How to Win the Job Interview

There might be various categories in which interviews are conducted, but I basically see two types Formal & informal. Formal interviews are those where everything is structured, such interviews generally happen for big corporations or for highly technical positions and informal are the ones in which the structure is not fixed and generally the method of the interview depends on the person who is conducting it.

Irrespective of the type, the preparation has to be the same. I would like to share a few tips here, which might help the candidates and the industry.

1) Confidence: This is the one thing that every candidate must carry with them, irrespective of anything. Be confident, you are on a sales call, selling your those skills, about which if you are not confident, then how you can expect others to be?

2) Dressing & related: No matter what you are and in what situation you are attending the interview, your attire has to be very professional /formal. Different seasons bring different challenges to reaching the interview place, but we need to be prepared for facing any abnormalities and still reaching well dressed. If you are carrying some season protectives (raincoat, winter jacket, umbrella), make sure you do not carry them inside the interview office or conference room. If you have an office bag that is not very organized, just carry interview-related documents inside and leave the rest outside. If you are on a digital interview, make sure you are well dressed, in the proper environment, with good internet connectivity, headphones, and proper positioning of the phone or laptop.

3) Interview preparation: Every candidate carries some experience either from education (for fresher) or from a job if you are already working. Map your experience to the interview beforehand and make a script of what you would like to present and what relevant questions you may face. For experienced candidates, it is a must that at least about your current job, you must know almost everything about your company. Basic info like where the company is headquartered, what are product lines, customer base .at least whatever is available on the website. For a technical interview, you must thoroughly prepare the subject in which you are supposed to be an expert.

4) Info about the job and the company: It is very essential that you should know the company where you are being interviewed, so study the website beforehand. You must know the JD /profile for which you are being interviewed and map your skills to those requirements, as the interviewer will continuously map you against the profile for which you are being interviewed.

5) Info about self: This is quite surprising that 90% of the candidates do not know about themselves …yes, it’s shocking. Self-information is not information about your family, but it is about you. Your strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, why you selected your last job, your current profile or particular organization to work, or education of which you have a degree or sports you play. This is not only important for the interview, but otherwise, also this is very essential for any individual to introspect “why they exist the way they are”.

6) Finding the info about the interviewer: Most candidates do not care about who is going to interview them, but if you know it in advance and if you get a chance to study the linked in profile of the person it helps you to prepare yourself. If HR is going to interview, the questions will be more on the person and personal traits, if the functional head is going to interview the questions will be more technical

7) Facing the interview itself:

a) Be very patient and careful in listening to the questions and understanding those, do not listen to what you want, but listen to what is being said. If you do not understand, Ask, but do not answer assumed questions.

b) Try to read the person quickly who is interviewing you, as that is going to set the tone of the interview. Many interviewers like detailed answers or explanations, they are talkative, and they do interviews in an informal way. Here you need to be a little relaxed and pour the information as much you can. Some interviewers, like to be “to the point” and “objective”, here you need to be very specific and short. You need to learn the body language/facial expressions of the interviewer very quickly and based on that, change the way you are explaining each question. For some questions, you need to be quick for some elaborative.

c) DO NOT give examples unless you are asked to give them.

d) Be honest in accepting, if you do not know the answer, instead of camouflaging the wrong answer

e) Do not compromise on self-respect, and politely give it back, if some questions are offensive could be a test to check your self-worth or otherwise a wrong guy conducting the interview.

f) Do not share the information of your current organization, which is not available in the public domain to impress the interviewer ..this could be a trick to check your integrity or you are being interviewed by a competitor just to get the information ..a professional interviewer will never expect confidential information about your current organization, though he may ask for same.

g) Very few interviewers give chance to ask questions to the candidate, so if you get this opportunity or otherwise also, keep your set of logical questions ready. It shows your interest in the interview/organization and also it helps to know your prospective employer better.

h) Even if you are giving an interview, not for getting the job but just to check your market value, do not show a casual approach ..the word of mouth spreads very fast.

