Piyush Nangru is the Co-Founder and COO of Sunstone, a Higher Education organization providing Accountable and Industry-Integrated Education. An engineer from NSIT and an MBA from IMT Ghaziabad, