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Interview questions to interviewer

1. What’s the biggest change your group has gone through in the last year? Does your group feel like the tough times are over and things are getting better, or are things still pretty tough? What’s the plan to handle to either scenario?

2. If I get the job, how do I earn a “gold star” on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?

3. What’s your (or my future boss’) leadership style?

4. About which competitor are you most worried?

5. How does sales / operations / technology / marketing / finance work around here? (I.e., groups other than the one you’re interviewing for.)

6. What type of people are successful here? What type of people are not?

7. What’s one thing that’s key to this company’s success that somebody from outside the company wouldn’t know about?

8. How did you get your start in this industry? Why do you stay?

9. What are your group’s best and worst working relationships with other groups in the company? What are the pain points you have to deal with day-to-day?

10. What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest worry these days?

11. What’s the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you?

12. It’s been tough economic times, and every position is precious when it comes to the budget. Why did you decide to hire somebody for this position instead of the many other roles / jobs you could have hired for? What about this position made you prioritize it over others?

13. What is your reward system? Is it a star system / team-oriented / equity-based / bonus-based / “attaboy!”-based? Why is that your reward system? What do you guys hope to get out of it, and what actually happens when you put it into practice? What are the positives and the negatives of your reward system? If you could change any one thing, what would it be?

14. What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)? Is this an “open book” shop, or do you play it closer to the vest? How is information shared? How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job?

15. If we are going to have a very successful year in 2016, what will that look like? What will we have done over the next 12 months to make it successful? How does this position help achieve those goals? (This question helps show your ability to look beyond today’s duties to the future more than a year away.)

16. How does the company / my future boss do performance reviews? How do I make the most of the performance review process to ensure that I’m doing the best I can for the company?

17. What is the rhythm to the work around here? Is there a time of year that it’s “all hands on deck” and we’re pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year? How about during the week / month? Is it pretty evenly spread throughout the week / month, or are there crunch days?

18. What type of industry / functional / skills-based experience and background are you looking for in the person who will fill this position? What would the “perfect” candidate look like? How do you assess my experience in comparison? What gaps do you see?

19. What is your (or my future boss’) hiring philosophy? Is it “hire the attitude / teach the skills” or are you primarily looking to add people with domain expertise first and foremost?

20. In my career, I’ve primarily enjoyed working with big / small / growing / independent / private / public / family-run companies. If that’s the case, how successful will I be at your firm?

21. Who are the heroes at your company? What characteristics do the people who are most celebrated have in common with each other? Conversely, what are the characteristics that are common to the promising people you hired, but who then flamed out and failed or left? As I’m considering whether or not I’d be successful here, how should I think about the experiences of the heroes and of the flame-outs?

(from email by Marc Cenedella)

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Being Indian – Chirag Patel

Being Indian – Chirag Patel December 10, 2014

Last week, during lunch at my office cafeteria, I was discussing Indian and Chinese cultures with some colleagues of Chinese origin. It was formal discussion from food to clothes to languages. All of a sudden, one colleague asked me, “What is it being Indian?” and wore curiosity in her black curved eyes. I paused for seconds and told myself with audible sound, “Wait a minute! That’s my religion!”

That small statement evolved ocean of thoughts into me whole day. I kept thinking and now my pen (err keyboard) collaborated with paper (computer screen, ha); so I am here to stir thoughts into your calm lake of mind.

As world knows today the country named India is derived from Indus which is Greek version of name Hindu given by Persians. Hindu is again derived from Sindhu – a river in Northern part of India. Sindhu is a Sanskrut word meaning Ocean. Sindhu is a big ocean-like river. Persians used to call the land dwellers – Hindoo. So, Indus or Hindu has geographical reference in the name. Some Arabic people call India – Hindustan which literally means place of Hindus!

That term later on being used by Britishers as the word for a religion under umbrella of which sprung hundreds of sects. So, “hindu” or for that matter “India” signifies religion. Britishers and to some extent natives used that term quite significantly to differentiate themselves from Muslims and Christians.

Ok, these are all western names or foreign names given to India. So, what would native people call this land? There was ancient emperor named Bharat who ruled majority of geographical land which is India in present times. So, this land was known as “Bharat” – land ruled by emperor Bharat! Bharat has meaning in Sanskrut as the place where people seek Brahman or God. So, name “Bharat” signifies spirituality irrespective of religion.

Constitution of India effective since 1950 January 26 officially considers two versions of name of the country – 1) Republic of India 2) Bharat. In modern India, secular India, people proudly proclaim being part of India or Hindustan. But, they ignorantly forget the name Bharat!
Now, let us take a look at harder aspect of being an Indian. We so far have glanced at the name of the country. Now, let us dare signify “being an Indian” part of it. Let us ordinary mortals sneer at the terms.

