Rishi who was one of my close batch mates in b-school had good academic credentials, had worked with esteemed brands in the past but was yet unable to crack a single interview among the many companies that visited campus for final placements. After a few interviews, he was so depressed that he resigned to his fate and let things take their own course. He had to go through the interview process for at least 15 companies before he finally managed to land himself a role. There are many who can relate to Rishi’s story but we are unable to figure out how do we remedy this, prepare ourselves better for an interview and set ourselves apart so that we can grab the coveted job opportunity. These are some of the ways to prepare for campus placements effectively.
- Introduce yourself well: A good introduction sets the tone for the rest of the interview. Spend a lot of time in writing down a good introduction, reviewing it and refining it further. If possible, request someone to give an unbiased view of the introduction. An introduction should include good personal differentiating factors that can catch the interviewer’s eye which can create a good impact.
- Body language is critical: The importance of body language and non-verbal communication are becoming increasingly vital these days. Sitting in the right posture and maintaining eye contact are very important. Make the interview seem more like a free-flowing conversation. This puts both you and the interviewer at ease, develops an instant rapport and definitely increases your chances of cracking the interview process.
- Preparing finer details of your work experience can give you an edge: One way to do this is by asking yourself — “What value have I added in this activity or work that I have done”. Demonstrate this value in your interview. Reach out to your ex-managers and close colleagues asking them to describe some of your key traits or anything prominent that they remember about you.
Freshers should be able to highlight areas of their extra-curricular activities through which they have demonstrated value.
- Understand the sector well: Big consulting firms release several sectoral reports which are available for free online and give good clarity about the sector. It is important that one reads through these reports to get a good understanding of the sector. To avoid information overload and considering time constraints, I would suggest sticking to any one report and dissect it thoroughly.
- Network with company connects: Apart from the content mentioned in the public domain, it is important to connect with people in the company to which you are interviewing to understand more about their job responsibilities and the company culture. Platforms like Linkedin are very useful to do this. This may be a time-consuming process but if planned in advance it's well worth the effort. Connecting with these people would also hold one in good stead for the rest of their career
Such efforts will give one deeper clarity about the company which they are interviewing for and help one easily answer questions like “Why would you like to join XYZ” or “Why does this sector interest you” and so on which are critical game-changing questions in an interview.
These critical areas mentioned above can go a long way in differentiating yourself to crack the campus interviews easily but also keep you well placed for any subsequent interviews which you may undergo in future
Written by By — Abhishek Shenoy, Board Infinity Coach
Coach Abhishek works as Manager at Deloitte. He is passionate, strong team player, contributor, continuous learner focusing on the consumer sector and the technology sector.