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How to Tackle an MBA (HR) Interview

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Human resource management is increasingly becoming a critical function inside most businesses and more and more b-schools in India are offering specialized courses in HR. As a matter of fact, MBA as a course of study is moving towards greater specialization and it is not unusual for an MBA aspirant today to find himself shortlisted for five different courses – an MBA in Finance from SP Jain, a PGDHRM from XLRI, a PGP in agri-business from IIM-A, an MBA in Rural Management from IIFM Bhopal and an Operations Management course from NITIE. A possible reason for such widespread specialization among MBA courses is that with the proliferation of b-schools all over India, the better ones are trying to strengthen their brand by offering tailor-made courses based on their core competences. This way, the institute stays away from the rat race of general MBAs and builds for itself an image of a market leader in its particular domain of MBA education. While it would be premature to signal the end of the general MBA course, it is undeniable that specialization is on the rise and MBA aspirants must, in addition to cracking the entrance exams, prepare themselves for the group discussions (GDs), personal interviews (PIs) and statements of purpose (SOPs) of the specific function that they have applied to.

Given this context, I have, from my experience as an interviewee for and now a student in an HR course, tried to put together seven points that an aspirant for an MBA in HR may do well to bear in mind. While the issues mentioned below have been specifically related to an HR interview, I believe they would apply in a similar vein to other specialized courses as well. However, my success in an HR interview and my experience in an HR course limit my observations to the HR domain only.

1. Be informed about HR as a profession. If asked about which domain in HR you find interesting, you should not stare blankly as if you thought specialization ended with selecting the MBA(HR) option on the application form. The HR function has many sub-functions within it, like Compensation, Recruitment and Selection, Training and Development, Performance Management and Industrial Relations. Read up broadly on the various domains and try to delve a bit into any one domain that seems interesting to you from the surface. This equips you with fodder for an informed discussion with the panel. For instance, if IR (industrial relations) interests you, you could read up on the latest industrial strikes in the country and a bit on the different trade unions that are there and their political affiliations, so that you can substantiate your interest in the subject by giving examples. Always remember that the best proof of interest is knowledge.

2. Communication is not a core HR skill. Never say that your communication skills (or any other so-called ‘soft’ skill for that matter) will make you an excellent HR manager. Communication is a basic skill that is required of any manager inside any organization. In fact, a marketing manager working with brands or a production manager on a shop floor needs to communicate more on a daily basis than an average HR manager working with payrolls or appraisals. He would never be expected to talk to clients or suppliers, and even within the organization, his interaction with employees is to a far lesser extent than the immediate supervisor’s. On the contrary, an HR manager designing a compensation system for 10,000 employees would need as much analytical and number crunching skills as would someone in finance or operations. The perception therefore that HR is all about soft skills is a completely wrong one and talking about soft skills as a core competence in an HR interview could be a recipe for disaster.

3. Sound realistic about the prospects in HR. Do not sound nave when talking about where you see yourself in the long run. It is good to say that you wish to be a CEO, but be prepared for a counter-attack from the panel giving you a dim statistical probability of an HR manager ever becoming the CEO of a company (though there are such examples). You should be aware of the career path of a typical HR professional, both in functional HR as well as in the consulting domain. You should also be aware that a shift to a general management role from an HR role is not possible at any or every stage in one’s career. Usually, such shifts are possible only at the senior and top management levels where one has gathered enough functional expertise to be able to take on a strategic role. Most of his career, an HR professional would gather expertise as a generalist or specialist in a line role (inside any organization) or as consultant in a consultancy firm (like the Hay Group or KPMG). Finally, you should also be aware of the fundamental difference between a line or functional HR role and a consulting role and the challenges associated with each. Very broadly, a functional HR manager works within an existing HR framework in an organization, while a consultant designs frameworks for various organizations of different size, age and culture and advises them on policy and implementation.

4. Be clear as to why HR. This question would haunt you in any interview in different forms, and it is better to be prepared with a specific answer instead of giving a general answer for ‘why MBA’. While there is no ‘model’ answer to this question, I would suggest giving a frank and simple response instead of something that involves your inborn ‘people skills’ or ‘communication skills’. Something as simple as ‘my cousin is a senior HR manager at P&G and I like the work he does‘ could be a perfectly acceptable answer, provided you know broadly what your cousin does. You have to come up with your own answer based on your past experience in or exposure to the corporate world and if it sounds genuine, there is no reason why a panel should doubt your reason for wanting to do an HR course.

