Saturday, February 17, 2007

Do’s and Do-not’s of the Interviewing

In-Person Interview:

Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this important phase(s) of interview.

* Do your research and know the details of job/position you are taking interview for and also the tentative types of candidates you will be encountering.
* Don't memorize or over-rehearse your questions.
* Do dress the part for the job, the company, the industry. And do err on the side of conservatism.
* Do greet the candidate with courtesy and respect.
* Don't chew gum during the interview.
* Do greet the interviewee by title (Ms., Mr., Mrs) and last name if you are sure of the pronunciation. (If you're not sure, do request the interviewee about the pronunciation before trying yourself.
* Do shake hands firmly. Don't have a limp or clammy handshake!
* Do offer a chair to candidate before sitting. And do remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested and in control at all times. Don't fidget or slouch.
* Don't tell jokes during the interview.
* Do make good eye contact with your interviewee.
* Do show enthusiasm and keep the interview as lively as possible.
* Don't smoke beforehand so that you smell like smoke. And do have a breath mint before the interview.
* Do avoid using poor language, slang, and pause words (such as "like," "uh and "um").
* Don't be very soft-spoken. A forceful voice projects confidence.
* Do have a high confidence and energy level, but don't be overly aggressive.
* Don't act as though you would take any candidate or are desperate for having people on board.
* Do avoid controversial topics.
* Do make sure that your good points come across in a factual, sincere manner.
* Don't ask questions with a simple "yes" or "no."
* Don't bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.
* Do remember that the interview is also an important time for candidate to evaluate the interviewer and the company (s) he represents, so be very cautious.
* Don't answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn off (or set to silent ring) your cell phone and/or pager.
* Don't inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits. Be prepared for a question about the salary, but do try and delay salary talk until you are sure to make an offer.
* Do close the interview by telling the interviewee about the next step in the process.
* Do immediately take down notes after the interview concludes so you don't forget crucial details.

Phone Interviewing:

Here are the keys to successful phone interviewing.

* Do know what job you are interviewing for.
* Do ask the candidate if (S) he is comfortable before starting the interview.
* Do practice, if possible. Have a friend call you to do a mock phone interview so you get the feel of interviewing over the phone.
* When interviewing by phone, do make sure you are in a place where you can read notes, take notes, and concentrate.
* If you cannot devote enough time to a phone interview, do suggest a specific alternate time.
* Do consider keeping some note-cards or an outline in front of you to remind yourself of key points you want to cover during the course of the interview. Do also have the resume in front of you so as to frame questions around candidates experience and accomplishments.
* Do ensure that you can hear and are being clearly heard.
* Do consider standing when interviewing on the phone. Some experts say you’ll sound more professional than if you’re slouching in an easy chair.
* Do create a strong finish to the phone interview by allowing the interviewee to ask questions.
* Don't snuffle, sneeze or cough. If you can’t avoid these behaviours, say “excuse me.”
* Don't chew gum or food, or drink anything noisy.

Happy Interviewing....:-)


The Rational Unified Process® is a Software Engineering Process. It provides a disciplined approach to assigning tasks and responsibilities within a development organization. Its goal is to ensure the production of high-quality software that meets the needs of its end-users, within a predictable schedule and budget. RUP enhances team productivity, by providing every team member with easy access to a knowledge base with guidelines, templates and tool mentors for all critical development activities.

RUP's activities create and maintain models. Rather than focusing on the production of large amount of paper documents, the Unified Process emphasizes the development and maintenance of models—semantically rich representations of the software system under development.

RUP is a guide for how to effectively use the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The UML is a industry-standard language that allows us to clearly communicate requirements, architectures and designs.

The Rational Unified Process is a configurable process. Mind you, No single process is suitable for all software development. The Unified Process fits small development teams as well as large development organizations.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Six Sigma...What ??? - Part 2

Zooming in to the Six Sigma further lets talk about the various Synergies it bring forth vis-a-vis ISO, TQM. Here goes the List:

1. Focus on Money
- Everybody's favorite :-) and But only 6Sigma target this, others :-(.
2. Leadership and Top-Down Support
- Yes all three Support this.
3. Continous Improvement
- Bingo - yet again all three.
4. Deployment Strategies and Guidelines
- Only ISO and 6Sigma support.
5. Measurement Crietria for Quality Goals
- Only ISO and 6Sigma support
6. Performance Targets
- TQM and 6Sigma
7. Application of Statistical Tools
- TQM and 6Sigma
8. Quality Career Path
- Only 6 Sigma
9. Extension to Cost,Cycle Time and other Business issues
- Only 6 Sigma
10. Intehration of other business goals with Quality
- Only 6 Sigma
11. Functional Focus
- ISO and 6Sigma
12. Project Approach
- Yet again 6 Sigma.

