An Interview With| Roopesh Tiwari, | The literature today

Roopesh Tiwari is a qualified human resource professional and a thorough HR practitioner. In the last two decades, he received opportunities to work in various fields of human resources, especially recruitment and selection. Roopesh was educated in some of the best academic institutions in India. He completed his schooling at Mahanagar Boys Inter College, Lucknow. He graduated with an Honours in Science from Lucknow University and completed his post-graduation in Human Resource Management at Lucknow University. His 20 years of experience spans across industries and academics. Starting with pharmaceuticals back in 1997 as Executive to the Head of HR in large manufacturing organisations, Roopesh has worked in industries like finance, software and government sector undertakings. His vast experience has helped him develop a deep understanding of the corporate world and the nuances related to various HR issues.

His 20 years of experience spans across industries and academics. Starting with pharmaceuticals back in 1997 as Executive to the Head of HR in large manufacturing organisations, Roopesh has worked in industries like finance, software and government sector undertakings. His vast experience has helped him develop a deep understanding of the corporate world and the nuances related to various HR issues.

Interview: Welcome to Criticspace Journals, Roopesh, First of all, many many congratulations on your book Roopesh. So tell me a little bit more about yourself.

ROOPESH TIWARI: I am an average Indian who in our generation was supposed to grow up with only one mission, an employment with the Government of India, which was fulfilled when I was selected for a position with the Food Corporation of India. I served there as an officer for around seven years. Through the course of these seven years, however I realized that I have completely different dreams and goals, hence switched to corporate life. So with an experience of around 20 years, I am currently working as Head HR from last three years and this has given me a large experience in the other side of the corporate world.

Interview: That’s interesting! So what made you write a book on this particular subject, i.e. recruitment process in the first place?

ROOPESH TIWARI: After spending quite some time in the corporate world, I can look back with some contentment at what I have achieved till now and feel that I should share my experiences with the corporate fraternity. As my experience is mainly in HR, it is but obvious that I will write in this field only. Now, thanks to my profession, I have interviewed many people in my career and also faced a few. I was part of interview panels and being in HR, I also sat through many interviews and saw others in action. During this period I have seen how people miss their dream jobs due to one or two wrong answers or nervousness and even due to lack of preparation. I have also seen companies missing out on good candidates just because the candidates failed to impress the interviewer in that 30 mins discussion. This vacuum urged me to record my experience in this field in a way that would not only help the candidates but also the corporate recruiters

Interview: Have you ever been through job rejections especially when it was your dream role? If yes how did it feel and what did you do to overcome the rejection?

ROOPESH TIWARI: Yes, I must admit, there are more than few. However the rejection I faced in by SSB Interview (For Army selection) had a huge impact on me and I used to think that it is end of the road for me. I was rejected twice in SSB and was completely dejected and demotivated. MBA was not an option at that time but later someone told me about that and I ended up with a career in HR. Today when I look back I have nothing to complain.

Interview: What is your opinion on the current job scenario in our country? According to you, will it worsen or improve in the near future?

ROOPESH TIWARI: My perspective on the job scenario is slightly different f. If you ask me there are jobs, infact companies are struggling to find a right candidate. Today the technology has opened the world for everyone, people are working for employers and clients in US and Europe from India, but there is a definite lack of talent. If anyone is struggling to get a job, he needs to introspect and may be to re-skill himself to get relevant to the current demand of work force. In a nutshell, I would say that there are enough jobs for talented individuals and the average ones might be struggling to get a decent job. As an HR from the corporate world, I can say one thing for sure, average attrition number in a company would be around 10%, which means that 10% of employees are leaving the job and joining other organizations. This is possible only if there are enough jobs for them. Point which I am trying to make here is that lot of us need to look within ourselves and see how can we improve or develop new skills to suit the market demand and then there would be no dearth of opportunities.

And Yes…. Overall job market scenario would also improve in coming future.

Interview: Do you think the current recruitment process is efficient enough to judge the real capabilities of an aspiring candidate? If not, then what are some changes which you would suggest?

ROOPESH TIWARI: Certainly not, and that was what I tried to highlight in my book as well. If you go through my book you would find that no single assessment process can give us effective result. And to get a good result we need to combine more than one process of shortlisting. I know there are few companies having very good and structured process of selection but most of them are not doing good enough in this space. That is the reason I mentioned in my book that even if a candidate gets rejected in an interview, he/she should not feel bad as this could be due to wrong selection process of the company.