Finally, be honest, sincere, and smart while facing an interview, you never know which interview will change your life. I am not the final expert in the field, but these tips are based on thousands of interviews I have conducted and few I have faced and I feel these tips will surely help the young generation who is trying to build their career, and eventually it will help the industry also.



MSEM Focused::
7 Step Thinking for problem-solving… A leadership way.

Huh …who takes 7 steps just for thinking? The problem is serious and needs to be quickly solved. It’s a very simple process, understand the problem and solve it. yes, that’s what we hear always, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, especially when it comes to business. Many surveys say that 50% of the problems in the business are not solved either on time or the way they are expected to be solved. Just because, the problems were either not understood correctly or analyzed correctly.

That is the reason 7-step thinking for problem-solving came in to picture .7 step thinking essentially, defines how should we communicate, understand, present, analyze and solve any problem.

Maybe not every time we need all 7 steps, but a few of them are required always. Let’s have a look at those 7 steps

1) Define the Present: When you have a problem, the most critical part is o define, what happening NOW, what’s the scenario NOW? If we can do this correctly 50% success is achieved in solving the problem. (How, Why ..through measurables )

2) Define the Expected Future: In engineering problems, it is easy to dine this step, as what is expected is generally crystal clear, but in other fields, this step could be very subjective, as the end result is expected in different forms by different people, even for the same problem.
(What… through measurables )

3) Define the problem: The gap between the expected future and present scenario is generally the problem. Again, this a difficult step, as many times the expected future and current scenario, are not measurable figures (though, we should try to make them measurable, as much as possible)

4) What can affect, the expected future or actions we will take to achieve the expected future: We all generally forget this step, as we consider that, the variables, we have considered now, will always remain the same, during the process of, implementing the actions to solve the problem, but generally, it’s not like that.

5) Alternate solution, with the evaluation of each alternative: For solving the same problem, we may times have alternatives and if we do not, then we should force ourselves to check the alternatives. Then we should evaluate all the alternatives. For strategic problems, we must make a business plan or commercial impact analysis for each alternative.

6) Take a decision and justify it: Based on steps 4 & 5, we should decide on the best alternative to solve the problem and countercheck, if it actually solves the problem.

7) Define action plan matrix: We generally end up writing the action plan, but what we need is a solid action plan matrix, which takes care of which action, who will be responsible, when, what support is required, what resources required, what should be reporting mechanism, how much budget, what should be review frequency, etc.

Imagine, such a systematic & logical way of solving the problem, and do you see a possibility of not being able to solve any problem?

Unfortunately, If it’s still yes, get in touch with our experts at

Anytime you google “challenges faced by #EV industry In #India “you will get a series of links to understand the issues, but most of those are related to the infrastructure, a life of a battery, fast charging, etc…so ultimately everything related to the actual use of the #EVS.

When we spoke to a few #EV manufacturers, especially in the #twowheeler segment and NON OEMS ..the one who has entered to mobility business first time through #EVs..the challenges seem to be different.

After analyzing this market for quite some time, our analysis says that going forward, there is likely to be more LEMS “Local Electric Mobility Solutions” in the #EV segment, especially in the #twowheeler #mobility segment.

What is LEMS and what are the challenges for the manufacturers, these are something we are going to talk about.

As the technology is shifting from IC Engines to #electricmotor ..major change coming up, in #twowheeler #Electricalvehicle Industry is, there are now local solutions available, which means non-conventional manufacturers are getting in #twowheeler #Electricalvehicle Industry. The names you never heard of are now rising stars in the two-wheelers #Electricalvehicle Industry and also, and they are capturing the market very fast, they are innovative, flexible, and adaptive to changes.

Though these non-conventional manufacturers are the talk of the day, they have many challenges, and those challenges are not talked about openly, for various reasons of confidentiality, unavailability of the right platform et.

One of the biggest challenges we heard, about is adopting the quality norms in manufacturing and developing the right quality of the parts at the right price and right time. It is really important to notice that all these non-conventional #twowheeler #Electricalvehicle manufacturers are competing against the conventional legends in the same industry, who has a very strong foothold in the #twowheeler industry for decades.

