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How To Peddle Hope And Crack The Interview For Your Dream Job

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The CV

The first step to getting a great job is either to ask your powerful papa or prepare a kick-ass Curriculum Vitae (CV). Now if you had a resourceful parent, you would be busy riding his or her coat-tails instead of reading this book. So let’s get to the more practical aspect of preparing CVs.

A CV summarises your supposed skills and accomplishments and is designed to hoodwink prospective employers. You can include your photograph, marital status and vital statistics and call it a biodata; or give it an elegant Westernized touch by adding some accent marks and calling it a résumé. Irrespective, this brag sheet is nothing but your to-do list from the past—things that you should have accomplished in previous jobs but didn’t. But the future always holds hope so go ahead and inflate your achievements, using the helpful hints on this page, and pray that you get the interview call.

Contact details including a professional email ID; is not advisable

Objective: Explain why you want to waste the next few years working in the hopeless company that you have applied to.

Education: Schools and colleges you have attended

• List your degrees. Chances are that no one might’ve heard of the academic institutions you attended. So, tour the Harvard campus at some point in your life and position it as an executive MBA on your CV.

• Rephrase bad grades—‘Consistently ranked in the top four quartiles’ sounds much better than ‘came last in class’.

Experience: Your Jobs

•     List all the jobs you have held and a few bullets on your responsibilities and supposed achievements in each role. Start each bullet with an action verb:

{ Led some people in doing something

{ Founded some society to support something

{ Spearheaded some initiative to achieve something

•     Imply that the company’s success was thanks to your awesome contributions.

{ My expertise in geology helped me collect, analyze and overlay the ideal combination of rock and construction materials across a variety of multilane infrastructural projects in the Greater Mumbai catchment area. (I drove bulldozers)

•   Pad long gaps in your CV with fictitious internships and projects done for friends and family.


•     Anything that you can do can count as a special skill.

•     Know how to answer the phone? Great oral communication.

•     Able to read this sentence and partly understand what I am saying? Excellent comprehension.

•     Own a watch? Extremely punctual.

•     Use Microsoft Office? Expert in a range of productivity-enhancing software.

•     Addicted to Snapchat? Extremely reliable and discreet professional.

Other Interests:

•   List anything that can spark off a conversation. Mention your hobby of collecting navel fluff and be prepared to talk about it at length.


•     Give names of some close friends and family members. Brief them on what they need to say if they are called and do a few dry runs.

•     Feel free to list me as a reference; I have no doubt whatsoever that after reading this book, you will do the corporate world proud.

The Interview

An interview is essentially an opportunity for potential employers to evaluate whether you can lie as effectively in person as you do on paper. Don’t let them down.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. People take less than a minute to form their views and simply spend the rest of the time validating their initial instinct. So don’t mess it up. A firm handshake is critical and start extending your right hand as you walk in, lifting it a few degrees with each stride. Pace yourself such that it is perpendicular to your torso by the time you reach the interviewer. Grasp his hand, which is hopefully outstretched as well, and shake it firmly. In case he’s oblivious to your friendly intentions, don’t look silly with your extended palm and quickly raise it to brush imaginary gook off your hair, as if that was your original intent.

During the interrogation, you need to offer hope that you can accomplish whatever you have listed on your CV and they should be grinning with delight at your claims. Give yourself a point for each ‘Ooooh’ or ‘Aaaah’ that you can elicit from your interviewer and deduct a point for every eye roll. End with a positive score.

Many interviewers will judge you through behavioural questions that probe your past experiences to determine future reactions. Share an example of an important goal that you set and achieved or provide an example of the biggest risk you have taken—that sort of pretentious hooey. To prepare, you only need to be ready with about six stories, preferably true but in your case probably fictional.

Excerpted with permission from “Job Be Damned: Work Less. Career Success.” by Rishi Piparaiya, published by HarperCollins India.


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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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