India is a country personified celestial beauty! Look at geographical rendition of Nature’s poetry! Thin neck, broad and protruding chest, long legs, open arms! When this beauty is laid on Mother Earth, she is divided in 29 states and 7 union territories. The beauty speaks in 22 official languages. Majority of states have their own official language, different cultural heritage, different clothing style, different food, and different look of habitats, different flora and fauna, different geography, different festivals. Many have different calendar systems. If you talk to two people from adjoining states, you have countless clues to find differences between them. Many a times, they seem to be from different countries. They have different dance traditions, different sculptor styles, and different architects.

An outsider is definitely at a loss to identifying common features among Indians. Do they speak the same language? No. Do they wear the same clothes traditionally? No. Do they have similar cuisine? No. Do they practice the same religious faith? No. Do they look similar? May be. Do they have the same cultural context? May be. Do they tolerate people from different states (forget countries)? I want to say YES here. But, blunt NO! I got it. They have different language. But, do they write the same script? Nooo.

What happened to that image of celestial beauty named India? So, let us explore some common factors that bind all Indians together irrespective of race(?), religion(?), gender and financial status(!).

All Indians know or speak national language Hindi and British legacy language English. All Indians follow one constitution. All Indians consider Bhagavad Gita as Holy book. All Indians consider river Ganga sacred. All Indians know Himalaya as sacred place and have high esteem for Mount Kailas. All Indians use spices or herbs in what they consume daily. All Indians have some faith in Ayurveda. All Indians know Amitabh Bachchan, Rajanikant and Sachin Tendulkar. All Indians consider Mahatma Gandhi as mentor of the nation. All Indians believe that corruption is inevitable. All Indians have a check list of places to visit. All Indians want India to be number one nation in the world. All Indians claim to have wisdom of life and would like to expand their knowledge territory to intrude into others’. All Indians know Yoga and Pranayama up to some extent and practice it knowingly or unknowingly. All Indians find root of what they speak into ancient language Sanskrut.

So, from ancient history known to the world today, concept of one land geographically known as “Bharat” existed in Indian psyche. Even tho there are 33 million Gods and Goddesses, all Indians believe in one supreme consciousness and consider these celestial forms of Gods and Goddesses as different paths leading them to Moksha or Nirvana or Mukti or union with Supreme Soul. Indians have affinity towards four vedas – Rugveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda. Indians consider Bhagvad Gita as esteemed doctrine for religious, spiritual and daily practice. Lotus is national flower as well as spiritual emblem. Peacock and tiger also are national symbols and pride. All these concepts bind all of us Indians together. Sutre mani gana iv as Gita proclaimed – all beads inter-woven to same thread!

Can we negate the fact that Vedic culture and Hindu way of living life are real identities of India? Can all Indians following different religions value that?

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Most innovative company CEOs – Chirag Patel

Based on the list from http://www.forbes.com/innovative-companies/list/ 2014 for 100 companies, I checked CEO educational background. I could not find accurate information for some. This list is 99% accurate tho.

Here’s the spreadsheet: 150314_ceo_inno

Interesting facts from this analysis:

32 – undergraduate work in Engineering or Science
40 – undergraduate work in business, finance, accounting or marketing
4 – undergraduate work in pharmacy or medicine
15 – undergraduate work in Law, History, Philosophy etc

11 – master’s in engineering or science
36 – MBA
3 – MD

Total 41 bachelor’s, 44 master’s, 3 PhD

One more myth buster: 11 have Engineering + MBA track and 21 have Business/Accounting/Finance + MBA track.

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Superstition

New year 2017 is on horizon.

Everyone will enjoy firing crackers on 31st December eve around the globe. But, there is not a single message from an environmentalist yet! Otherwise, they are on full fire 15 days ahead of Diwali!

Santa Clause is a mythical character. But, people trust that story. Whereas shraaddh or kaag vaas (food offered to crows on shraddh days) is superstitious. What is in our puraaNas is mythical and superstitious.

Offering bilva leaves to mahaadeva during shraavaNa damages environment. But, cutting whole christmas trees is fine and no environmentalist is bothered at all!

Bird lovers feel sad for birds being wounded by kite flying on 14th of January. But, their sympathy is blown away in blues when people eat birds and kill birds!

Bathing in Gangaa to eradicate sins is superstitious but throwing coins in river for wishes is acceptable!

Tulasi vivaaha is superstitious but they have faith in christmas tree!

We do not oppose any religion. We want respect for our own religion and samskruti (culture)!

