14April

Indian candidates tend to be hyper optimistic

 In these close to ten years that I have been a search specialist (and a hiring manager for another fifteen years before that), I have had the privilege of interacting with a few thousand middle, senior and top managers, primarily from the Indian banking & financial services industry. If there is one common thread that has run through my experience spectrum, it is the misplaced optimism of the majority of candidates following an interview including those who were interviewed by me.

Almost everyone felt that s/he had made an immediate impression, demonstrated the demanded skill sets and was/were culturally aligned to the target employer. A very thin 5% of this universe did not sound ragingly bullish after an interview and let me tell you, a disproportionate number of these grounded and realistic folks were indeed those who secured the coveted jobs that were on offer.

Does this phenomenon of over optimism stem from desperation or an inability to read body language or even the delicate nuances of a professional conversation? Most Indian hiring managers are not poker faced or phlegmatic (unlike some Oriental species). Therefore, it should be relatively easy to sense if a meeting is going south or north. Or is it a derivative of an exaggerated sense of self worth that is embedded in our families by typically over doting parents? I would welcome a robust debate on this theme.

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