5. Be clear as to why ‘XYZ’ to HR. You might be asked to justify why you want to shift from a career in the software coding to one in HR. Personally, I have faced this question at two of the top HR institutes in the country, viz., TISS and XLRI and more so because my background was something as unlikely as architecture. Most aspirants often make the mistake of trying to relate their past work or education with HR and justifying how skills acquired in one will come in handy in the other. (On a lighter note, most panellists believe you don’t acquire any skills in a software job!) Do that only if you can strongly relate the two, else steer clear of it. The best answer to this would again be a frank answer and one that is relevant to your own experience in life. In my case, I told them that architecture was exciting as a course of study, but as a career, it was overhyped in terms of creativity and stagnating in terms of progression. I wanted an MBA in HR because, firstly, MBA would give my career a fillip, and HR was something that I could grapple with, given my background and inclination (as compared to finance, operations or marketing).

6. Reflect on HR issues in your workplace. If you have worked before, then think about what problems you yourself faced in your workplace and how you would try to solve them if you were the HR manager in the company. A friend of mine who was a journalist before joining an HR course mentioned in her interview that she knew too well how a sub-editor is overworked and underpaid, and her entire interview turned in the direction of employee satisfaction in the journalism industry, something she could talk for hours on. Therefore, knowing about HR issues in your past job shows that you are aware of the challenges an HR manager would typically face in an organization.

7. Do not aggrandize HR. Finally, HR is not the ultimate profession in the world. It is only as good or as bad as any other corporate function. Try not to make statements that suggest HR as the reason behind all corporate successes or that HR can solve all corporate evils. Be aware of the limitations of human resource management both as a function in an organization and as a career for yourself. At the same time, emphasize the fact that HR is an emerging field and most of the unsolved or unattended problems in organizations today lie in the domain of HR, and even as a support function, well-designed HR policies and practices can help HR play a strategic role in the success or failure of a company.

Keeping the above points in mind will hopefully help any aspirant to an HR course to make a positive impact on the interviewer and convey an impression of genuine interest in pursuing a career in human resource management.

Sourav Sengupta

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When You Have Found the Remedy to Defend Against Fraudulent Wrongful Foreclosure: Stop Researching!

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“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”

Raymond Chandler Farewell, My Lovely

I have people who have contacted me over the years and for one reason or another they have not used my services fully or never decided what they want to do or what they can afford. A few have contacted me many times to run ideas by me or ask for simple advice.

At the present I have so very little time that though I do try to help out with what I know, I can only help as long as it doesn’t consume much time. Actually, I usually enjoy these conversations as these are people who have done a lot of research and they often give me something useful.

But, overall the problem I have with some borrowers is that they are constantly looking for the magic bullet that will finally enlighten the judge. The judge will see that he or she has missed the point and that the borrower is the party in interest. The only conclusion the judge can come to is that the foreclosing party actually never had any true part in the loan at closing or ever. Sounds too much like a TV show doesn’t it?

It is true that the vast majority of foreclosures are wrongful and illegal. The judges in these courts start from the very beginning to place the burden of proof on the borrower and that is adverse to what the constitution says about burden of proof. It is the moving party, in this situation that is the foreclosing party, that must bear the responsibility proving that it has the right to bring the case before any court.

The courts want the nonmovant borrower to prove that he or she have not caused injury to the foreclosing party. However, in actuality, the court has the burden to review the original pleadings of the foreclosing party and determine if that party has, in fact, asserted any true and provable rights to collect money from the borrower. If they have not they have not met the constitutional lrreducible minimum requirements for standing in every court.

Without the right to collect money the foreclosing party should not have collected any money and it follows that with no right collect there can be no right to declare default which certainly would void any right to foreclose.

Lately, I have been using the strategy of challenging the standing (which can be done, literally, at any time) of the foreclosing party immediately. Without two parties with a proven interest in the issues of the case there is no standing for the foreclosing party and the court has no subject matter jurisdiction and must not proceed with the case.

This is US constitutional law. In this position the court (and judge, they are interchangeable) has only one move it can make. It must dismiss the case or in a non-judicial foreclosure state it must vacate and set aside the wrongful foreclosure.

You may have noticed that I use the words foreclosing party and borrower instead of Plaintiff and Defendant. This is because in judicial foreclosure states the foreclosing party is the Plaintiff and the borrower is the Defendant. But, under the statute and rules in states using the bizarre and heinous non-judicial foreclosure it ends up being the opposite. The borrower is the Plaintiff and the foreclosing party is the Defendant.

That is so confusing that I try to avoid using the words Plaintiff and Defendant when describing “who done who wrong”.