Many of the non -conventional manufacturers have hired employees in critical areas from conventional legends, but still, the results are not coming, either because, this is not enough or the legends have their own policies to counter …and poaching cannot be a long-term solution.

We at #Catalydd, are trying to help these LEMS providers, all those services with our strong foothold in the #Automotive industry. Let it be establishing processes, as per conventional #automotive standards, developing parts, establishing dealers’ networks or auditing dealers or sales channels or auditing #vehicles, or many other services in the field of #qualitymanagement of either process or parts.

#Catalydd training division is also equipped to provide, engineering training required for #employeedevelopment #employeegrooming.

If you are one of those Local #Electric Mobility Solutions providers and if you are facing these challenges, feel free to write us at, we will do handholding with your team and ensure alignment of required quality standards at desired processes. We know you are The Experts of the subject, but we can be a catalyst to speed up your processes.

Sagar Kulkarni

“Don’t love your company, love your job”, is said by somebody sometime back …..I am not sure but many of the employees in most the organizations, got inspired because of this slogan and we can rarely see employees loving their companies….the result is long-term associations are missing.

I have been discussing with many CEOs, CHOs, COOs and most of them say, that it’s very difficult to find employees who love their company, who has passion to work for the company …most of the employees have different agendas to work for any company. In recent surveys, it was an effort to find out, how many employees really express love for their company …and no wonder hardly 10-15% spoke about it.

Somebody works for just money, somebody works for position, facilities, Somebody works for distance from house, Somebody works as there is no other option available, Somebody works as there is a freedom to misuse facilities, Somebody works for good career growth, good brand. But rarely somebody loves the company they work for.

This is actually creating problems for many company managements to get desired or optimum output. As there is no love and passion, everything is happening by follow up or demand. “this is not in my profile ”  “I have never done this before ” “what do I get if I do this ”….kind of statements are now often heard. Every company has become a stepping stone to look for better company and “that so called better” company does not exists.

If I grow, I am not happy as finally I am not compensated   …if my salary is good I am not happy because I don’t see my future path clearly if everything is good, there is too much of stress ……there are reasons being found to not to love company and for not being passionate.

I feel unless we don’t love the work place where we work and unless we don’t have passion to work …we cannot love our job and we cannot deliver what is expected. We spend almost half of our time in our work place and if we don’t love that or if we cannot love that …we cannot love anybody. We are expanding on global horizon, new companies are setting up their units in India, many job opportunities are open …but if we don’t love the company where we work and if we don’t deliver the best …I am doubtful about the future of these new set ups as well the future of existing set ups.

As there are efforts to bring new businesses and investments, I feel government, education institutions, HR forums, and business schools should put efforts to bring that love and passion in the citizens, who finally run these business.

If not today this could be a serious problem for tomorrow …jumping jacks are successful only in movies and not in business life ….hope we understand this soon.

I was recently reading news about ADMK Tamilnadu based political party…story after death of legendary Leader Jayalalithaa…and a storm of thoughts survived in my mind for long period. I started finding similar examples …what happened to Infosys after Narayanmurthy..TATAs after Ratan TATA…Shivsena after Balasaheb ..Ambani group after Dhirubhai….Congress after Indira Gandhi…I can list many more touch the topic, these are enough.

The names of all the people I took above are supposed to be the great leader or they are known as great leaders ….but then what went wrong with all of them in delivering basic & very important requirements of being a Leader, and developing their successor.

We all know that “Leader develops successors and Boss develops followers” .. And its fundamental truth of life let it be personal or professional or political.

The examples of organizations where leaders had to come back after retirement are well known, but not all organizations are lucky like this and they fall apart.

When we all know that it is very important to have a succession plan and it’s very important to work on creating future leaders now…Why many organizations fail on this?

Most of the time the reason for not having a successor even worth a succession plan in place is ..