So from above donot you think "6 Sigma really scores over ISO and TQM". Should we not adopt this baby ?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Six Sigma...What ???

I carry one quote from Mr. Azim Premji (for who Eats business, dreams business and sleeps business). Quote " Successful leaders have made Six Sigma their way of conducting business" / Unquote.
I really agree to his flow of thoughts,But i guess its THE most underrated and least tapped way of executing business. You bet, it is a real volcano, gathering enough power, Gases etc (read proponents) to engulf whole IT world.
But thats future, i thought of coming up a Six Sigma series to give back/ share what i have learnt being a practising Green Belt.

Clarification : Six Sigma is way beyond 3.4 defects per million oppurtunities. It actually targets to return process efficiency of 99.99966%.
In other words process Standard deviation should be so low that it can fit into client performance limits without any hassel.Believe me it aims at such a process in which no matter what target deviation happens it still is within the customer demands. 6Sigma is actually a variance based thinking and where mean is meaningless.
It has three main advisors - USL - Upper Specification Limit (Anything above this is a defect), LSL -Lower Specification Limit( Anything below this is a Defect) and Target (Usually the middle point of USL and LSL).
Six Sigma super set contains - Metric, Culture, Way of Life,Locomotive, Benchmark and of course GOAL.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hire for Attitude

Now,when India Inc is really going *gaga* with economic Boom,every industry from FMCG to IT to Automotive to whatnot are feeling the crunch in skilled people. There is a real Demand supply (D&S) Gap. And with every moment its just widening. Another reasons for the cause of concern are - increasing attrition rates,wrong people getting hired etc. But then instead of going into Why's How's. I thought to start off with the basic principles of hiring. Even though the D&S gap exist still everyone does get candidates (prospective employees). So whom should be hiered. Now every organization have their own basic parameters for filtering in-eligible candidates. Lets stick this section on eligible people. So from among them whom should be hiered.
I believe, if i were the interviewer, i will give Attitude 80%, 10% their knack for problems and rest for their skills. Can you think Why Lalu prasad Yadav is an eye candy for Big Business houses. Why NRN,Ratan Tata etc are not ? Its simple because of the free and smart attitude he has for any given problem / scenario. These things cannot be taught in our degree colleges / business schools. Its comes naturally. Now consider this - Steve Jobs is a drop out, still he created a giant called - Apple, Bill gates a similar story - a drop out and i think i need not pen anything on the machine which has everything from his stable. These examples may be rare but its only one thing which differentiaties these folks - Their attitude. Mind you Risk is a suppliment to Attitude.
So coming back to main point - Attitude really rules the roost. It really doesnot matter whether i have the required skills or not, But if i have the attitude i can do whatever new i need to or is expected out of me.
Along with checking persons attitude, we should also check if they have the tongue for Risks. Is yes, i would say donot think twice and just go ahead have the person on board. Believe me, You will never repent for this investment in entire organizational future.

So - Do you all really agree ?

What is orthogonal Array Test Strategy ?

Orthogonal Array Test Strategy is a systematic and statistical way of testing pair-wise interactions. In simple terms, Orthogonal Arrays are special set of Latin squares, constructed by Taguchi to design the test sets. It provides representative (uniformly distributed) coverage of all variable pair combinations. OATS provides a test set that guarantees, testing the pair-wise combinations of all the variables. It creates an efficient and concise test set with very few test cases rather testing all the combinations of all the variables. It also exercises some of the complex combinations of all the variables. Following are some of the key concepts used in Orthogonal Analysis.

Factors: Number of variables whose pair-wise combinations to be arrived at.
Levels: Maximum of the number of values, each of the factors can take.
Strength: Number of columns it requires to visit each of the levels possibilities equally often.
Runs: Number of rows in the Orthogonal Array.

Usually an Orthogonal Array is represented as Lr (f ^ l) where, r is the number of runs, f is the number of factors and l is the number of levels. So L9 (4^3) represents an Orthogonal Array with 4 factors, 3 levels and 9 runs.