entrance examination.you are stuck on a question.but you know that your friend would have solved that question.Wouldn’t you ask him the answer?
me: No, it is against my morals.
op2: Now suppose that the situation is reversed.what will you do?
me: I will refuse to answer him.
op2: But he is your friend.
me: I believe that entrance examinations are supposed to be cleared on merit. I don’t want to change the system rules. If he is not good enough to clear the exam, he shouldn’t clear the exam. Suppose he clears the exam but he is not good enough, then he would fail at the higher education system.
op2: But how can you explain it to your friend at that time?
me: I won’t. I would simply refuse to answer.
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decision#2
op1: As you know that there is corruption evident everywhere.suppose that you are caught by a traffic policeman even though you haven’t crossed the red light.what will you do?
me: It depends on the situation. I think I can’t challenge his authority, I would pay the chalaan and go.
op1: Now suppose he is asking you to pay him bribe and he won’t give you any receipt. What will you do?
(i am at total loss of words.)
me: I would have tried to ensure that I get the receipt.
op1: But you just said that it is difficult to bully a policeman.
me: (silent for a long while).
op1: No problem man. It’s ok.
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#psychological test
op3: what makes you happy and what makes you unhappy?
me: Success makes me happy and failure make me unhappy. Sometimes solving a question also make me happy and helping strangers make me feel happy.
op3: what has been your biggest failure?
me: my rank in JEE. I knew that I could have got a better rank but I was too nervous while giving the exam.
op2: So did you learn anything from it?
me: yes, I have learnt that I must take in the things calmly and slowly.
op2: What do you mean by calmly and slowly?
me: Now, if  I get stuck at a question, I move forward to the next question.and try to solve it systematically.
op2: good.
op2: When was the last time you helped a stranger?
me: While I was coming for this interview, I gave directions to a stranger.
(everyone is now smiling.i don’t know whether they considered as a dumb answer or they were smiling at my attempt to tell a PJ.)
op2: (smiling) Did that make you happy?
me: yes
op2: good.
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#i am stumped by a mile
op1: Suppose you are given 1-crore.make a plan to invest it.
me: (stumped) I … would start a software company providing innovative solutions.
(perhaps they wanted a detailed analysis of the break-up of the amount.once again, I have
let myself down.)
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#rapid-fire
op3: What is your favorite vegetable?
me: potato
op3: Give 2 reasons,why are you not a potato?
me: Firstly, a potato doesn’t have brain.secondly, potato is related to vegetarian and i am non-vegeterian.
(they are smiling again.i have no idea what sort of impression i have made.)
op2: Suppose there are 18 players participating in a knockout tennis tournament.how many matches would be there?
me:(instantly)17
op2: Suppose you are to turn into an animal,which animal would you like to become?
me: Ant.As my qualities of hardwork and patience matches with an ant.
op2: so small?
me: I will have the freedom to go anywhere then.
op1: Suppose you are given the freedom to invite any celebrity for dinner.whom would you invite?Bipasha, Aishwarya, Deepika?
me: Bill Gates.
op1:(smiling) Really? You would miss your chance to dine with deepika for Bill gates.
me: yes.Bill gates is a person related to my field.
op1: whom would have your best friend invited for dinner?
me: I can’t guess. It depends on him.
op1: But still,think whom would have he invited.
me:(thinking for a while about my best friend and then the answer was easy) Aishwarya.
op1: (laughing) your best friend must be then Abhishek Bachhan.
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#thanksgiving
op1:thanks a lot.
me:thank you,sir.
#thoughts after giving the interview
(this interview has made me aware of my lack of confidence while facing the interviewer face-to-face.it also teaches me to be a bit prepared about the questions likely to be asked.)
#thoughts after the result
I can’t believe it yet that I had a successful interview.Thank you chacha and chikda for being my inspiration in the field of cracking PJ’s.