GD/ PI | Do You Read Batman Comics?

XLRI HRM Interview, Bangalore, 02/03/17

10th: 93.1%

12th: 66.8%

UG: 72.4%, Electrical & Electronics Engineering (BIT Mesra)

Work Ex: 0

XAT score: 96.958, 92.55(GK)

GD Topic: Does browsing at workplace affect productivity?

Experience: Alright. I wanted to start, but that didn’t happen. I mostly played the listening game, as the other fellows all had work ex and were going on about what goes on in the workplace. I interjected a couple of times, seeking clarifications and pulling out a couple of points. After a while, I tried to recapitulate the things, the major points each person had put across so as to achieve a mutual agreement. GD went on for another 5 mins after that.

Gut feeling: Okay. Not Bad. Certainly not exceptional.

PI: Person Left (PL), Person Centre(PC), Person Right(PR), Stoner(me)

PC: Good morning. Have a seat. I see you are quite passionate about mathematics. Strong words in your SOP. So tell me, you have worked on epidemiology, what is it?

Stoner: I defined it. Spoke about the objectives of the field. Explained a simple model. Built upon that to reach the complexity of the model I had worked on.

PC: A few questions about the utility of such models, outcomes etc.

Stoner: Spoke about it.

PC: Asked why paper was unpublished etc.

Stoner: Explained.

PC: Turns to PL.

PL: Please do not be offended, but I am not a big fan of sports. But you seem to be very passionate about it. (I am a Powerlifter, was selected for the Jharkhand State team back in coll) So tell me, how do you intend to leverage your passion for sports by studying HRM at XLRI ?

Stoner: I believe that sport in India is an HR issue. We are a land of a more than a billion, yet our performance always seems to be quite underwhelming. However, there seems to be a positive outlook. The central govt has done a few good things. Spoke about TOP, about how we are emulating the British model, and the results. Then I added that the stunning results that we have is not really possible with just state policies, but there is a powerful corporate hand involved.

Spoke about Jindal Steels forming JSW sports, purchasing Bangalore Yodhas and Bangalore FC etc. Described the talent management, acquisition process, need for a robust compensation/ benefits scheme etc. I said something to the tune of “I will be able to immerse myself into this scheme of things via HRM”

PL: Listening to me and cross questioning.

PL: Hmm why not sports management? Is it not more pertinent to..

Stoner: Something to the tune of (sports management is too specialised.) What I am interested is the being close to the talent, forming a cohesive group blah blah. Spoke about SRI (Sport recruitment international) the work some of them (HRM professionals) do and I want to do something similar.

PR: But all this sounds like sports marketing. You have BM call also. BM teaches a lot of the things you are talking about. So why not BM?

Stoner: That would be a boon in disguise. While sports is human capital intensive making it apt for HRM, it has to be approached a business to improve how competitive the process is and to get the required output.

PL: Hmm. You are trying to impress us. Be honest. I mean, it is not a crime to impress us. So honestly, tell us.

Stoner: Yes sir HRM. The role allows me to be very close to the sport, the people involved etc which is ideal given how passionate i am about it.

PL & PC turn to PR who is the senior most person.

PR smiles at me: Arey you have taken some chalta hai subjects in your UG. Like business ethics. Don’t you feel it is quite useless? Is it not very intuitive?

Stoner: Hmm sir I believe I had a similar notion when I first started the class. I believed it is quite straight forward. I felt all we have to go in an organisation is be nice to everyone, offend no one, do your job and go back. But, I realise that an actual work place has far more nuanced scenarios where there is no absolute right or wrong. So I would have to take fair decisions such that max value is created for all stake holders involved.

PR: trying to get me to talk about specific situations, how the classes went etc

Stoner: We worked on case studies in classroom etc… But I am sorry sir, I can’t seem to recall any specific case.

PR: How do you make such decisions etc?

Stoner: Sir this might sound a little odd. If I may. Batman

PR: You read Batman comics?

Stoner: Yes sir. Talked about how batsy’s parents are murdered etc. He is all powerful, a vigilante by night. Talked about how his personal ethics stopes him from being judge jury and executioner etc. I said I try to emulate that strong sense of ethics and try to maximise value for all stake holders while being ethical.

PL, PC, PR: Thank you. I hope you have a great day.

Stoner: Thank you Sirs.

Gut feeling: I had some stronger points, details about HR functions n sports. Didn’t come through on that though. I also had a proper ethics based answer in the questionnaire which PR probably wanted to discuss. But, it just slipped out of mind. Overall, Not bad. Lets see. HRM at XL would be fantastic. I guess I’ll have to play the waiting game again.