White Tiger- my view

White Tiger- by Aravind Adiga

I read this book some time back and it really left an impression on me. So I thought of penning down my view about the book.

This is a brilliant book which is compelling and yet has an angry tone. I feel the author has a way of portraying his characters in a very direct manner which makes way for dark humor. There is no attempt to cover up or camouflage the facts.

White Tiger is the story of Balram who is born in rural India, He is the son of a rickshaw puller. He works in a tea shop as a child and that is what his family expects him to do always. But as he mops the floor and clean the shop, he dreams of escaping from the clutches of his family and his village.

He grows up ad becomes a driver to the son of the local, rich coal-mine owner and move to Delhi with them. This city has a lot to offer and Balram has a lot to learn. Delhi is a city of contrasts. Contrast between Balram’s tiny, smelly room full of cockroaches and his master’s palatial posh bungalow. Contrast between his dusty, old village of Laxmangarh in district Gaya and the glitter and glamor of Delhi’s call centers and shopping malls. He is stuck between his instinct and tradition of being a loyal servant and son, and his desire to escape to his dreams. Should he adopt “any means” to reach his goals?

This book is a story of the contrasts within India. On one hand is the rural heratland with real problems of poverty and hunger, and on the other is the rich, aristocratic lifestyle of a chosen few. The author is unashamedly truthful and the book and it’s characters captivatingly endearing.

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Sample cover letter

Some of my friends requested for a sample cover letter. Here is one.

Street Address
City, State 98765


Mr. / Mrs. Name of Person
City, XY 12345

Dear Ms. / Mr. Last Name:

I am an accomplished professional with extensive experience in <your field>. You will note from the attached resume that my background and experience parallels the <Position Title> as advertised in <source of advertisement>.

I can bring technical expertise, dynamic leadership, <etc, etc> to your company.  To illustrate:
<Mention 2-3 key accomplishments,these should be bulleted for impact>

I have a strong grasp of <technical skills>, solid problem-solving skills and a proven ability to motivate others <or any of your key strengths>. I believe I will prove to be an asset to the organization.

I can be reached at <your ph no.> between <this time> and <this time>.  Thank you for your interest.  I look forward to your reply.


Your Name

Useful link: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/coverlettersamples/a/coverlettsample.htm

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25 Typical Interview Questions

Look at these commonly asked questions before you go into an interview. Keep your answers ready, but don’t sound rehearsed. These are non-technical questions mainly meant to know your interests, ability to interact with people and judge your personality.

1. Introduce Yourself

This will be the first question where you are asked to introduce yourself. Keep a brief answer ready in your mind. Start with your most recent experience and go back. Keep it relevant to the position that you are applying for. In the end go back and highlight your key points.

2. Why are you looking for a new job?

Be truthful. If you have lost your job, let them know. If you are seeking career advancement, better experience or a better compensation then state that. Be prepared to give a solid reason for finding a new job and sound confident abount your answer.

3. Why are you interested in this job?

Describe how you are the right fit for this job with your skill set. Explain what you have to offer. Read the job description carefully and mention how the key points in it are exactly what you are looking for in your new job.

4. What are your strengths?

Here is your moment to describe your strengths. These should be your personal strengths and tie them with the qualities that they are looking for in the right candidate. Give them atleast 2-3 strengths and give examples if appropriate.

5. How would your co-workers describe you?

Again, this is your opportunity to shine and highlight your key strengths. Through this question show them what you have to offer and what you can bring to the table.

6. What are your technical strengths?

This should be there in your resume. Tell them about your technical capabilities and talk more about the technical qualities that they are looking for. You can also give examples of projects where you used these technical skills. Mention how these skills helped in achieving certain quantifiable results.

7. Why are you interested in this company?

For this question some research about the company is useful. Before interviewing go through their website and gather as much information as you can about their products, projects. Also look at the news to see if the company has had some recent annoucements or any other interesting facts. Mention why you are interested in this particular company. Talk about their market reputation or any other fact that you might want to mention.

8. Do you know anyone who works here?

You should be aware of the company’s policy on hiring relatives. Also mention a friend only if he/she has a good reputation at the company. But if you were referred by someone for this particular job then you might want to mention their name.

9. Would you consider yourself a team player?

Of course you are a team player. Be ready with relevant examples.

10. Can you describe a difficult situation that you faced in your previous job? How did you handle it?

Again be ready with an example, if you have it. This could be a tricky one to answer. But sure you highlight your strength in handling difficult situations. Don’t dwell too much on the situation itself and remember not to bad mouth. 

11. What is your salary expectation?

Be ready with this answer too. Try to send it back to them by asking what is their range for this position. But if you feel they are looking for specific numbers, then don’t dodge the question for too long. It might irritate the interviwer.

12. Are you willing to relocate?

If you are, say yes. Keep you personal family situation in mind before saying anything.

13. Can you give an example where you helped in problem solving?

This is also your opportunity to shine. Give a specific example of what the problem was and how you tackeld it and provided the solution. Mention a technical problem that would be relevant to the position. Don’t talk too much about team mates. This is your time to show off your strengths.

14. Have you supervised/ led a team? How many? What was your experience?

If you have, give the details. Emphasize on your leadership skills, giving details of the projects you helped accomplishing and no. of people in your team.

15. How soon can you join us?

Be ready to give a specific date. If you have to give a notice to your current employer, mention that too.

16. Have you won any awards or recognition at work?

Mention all the awards and recognition that you got. This is your chance to shine.

17. Did you ever have a conflict with your supervisor? How did you handle it?

This is a trick question. This is to test if you will bad-mouth your boss or co-workers. Don’t fall for it. Be diplomatic saying that you never had any issues getting along.

18. Describe your ability to work under pressure.

Again this is time to show your strengths. Describe a situation when there was work pressure and a project had to be delivered to a customer. Explain your role and how you worked in the situation.

19. Are you willing to work overtime or on nights or weekends?

Be realistic. Give them a real picture of what you can do and what you can’t.

20. What are your weaknesses?

This is a another trick question. Be prepared for this one. It’s best not to reveal your personal concerns here. When you talk about your weaknesses, make it sound like a strength and how you will overcome it. Don’t dwell on this for too long. Move on.

21. Describe your ideal boss.

Describe the qualities that you would like in your boss. Keep it very general to be safe, such as a good work ethic, good sense of humor, someone who is fair and firm. Every boss thinks that he/she has it.

22. What is more important to you- the money or the work?

Money is important, but what’s most important is your passion to work, to strive excellence and achieve success in life.

23. What are your hobbies?

Talk about your hobbies, things that you enjoy doing.

24. Which is your favorite movie?

Yes, I was asked this once. It completely caught me off gaurd and I fumbled. Don’t stress out about such questions. It’s important to have presence of mind.

25. Do you have any questions for me?

Always have some questions for the interviewer. If your role was not clear, ask details about it. Also ask how will they follow up after the interview and how soon can you expect to hear from them.

Other than these typical questions, there will be numerous technical questions related to the position that you have applied for. Most of us are ready for those. But we are often caught off guard with simple general questions. Hope this helps!!

Also remember to send the interviewer a thank-you note, thanking them for their time. Write a line or two about your key strengths and your interest in the company. Good Luck!!

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Hello people

Welcome to AV’s blog. I have started this blog today and feel that it will be a good way to keep a track of my thoughts. It’s always nice to share it with others.

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