Below is the most simple description of the central Mortgage Fraud issue that I have ever written. It is my answer to my friend’s questions about a blog guy he had found on the internet and sent to me to see what I thought.

Dear Kevin,

I am reading all of the case citations you sent me from the blog guy that posts videos while driving in his car and wearing sunglasses and if I drive that image out of my head, he is saying a lot of things that are close to what I am. It was interesting, but he is in a niche that is just enough different that I cannot make it fit in my mind. I don’t think we can find a useful way to use these in the current environment.

The judges I have been dealing with these long seven years aren’t even acknowledging the most simple and basic statute and constitutional civil rights. I can’t even get them to write anything in their orders and rulings that would indicate that they even read what I have written.

Kevin, the time has passed for further researching to come up with the magic bullet that will cause the judge to jump and exclaim “Oh, Kevin, now I see what you mean”.

The judge is in the way. He is an impediment to justice. We must use the remedies that the old guys wrote into the constitution to baby slap the judges. Any reader who has been following me this year knows that this is what I call “The Dick Butkus Mortgage Offense. If Dick Butkus is all that is keeping you from a winning touchdown with one minute left on the clock, then you gotta get him out of the game immediately. Anyway that you can. You really don’t have the luxury of studying your many dark “what ifs” because practice ended yesterday. Now its Showtime.

The probably non-existent foreclosing entity is not your problem, nor are its attorneys. Your only adversary is the judge. He is placing the burden of proof on you, the defendant borrower. That is just not fundamentally sound logic and it is depriving you of your civil rights. You don’t have to win the case. The case is void. You need to declare and prove that.

You just follow the laws of subject matter jurisdiction and make the court enforce them, either peacefully or in a borrower initiated good old knock down drag out. You are not a victim, unless you play by the judges rules. If you fight him and his no rules style of court, you will be a victim and a loser.

I meant that in the nicest and most civil of ways. D.

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A Quick Comparison Guide on DirecTV and Dish Network Satellite TV Deals

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What’s good in Dish Network? What’s good in DirecTV? If you live in the Continental USA and Hawaii and desire satellite TV systems, you have basically two choices. Lets compare these two major satellite TV providers and see who suits your TV entertainment needs the best.

DirecTV and Dish Network offer the most choices for the least amount of money. In most cases, you get free equipment, free setup, free installation and great package deals. The great news for consumer is that, both companies offer similar services and they both are competing for your business! So based on this, how do you choose between the two?

Dish Network’s biggest advantage is the free Dish Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that records up to 100 hours of programming. The second biggest advantage is price. Dish Network beats DirecTV a little in pricing and beats cable TV a lots. However, DirecTV has a few premium packages like NFL Sunday Ticket that Dish Network doesn’t have. Price is way better than cable TV and is still very competitive with Dish Network.

Where programming is concerned, both Dish Network and DirecTV offer excellent entertainment packages in high quality digital transmission. Over 256 channels are available for Dish Network programming. Dish Network broadcasts as many as 231 NFL pre-season, regular season and post-season playoff games without having to purchase a costly season package subscription! It has more comprehensive international programming with additional foreign language programming packages.

DirecTV supports up to 225 channels. Compare with Dish Network, DirecTV has exclusive rights to some sports channels, but you need to pay an extra fee to get these channels. Some of the sports packages include NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings, NY Yankee Games, NBA League Pass and NFL Sunday Ticket which gives you access to almost every NFL games.

The hardware needed for satellite TV are almost the same between the two providers. Both need a small dish, a satellite receiver and the access cards. You will be given a choice when you order some of the equipment options. If you want standard satellite TV with a DVR, or High Definition (HD) options, you will need different kind of dish.

The Dish Player DVR510 offers by Dish Network can records up to 100 hours of your favorite shows without video tapes! While DirecTV’s records up to 35 hours. Dish Network gives you free satellite TV equipment and free installation in up to four rooms of your home, which at no charges. For DirecTV’s subscriber, you will be charge an additional small amount for the DVR receiver.

Both of the DirecTV and Dish Network have excellence customer services with 24 hours online support and 24 hours toll-free telephone support. They both offers online services like viewing current and prior statements, add packages and make payments to your account. Online user manuals and installation guides is also provided.

Dish Network or DirecTV? It is difficult to make a choice between the two providers because they offer very similar programming as well as pricing. No matter which one you decided to go with, its sure will give you a great deal with some really good service.

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What Is Social Leadership?