Finally, we pray God, touch feet of elders and share sweets to celebrate our new year whereas foreign cultures celebrate new year with alcohol!

(Translated what’s app message)

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avadhootopanishad

avadhootopanishad

This upanishad is from kruShNa yajurveda. Bhagavaan dattaatreya answered saankruti’s curiosity and thus this upanishad is born.

aum saha naavavatu. saha nau bhunaktu. saha viryam karavaavahai. tejasvinaavadheetamastu maa vidviShaavahai. aum shaanti shaanti shaantihi.

(God) protect both of us (guru and disciple). Nourish us together. We both gather power together. Our knowledge be brightened. We never envy each other. Peace, peace and peace. [shaantipaaThaha]

Meaning of avadhootam: ‘a’ signifies akshara – indestructible brahman , ‘va’ signifies vareNyam respected, ‘dhoo’ signifies dhoortam false worldly bondage, ‘ta’ signifies tattvamasyaadi – that is you – feelings. So, a person with all these four qualities is called avadhootam. [1-2]

avadhoota does not believe in worldly social divisions and casts. [3]

S/he has beloved brahman as head, joy as right side, cheerfulness as left side and bliss as center aatman (soul). [4]

Only sacrifice or leaving everything behind brings immortality. [6]

avadhoota is continuously focused on aatman and that is his/her ashvamedha yajna (horse sacrificing fire ceremony). S/he offers all outward/inward energy channels to super consciousness. This is mahaa yajna or mahaa yoga. [7]

Sun extracts all types of chemicals but is not affected by those. Similarly, yogi is not affected by any worldly deeds – right or wrong. S/he remains calm in any condition. [9-10]

I (dattaatreya) do not do any worldly activities. I do not do any dhyaanam or nididhyaasanam (final step of mukti (liberation)). [12-19]

Humans behave as humans because of their habits and attachment. Until past karmas to be experienced by present body are destroyed, one cannot be free from that attachment. [20-21]

When mind is disturbed, intellect becomes unstable. One needs samaadhi in that condition. [23]

avadhoota never does any karma even though his/her body keeps doing prayers, mind keeps meditating. S/he is only an observer of karmas. [29]

Only om (brahman) is the truth and only truth. That is upanishad (teaching). [36]

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adhyaatmopanishad

adhyaatmopanishad

This upanishad is based on shukla yajurveda. Below is my summary of its teaching.

Its shaantipaaTha describes poorNa (whole). “whole” is source of all and everything is “whole”. If “whole” is taken out from “whole”, whatever remains is “whole” too.

That which resides within heart inside body, is nitya (eternal) and aja (unborn, without beginning). All five elements – pruthivee (earth), apaha (water), teja (fire), vaayu (air), aakaasha (space) – are its body but those elements are unaware of it.
All four subtle layers of mind – manas (mind, sensory perception), buddhi (intellect, judgmental), ahamkaara (self awareness, ego), chitta (memory storage) – are its body but those layers are unaware.
avyakta (unmanifest), akshara (indestructible), mrutyu (death) – are its body but they are unaware.
That is aatman (soul). [1]

yogi (ascetic) is always focused on aatman (soul which is subtler than self awareness) and carries out all worldly deeds. [4]

One must dissolve aatman (soul) into paramaatman (supreme soul) and be at peace eternally. [7]

One who goes beyond ahamkaara (self awareness or ego) finds root of all. [11]

When one is free from vaasanaa (desire), that state is moksha (liberation) or mukti. [12]

One who finds brahman (supreme being) in everything and everywhere, gets free from desires. [13]

Everything from brahmaa (first being in the cosmos) to stamba (grass) has end. [19]

Everything is perception of aatman (soul). When one is free from that perception, one becomes poorNa (whole), advaita (non-dual) and parambrahma (supreme being). [21]

pralaya (annihilation) makes existence into an ocean of “whole”. [23]

chitta (memory storage) is the cause of vikalpa (alternative, division from “whole”). So, one must meditate upon paramaatman (supreme soul). [26]

brahman (supreme being) that has form of satya (truth), and is covered by maayaa (material world) and is known as tat (that). [30]

One that has false perception of existence and called yaha (I or self), is known as tvam (you). [31]

Act of understanding tattvamasi (that is you or you are that) is shravaNam (study) and thinking about it is mananam (reflection). [33]
Making chitta (memory) in ekataanatvam (resonance) with shavaNam (study) and mananam (reflection) is called nididhyaasanam (profound and repetitive meditation). [34]

