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March 02, 2015
Pune Mirror
Abha Pandit


Not everything is done and dusted with exams. Nailing placements are a crucial step before students can breathe a sigh of relief

With the academic year nearing its end, a new batch of students gets ready to step out of college and into the real world. One of the first challenges out there is cracking those placements interviews to land a good job. Given the sharp competition during this time, it's always a great idea to up your game a notch to increase your chances of getting that coveted position that you always dreamed of. Industry experts helped Campus put together a comprehensive guide to important pointers to keep in mind before walking into that recruitment interview.

MUST HAVE SKILLS

According to Naresh Sablok, director, Naman Electronic Systems, placement recruitments are a different ballgame altogether. "Because they do not come with prior experience, we quiz freshers on projects and internships they undertook and the role they played in them," he shares. Apart from that, say experts, there are certain basic skills a potential candidate is expected to possess.

LEADERSHIP

Here what most employers look at is the ability to manage time, prioritise, delegate and motivate. Goal driven, hard-working candidates are preferred, and may also increase the chances of an eventual promotion. "Good leaders are also good learners," says Sablok.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Even though the world has moved on to digital forms of communication, most business is conducted in person or over the telephone (or Skype). The ability to speak, listen and write effectively is demanded by most employers. Interpersonal communication skills speak volumes about a candidate. According to Ayesha Barse, HR Manager, Courtyard By Marriott Pune City Centre, "Communication skills play a major role for the selection criteria, but I also look for someone who has good listening skills and good body language. If he/she has the right attitude, they will fit in comfortably into any environment."

COMPUTER AND TECHNICAL SKILLS

In the digital age, computer and technical skills are no longer a niceto- know skill, they are need-to-know. Employees at all levels must be familiar with technical processes, especially word processing, spreadsheets and emails, along with field specific technology.

PROBLEM SOLVING AND REASONING

This involves the ability to find quick solutions to problems using creativity, reasoning and past experiences. Critical thinking forms an important part. It is rarely listed as a requirement, but always goes a long way.

MAKING A GOOD CV

A CV (curriculum vitae) or a resume is a brief account of your career, or if you are a fresh graduate, a summary of your academic and work experience. A CV is a longer, more detailed account, while a resume is short and to the point. They are not always interchangeable, and must be tailored according to the job.

"With freshers, if you ask them their objective or aim (mentioned in the CV), they tend to flounder because, in many cases, the CV is not prepared by someone else," avers Barse, warning against the practise. "Also, make sure your CV looks crisp, without any creases even if it is not presented in a folder," she adds. Karuna Korgaonkar, manager, HR, GiveIndia, shares: "As a fresher, they should mention their achievements in school and college, any volunteer work etc." ? A CV mustn't be more than two A4 sheets long.

? Each CV must be adapted to the specific job one is applying to. Many graduates make the mistake of sending the same CV out to multiple organisations with different work profiles.

? Regularly update your CV with experiences significant to your career.

? Tell the truth in your CV. Do not make up something just because it may be what the employer is looking for. If it does not check out, you may be in trouble.

? Add all recent contact details in the document. Make sure phone numbers and email addresses are written correctly. Use a professional email id, instead of one which you created in the seventh grade.

? Format and check for errors. It is better to spend some time polishing your CV instead of realising mistakes once it's been sent.

? Make it look good by using bullet points and an attractive but easy to read font.

"Also, freshers must take care of spellings, punctuations and grammatical errors", emphasises Narendra Barhate, MD & CEO of SEED Infotech Ltd.

INTERVIEW MISTAKES TO LOOK OUT FOR

So you've sent your CV, got it approved and now your potential employer has called you in for an interview. This is the most crucial part of the selection process and can make or break your chances. "Primarily I would look for enthusiastic candidates who are willing to go the extra mile to achieve their dreams. I normally start with an extempore round with topics that are out of the box to understand their mind set, their expectations and their ability to respond to situations or to work in a team," says Barse.

DRESSING RIGHT

While going for a job interview, a candidate must be dressed well, and that does not mean expensive. One must look tidy. It is important to look like you mean business, since this the first impression your potential employer will have of you.

ARRIVING ON TIME

Punctuality is a good habit. Arriving late shows that you haven't planned well and are unprepared and not serious about the job. On the other hand if you arrive too early, it shows you have nothing better to do.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Before beginning an interview, be sure to have done ample research about the company, their top people and the work they do. In addition, do a little research about yourself and find out how you come across on a public portal (your Facebook profile, for instance).

ASK QUESTIONS

When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, be sure to ask a couple. Saying 'no' may be interpreted as a lack of interest. Be sure to keep your questions smart and to the point.

ADMIT YOUR WEAKNESSES

Interviewers are sure to ask you about your perceived weaknesses during the interview. Answers like "I'm a perfectionist" have been heard a hundred times before by them. Instead, actually admit to a weakness or two and talk about what you can do to improve.

TURN OFF YOUR MOBILE PHONE

This one may seem obvious, but surprisingly many people forget. It is distracting and irritating, not to mention rude. So be sure to turn it off or at least put off the ringer.

"Apply to the sectors of your interest only. There are cases when out of desperation, fresher apply to a profile they do not have any interest in and this leads to them being unsatisfied with their job, which shows in their work too," says Korgaonkar.

??? COMMUNICATION SKILLS PLAY A MAJOR ROLE FOR THE SELECTION CRITERIA, BUT I ALSO LOOK FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS GOOD LISTENING SKILLS AND GOOD BODY LANGUAGE

- AYESHA BARSE, HR MANAGER, COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT PUNE CITY CENTRE

??? FRESHERS SHOULD MENTION THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS IN SCHOOL AND COLLEGE, ANY VOLUNTEER WORK ETC

- KARUNA KORGAONKAR, MANAGER, HR, GIVEINDIA

GUESS WHAT

BJ Medical College has, under its affilation, Sassoon Hospital, where Mahatma Gandhi, then imprisoned at the Yerawada Central Prison, underwent an appendectomy on March 18, 1922, by the light of a hurricane after the electric bulb blew out

??? Campus looks to bring into its fold trends, ideas and achievements, which make college campuses worth their while. This is the space where achievements of the youth will be highlighted and their quest for knowledge projected. Share your feedback and Campus ideas on punemirrorcampus@gmail.com

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