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The term social leadership has been used in a technical sense by researchers for over fifty years. More recently it is being used by community organizations and others to describe a much broader perspective on people-centered activities aimed at creating a better world. Beyond this, I would suggest that it has great potential for use within the technical vocabulary of leadership studies, as a framework for the construction and evaluation of more comprehensive ways of understanding what it means to lead.

The concept originally emerged in the context of developmental psychology and educational theory as the opposite, or perhaps the complement, of task leadership. What this means is that when working with others, we demonstrate a propensity either to get the job done or to ensure that others are included. Presumably, personal success is dependent upon developing capacity along both of these lines, but our immediate concern is with the social aspect of establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships.

Outside the academic environment, the term is being used within the context of training programs offered by various, predominantly Christian, religious organizations to reflect a commitment to creating a healthier, more peaceful and prosperous world, with a happier and more fulfilled citizenry. Adherents dedicate their lives and talents to doing what they can, as much for others, as with others. Inspiration for this mission and the development of a sense of stewardship are found through submission to God.

What I am proposing here is the adoption of the term social leadership within management and organizational studies as a way to capture the idea that the leadership process entails more than just the mechanics of achieving goals through the management of tasks and people. It must also take into account human values, both ethical and aesthetic.

Ethical values are usually expressed in terms of what we think is right, or good. For many people, their understanding of right and wrong has been provided for them through their association with formal religious institutions, but this does not have to be the case. Philosophical systems can provide a set of socially compelling standards to which an individual is willing to commit, without requiring a concomitant commitment to some transcendent authority.

Aesthetic values refer to such concepts as harmony and beauty, elements that are essential to our perception and appreciation of the world around us, but which we might not think have any influence on the ways we manage, or lead. Curiously, it has become a common saying among those who study leadership, that it is like beauty. You can’t describe it, but you know it when you see it.

Within the business and management context, the concept of social leadership has precursors in the notions of social marketing and corporate social responsibility. The former concept refers to the use of conventional marketing tools to alter people’s behavior towards a social good, such as increased physical activity, stopping smoking, or volunteering in the community. The latter term refers to the idea that corporations need to balance their concern for making a profit, with an equal concern for the well-being of their customers and employees. This notion has been extended more recently to include a concern for the welfare of the planet, thus establishing the so-called triple bottom line that blends economic, social, and environmental factors, in a quest for sustainability.

I am not putting social leadership forward as a new theory of leadership. There are already too many of those. Rather, I am suggesting that the term be used to identify a framework within which existing and emerging theories can be analyzed and evaluated for their comprehensiveness and as a measure of the extent to which the insights provided by such theories can be implemented in practice.

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Factors Tipping Towards a Hosted VOIP Service

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A hosted VOIP service is getting popular today with the growing demand of its services due to the progressive technology that brings on quite a number of compelling advantages.

Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost of ownership or TCO is one of the major factors in considering a hosted VoIP system. As a cheaper solution over the traditional onsite IP PBX system, the hosted system is more favored as one can consider business expansion with geographically dispersed branches and numerous customer locations. The hosted system is favorable when there is an increasing mobile support needed with a good servicing to remote end-users.

Improved Employee Performance

Research and track records prove the hosted VOIPs offer more than cost savings. There is an obvious employee service performance with a good ‘buy in’ from the employees. Although there is a heavy investment on network connectivity, this investment reaps in more sales and profit that benefits the business in a shorter time than with another type of system.

Such hosted services ensure a good connectivity among the business branches to allow a robust and smooth operation with up-to-date information to the customers. VoIP services that are hosted would offer high call quality with high service levels crucial to businesses which could be demanded of VoIP service providers.

Increased Business Productivity

Hosted services allow more features for the employees to manipulate to their convenience and to the advantage of the business for a higher productivity. Management reporting and administration facilities are simpler and more structured than on-premise PBX systems. With a higher agility, hosted VoIP service systems allow the business operations to run more smoothly with an easier scaling in either direction according to the business productivity.

Hosted services of VoIP technology are manipulating world-class equipment based on the latest technology on secure networks that have built-in resilience with a strong business continuity factor.

Increasing Demand

It is not surprising to have more businesses considering VoIP systems that are hosted in the coming years. The VoIP market is expected to rise in exponential figures with the current 17% growth rate.

Hosted VoIP systems would be the preferred choice of a business that wants to take advantage of the advanced features of the system whose services are provided by experienced and skilled VoIP provider remotely. It is not just a capital expenditure investment with certain VoIP equipment; there would be more advanced features and services incorporated in the next couple of years on hosted VoIPs.