1)     The leader feels, he will live 100 years guaranteed so it’s too early to think of a successor

2)     or The leader fears to lose control on the organization by indicating that there is/ will be a successor and it’s not only ME ME& ME

3)      or the leader is scared of making other contenders in the race unhappy by indicating who is the successor  and fear of not able to manage that situation

4)     or the leaders do not have quality of developing a successor by being, in a mentor role at the same time when they are in the leadership role. (succession planning process absent)

A Survey of such top 50 organizations (corporates, political parties, spiritual organizations) across the world who failed on succession, dominantly shows the above reasons. Strange but true, as we expect some complex reasons behind such failures, whereas the reasons are pretty simple …human behavior or nature.

Many organizations are suffering because of a lack of proper/Real succession planning, the leaders and HR departments have to take this seriously, as this is not only affecting the stake holders but also the employees.


The process:

I remember meeting a Chairman of a big group who was the owner of the business and was out of the business at the age of 70 and handed over the business to a guy, who has been working for him for the last 15-20 years.

He told me that the process of succession started while he was 55-57 (or might be a little early) and it took him good 2 years to select the top 2 employees who he & the board felt can succeed him. While he initiated the process of his succession planning, he made sure that the succession planning of all the levels below also starts ….to the level of department head. At the age of 65, he clearly indicated who is his successor and promoted him to the CEO of the company and at the age of 70 he promoted as chairman and CEO and he himself got out of the business. During this process, the same progression was happening down the level….what a systematic approach to succession…nobody even realized that there was a changeover.

It looks simple and quick, but there is a big process behind it and more than process the determination to have future leaders …

The moral is, we need to focus on succession planning with the real intention of developing leaders. This will not only develop the future leaders, but this will also change the culture of the organization today and will make it more positive and motivating, as this will open doors of future growth to many& and it protects the interest of stakeholders too.

It’s worth repeating ……… the real leadership is in developing successors and not the Followers…

“We need a new trainee, the old one has became CEO”………..This was a tag line of a brilliant advertise by one company for job openings. Really motivating for the employees already working with them and for the ones who want to join them. But today the reality is different. In the race of growing more than the market or more than the competition and having aggressive targets, the HUMAN factor of the business is missing and it has just left into talks and jargons.

In the so-called cutting-edge technology world, hardly a few companies are doing research work on developing human resources and training them so hard that, the company creates leaders, who create a bright future for the company…..

More than 60% of companies still hire CEOs or senior positions from the market, simply because they do not have the time, method, and knowledge to create leaders or CEOs inside the company.

Forget about creating leaders, Tower Watson survey says that 91% of companies struggle to attract talent and 75% of the companies find it difficult to retain the talent…nurturing the talent further and creating leaders is still like a dream to most companies.

In the race of growing more than the market or competition, we have forgotten that we need to help grow our employees also, beyond market skills & beyond competition skills. We have forgotten that our employees who have been working with us for so many years, have the knowledge and skill to grow the company.

I recently met the CEO of the company and asked him the result of one consultant they have appointed recently, he was a little fussy in sharing it, but finally, he said, “not much, but they helped to develop communication with my employees and I could find huge talent inside the company to solve the problems we have and now I know why employees are leaving us”, strange but the truth.

It’s time to look back and check the reasons, why till the late 90s the average employee retention used to be 10-14 years has gone down to 5-7 years ..The growing market is not the only reason. Somewhere we have lost the balance between growth and race, which is forcing us to focus only of the Money part of the business and the Human part is straight away ignored.

The simple method of business which we have been following in the past needs to be readopted …may be as it is and without much dissection through so-called market experts.

 Creating a healthy work environment,

Giving future growth paths to employees,

Extensive Training,

Recruiting the right candidates for the right job,

Avoiding excess stress in the work environment (stress management is a stupid word …We should work on creating an environment which will not create stress, why should we learn to manage something which is harmful?),

Reviewing packages and benefits frequently …

And most importantly, creating a work culture where the human aspect remains on priority and profit/growth becomes a byproduct …these could be some ways to create leaders/CEOs inside and not run in the market for them.

Employees are not only the resource but they are the soul of the business, the day we learn this …that day we start creating leaders and CEOs inside the organization …

Everybody should have a chance to be the CEO of the company…Lets give it to them.

I am not the master of the subject, though has done a lot of study on the same and these are my personal opinions, with no intention to pinpoint any particular management style.

