30 August 2007

Will you take orders?

I was asked this question, when I went for an interview with an organization few months ago. I had not submited my resume, but was invited for a discussion. Like every interview should be, they asked me about myself and I presented to them my best cases for leadership, responsibility and initativeness, a trademark of any individual who is ambitious and goal oriented. At the end of the discussion they asked me "Will you take orders? What guarantee will you give me that you will follow our orders? "

Few days ago an acquaintance who owns a company asked me the same question. As global as New York city is for its people, it was intriguing to note that both the organizations belonged to the same geographical region in the world. That brought me to my next chain of thought - whom do they want to hire - somebody who is responsible and creative, yet demure ? Somebody who would help the organization grow or somebody who would play a passive role?

My thoughts led me to arrive at certain inferences - Both these organizations - one a consulate in new york and the other a health care industry, were headed by people whose countries were ruled by foreigners for long - the French, the Portuguese , the English and the Persians. Their lands and minds were conquered and still today generations are reeling under its influence, good and bad. So what if the people are intelligent and hardworking ? Though they head organizations they are not sufficiently savvy!(for lack of an alternative word ) and may be do not have enough confidence to make decisions that will help themselves and others in a different light - A light that will help them realize that they are the creations of God and nobody can let them believe that they or others are small in any way. May be they feel threatened ? And they see themselves as their erstwhile rulers - oppressive, abusive, giddy with power and want to make their employees feel as subjects of exploitation ?

How would you respond to the question, Will you take orders?

The image is a painting picked up at a yard sale.


Georg said...

Bonjour Anrosh,

Some years ago I had to engage people, from time to time. Doing this, I always had an intense feeling of uncertainty. You don't know the person sitting in front of you, so you ask questions and hope for the best to be able to make a correct interpretation of what you hear.

Naturally, I never asked this question about obeying orders but at least I could have asked "how do you obey orders".

Looking for a job and being interviewed for it is a kind of game everybody is obliged to play.
It's like fencing.

being wholeheartedly a European, I would not involve God in this business.

Cheers to you and best wishes for success.


Susan said...

If anyone asks those kinds of questions during an interview, I would run, run like hell to the nearest exit, nay, the fire escape. Since it is assumed that employees take orders from their bosses to begin with, one can only infer that this sort of questioning reveals an imbalance of control within the interviewer; you have very little to do with it, but you will feel the brunt of it.

Anrosh said...

Thank you Georg, for a different perspective.

Susan, I feel the same way too.

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