Placements and Mental Models

I can think of a few situations that really make placements – placements.

One, Social Proof – if the other guy is applying to 10 companies, I should also apply to atleast 10. If the other guy is getting x amount as salary, I would not settle for anything less than 2 times x.

Two Excessive Self Regard - if the other person does not get this job, may be he wasnt upto the mark, may be I am a better student, may be I shall apply.

Three Availability Bias - this company is offering a better profile, this company is a better recruiter, the package is good here, so on and so forth.

Four Envy/Jealousy - Even if I dont get this job, I shall spoil the chances of the other person getting it. Its either me or no one. I shall not let him get it, I hate him, he wasnt good to me !

The Placement Season

Here at MDI, placement season is in. For some people (including me) this is the reason why they joined a business school and why they slogged their behinds for two years. I can see tensed people running around with CVs, books, reading material etc. clenched as if they were the last cigarettes of a person in prison.

People with work experience have already been placed. I cannot divulge the exact number, as this information is classified ;). It feels great to be a part of something classified. I can now understand the excitement in the dull lives of spies.

For the past 5 hours, I have been sitting in the computer center and filling up forms and answering questions on my weaknesses, strengths, creativity, social responsibility, my hobbies, my criminal record and dunno what else. About 5 minutes ago I yelled if someone can tell me my biggest achievement till date. And someone told me a magic answer that would work for just anyone.

Some questions are appropriate - my educational background, projects etc. But most of the questions are totally, utterly obnoxious and could be avoided. A question wants me to talk about my creativity. I want to somehow explain to them that creativity is something that can not be put into words. I want to post some of the actual questions but as I have already told, it’s classified.

I don’t understand why these companies want us to fill 5-page, 6-page forms to evaluate our application? In the end experience tells us that the company with the longest form would use *JUST* our CGPA to shortlist and select people. They would not even read the CVs.

I sometimes think that this is some kind of race between the companies to have the biggest and longest and toughest form. Some companies for the very purpose of making a form complex would put in* INTERESTING* questions. They think that we (applicants) judge a company on the basis of length of the form they get filled from us.

Few questions do indeed come to my mind right now.
1. If you are a company, shouldn’t the selection be based on more than just your CGPA, or your resume or your form for that matter? You aren’t buying a computer according to the specifications but you are trying to select a guy to work with you and each guy HAS to be different. A form does not do any justice at all. What is the guarantee that the chap with the maximum CGPA would be the smartest? I can see that a lot of people with higher CGPA are not exactly the brightest.

2. I see everyone running after the biggest salary. Shouldn’t your first criteria be the kind of work you do rather than how much money you would make? Isn’t this similar to some of the things that you would openly cry out against (something like bar-girl-ing) where you are forced to work against your wishes to make some money?

3. Why do we (applicants) start reading books, articles, newspapers just before the placement season? I can see everyone trying to cram every last word written by the God or Marketing, Mr. Kotler. If they think that knowing what Kotler knows would help them get that dream job, they are in a big trouble. Can’t they think that there would be millions of others would read even better than them? And don’t they realize that Mr.God would not be there in their workplace to help them out? And what’s up with newspapers? Knowing the news for a week would definitely not help anyone. Interviewers are smart enough to realize that people read only a week before the interview. Didn’t we join a business school to *LEARN* rather than *PREPARE*?

Confused, tired and form-ed !

Just when I was packing up this text I realized I have to talk about the great enemies that would surely spring up in placement season. People would give anything to strip you out of your jobs, interviews and discussions even if they don’t want it themselves at all. Experience tells that placements make the best of friends into worst of enemies. Everyone is so incentivized to cheat, stab in the back that no antidote would ever work. Placement offers an interesting study into behavioral decision making.

More on this later ...

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I cant use FTP from my hostel. It sucks but with friends like kAgE, its never an issue. I now have something new to do !!! :D

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