Thursday, 13 November 2008

An interview at Zenith BPO...

Due to heavy problems faced by the financial sector, there are a lot of jobs that are being cut. Further, the fresh recruitments too are on a hold. Under these cicumstances, things are getting difficult. And I just thought, let me go ahead with another job for the time being. And the moment I thought this, a long dreamt desire of working in a call centre came on to my mind. I dont know what interests me but I like this job. As always, the moment I decided this, everyone scolded me and stopped me. I stopped for a couple of days. But today, this wait period came to an end and I decided to go ahead with it. Firstly, I also needed to know if I can get a job at least. So, at least to confirm this and to ensure that there is something for me in case of loss of job, I had to jump on. After a small web search, I found that there are openings at Zenith BPO for the position of a content writer. There are also openings for E4E call center

I went to e4e and sat there for the interview. I waited for some time. The HR did not come. And I left the place. I thought I would return later and went on to Zenith which is very near to e4e. Our resumes were taken. And after some waiting period, I was called in for the interview. When asked what job I was looking for, I told that I am fine with any job that is offered to me. And immediately, I was the superhit. It always happens in my life. I keep giving such great answers and get caught very badly in the situation. Well, the next that was told to me was there is only one position, namely, content writer. I said I am OK with it. But sooner, after a small introduction, etc, I dont know from which heaven the changes happened, I was asked if I am interested in working in a voice process, ie, call center. Well, that was exactly what I wanted and I immediately said yes. Later, I got to know that this was exclusively offered to me

I had to take a mock call with the concerned HR. It was a basic introduction round. And fun unlimited... Golmaal... kept happening. The HR told me that he wants to test my english skills and I said, please go ahead (as if I was the HR)

But how can I test it

You must be knowing that sir

We usually see experience and decide on all this. You do not have experience

I do not have experience of a job like this. But ifTrus you are looking for english communication skills, I have requisite experience to make your job easy

He immediately said that he will make other arrangements and I should wait till then

I was waiting at the lounge thinking about various career options available. I thought I would join DRDO. I had been to DRDO yesterday to meet Manu. He has already been allotted quarters to stay. A single bedroom home. Wow, I was pretty impressed by it. But then, they want scientists, not financial analysts

I have been finding jobs at various other places like Northern Trust Bank, ANZ, etc. There are some good career programs over these places. There are some good internship programs coming up from Ernst & Young, Deutsche, Goldman Sachs, Merill Lynch, etc

I was called in again and told that the project is in relation to booking of hotel rooms on behalf of the clients. So, I had to give a mock call now booking a party hall for my client at some hotel for 30 persons of who 12 are children and they want a set menu and I must phoenetics and get the deal at the cheapest rate possible. And Puneet the dummy CSR was on

Hello. Can I speak to the manager of Hotel ABC

Speaking

Good morning sir. I am Jack calling on behalf of Jill to inquire if we can get a reservation for 30 guests on the 24th evening this month, ie, on thursday

Oh sure

The timing is at 6 pm and the cuisine is set menu

OK

Can I get discounts for the children below age of 12? There are 9 of them

No sorry

OK. Can you see the availability and confirm the reservations?

In whose name should it be done

* And then the usual conversations like the customer name, phone number, EMail ID was done. I believe, the HR was looking for clarity of speech. And I was pretty much good in that. I could feel it. I did not use phoentics as I am used to the Alpha Beta Charlie Delta Echo type of a standard which might not be acceptable here. However, later, I got to know that this is the accepted standard

And now came the catch, I knew that this call would be to test my communication as well as my smartness. So, I was thinking when will the smartness test come. Many a times, the smartness test is already over before you know. In my case too, it was almost the same case. The HR questioned me

What is the menu you are looking out for

Set Menu

What kind of set menu???

* Gossshhh... I never knew what it was. In fact, I was asked before the call by the other HR if I had an idea of menus and I had clearly said NO. And now, the same question, even after knowing that I did not know the answer. But I answered

There are about 30 of us. 9 children below 12 years of age, 4 children between 12 and 18 years and the remaining are adults. So, we would like to have a set menu that contains

all the kinds of food for
all the kinds of people with
all the kinds of tastes for
all the age groups

And HR burst into laughter. And said

OK Puneet. I am done with it. You can carry on

Then I continued, so, can you confirm the reservations? And the HR says, everthing is over, I mean, the call, or, your interveiw is over

I believe, even he got confused. Hmmm... It keeps happening with me always

And then, I waited out till 3 pm. And then I was told that I am through with all this and I should come back at 4 after my lunch. I finished lunch by 3.30 and went to Vodafone store for some work of my friend. And then, I went to Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank to inquire about personal loans. What a branch these banks have got in Koramangala! I just loved them. It was such a serene bliss to sit in the HDFC Bank branch for sometime. It was awesome. I decided immediately that I am not going to do any other job. I will wait till my posting dates come

Soon, I was back to Zenith and I was taken to the other Zenith office in Adugodi. Its there where the call centre process happens. I had to meet the operations manager. It was the same person who had taken my mock call. So, there was nothing much to speak. He gave me a paper and asked me to read it. By the time I would read a couple of lines, he said

Thanks Puneet. Its green to you from the operations. Carry on with your next processes

I came down and evening snacks had arrived. I had a couple of honey cakes. It was very good. I thought everything is over. But then, I was told that there is another round with the General Manager. But then, this usually never happens

I just gave a thought on this. I dont know if I am right or not. As far as what I asked in the beginning, it was clearly told that there are no openings for voice process. But, I was told to go for it. And now, my interview too happening in a individual slot. I think, there might be some people who have left the job and may be, they are planning to put me there directly

Well, be it whatever, I waited and finally I found me in the GM cabin. He was an old man with a lot of experience. He asked me very sensible questions regarding my career, etc. He clearly stated that this is not something meant for you. Your resume speaks very high of you and you are not the people who must join call centers. I am totally OK with having you on board but you do give a thought before you join. Because, you have to stay here without cab facility and work for 6 days a week and you have to sign a 1 year contract with us. He told me some more importants about career and finally said that he has cleared me and told me that I must reconsider my decision. I knew that he was very impressed with my BCom percentage

Hmmm... All these exciting things keep happening in my life always

Soon, I went to the other office where, after some time, it was told to me that I am selected. I must submit my original 10th, 12th and degree marks cards immediately and join the job from Friday. I was surprised. Then I asked if I can get the offer letter. But I was told that it will be given only after getting the original marks cards. Now, all that is in Hubli. I was suggested to leave tonight and get back tomorrow morning. Well, I knew by now that the day was a waste. All I was looking was an offer letter, not a job. An offer leter to be in a position to shift as and when he need arises. And this never happened

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