When chitta (memory) becomes stable, it is called samaadhi (transcendental meditation). [35]

samaadhi (transcendental meditation) dissolves all millions of karma (deeds) accumulated. [37]

samaadhi (transcendental meditation) dissolves desires completely and all sacred deeds, sins are destroyed. [39]

One with state of uparatim (indifference) is called sthitaprajna (steadfast intellect) whose dissolved desires are not born again, who stays in bliss always. [42]

One who becomes one with brahman (supreme being), and whose tendencies are indifferent and have become chaitanyam (consciousness); those tendencies are called prajnaa (wisdom). One with eternal “wisdom” is called jivanmukta (liberated). [43-44]

jivanmukta (liberated) does not have ego, does not identify with body and senses, does not have any attachment, does not differentiate soul and supreme soul, does not find difference between supreme soul and material world, is always equal towards respect and hate. [45-46-47]

Deeds of dream vanish when one wakes up. Similarly, all millions of karma (deeds) are dissolved when one is enlightened with equality of brahman (supreme being) and aatman (soul). [50]

One must give up destiny by giving up self identification with body. [56]

Everything is advayam brahman (non-dual supreme being). [64]

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atharvashira upanishad

atharvashira upanishad

This upanishad is based on atharva veda. It has total 7 kanDikaas.

[1]

rudra is one, past, present, future, soul of souls, all directions, eternal, mortal, expressed, concealed, brahman, non-brahman, male, female, neuter, all meters in poetry, all types of fires, truth, cow, gauri(his wife in worldly form), light, darkness, all vedas, eldest, respected, best, indestructible, destructible, pilgrim places, salubrious, sacred, eternal flame, energy.
Everything is within him – rudra.

[2]

Talks about eight planets. Mentions brahmaa, vishhNu being rudra.

[3]

Omkaara is praNava which is omnipresent. That omnipresent is flowing everywhere. That flows everywhere is subtle element. That subtle element is glowing and electrifying. That electrifying is parabrahma. parabrahma is one and that one is rudra.

Thus self consciousness, God’s consciousness and non-manifested consciousness above all are the same.

[4]

Omkaara is said thus because while pronouncing it, one has to bring breaths upward.
It is called praNava as it is used to bow down to ruk, yajuhu, atharva, angirasa and braahmaNas.
It pervades whole universe without being manifested, so it is called sarvavyaapi (omnipresent).
It is ananta (eternal) because there is no beginning or end while pronouncing it.
It is taaraka (savior) as it saves from fear of fetus, birth, aging, disease and death.
It is shukla (bright) as it is gives light to others.
It is called sookshma (subtle) as it becomes subtle after pronouncing it and remains in all bodies (physical, subtle, causal etc).
It is vidyuta (lightening) because it brightens all bodies even in darkness of ignorance.
It is called parabrahma as it expands para (non-manifested), apara (manifested) and paraayaNa (entangled).
It is brahman as it feeds on all lives and is ageless.
It is one and only one in all lives so it is called eka (one).
It is called rudra as it can be easily known by rushis (sages) and not by ordinary people.
It is called eeshaana (God) as it controls all energies and all devas (demi-Gods).
It is called maheshvara (supreme God).

[5]

rudra was manifested first.

If one attributes all accumulated deeds to rudra using intellect, s/he becomes one with paramaatman (supreme God).

The fourth half vowel in Omkaara is non-manifested form of all devas (demi Gods) and flows everywhere. It has pure crystalline form. Meditating upon its fourth half vowel sign brings liberation. This worship removes karmic bondage.

[6]

The whole world began from rudra that was in form of agni (fire).

rudra controls this whole world with dvidhaa (two – shiva and shakti) and tridhaa (three – sat, raja and tama). shakti is energy. shiva is welfare. Thus, dvidhaa is duality of mind and energy. sat is truth and light. raja is small particles. tama is ignorance and darkness. Thus tridhaa is material world made up of light, particles and darkness.

One who worships rudra’s moordhaa (top of head) in form of praNava (Omkaara) can attain highest position of atharvaa.

kaala (time) is born from akshara (indestructible).

When rudra starts sleeping, everything is destroyed. When he breathes, tama (ignorance and darkness) is created. tama creates aapaha (basic active element). Then rudra churns aapaha with finger so it coagulates. Further churning it, creates feeNa (foam). Foam creates brahmaanDa (cosmic egg). brahmaa comes into existence in that egg. brahmaa creates air. That air creates Omkaara. Omkaara creates saavitree (rays or waves). saavitree creates gaayatree (matter) and gaayatree creates animals.

[7]

One who reads atharvashira upanishad once, becomes pure and can attain welfare. Reading twice, one becomes ruler of humans. Reading thrice, one enters Omkaara which is in form of satya (truth) which is the only truth.