My ONGC interview happened just a few months back. ONGC shortlisted me for the interview. However, instead of IIM Trichy main campus, the interview was scheduled at the Chennai campus of IIM Trichy.
Generally, people are very meticulous about interviews and reach the venue well in advance. I don’t know why but we were not that nervous, maybe because we had been giving interviews very frequently at that time because it was the placement season going on. So, we decided to travel by bus on a day before the ONGC interview. We thought we would reach there early morning and book a hotel for an hour and get fresh. After that, we would reach the venue. Everything was going well until after reaching Chennai, we couldn’t find any reasonable hotel. We were 4 friends, and just for getting ready, the hotel charge was minimum Rs 1500. It felt unreasonable to us.
So, we boarded a metro train and stopped at each of the stations to find any restroom where we could wash our face and get ready in our formal attire. Eventually, we found a reasonably good restroom after 3 stops and one by one, we all got ready. The washroom in-charge was staring at us, and we found it hilarious. Nonetheless, we continued and all of us got ready and left for the venue. We reached there well in time.
This was the first time ever I was attending an interview without taking a bath, and that too, for a dream company. This thought was surprisingly amusing.
The amusement did not end here.
Generally, in an interview, people expect questions related to their academics and work experience. It is very rare that the whole interview goes around your hobby. It happened in my case.
There were 5 interviewers in the panel, all above 45 years of age. One of them was a lady. They all seemed very kind.
Some of the questions I remember were:
Q: For how long have you been blogging?
A: 4 Years, Sir.
Q: You were blogging before MBA also, how has an MBA helped you in blogging?
A: “I learned about content marketing, and understood how important it is to be on a platform where your audience is. In India, people don’t use WordPress much, but most of my target audience (18–30) is there on Instagram. So, I have started using Instagram to market my blog using excerpts from my blog. This strategy has worked well so far.
Q: How will you do marketing at ONGC?
A: Sir, to be honest, I have no idea why ONGC needs marketing. There is already a huge unfulfilled demand which has to be filled and everyone knows about ONGC. And it is doing business mainly in the B2B sector, where it has a robust position in the market. To this, they nodded and laughed and explained to me why they need marketing at ONGC. See, being honest is not always bad.
Q: If we launch a new product, what strategy will you adopt to market it?
A: I explained it using STP and gave the example of companies like Reliance Jio.
Q: How will you counter the competition in the market for an existing product?
A: I explained it using the pricing strategy.
So, In the entire interview, they asked me questions about my blog, and how I market it on various social media platforms. Because I had worked on many live projects in marketing, I was able to connect the dots, and they felt my answers were in line with the actual marketing strategies and asked me a few questions on the marketing of oil products. I answered their questions convincingly with the help of marketing jargon which I learned in my MBA. I had given many interviews before this, so I was very confident and assertive in my answers. The interview went on for some 30–35 minutes and it was one of the pleasant experiences I have had, obviously because it was all my heart doing the talks there, after all, writing is what keeps me going.
They declared the result at around 6 PM on the same day and when they called my name, I was simply ecstatic. 🙂