Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Indian companies vs US companies

I am actively looking for a job (Feel free to refer me J). So I started looking for jobs in Mysore first, as my husband is put up well here. I did not want to make him move & all of the other related things. Mysore is still developing, and thanks to Infosys but there are exactly FOUR companies here, big ones. Obviously, I couldn’t find a job in the limited scope. Now that I have started to look in Bangalore, I have noticed peculiar things; not sure if everyone would have the same experience.
To mention some basics, I had worked in India in the past and then I moved to US & got a splendid opportunity to work in Microsoft. So my experience consists of both, India and US. Now any common Indian friend will say, “You have 1.5 yrs of US experience, and Microsoft too. You can get a job EASILYYY!” Well, that is not the case. In my observation it is exactly opposite.
My set of observations is:
1)      Companies might not consider you or even give you a call, assuming that you are a US-return candidate who will demand bigger salary.
2)      The interviewer’s attitude is very challenging in the sense, it is like, “So, you worked in US eh! Lets see!!” or “Ohhhh you worked at Microsoft. Hmm…Lets see!!”
3)      The interviewing is very in depth with respect to terminologies.
4)      English of most engineers is so so bad. Grammar & vocabulary don’t seem to get along at anytime.
5)      The HR management process is very very bad. Even the biggest companies have no proper processes of arranging interviews and reporting back the feedback.
My set of understanding in response to each above:
1)      Well, I did work in US and I know if I come back to work here in India, I cannot demand the dollar equivalent in rupees. I KNOW THAT! If you’d ask me, I will tell you my expected Indian equivalent salary which is based on my experience & the position I will be applying for. PS: I have studied the salary range of Indian market and I also used the salary calculator websites!
2)      Really, why do they need that attitude? My US/MS experience is a selling point, but not the RULING POINT! I am not boasting away about it, so nobody has to get that attitude of “we’ll see”. I have a very good example of this situation later in this article.
3)      The interviewer will get into basic terminologies of Regression testing, what is load testing, what is RTM! (I know these). After 4 years experience, I don’t think I will be answering terminologies like a college graduate! Also, because I have 4 yrs experience, it does not mean I know EVERYTHING in the world. I know what I did, ask me and I’ll tell you! And if I don’t know something, I know I can learn it way faster than you expect.
4)      I don’t say you have to know the best English, but most of the Indian companies are catering to the US/UK companies. For top companies in India, I think it is fine to expect descent correct grammar English.
5)      The term “HOLD” is very annoying to me & my husband. Why is my profile on HOLD? Either select me or reject me. Don’t come back checking with me after 2 months with another set of interviews! It is simple; YES and NO.
My husband also had a similar experience when he gave an interview after returning from the US. To me now, my US experience has become a problem.
And now coming to the example I mentioned above – I was interviewing at one the top companies of India. The moment an interviewer picks a tone of “Oh so you worked in Microsoft”, I know their attitude. There were two men interviewing me, Man1 was very calm, quiet & too shy to talk and Man2 was more talkative & interactive. So Man2 asked me, “what was the SDLC model they used at your recent project at Microsoft”, I promptly answered Waterfall Model. He instantly made a face & looking at his colleague he said, “Waterfall? I thought Microsoft uses Agile method”. At this point, I had to put my hands down and answer him calmly in his face, “Microsoft is a big big company, with tens of projects being executed. Each project has unique requirements based on which suitable SDLC method is chosen. So it is impossible that all projects at Microsoft will be Agile.” Man1 also agreed right way, “of course it can’t be strictly Agile method!” In my head I thought he could be playing with my mind, but still to me it sounded like a dumb statement coming from a person of his position and experience at such a big company. It could be interview tactics! But I am sick & tired of the attitude I get for my fortunate chance of working in the US and at Microsoft!
Based on my interviews in the US & India, I think Americans trust you for what you say and you don’t have to go out of your way to prove your knowledge. I find it much easier to interview for American companies where the interviewing procedure is simple & straight forward, Interviewers know what they are interviewing for and what they should ask, they are very clear in asking questions without any ambiguity and the HR management is on time with timely feedback.
So good luck to the rest of the returning Indians!

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