|Impeccable leaders||Corrupt Brigade|
|Decisive Government||Total chaos|
|Wealth creation||Poverty redistribution|
|Make strong allies||Get beaten by every neighbor|
|Safety for our children||Bomb explosion every week|
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
- Preparation: No one plans for interviews. Interview is some invisible task that somehow fits into our schedule. Hiring is the most crucial part of team building. Take it very seriously. Add it to your plan, make time in your schedule as well as the team member’s schedule and your boss’s. Divide the work, who will ask what. One person should cover programming, another networking knowledge, another system building. Train your panelist on what to ask, as well as what not to ask. If the candidate is married, if he owns his flat or rents, where is he from. These are information that you do not need to know. There are other ways to do small talk and break the ice. Most importantly, make preparation in advance on how to receive and evaluate panel’s feedback. Stay objective and do not get clouded by prejudice.
- Hire on potential not on skills: Skills requirements change, potential does not. You are hiring the candidate for what he can do for you, not what he has done before. While past is a good indicator of the future, it is not an insurance. The guy may have ranked 28 in JEE, may have been a star performer 10 years ago. But that is past. You must evaluate what he can do next. And this is not easy. Some tips on how to do is to see how he extends a solution when given additional requirements, how easily he gives up when asked a tough question. How inquisitive he is. Has he learned anything new recently? When a very tough question is thrown at him, does he accept the challenge or recoils with resignation? Ask him something totally new, not at all related to what he is doing currently and see how he proceeds. Introduce a new and interesting concept and see if he shows interest and asks more questions to broaden his knowledge.
- Do not look for a deal: Look for a deal when you buy a computer, not when you hire a team member. People have emotion and self-worth. When you pay them less than what they are worth, you hurt their self-worth and that impairs their confidence and ability and reduce their engagement. So once you decide to hire someone, pay her market rate and not try to get her at the cheapest. By doing so you are not helping your company much but you are hurting your team big time. You will add a disgruntled team member who will not perform well and will stay dejected and spread negativity. She will become a constant source of worry for you for the next few years. Not worth a few lakh. And once you hire someone at a certain rate, it will be difficult then to correct her pay to market. Rather consider low pay as a red flag. Why is this candidate paid so less? It may as well be that she was genuinely deprived. But probe that and make sure that this is not an issue. Ask her about her past appraisal ratings, how she fared compared to her teammates. Only when you are satisfied that she is OK you make a hiring decision. On the other hand if you surprise the candidate by paying more than what she expects, you now have an enthusiastic member who is eager to perform and surprise you in return.
- Do not ignore attitude and temperament: Cultures matter. Sometime they matter more than skills and ability. If you have a very competitive team and you hire a soft, introvert member, you are asking for trouble and vice versa. There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. “I have done this” is confidence. “Only I have done this” is arrogance. You should be careful about spotting that line. For example allow the candidate to brag about some past achievement then observe if she also gives credit to her partners, does she also mentions her shortcomings. Be on the lookout if she persistently cribs about her peers, boss, and company. See if she is very opinionative. Does she focus more on ‘who’ than on ‘what’? Take HR feedback seriously. You do not need to make a hiring decision on a feedback like ‘the guy has attitude’. But make a point to probe her if you get any such feedback.
- I spend first 10 minutes introducing my company, the job and then myself. Thereafter I ask the candidate to speak about him. This has two purposes. One is to know about his past which gives strong indication about his future. More importantly it allows the candidate to calm down and gain confidence. What I observe is attitude and temperament along with skills he picked up.
- In the second part, I spend 10 min as an elimination round. For most candidates I give a moderate program to write. Like run length encoding or shifting bits in an array. This is an elimination test. If the guy flunks it, I give him another chance with a different problem. If he still flunks, he is out. This again has two purpose. One is the elimination test. It weeds out the bad candidates and saves me 30 min. But for the guys who passes this it gives a morale boost for the next question. It works like a tonic and the candidate gets charged up.
- The third part is the main interview. This is where I try to gauge the candidate’s potential. What I do is ask the candidate to design something big and complex, like design Facebook or Uber for senior candidate. For junior candidate I ask for example to design a software bridge. First I observe his reaction and his approach. Then I give him lots of hints to make good progress then again I leave him alone to extend. I spend about 30 min in this part. Sometime I give the guy a NP-hard problem without telling him. Like I ask to give a shortest path algorithm. Once he does that I ask him to come up with a longest path algorithm. In the exited state he does not realize that it is hard. Then I observe how easily he gives up or does he try his best to solve it.
- I spend the last ten minutes on checking cultural fit. I ask questions about her past achievements and failures. Ask her to describe how she received help from peers and boss to overcome shortcoming or gain competencies. Ask her to describe career transforming experience, how she coped with them, who helped her during the process. The objective here is to allow the candidate to talk a lot about her and then look for clues on temperament and attitude. There is no secret sauce for this. This is all about practice and discipline.
Monday, June 06, 2016
So why in the fight between willpower and addiction, it is the addiction which wins most of the time? The answer is simple, cravings are short term, gratification instantaneous while the benefits of quitting are long term and imperceptible. So how do we win this battle? By relying on the short benefits of quitting, while recognizing that while cravings are powerful, they go down very quickly. They are pretty much gone in about a month. So if you can hold on for a month, your chances of winning increases dramatically.
So how do we focus on the short term gain? This is mostly on the healthy living. Whether you are quitting smoking or drinking, it immediately leads to very healthy improvements in your lifestyle. You sleep better, you get more energy. Convert that into activities, cycling, swimming and you will feel a lot more cheerful. You can fight negative thought more effectively. If you are quitting drinking, then you are getting back your wit. Use it to something cerebral and you get an immediate return. Read a book, play chess.
For myself, quitting drinking brings enormous benefits. My wit is all I have. I do not have a great physique, I have no social skill, I do not enjoy the company of others that much, I do not watch TV or sports. I live my life through my brain. I have a house full of books and a computer full of movies. I can enjoy them much better if I keep my wit and use my brain, instead of losing it every free evening I get. Then why it is still so hard to give up! Why indeed :)
Friday, June 03, 2016
So what should be your priority in life? The following.
- Have a good night’s sleep. I try to get 10 hours. But everyone should at least get eight.
- Eat a proper breakfast. Not two toasts and a glass of milk. Proper meal, rice or roti or muri.
- Do not smoke, chew gutka, pan masala.
- Avoid drinking. At least minimize to no more than twice a month.
- Be active for at least half an hour every day. Walk, cycle, play with your daughter, anything. Try to break a sweat.
- Try not to eat a heavy meal at night, especially after 8 PM.
- Avoid sugar, packaged food and drink. Most packaged food contains only maida, oil and sugar, sometimes harmful chemicals and no nutrients whatsoever.
- Remember purpose of eating is to get stuffs that sustains our body, namely vitamin, protein and minerals. Calorie comes with them automatically. The amount of work we do, we need very little calorie. You don’t need to eat extra calories.
- We do not drink milk at all.
- We hardly eat any fruits or vegetables.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I am somewhat an extreme case. I worry about things that does not affect me directly and about things I have absolutely no control over. And because I am such a lazy person, I never do anything to change anything. That makes things worse.
Again I am a lazy man. So I cannot finish this post now :) I will elaborate over this idea when I get a chance.