Interview Experience-TISS

The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, situated in Mumbai, happens to be one of the top institutes in this country that offer post graduate programs in the field of human resources and labor relations. Remember, what they offer is the MA degree in these fields, which is treated as equivalent to MBA by industry experts.

The examinations are conducted through TISSNET, which like other entrance exams, consists of the usual Quantitative section, Logical Reasoning and DI and verbal ability, but the single most important section happens to be the General Knowledge or Awareness part, which has questions on static and current affairs awareness, and generally, the difference between people who eventually make it through and who don’t.

However, once you are through the entrance test, you will be invited for further processes. Generally, it happens to be another test, this time containing business related concepts and awareness related questions along with general awareness and some concepts around humanities. The further rounds will also contain a Pre-Interview Test where they will question you regarding some concepts of the field of human resources, labor relations and your knowledge about some particular laws in India regarding them.

However, due to the second wave of COVID creating a rampage all over the country that time, once we had passed our TISSNET examination by surpassing the required cutoff, we were sent directly to the interviews , bypassing the another written paper and Pre Interview Test, keeping in mind the Government regulations and the concern for the health of the candidates.

So, we were assigned an interview date and time slot after we had filled our details on educational background and other career related profile. After waiting for some time in the waiting room, we were sent for the virtual interview room.

There were three panelists, two male and one female, and all of them were middle aged.
The usual greetings were exchanged between us, and I was asked to introduce myself in brief. I mentioned my upbringing in the mining regions of the country, given that my father was an employee in a PSU that dealt in the field of mining of minerals, and followed it up with my graduation, work experience and my hobbies.

This was followed up by them asking some questions around the kind of labor management I was able to see while growing up, which I explained how there were Trade Union leaders who negotiated the labor rights with the executives and decision makers of the projects of the company. I also added that given that it was a government company we were talking about, with lesser concerns about the profit (though it is a highly profitable company with less private competition in the field), generally all the matters were concluded with both sides going back to work satisfied.

Soon, the next question I was directed towards is perhaps the most common question you will face whenever you make into the interview rounds of an institution while opting for Human Resources, and that is your reason behind going for HR.
You can approach this question in any type you feel right if you have prepared for it in advance. Tell them about how the various features of the sector have been a part of your work experience, your life, or how these concepts are something you relate to very closely and want to make a career out of it.

I took a personal approach and used some examples from my childhood days, my experience as coordinator of my college quizzing up and allocation of some activities and conducting them in my workspace and why I felt that Human Resources was my calling having seen managing people and listening to their grievances and finding solutions was something I had been doing for some time.

But there was this issue, that I never had anything related to either HR, or labor relations or any of the humanities field as a part of my formal education. So, there were some questions regarding the switch from technical background to humanities. Now rest assured that a lot of students do that and the ability to maneuver through these questions smartly and while according due respect to both your background and the field of humanities.

There were some questions on the budget and what was the most striking part around creation of human assets that I felt. I answered mostly around the increase in health expenditure and education.

After this, my interview was done and I left after exchanging greetings.