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5 Advantages of Pursuing MBA After Graduation

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Nowadays bachelor’s degree is not just enough to get a lavish job and earn well. As we all know that job market is already very competitive and people with simple bachelor’s degree are still hunting for a good job. Renowned company’s employers are looking for candidates who are well-versed in the dynamics of the market and experience as well. We have seen the growing demand for management courses in our country and many youths are chasing this course by preparing for CAT & MAT exams. An MBA course comes with multiple benefits and it teaches youths to learn more about successful business. If you are about to complete your graduation and confused whether to go for an MBA course or not, then here we give you the reasons why you should get an MBA degree:

  1. High Package Salary– Well after pursuing an MBA course and paying high fees, it is somewhat manifest that you will get a better job opportunity and get a higher salary. With an MBA degree and great command on their specialized subject, one can demand a higher salary.
  2. Quick Start & Great Career Opportunity– You must have seen many graduates are still struggling to get a job and they are not getting high salary either. But if you see an MBA graduate, they get a quick start and earn really well. They got trained during their course tenure; hence employers are always ready to hire an MBA person so that they would start their work immediately without any training.
  3. Lots of Opportunities for Business Networking & Socialising – MBA aspirants will get many opportunities to work as an intern at leading companies and can learn a lot of things about the corporate world during their internship. Aspirants will get a chance to understand the real corporate world and it will be beneficial to them as well to sustain in the competitive world.
  4. Enhance Personal as well as Professional Skills – Doing an MBA course is always beneficial for the aspirants as it will not just provide you with professional teaching and training but also help you to boost your personality. By pursuing this course, you will definitely develop a better personality and will lead the corporate world with confidence.
  5. International Exposure – Most of the MBA colleges in India are allied with top international universities so that they could provide their students with an opportunity to complete a part of their course in their campus. Moreover, many colleges also offer internship in abroad and provide international degree after completing their internship. MBA is the only course where you will get ultimate exposure with great learning, training and foreign trip.

So, if you really want to pursue an exciting career with great income then MBA course is perfect for you. You can opt for this course as per your convenient as there are provisions for regular, part-time, evening classes and distance learning courses as well. Just choose whichever course is valuable to you and be ready to make a successful career in the corporate world with attractive salary.

(www.schoolofmanagementghy.com)

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Seven Continuous Trends in Education

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In this next decade of the 21st Century, a good, well rounded education could be the difference between a developing future or a future dependent on low wage employment, and periods of unemployment. One reason the current boom in private and on-line education is one sector that continues to expand. What are the seven current trends in education?

1. A More Affordable Education

Despite austerity measures and cut backs in government education programs, private and internet-based education programs are bridging this gap. The graduate of tomorrow may study online, but work part-time, and

attend a private or on-line education course. This can be more affordable, as student debt levels decrease, due to the fact they are not restricted to spending several years at College or University.

2. Education for All

Before the internet age, few students had the option of studying outside a traditional educational institute. The growth in these traditional educational institutes offering an online alternative, and the fact the internet could be perceived as a web of information. Allows today’s students to access information more easily, and choose a program that is more affordable, and relevant to their needs.

3. Increased Employment Opportunities

Globally, a higher percentage of people are studying a course, degree or training then in previous generations. This is leading to more job opportunities in education, especially in the field of higher, specialized education. As our economies are inter-linked globally, this trend should continue as internationally standard tests and examinations are available globally.

4.A Growth in Self Learning

One of the greatest successes of the internet age, has been the simple fact that information is available at a click, it simply means that anyone interested in a subject can find a wealth of information through a website, video or blog. This trend should continue as the on-line presence of educational institutions grows, and internet access becomes cheaper and easily accessible.

5. The Internationalization of Education

State education is dropping in standards in many countries, due to the high cost of education and the challenge of internet based educational programs. International examinations are available online, and with the growth of home schooling, parents can by-pass an often antiquated state system, whilst their children study for an international examination. A child in Nairobi, could in the future gain the same qualifications, as a similar child in New York.

6. The Need for Re-Training

A fast growing global economy, means that in our own lifetime we may have to re-train more in order to compete in a global workplace. This need, coupled with a more demanding working environment, means that often we learn new skills in our spare time- often online. This trend should continue as a new economy materializes in the next few years, and new job markets are created with this economy.

7. A Wired, Knowledge Based Society

Knowledge is fast becoming the new currency of our global economy, and as we inter-connect with each other through the net- those that provide this knowledge are the new income earners of the future.

Despite stringent budget cuts in education, there are very real replacements to a book based classroom or university. Those seeking a future, can find them online and even if the costs of a ‘traditional” education continue to rise, the alternatives may better this in the near future.

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