Leadership In Personal Branding

I have been trying to study and share the philosophy of Branding …how Leaders develop a Personal Brand.

Irrespective of the product you are selling in the market or the ideas you are selling to your team …Personal Branding comes on priority …the way I understood.

Tata products are perceived by the Brand Ratan Tata(only simplicity and trust come in the mind ) , and Kingfisher is perceived by the Brand Mallya (only calendar girls and Beer come in the mind )that’s the Personal Brand value.

A brand is nothing but an Intersection of Perception and Reality . It’s the point, where what a Brand/ Leader tries to show as what he is and what he is actually ..meets up.

How a Leader creates Personal Brand?

1)Embrace your identity:

Let the people know, who you are and what you can bring to the table . Leaders are always direct, simple, and understandable.

2)Create perceivable value for others.

For a Leader, it’s important to create a brand, what others can actually perceive, and not only what the Leader feels is the best.

3)Grow yourself beyond money-making business.

Leaders are never only transactional. They try to reach out to people, also for sharing, serving, and learning rather than just earning.

4)Leaders Walk the Talk and Leaders Talk the Walk:

People do crosscheck the “Values of the Brand” leaders are projecting.

Leaders never go noticeably away, from reality while portraying the brand ..though some window dressing, is a part of the brand building process.


This is not all, to create a successful Leadership /Personal Brand ..but these are foundation principles which Leaders follow.

Follow up …Follow up and Meetings

Over the last 3 decades, as per global survey, the time spend by everybody in the organization for follow up meetings has increased to 23 hours per week, from 10 hours per week. Sounds crazy, but if you sum up your meeting times, you might end up with similar numbers.

During mentoring sessions with the clients, when I ask them to calculate, the no. of hours spent in meetings on the subjects like, Improvementscreativityinnovation VS follow-up, review, heads up, as subjects and most of them come with similar figures to what is reflecting globally …30% (looks exaggerated )is spend on topics like improvements and innovations and 70% or more is spent on follow up, review, heads types topics.

One of the largest conglomerate could find that if they optimize their meetings time globally, they could reduce around 15% of their manpower or they can avoid new recruitment by 15%.

When Harvard surveyed 182 senior managers in a range of industries at different times: 65% said meetings keep them away from completing their own work, 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient, 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking, 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together.

The basic reason why meetings happen on” follow up” topics, is a lack of trust from the manager’s side and lack of ownership from team members, but still, there are several aspects attached to it as follows

1)     Unclear/unplanned delegation of tasks from managers

2)     Lack of planning for the future, resulting in war room meetings (I feel surprised to see, some of the organizations have permanently created meeting rooms, by the name “War Room”, as if they have principally accepted that, they will never come out of war like situation (chaotic).

3)     Lack of ownership by team members …” I will do only when I am being followed up”, this approach by team members forces managers to take close follow-up thru meetings.

4)     Unclear KRAs, the law of the Theory of constraints says that “I will be behaving the way you will measure me “, so it’s important for managers to clearly define the measurables.

5)     Lack of “time management “from both managers and team members: Everybody has 8-9 hours every day and if you don’t know how to effectively use those, you are likely to miss many tasks and you are likely to spend hours n hours in explaining that in meetings.

6)     Micromanagement: Many of the managers either don’t trust their team members or they do not know what to do with their time or they themselves have performance issues; they keep inviting many meetings for conducting even micro-level task reviews.

7)Most of the management does not see Follow up, as a problem.

What’s the solution?

There is no straight answer, but there are multiple actions that on need to take with consistency

I generally ask managers or even entrepreneurs to follow some basic rules to reduce the follow-up and follow-up meetings

1)     Be cautious while selecting new employees, apart from technical skills, look for self-motivated talent …it will pay off in long run.

2)     Ensure proper training on your organizational technologies, culture, and functions, even if the candidate has rich experience.

3)     Create a very clear organization, defining who is ACCOUNTABLE for what. This will avoid meetings and follow up in those cases, where the time is spent just figuring out “who was supposed to do it”.