Now coming to what can be done to improve it. First of all the process must be highly structured, which means that what is required by the company must be predefined and described clearly to the interviewer. Many companies do a good job in describing it but not so good when it comes to hiring on these criteria, as interviews usually don’t refer to such document in great depth at the time of interviews. Secondly they must develop a mind-set that a good selection will take time, there will be many processes involve and multiple interview before you get a suitable candidate.

Lastly every interviewer must be trained in the interviewing skill, finding a right candidates is an art which would come from training and practice. In absence of a formal training process most of the interviewer learn from their predecessors or by observing others. This is not a good way of learning new skills.

Interview: So moving apart from your book for some time, tell us a little bit about your schooling and college?

ROOPESH TIWARI: I am a guy from Lucknow and did all my schooling there only. After that I took admission in Lucknow University for my graduation and also did my post-graduation in HR from there.

Interview: That sounds really interesting. Growing up, who has been your biggest motivation and why?

ROOPESH TIWARI: There is no doubt that my father has always being my biggest motivator and ideal. Coming from a very humble back ground the way he performed in his life, fighting all odds, is nothing less than a fairy tale. What I know from the stories which I heard through elders of my village was he had no money to study, but as he was an excellent student, school sponsored his complete education so that the topper of the district is from the school. Today whatever he has achieved in life is living example for all and inspire to do something new and punch above your weight.

Interview: What was the role of your family in your upbringing and shaping your personality?

ROOPESH TIWARI: As I told you earlier I wanted to be like my father, a self-made man and it had a huge impact on my personality and upbringing. Impact of my kids and spouse ca not be ruled out in any way. I was a completely different person after becoming a father, fatherhood made me more mature and responsible and for my spouse I am still a ‘work in progress’

Interview: Okay, so coming back to your book, did you ever give up on your dream job or your dream when you felt it was too tough to acquire?

ROOPESH TIWARI: Quite to the contrary, if you see my career I was very well placed in government sector and doing really good for myself. In search of my dream job, I quit government job and joined corporate world. Which was a big thing in those days as most of the people from my family and relatives dream for a plush government job and I set a different example by leaving the job which was dream for many and shifted to private sector to pursue my own dreams.

Interview: What is the one advice that you would like to give to today’s youth who are struggling to find a job and also can you please share a few tips on how they can prepare better apart from the ones you have shared in your book?


ROOPESH TIWARI: There are enough opportunities for talent people, identify your talent and sharpen your skills. There are few basic qualities which every job aspirant must develop, like communication, work ethics; team work etc. apart from the domain knowledge and world will welcome you with open arm.

Apart from above and what I covered in my book, confidence and smile are the two armors which can help you navigate through tough interview process. It is a known fact that confidence is mis-understood by many interviewers as a mark of competency. So if you are looking confident you will end up projecting an image of a person who knows the job. Even if you are not feel confident try to fake, it may work. Same is true for smile, a gentle smile on face can act as a curtain to many negative facial expressions like, fear, and nervousness and an average interviewer may not be able to see beyond your smile. Get ready for your next interview and good luck.

Interview: Do you think parents expectations these days are increasing by manifolds from their children? If yes, than what is that one advice which you would like to give to those parents who expects beyond the capabilities of their children?

ROOPESH TIWARI: Expectation is not bad, and in fact is the first step towards success. In fact there is a complete theory on management through expectation which says that you end up getting what you expect.  There is nothing wrong in nurturing high expectations, in fact every parent must have it. But problem starts when there is lack of support system in line with the expectation. I would say that you expect and also build a proper support system in line of the expectation, where I feel few parents are lacking. So what I am trying to say is if I expect success from my kid but once I am back from work I tell him/her that he/she is a failure than I am contradicting my own expectation and my behavior is not in line with my expectation. This will create problem. In fact what good parents do is they expect big and keep fueling that expectation with positive inputs and suppose and this combination will do wonders.

Interview: So any plan on writing your next book? If yes, what is it about and when can we expect it?

ROOPESH TIWARI: Sure there are plans for the next book as well. I am planning to write a book on what happens once you get a job. Getting a job is  the first step to a long and arduous journey in keeping a job and growing in your career. My next book would focus on this expect of career. But not now, at present I want to focus on my first book and want maximum people to read it, before I start working on my next project.

Interview: That was such a lovely conversation Roopesh, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity of reading your book. Any last message you would like to give us or your readers?

ROOPESH TIWARI: Read the book, prepare well and you will get your dream job for sure. 

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