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Job hunts and FPS

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Going through a job interview is not unlike a FPS game, with various levels, the first being a target practice round to weed out those who cant hit the broad side of a fence, then a death match between several participants, and then a final boss fight. The first and the last, the target practice are quite okay with me, and there is a clear cut differentiation between who is the one who holds the prize , and those who aspire for it. Score enough hits on target, make it through round 1. Hold your own against the boss, you're through. Its the part in between, the group discussion in which the link between contestants becomes blurred......

In a GD, you are pitted against your own companions, and its a battle for survival. Not unlike a death match or a gladiator fight.As proximo says in Gladiator,
Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.

You fight for Caesar(or in this case , the facilitator). He watches from a different plane, and you fight for all that you are worth that you may win the Caesars favor. In the end, you are done ,and a few remain, who look up to get the thumbs up or down which will decide the rest of their lives from then on. What is even worse is the fact that the fate of your mates is your own doing. It is your own performance and the fact that you are selected that is the very direct cause of their rejection. Most go home disheartened, and with one less path to take. The burden on oneself is also not light ,as we have to bear the fact that their loss of livelihood is because of us. But somehow , we have been chosen for the greater good, and if it weren't them going home, it would have been us. We try to soften the blow by getting to know each other ahead of the GD, and if possible, trying to get a gentleman's agreement to be cordial. If not, then cartelize, and bring down the rest. In B School Interviews, I've always been a bit shaky, for most of your peers are as experience, and skilled, if not better than you are.

Contrast that to the one i just had recently. There were eight grouped together for the discussion. I was trying to keep a low profile after i had just been established as a minor celebrity after all my college mates came to my room, and then the officials of the HR agency facilitating the interview took their time to talk to me(they were shocked at seeing my name , and were of the view that i should definitely have tried CAT for one more time. Unfortunately, job security is something that i give paramount importance, and so I'm here. As the batch in front of us gets read to go in, their predecessors step out , and what's the topic?...”black or white”gasps go up around immediately and suddenly one of the dudes suddenly starts to reel off strategies for taking on such a topic. The fact that most of them dont hold water are the least of it. Either way, he's suddenly the cynosure of all eyes, and everyone turns to his expert guidance. I just watch silently. Was he placed earlier? I ask.. yes he says , but couldn't join because his joining date clashed with his exams. Poor dude , suddenly my prejudice goes down a few notches.

Either way we're ushered in, and the facilitator flips through the answer sheets, and one of them catches his eye...and its mine! He heads over to me and asks about my name and origins , I of course , have no idea , and all i can offer are theories.(honestly, I don't know if I've got Anglo Indian roots!)and the facilitator says he's bushed for ideas, and asks us to suggest one. Of course , our earlier hero has one at hand. I contemplate coming up with another one , and taking him down..no, its to crude.. were civilized people aren't we? I ask him why he chose the topic, to give a semblance of a discussion regarding the topic. He offers none. Either way, we're off, and soon me and this girl from our college , biotech (honestly, before she identified herself , i had no idea she was even in our college! The Biotechs are in an isolated section, and we don't mix all that often..) I give turns to the others whom i came across as good people , and made most of them speak. Of course , for some apparent reason, the guy who suggested the topic remains silent. Maybe he feels secure in the fact that he contributed the topic...I'm in the middle of explaining why it makes sense for govt to raise pension age when the facilitator cuts me off. Thats all folks , for today at least..We go outside, and wait for Caesars favor. He seems to be in a good mood, he has chosen 4. It seems others were luckier and some less so, and in some cases , up to 7/8 were chosen, and in others only one or two. Thankfully, I've also made it.And i felt good about it.Not because i actively fought the temptation to take him down, but because i could help the others express themselves and get a chance . Sometimes, real victory doesn't come from winning ourselves...but from helping others to...

Ultimately, we're all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how but, what we can decide is how we meet that end, in order that we are remembered, as men.

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