4)     Enforce time management as a culture irrespective of position or function.

5)     Keep a close watch on those team members, who need “follow up” …just to remind them of their tasks. These are the weakest links in the organization, either elevate those or eliminate those.

6)     Keep watch on those managers, who try to do “micro-management “out of their own weaknesses/insecurities and waste the time of team members in the meetings …elevate or eliminate them.

7)     Develop a culture at TOP, where Follow up should be seen as a criminal act and Ownership should be nourished, rewarded, and appreciated.

Though this looks like a completely corporate topic, if we implement this in our personal life, it will definitely positively impact our relationships too….

It’s Always A Pleasure Dealing With You.

In most of the business mentoring sessions, I hear one common thing from my clients “Irrespective of we close the deals or not, we are not able to establish a healthy relationship with the customer “.

True, that’s the problem we have, but we also have numerous opposite examples, where even without closing a single deal, for a long time, there is a very healthy relationship with the customer or let’s say, prospective customers.

While building customer relationships, we tempt to forget that, basically we all are humans, and irrespective of the position you are in, you will surely reflect all those human behaviors.

Some important tips, which I have learnt over the last two decades to build a healthy relationship with the customer…irrespective of whether you immediately gain business out of it or not are

1)Never forget that your “target” is a human mind and body and its behavior cannot be captured /predicted in any business plan or sales real with your customer, be human

2) Call/meet/text your customer …not only for season greetings and business inquiries but otherwise also.

3) One cannot be always at the receiving end in front of the customer, always expecting an inquiry or business. But one needs to “Give” some value-added information, which can help customer to improve their knowledge. Share new technology, try to help in some instances even without a business deal, and give some life-improving tips.

4)Help your customer to understand the current deal in a better way, if they lack some knowledge ..make sure, in the event, you don’t help your competition 😊 .

5) If there are mistakes in the “Deal document” by customers, proactively inform them, though those might be of your benefit. Don’t forget, soon or later they will know those. If they find it in the future, you look either a cheater or an ignorant.

6) Sometimes, you end up being superior to the customer in terms of business size or technology …avoid showing it off, they know it.

7) Sometimes your customer ends up giving you confidential information at a personal level …avoid encashing it in private or public to show off your sales skills.

8) Not every customer is as smart as you, help them to know their benefits before their manager does it.

There might be more tips on the topic and not all tips are suitable for every customer, but these are very basic tips which I followed, and most of the time I heard from the customers “It’s always a pleasure dealing with you”

Be A Leader to Make Difference

I am very happy to announce that I have completed initial mastery of John Mattone’s intelligent leadership executive coaching. John has been a coach for “Steve jobs” in his crucial years and it’s actually a proud moment to get coached by “The John” himself . Though leadership coaching is something I have been doing for several years informally, this brings sharpened of my skills, by getting such important formal certification.

Leader is one who is able to see what others are not able to see and leadership is not you asserting yourself over somebody, but being able to harness everybody’s aspirations and make it happen (Jaggi Vasudev ) . Leadership need not be only for running a business, but it’s required everywhere, being a student, wife/mother/father, sportsman, spiritual guru, shopkeeper, and housekeeping cleaner …everybody needs to acquire leadership skills to make a difference in whatever we do.

I have been in the industry for the last 23 years heading various organizations. While I was busy leading organizations, I came across numerous employees, suppliers, and coworkers whom I felt many times that they had huge potential to grow and succeed, but as they were seriously lacking leadership qualities or there was nobody to guide them on the path of leadership, they had a huge struggle in their life.

I was fortunate enough to get guided/mentored by many authorities and I am grateful to all of them for teaching me, guiding me, and mentoring me on various important aspects of life.

Similarly, I have been passing on this knowledge to all, whom I came across and I am planning to do it more seriously and rigorously.

Leadership coaching is not my bread and butter and I don’t look at it majorly from earning source point of view, but sharing experiences and helping others to progress on the path of leadership is my passion and I am open to participating in the process of sharing and learning with individuals as well organizations.

Finally, in whatever role or business we are in, the well-being of humans should be the ultimate goal.

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