Today I had my first experience of a phone interview, and it was from the NGO named Teach For India (TFI) . To describe TFI in a few words,

Teach For India is a nationwide movement that aims to bridge the educational gap in India by placing outstanding college graduates and young professionals in low-income schools to teach full-time for 2 years. - TFI

Inclined to social service and already being a part of Bhumi Foundation, I wanted to see how TFI, one of the biggest social service foundations, work to enhance education in India. So I applied for the Campus Ambassador post for the year 2011-12 less than a week back and today they called me at 12.30 noon for the interview. The lady with the sweet voice introduced herself and asked if I was ready for the interview. This happened when I was waiting for food in a hotel wearing a hunger-stricken face. But I was OK with it and the interview began. Though I was overwhelmingly excited on my first phone interview, I tried to maintain a grim and complacent voice replying her every statement with a perfectly professional toned “Mm hmm” “Ya, of course” “That’s awesome” almost like an adjectived and adverbed version of Dhanush’s GD in Yaaradi Nee Mohini. Then she asked a few of the cliched questions in the history of interviews like “Say about yourself”. I managed to answer that as short as possible. Unfortunately, she was expecting a more verbose edition of the same reply and waited for me to continue #awkwardsituation. Being an Engineering student, it was easy for me to bloat the answer with some cleverly articulated anectodes (from my own life, honestly) and went on for an alarming 15 minute reply for the same question. She was like “Wow!!”. And I was like “Nalla vela”.

Then came the tricky part – Role playing. I have to don the role of a Campus Ambassador and she is a fourth year college student. I have to persuade her to join TFI. Pretty interesting stuff.. I started with “Hey wassup?” and she replied with a tedious answer bringing the words “GRE” (to which am pointlessly allergic), “Placements”, “Exams every week” and she characterized herself as a typucal busy, geeky girl in final year. Without an explicit hint, she made the point clear that she is a stubborn, studious girl who is more focussed on her own life than on others’. That was pure talent. Maybe her 2 years experience in recruitment helped her with that. Btw I somehow managed to persuade her into TFI. Next, was another Role Playing wherein am the Campus Ambassador and she is the Placement Officer. This was tougher than the previous since she spoke flawlessly on the difficulties in becoming a fellow of TFI. I was left completely breathless. After a 10 second break, I started a counter reply, where I enlisted the advantages of becoming a TFI fellow after college and how companies respect the position of “Fellowship in TFI”.  Once again I succeeded in persuading her. And she remarked that the interview was “very well done”. But I am quite dubious about the result.

Moreover I myself am in a dilemma whether to pursue it or not. I do want to help the society. But is it the right time to dive headlong into it, is the question. Because we know “With great power, comes great responsibility”. In case, if I get to become the campus ambassador, I must dedicate the time the post of ‘Campus Ambassador of TFI’ deserves. Will I be able to do that? With this question haunting my mind, and letting Time to decide the solution, I end this post.

🙂

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