This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.

       As a retired man and since I have plenty of time on hand, I read through the daily newspaper from the first line to the last.  And that includes all the advertisements.  Of the hundreds of Ads for job placements, half of them happen to be  the " Walk in Interview" variety nowadays in India.


       I was very impressed by this new technique.


       In the open type Ads,  an aspiring candidate who possesses  the  desired qualifications sends his / her bio-data to the advertiser  couched in colourful language or a borrowed one,  begging for the appointment.  And if the employer  was satisfied with the contents of your application he would call you for a personal interview for which you were expected to take all your certificates and testimonials in original along  with a  letter of recommendation, if any, on a particular date.   It was a great credit if the aspirant had been  called for the interview;  it was something like ‘half selected for the job'.


      But all that have become unnecessary in the alternative model of  ‘walk in interviews'.   See the advantages of  the ‘walk in' syndrome.  Just one Ad and that's all.


      Whereas in the other type,  the employer  has to receive the applications, scrutinize them, shortlist the possible candidates and send out ‘interview letters'.  Suppose, there are 10,000 applications. Can you imagine the quantum of  office work involved? Having advertised, you just can't afford to   pick out some  100 odd at random and discard the rest !   That wouldn't be a fair  ‘business practice' at all. What  is more important is,  in the random thing, you might miss out  some top class candidates. No.  One    couldn't  take such a risk? So, the Owner is compelled to go through every single application with microscopic eyes and spot out the  24 carats.   All these call for tremendous man power at your office.  Every organisation won't have a "Recruiting or what is stylishly named nowadays as, " Human Resources development department" with special staffs on it.  So, the Boss has to employ the existing staffs to do this extra work, which they wouldn't do without extra payment by way of overtime. Thus, the advertiser puts himself into much additional financial strain.


       And yet, many organizations  go in for the older variety.  Perhaps they do have the famous HR department and it has  to be kept busy.  Now back to the  ‘walk in'  version..


      The only common factor between the two techniques is, "the interview board" which may  consist of 3 or 4 members to make the final choice.   You would agree, this can't be dispensed with.


       For a long time I had been itching to attend one of these famous  ‘walk in' calls, just for the heck of it or at least to get a  first hand knowledge of  how the darned system works.  


        And presto !  An occasion did greet me one day and I got ready in a jiffy.  The main attraction was, the  venue of the interview happened to be on my street just some 50 premises away.


        There was a long queue.  I had an impulse to cut the Q because of my age. Senior citizens  ought to get some preference, oughtn't they? Nothing doing.  The younger generation declared a war on me.  "All right, all right," I cooed and went back 25 places. Some of them even silently jeered at me, having assessed my age. How to convey to them that I was on an R&D mission and not after any job. So, I kept my peace and place in the Q.


         A rough head count said  "about 500 aspirants"?  Won't it take the whole day, I felt.  Alas no!  The Q was melting away pretty fast and I found myself at the entrance door within 10 minutes. I was ushered in with utmost courtesy.


         What struck at me most was the  ‘quiet efficiency'  and the perfect drill followed in the reception hall. The atmosphere was almost Army like.  I noticed that no one spoke and everything was done by a wave of hand or a finger. The first gentleman sized me up and down and passed me over to the next table. That representative gave me a plain sheet of  paper and said very briefly – your name and address.  Which I did.  Then  he motioned me to move on.  "What no other details? What about ….?" This person ‘shhed' noisily and put a finger over his lips.  So, I had to shut up. "What's this interview for? "I debated in my mind.  I wished I had found it out before joining the Q. To enquire about it at this stage, would have looked stupid.  Therefore, I kept obeying the hand signals.    


        Within no time I found myself facing a galaxy of 6 persons – all Gents. The centre man directed me to a chair. Then I was subjected to an array of  strange  questions fired at a rapid speed  such as, How far can you see?  Do you know Greek? What do you understand by Pi?  Where is Bosnia?  Does it have ay connection with Borneo? Do you keep a tack on Stock market?


       I don't know how the youngsters would have answered these unearthly questions but I answered them all fairly accurately  being an experienced person on Geography and General knowledge. Even here I wanted to know what the interview was for. Oh No. I wasn't allowed to say what I wanted to say.  After this two minute session, I was marched out.


        Having become none the wiser, I went home disappointed. My knowledge on the Walk in Interviews remained still at zero.


        Three days later I received a letter. It announced that I had been selected as a door-to-door sales man for the company's calendar at 10%   commission.  And I was required to collect the daily stock after making payment for them. 


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                                                             Sweet grace [Israel Jayakaran]