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on Interviews & Employability

Two articles in ToI, Ascent* struck a chord.

One is to do with how employers test and gauge suitability of candidates.
There are, run of the mill interviews, where they grill you 'in-depth' in your functional area. So functional abilities are taken for granted. But aside from that, there are a few thrilling experiences where a senior manager or leader will probe you in different aspects - logical/creative thinking abilities for instance, going beyond the functional probing.

The questions at such times could range from logic puzzles and analysis skills tests to stress tests to behavioural event interviewing. I went through a couple such recently.
While it is true expectations are high -- and justifiably so, considering the reality of doing business today - we talk of quantum shifts not incremental change -- there is also a subtle point missed.

The barrage of functional questions, the out of the box, non-functional probing that touches camels, corporate logos and brain drain. All these have a purpose yes - to gauge analytical or behavioural skills as the case may be. But as the article mentions, they also have a purpose in unsettling and testing how the candidate reacts, persists, or gives up in the face of a problem they're unaccustomed to.
So do you hang up your hands and flay about, or do you try in however unconventional a manner to get at it!

Some years ago I was fortunate to gain my first experience in interviewing. And my latest experience, a quick reversal from interviewee to interviwer in a fews days, showed my how truly employability is a concern in the whole process.
The onus on technical and soft-skills development today more than ever before, is on the candidate.

* ToI, Ascent, Mumbai, Wed, Sep 15 & 22