Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A shot at Infosys BPO...

As I had been thinking of alternatives for life, I found that a commerce student can afford to either do a sales job or join a BPO. There is no other option that is available to us. So, my search for the job, in fact, the right job, has been on. And today, the search took me to Infosys BPO. I began the interview search in the morning reaching Opus Dei Consultancy in Residency Road. There was some ad on the net in regards to the same. I found that the interviews were going for Firstsource. The usual couple of rounds of introduction, etc went on and I wa through them. I was asked to go to the company which is situated near Mount Carmel college. As I got out, I changed my mind. I decided to go to another consultancy by name Whitehorse Manpower near KFC at Indiranagar. Interviews were going on for Accenture, Transworks, Mphasis and Infosys BPOs. I was eligible for Infosys BPO at the moment. The first round began soon in which the usual introduction and screeing process happened. A HR representative of Infy took the interview. Nextly, I was asked to write an essay on 'Crime and Criminals'. After evaluating both these, I was told that I have been shortlisted for the next round. It was a telephonic interview with the main HR. I had to wait for some time till early evening. The round went on for over 40 minutes. All the details about life, career, objectives, thoughts, opinions, achievements, failures, interests, hobbies, loves, hates, irritations, etc were interviewed in details. There was a lot of fun. As usual, a lot exciting answers to the questions came out and it was a great fun. I have forgotten things. Let me try recollecting

What do you do in your free time?
I like to spend my time in reading books, singing songs, watching movies, speaking to friends, complete pending works, etc

Which is the most recent book that you have read?
Anything for you maam

What?
* I thought she did not hear the name
Anything for you maam
* There was silence. And I said again
Maam, the name of the book itself is 'Anything for you maam'

Oh, I see. So, Puneet, can you tell more about the book
Sure maam, its a book written by... (*Oops, I had forgotten the name of the author)... by, by the author. Maam, I forgot the author's name

Its OK Puneet, you can go ahead
* What shall I go ahead? I had read just a few pages of the book and did not say what to tell. I was feeling that I did I mistake by taking the name of this book. I would have told about One Night at the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat. I had read the book and watch the movie, Hello, as well. But, I had to continue. So, I went on
Maam, the book narrates a story of a guy and a gal. Its the love story of the author. He is a student at IIT, Delhi and he falls in love with a girl from Chennai. There are many problems that they face to get together. There are same family issues that do not permit them to get along each other. Moreover, the distances keep them apart. They face a lot of problems and a lot of exciting situations have been described in the book. Finally, they resolve all the issues and get together

So, what did you learn from the book
The book teaches us that love is a very strong force of life. Love can make you do anything in life. It can help you achieve all the success in life. It is a motivation everything
* I went on and on and slowly, I realised that I was lecturing on love rather than the book. And I had to come back to the topic. Else, I would be thrown out. So, I continued
Maam. This is what the book mentions directly. However, the learning from all the situations and stories mentioned in the book is that, in this journey of life, we come across a lot of problems. Now, 2 things can happen. The first one is what everyone does. Feel upset, cry, brood, try to escape and make an effort to skip it, which doesnt get possible, and in the process, add some more problems and pull along the same. However, the second option is to treat this problem as an adventure or a challenge and happily go about solving it. Now, 2 things can happen. Either we succeed or we fail. If we succeed, we win. And if not, we dont lose. Because, had we not made an effort also, we would fail

A lot dicsussions went on in the same way. It was obviously a psychology testing round, attitude testing round, language testing round, etc. For that matter, it was an all-in-one process. I knew that all depends on this round. I would be in if I can impress here. Else, I would be out. And in the process of conversation, at one particular stage, I could hear the words

I am impressed
from the HR. And I knew for sure, I was in

I was asked to go to the next round for voice testing and accent testing. This would be held at the Infy BPO office at JP Nagar. So, I moved on to JP Nagar. It was a 2 hour journey amidst all the traffic. It was about 8 pm that the test began. It was an automated telephonic interview. I was told that we need to repeat the sentences that will be told in US/UK accent in different styles. There would be YES/NO type of questions. Questions like

Where do you park your brand new sports car? Parking lot or Sports Showroom?

If you withdrew money from ATM, your cash balances increases or decreases?Similar questions were rapidly fired

Further, jumbled phrases were given and we had to rearrange them to frame sentences. That was such a brainy task to do over the phone. For example, the machine would say

Loved his - The King - Kingdom

Very sweet - In the river - The water

And so on. I had to frame the appropriate sentence and respond in a couple of seconds

Further, there were also open ended questions like

Should the parents choose the course of study for the children? Give reasonsI was baffled by the test. It went on for 20 minutes. It was very well executed. I could get to know that the test is done through a website www.versanttest.com

I am yet to go through the site to find out some information about the same

After all this, I had to wait for about 30 minutes for the results. The HR came with the result. And I was very happy to listen that I had performed in a very brilliant manner. The scoring in the accent and voice is beyond normal grading. That delighted me

Of course, I did some bluffing on the phone. I knew that it was a machine which was testing me. So, the modulation and frequency would be the factors that would count. There were cases where I would not get a word. However, I would smartly match the frequency and the machine could not distinguish due to the exactness in frequency. For example, if a word is

Temptations
It would be pronunced as tyemp tye shunns
And suppose I did not hear the word clearly. I would just repeat in the exact frequency and modulation asyemm shyee shunns

Well, after all, I also had to attend an aptitude test. However, it was postponed to the next day due to shortage of time

The next day, I was supposed to reach there by 10 am. However, due to various reasons, I could only reach at 1 pm, as per my watch (cellphone). However, it was only after reaching there that I got to know that my cell was 1 hour slow. It was already 2 pm. Luckily, there was no issue. I gave the test quickly. It was just like any other aptitude test. The results were declared and I was asked to give the documents for joining. I had to also submit the original marks for the purpose of verification. It would be only after this that I would get the offer letter. But then, who wanted to join? I wanted the offer letter. And yet again, that did not get possible

But as I reached home, I thought on certain points
  1. I have been sitting idle from quite a long time. I do not know when will my ICICI Bank joining dates come. Is it time for me to join somewhere else rather than wait for this?
  2. If I join and then the joining dates come, what should do then?
  3. The conditions for joining were that I had to sign a 1 year bond and also keep a deposit of Rs 10000 (Rupees Ten thousand only). This money is taken so that the employee doesn't violate the contract of minimum working period of 1 year. And I clearly know that I will not be here for 1 year. So, I will definitely lose this Rs 10000. So, it will take one month of work for me to recover my investment. Moreover, I dont even know whether I can stay for 1 complete month
  4. I would be sent to Mysore for 1 month training. This is yet another problem. Though they provide food and accommodation, its not workable for me as I am not going to commit to this work
  5. After considering all this, I also considered another point. Should I forget the ICICI Bank offer and begin a new career here in this field? After all, the salary will be the same. The biggest advantage of this would be that I will be in Bengaluru and there would be no question of being transferred elsewhere

The thought is yet going on. Lets see where the thoughts take me

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