It was way back in 2007. I had recently graduated from my college and was enthusiastic about surging ahead in my career after college! The first thought that came to my mind was to pursue Masters in Business Administration for which I even prepared and attempted to write the management entrance test. The scores of the test were satisfactory but by the time results were announced I had started to look out for a job especially in the field of communication or customer service.
I registered in the local job portal network and also shared my updated resume within my network. The joy of searching for the first job is certainly an exciting phase in one’s career. As my interest was in the field of customer service, I had the option to choose between a voice process role or a non-voice process role. I chose the latter for it gave me good opportunities to excel in the career.
Job Search Process
I learned from my network that there are ample opportunities in the Business Processing Outsourcing sector that was then an emerging sector. Business Process Outsourcing or BPO sector had provided good opportunities for fresh graduates like myself to excel in customer support. A BPO sector offers jobs that are usually outsourced at the back-end and managed by an off-shore support team usually in another country. India then was an emerging market for BPO industries and many information technology companies started off their operations from Bengaluru as its regional headquarters.
As I had already enrolled on the job portal with my resume registered as a fresher, I received many requests to attend the interviews for some other roles such as a Human Resource Generalist, Human Resource recruiter, and staffing specialist. As my interest was in customer service, I focused on job areas and organizations that offered customer support opportunities. After registering in the job portal for about fifteen days, I got a call from one of the reputed companies offering me the position of Email support executive for customer operations as a non-voice role. I was excited that my resume was shortlisted for the position.
I quickly provided the necessary basic details to the recruiter for the purpose of shortlisting and pre-screening requirements. Nothing happened after that and after waiting for two days, I got a confirmation email to attend the job interview at the headquarters of the office. I was excited that my resume was finally shortlisted post the screening process and I was eager to face the first job interview of my life.
The Interview Process
The next day, I made some preparations to attend the interview which was scheduled in the late afternoon, as per the email confirmation. I left my home much early to reach the venue on time. I was an hour early at the venue in the office. I could see some of the other candidates too waiting for the interview who had otherwise got an email confirmation to attend the interview. After an hour’s wait, the staffing specialist collected the resumes from the candidates. I was calm and composed as I had prepared well for the interview. We were directed to wait at the conference room for a while.
The Written Test
The next step was to attempt a written test. All of the candidates had to answer the job-related questions on a sheet of paper which was handed over to the recruitment team. The written test had many interesting and challenging questions related to general awareness, customer empathy, email etiquette, and general aptitude. I took up the challenge with ease and confidence and successfully completed the written test within the stipulated time.
For about forty minutes after the written test papers were collected, we were asked to wait for the results. Soon the results were announced and I was excited to have cleared the written test to qualify for the technical round.
The Technical Round
The technical round consisted of a written test on a computer for about forty minutes. This was very exciting as I had never attempted an online written test. The questions were similar to the pen/paper-based written test and I completed it successfully within the stipulated time. It was the elimination round that would select only the best candidates from the interview pool.
The results were announced soon and I was glad to make it to the next and final round of the interview. There were other candidates who also cleared the online written test round and it was learned that the company was hiring for multiple teams on the same day itself.
The Final Round
The final round was scheduled to be held on the same day and all of the candidates had to wait till the end of the day. Around seven candidates were called in for the final round of interviews and all of them left the place after completion of the final round. I was the last candidate to be called in for the final round. I was nervous this time as I was the only candidate left in the waiting hall.
I was called in and went inside the board room. The board room was empty to my surprise! I eased a bit. After some time, the recruiter informed to pick up the conference telephone and speak to the interview panel. I was confident as I had prepared well for the interview and at the same time could not resist picking the telephone call. I waited for nearly two minutes and the phone rang. I greeted the caller with ‘Hello’ and the caller on the other side reciprocated with a Hello greeting. The caller introduced himself and provided information related to the stages of the interview.
The first stage involved reading aloud a written paragraph which was kept on the table. I took the paper and started to read in a composed manner without making many mistakes. Perhaps this interview round was conducted to judge a candidate’s reading skills, comprehension skills, decision making, and general awareness. As soon as I finished reading the paragraph, I was asked at least four questions based on the paragraph. I replied with confidence and also presented the facts based on the information made available in the paper.
The next round was to introduce myself and brief the interview panel about my career goals and academic achievement. This was an opportunity for me to showcase my exceptional qualities through my educational, personal, and professional achievements. I was also asked about the hobbies I pursue and the reason for choosing the hobby.
The final round consisted of technical questions related to the product and services offered by the organization. This was the crucial round to judge the candidate’s knowledge about the job description and the organization. I replied with confidence and the interview ended after forty minutes of wait in the conference room.
The Final Selection Announcement
As I came out of the conference room, I was asked to wait for some time by the recruitment team. After a brief ten-minute wait, I was told to wait for two more days for the final result. I headed back home with much satisfaction and confidence and waited for the final results. After a gap of two days, I received an email from the human resources team regarding the results of the interview. The email contained information related to my final selection for the job opportunity along with the offer letter and related details.
I was excited to know that I had managed to get a job successfully at the first instance itself. As I was determined to serve as a customer support specialist, the first job interview ended on a happy note. This experience taught me to have patience, maintain a calm composure and be confident in any situation. The same had helped me to ace the interview and take up the first job in my career!
- 6 Essential Tips to Enhance Online Job Search
Conducting an online job search is a daunting task owing to the competitive job environment and market volatility. It is thus essential to stay afloat in the job market by following essential best practices, that help you to get noticed by potential
- 5 Essential Job Interview Tips for the Entry Level P...
Entry level professionals seeking to attend the job interview for the first time need to adhere to certain best practices. The best practices and tips as discussed in this article will help an individual ace the interview with confidence and eventual
- 7 Essential Tips To Draft A Cover Letter For Beginne...
Cover Letters act as an important tool you describe a candidate's potential in a summarized manner. It is important for beginners and fresh graduates to prepare cover letters while applying for a job interview. Cover letters provide an opportunity to
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid in a Resume Document
A resume is an important source of information for employers and a tool to understand the candidate's details suitable to the job description. However many resumes tend to get too lengthy, inconsistent with formatting, unstructured content and glarin
- 5 Tips to Create A Winning Resume
A resume acts as an important source of information to employers in an organization. It also acts as resourceful tool to gauge a job seeker's capabilities suitable for the job advertisied. This article discusses key essential tips to create a winning
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Varun Dambal (author) from Bangalore on May 20, 2021:
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on May 20, 2021:
You did well. My first interviews had me very nervous and I didn't get those jobs. It was the one I "didn't care about" and so was very relaxed that I got.
Liz Westwood from UK on May 20, 2021:
This is an interesting account of your experience. It gives helpful insights for others going through the job interview process.