October 14, 2012 @Tonic

What did I learn from people that I interviewed!

There have been hundreds of people I must have interviewed over last 7 years of my Tonic journey. It’s funny yet true that I never gave a job interview ever in my life. (and I’m not talking business meetings here) It was evening of October 23rd 2005 (yes I remember the day) sitting in the coffee shop at Lokhandwala, when I interviewed our very first Tonicker… Rakku is what we used to call him, I explained him about Link Building, SEO and Google, the interview got over and he was on board right away! But what does that teach us?

  • Challenges:

To say YES to Challenges: It was a challenge for Rakku, with no relevant experience, he said YES to Link building and SEO.  Accepting challenges is a great way to learn new things.  Always say this… Bring it ON!

Next was this HTML developer who said YES to every question that I threw at him. When the time came for him to walk the talk, he failed and made excuses. Making excuses not only lets oneself down but also others who work with you.

It also made me realize that it’s important to tell someone when they are wrong! That way I don’t keep someone in the dark, yes when you don’t help someone become better even when knowing that they make a mistake, which will affect not only them but others is a crime. At the same time it taught me to admit my mistakes and learn from them.

  • Planning

Planning and preparation is a key! Not only it gives me an edge over my competitors but also keeps the word WINNING in my head from the start. I have met several fresh tech graduates, who come to interview fully prepared and shoot questions at me about the organization.

  • Accountability:

Now there was this guy who had everything to back up his claim to the project that he had worked on.

Yes! he had an entire log with him that showed me how accountable he was to his goals.

Knowing my goals and staying accountable to my goals WAS and IS an important part of my life! I’m a numbers guy and numbers never lie 😉 Knowing how much I need to do and current status makes me achieve my goals.

  • Focus:

Next was this creepy girl (in a good way) who was completely focused and paid attention to every word that I had said during the interview. She was completely disconnected with everything else that could bother her to not perform well in her interview.

Staying focused is another reason for my success.

I’ll give a funny example. During every Tonic session (the unofficial parties), when the party is half way through in the night and good old monk is doing what its suppose to do, my friend and ex-colleague Shawn will ask me “Sam, Tu kya kar raha hai? You are working right? Me: “No, just checking something”… Shawn: Jhoot mat bol.

While you are thinking Sam didn’t “focus” on partying I also want you to know that keeping a job unfinished was bothering me all the time. I could only enjoy the next sip after getting the positive status to the project that I was working on.


  • Belief:

So I met this dude (it was an unofficial interview) He was interested in computer engineering. When I interviewed him, I explained him about SEO/SEM and how potential this field was, he took up the opportunity and was open to learning and experimenting.  More than anything else he believed in himself that he could learn and do well.

  • Be Positive:

Not only it’s my blood group (#TeamBendroid) but being positive makes me innovate and removes any obstacles that are on my path to success!



  • Deliver what you promise:

When you don’t deliver what you had promised it is not only WRONG but it will also put a very negative impact on you as it turns into a habit. (Tweetu, we are still waiting for those Donuts)



Lets fast-forward a little… here are some interesting things that I learn from our current Tonickers everyday

Our  very own CEO, Chetan

When I hear him say “You got a minute?” I know he is saying “leave everything and help me out”.. A polite and a smart way to get my attention and make me fix his issue!


When i hear him say “DISHOOM! Bang on the wall” i know “Somebody’s gonna get a hurt real bad” When things are not right, don’t shy away from taking the issue head on



When I hear him say, “Long time! Sam, you need to read this…” I know he is “sharing something interesting and valuable” that will not only benefit me but also the entire organization. Sharing of knowledge, food, and tweets is very important; I guess we all will agree that sharing knowledge makes the world a better place.


When i hear him say:  “OMG” he is actually saying “Someone screwed up big time which needs to be fixed immediately!”

He is actually showing you how much attention to detail matters for success

Ritu (Tweetu)

When I hear her say: “So Sam” in the middle of the conversation, I know she is saying “Sam just shut up and do what needs to be done” this is actually great (mostly) because it gets stuff done and help others including me to focus on task at hand!


When I hear him say: “Ho Jayega (tilting his head a litle)”  i know he is saying “i dont know what is the problem at the moment but i know that no matter what i WILL fix it” … not only does he have faith in him but also he gives me the confidence that the project will be delivered on time.



When i hear her say “Sam, Listen noooo!”  i understand “Vital information is missing in the presentation which could really affect the pitch”




When i hear her say “Sam Citi bank mein login karogey ? “ I hear “The government wants to eat lot of your money”  Radhe Krishna! Persistence when required is necessary.



When i hear her say: “It’s Super super super nice” i know that i developed something nice or am getting better at it.  It’s very important to encourage others by saying “It’s super super super nice! when they do something good“. Basically, let people know when they have done a good job


When i hear him say “Sam, you know who is coming next month to India” i hear “You better finish your work and keep yourself free because the beats are going to take you away” Improve you work-life balance, pronto


When i hear him say “…” i honestly feel and i know everyone from Tonic reading this would agree that he should be the PMO of India. “He talks less but does MORE.” He is the one who reminds me that i should cut down the bullshit and finish my work.



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