/The Cheshire Cat meows again: Facing the board

The Cheshire Cat meows again: Facing the board

Cheshire Cat brings to you exclusive tips on how to face the Interview Board

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN when tailors and dry-cleaners do a roaring business……when the centre spread of ‘Competition Master’ is stolen from the reading room… when people sit biting their nails waiting for the mail…… where cricket matches flourish on the lawns, not because the participants are fired by the exploits of Bedi and Co. , but because they must put something under ‘extra-curricular activities’. Yes, it’s job-hunting time again, a time where the dreamy languor of IIT life grinds abruptly to a halt, a time when assiduously built-up egos collapse like a house of cards, when all the values and beliefs we have come to cherish during the last four and a half years vanish leaving a gaping void ahead. of us. :Do  not fear. Cheshire Cat is here to help you out of the murky darkness into the light, with our special PLACE.MENT ISSUE.


Scene: The interview room. The atmosphere is tense inside and outside. A security man paces, up and down to prevent gate-orating. ‘Janata’ is awaiting for its turn and busy discussing possible questions. One candidate is ‘kholoing’ to another on why the back wheels of the tractors are bigger than the front wheels – He says it’s a matter of industrial policy.

Scene Inside: A very aged looking candidate is being interviewed. The board is aware of the fact that guys in .IlT age faster than the rest.

Chairman: (exasperated, since the candidate .kept silent to a flurry of questions) “How long have you been in IIT?”

Candidate: (arising out of his shaken and psyched state) “Arre Bhai, I been on the campus last fourteen years. I the local dy-cleaner.”. (now meaning business, he gets up and shouts in a ringing voice) .”Any clothes for dy-cleaning?” (Asks the Chairman in particular) “Yours any cloth for dy-cleaning ?”

Chairman: (shocked, fumbles for words and whispers a faint ‘No’ )

Dry Cleaner: “Thaank – youuuu” (makes for the exit).

The genuine candidate walks in – a tall slim guy .resembling a quadrilateral. …As he enters, he tries to look serious, but unable to do so, he grins like a jackass. A horse-shoe sticks out of his coat-pocket as he enters the :interview room. He affectionately fondles it. Next he pulls a chair and  sits down (The chairman is impressed). Quickly noticing that the chairman is wearing a dhoti below his belt, he bursts into a ‘Namaste Saar’

Chairman: “Namaste, your name please?”

Candidate: “I am Tiruvengand Sundarapattu Palvayanteoswaran , presently residing in Kalyanpur. You can address me as Sandy, my pet’s name, Saar.”

Chairman: “Now, sandy, let’s get down to business. What are your main drawbacks ?”

Candidate: “Saar, a very high CPI and a low .need for achievement.” (This goes above the chairman’s head as he has not done H. Psy 242)

Chairman (trying to sound intellectual) “Mr. Sandy, What do you make out of the statement ‘History repeats itself?’ “

Sandy (confused) “Beg your pardon, Saar?”

Chairman: “History repeats itself.”

Sandy: (Beaming) “Then you are history, saar.”

(The candidate shows a keen sense of logic and knows nothing of the past. He is action-oriented and concentrates fully on the present) .

Chairman : (blushes, but goes into a fit of rage as the candidate kicks him under the table, perhaps accidentally) Mr. Sandy, will you stop kicking  me under the table ?”

Sandy: “Sorry Saar, I thought I was in the mess hall.”

Chairman: (obviously trying to change the topic) “Mr. Sandy, how: much did you buy that tie for?”

Sandy: “It’s my family tie, Saar. I borrowed it from my pop.”

(At this point a second member takes over. The Chairman mops his face with his dhoti)

Member: “Quick Sandy, How many fingers are there in one hand?”

Sandy: “Between 4.8 and 5.2, Saar.”

(the candidate thinks there is a catch)

(Presently the candidate hears Shiv Charan calling out “Saandee Saheb, GRE aa gaya America se !!!”. Sandy shouts “Hadaaaich” and rushes  out mumbling good bye to the Chairman. He soon rushes in back.)

Sandy: “Saar, America rejected me Saar. I flunked in verbal. You can have my passport size photograph now Saar.”

(the candidate is dynamic, frank, forthright and practical) .

Chairman: (with the intention of really sizing up the candidate) : “Sandy, as a student of Mechanical Engineering what is your field of  specialization?”

Sandy: “The last stroke of a four stroke engine Saar.”

Chairman: “What are the four strokes of an IC engine?”

Sandy:” Exhaustion, combustion, injection and and confusion Saar.”

Chairman: (to the second member in Hindi) : “Ek technical question puchcha jai .”

Chairman: “Sandy, suppose you are given a heat pump which transports ideal binary gas mixtures. Now using the Chapman-Enskog theory, the Leonard-Jones potential and the value of pi , tell me what is the collision distance between molecules 1 and 2 in .Angstroms ?”

The candidate thinks it’s a PJ and bursts into e. loud laughter. The Chairman realizes that he has furnished the candidate with a wrong value of pi.

Chairman: “I’m sorry, I furnished you the wrong value of pi… — Anyway lets move to the next question. Regarding your views on society, what do you say about the plight of oppressed minorities ?”

Sandy: “Do you mean the phuds ?”

Chairman thinks he has used a technical jargon and asks no further explanation.

Second member: “You seem an energetic young man, any sports?”

Sandy: “I take part in rat-races only Saar All the muggus also take part in it Saar.”

(The candidate displays tremendous team spirit. He has fully identified himself with the members of the IIT community) .

Chairman: (By now having made up his mind to select Sandy) “When did you get interested in ,computer oriented methods?”

Sandy: “Ever since I was so high I have had a love for the big big computers . My uncle asked my pals once what they would like to be. While some said, “Engine Driver” or ‘co-pilot’ or ‘husbands’, I said “Assistant Systems Analyst”. So see?”

The Candidate suddenly rises and says “Saar time running out Saar. Jupiter must have already crossed Saturn Saar. Further, horse waiting impatiently outside for this horse-shoe Saar. Dangles the horse-shoe and runs away) .

This was first published by Cheshire Cat on January 26, 1978.

P.S: The article, supposedly, contains some errors of grammar and punctuation. Vox Populi archives without any alteration and thus no changes were made to the originally published article.