The Buzz Around
If you happen to be a final year student at any B – school, then lot of buzz would be taking place all around you. It would not be wrong to say that even if you want to, then also you cannot avoid it. Where ever you go, be it hostel, class, library, canteen, you would find people talking about it. The topics being discussed would be like, which companies are expected to participate in Campus Recruitment / Placement Process, which of your colleagues or classmates have better chances to score early, what is going to be the package offered by corporate this year, how many companies that visited and participated in the process previous year are slated to visit again and how many of new (first time) companies are going to participate, which sector would be better for you, which company has better work culture, and probably the list would be too long to be mentioned here.
Even the emotions and feelings are also expected to be on higher side and they would be anxiety, thrill, hope, curiosity, nervous, excited or a mix of few or all of these. None of the events happening around are unexpected they were there when previous batch got placed and also when the batch senior to them got placed. Therefore, there is no need to get panicked or negatively affected by them as the same will be of no help. You need to learn to cope with such situations. The best possible weapon in your arsenal is going to be is your preparedness and maturity to handle and cope with such situation.
Probably some of the issues being deliberated here may help you equip yourself better. These are basically concerned with the things that start a bit early than the real process. Like making your resume (average 100 hours are expected to be devoted on preparing it and keeping it simple and sort), cleaning your social media profile (i.e., removing the content that may not be appreciated by future prospective employers), knowing precisely about any and everything that you have mentioned in your resume (as you are expected to be thoroughly aware of things claimed by you) etc.
Unkempt look and casual dressing may seem to be cool at campus but same is not expected at workplace. You need to look fresh and an individual who cares for hygiene. Be clean shaved, if you like, else you can wear properly trimmed facial hairs. Remember that workplace is not a party, so go a bit lower while makeup. If your institution has a dress code, then you need not be worried about what to wear. Otherwise you are expected to dress formally. Normally, it has been observed that people in higher offices follow code blue. So, in case you are faced with a choice to select your wear then it’s always better to present yourself in a dark suit with light (off-white) colored shirt and matching tie for men and suite and shirt/ saree for women. Take care of smaller details like wearing a polished and shining shoes and belt etc.
The moment you start entering interview room, interviewer starts analyzing you. It’s important that interviewers feel that you are a confident individual (but not over-confident). Three things play a role in it. They happen to be your body posture, a smile on your face fading away as you greet the interviewers, and proper eye contact. Try to get relaxed and attempt to sport a decent smile while answering the questions. Body posture should be erect with your feet firmly planted on ground and avoid staring at ceiling or floor of the room. Try to keep your hands in your lap so that you do not start playing with pen or your suit buttons etc. Use your hands as you use them normally while communicating, avoid over using them.
Profile & Resume
Your resume is expected to represent you and often is a basic tool used by corporate for short listing. Therefore, take ample amount of time to perfect it [ignore, if your institution has a prescribed format for resume]. When it is being said that take ample amount of time, it is not meant to say that make a resume covering many pages. In fact you require more time to prepare a precise document than a verbose one. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are a strict no. Keep yourself ready to answer standard questions that may emerge out from any sentence or words contained in resume.
While preparing answers to standard questions you need to have two sets of answers. Interviewers, at times, may not give you ample time so you need to have an answer that can be completed in two minutes without missing any of the important points. In reverse scenario where interviewers wants to learn in detail then you need to be prepared with another answer that may require thirty minutes to one hour to complete.
Selling yourself to Organization
Though, it may seem crude heading, but this is what you are doing in any interview in which you expect to get a job offer. So the most essential part is to assess what interviewer is looking for in an individual. To be successful at it, first requirement is to patiently listen to what interviewer is saying or asking, as being good listener is an essential attribute present in people who are good communicators. Interrupting while interviewer is speaking is a strict no and also a reason for you coming out with less than appropriate answers. In case you fail in comprehending the question being asked, do not hesitate in seeking further clarification. While answering the question or addressing the issue raised by interviewer, make sure that you speak slow, clear, and in neutral accent. Eliminate the fillers, if any, you use habitually while speaking, as it reflects poor verbal skills. Any response has two components in it, i.e., the way of presentation, which includes non-verbal communication, body language, volume and pitch of your voice and clarity of thoughts create etc., and correctness of content that needs to be delivered as response.
This does not come easily to all, and therefore, require you to devote significant amount of time at it. The process starts with preparing a comprehensive list of anticipated questions, drafting the answers for each question carefully by using right words at right places in grammatically correct and short sentences. This should be followed up with rehearsals to ensure perfect delivery. This can be done in front of mirror or video camera and, in case of non availability of such devices, do it in front of your friends who have courage to tell you the truth. Practice till you do not reach near to perfection or for the time period available or whichever is lesser.
If at any time during interview, you find situation to be slipping out of your control, the best way is to divert the attention of interviewers to some other topic. This can be done by simply asking the interviewers some questions related to job on offer, like requirement of some specific knowledge or any particular skill required for successfully handling the assigned work.
If you happen to be a fresher or are participating in an interview being conducted by your B- School’s Placement Section or Placement Team or desperately need a job, negotiations are not advised. But it should in no case start prior to getting a job offer. However, if you have some experience [not less than two years] in same or related industry, you can start negotiation, once you have a job offer in hand.
Managing the Show
Do not mess up the process during Campus Placement Process being conducted by your B – School, by trying to connect to organizations in manner other than prescribed by the institution, i.e., directly or through some other link. This creates a bad impression and at times organization may even drop you, even if they were planning to select you. Most of HR Teams like to communicate through formal channel while participating in Campus Placement. Further, it shows that you lack trust in the very organization from where you are graduating. Other case may be that HR team may take this act of yours as indiscipline or trying to be over smart. In any case you stand to be the looser.
This much is the bare minimum; much is needed in addition to it. So, I will again interact with you at some future point of time. You are welcome to make comments and mail your questions, if any, to the author.
Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh