I was always fascinated about mobile communication technology. During my intermediate school days, the concept of voice transmission between two mobiles over the air was a mystery for me.
After getting a degree in electronics engineering and getting exposure to telecommunications, I was eventually able to solve this mystery.
However, my story really started in the year 2007. This was my first interview experience with a large mobile communications company and a well-known brand in India. Virtually everyone in India knew about Nokia.
I have very vivid images of my interview experience till date. As I walked into visitor lobby and approached at reception, I was greeted with a smile by lady at another end. After I told that I am there for an interview, the receptionist gave me a visitor card and asked me to wait.
I was trying to sink in this feeling that I am called for a job interview at Nokia. I could feel some kind of infectious positive vibe in that lobby. That iconic “Connecting People” poster on the wall and everyone who was walking-by had either a smile on their faces or a thought-provoking geeky look. This made me more determined to get this job.
And then my manager came and he shook my hands with a smile and guided me to a meeting room. Before this interview I had experience of multiple job interviews. However, this was the first time I was asked if I would like to have something first; tea, coffee or water. I politely declined and then the interview started. From the basics of signal processing, telecommunications to C programming, everything was asked.
Then I was told to wait for another round of interview. This time it was the turn of my manager’s manager. He took me directly to the breakout area and asked me to have some snacks and drink. With hesitation, I took a piece of biscuit and water. My interview happened in an auditorium. This time the questions were not technical. I was asked many behavioral questions.
That very day when I was asked to sign a job offer letter, I was not interested in seeing what salary was offered to me or what are other perks were extended to me. The only thought I had was that I wanted to work with these people, I wanted to work with this company.
Job interviews are not about self-discovery – or maybe most of the time they are not designed that way. But this job interview was nothing more than a self-discovery for me. I came out of the room knowing myself more.
I discovered that it is not about knowing everything, it is mostly about what you know best and can explain to others in plain language.
I discovered that caring and respecting others for what they are, is far more important than expertise in any field of knowledge.
I consider myself lucky to be associated with Nokia. Not because of work I was able to do there but because of the people I interacted with and life lessons I could learn. Most of all a “very human” approach towards everything.