The grilling 20 minute phone interview was filled with tough questions. The difference here was it wasn’t the mini mock-interview we do as part of our MBA Mock Application Process. This time we were on the receiving side. An India-based relative of an NRI candidate was on the other side asking the probing questions to ensure his saali-ji wasn’t being taken for a ride by some fly-by-night consultant. After the call, I told my wife, my in-laws also hadn’t done so much background research on me, before allowing me to get into holy matrimony with their beloved daughter.
How long have you been doing this? Where are you based? Which college did you go to in Cambridge? What modes of payment do you support? What’s your landline number? Do you take my saali as your lawfully dreaded protégé, from this day forward, for better or worse; richer or poorer; in sickness and in health…
Well…the last one was an anticipated rather than an actual question. This reverse interview was the culmination of a lot of equally paranoid phone and email interactions that had been happening for several days with the candidate.
A vast majority of the candidates we work with come to us either through word of mouth or after doing a lot of research over the internet. We have a presence on several reputed discussion forums, our Facebook page has real testimonials from real people. We haven’t really had to put in any effort to build credibility for each new client. So it was a little odd (not to mention awkward) getting interrogated by Jijaji.
But then when I thought about it, I felt what Jijaji was doing was intelligent and prudent. He had clarified it wasn’t about the money. It was more about working with the right team. And I guess he’s hit the nail on the head.
If only every single candidate had done this before signing up with self-proclaimed consultants, it would save not just money, but also a whole lot of stress further down the road. Though it’s not a marriage, the implications are as serious. Because we are talking about your career here. Most consultants out there aren’t qualified to give you advice about your career.
A huge majority of the ‘advisors’ working in some big reputed companies have never gone to a top school. [Read this related post about whether MBA Admissons Consulting in India has come of age] In fact, we’ve had some of these advisors and GMAT instructors coming to us asking us how they can get a ‘real’ job. For many, the admissions consulting business is little more than a facade for raking in some extra money, after candidates have completed their GMAT preparation courses.
Here’s a link to one of our earlier posts on how to select an MBA admissions consultant. If you are thinking of working with one, it’s worth a read.
So hats off to Jijaji for being cautious, world-wise and going the extra distance to ensure that his relative doesn’t get the wrong kind of advisor.
By the way, if you are wondering how the earlier story ended, Jijaji sent across a confirmation note within a few minutes of having the phone conversation expressing an interest in getting his dear saali-ji signed up.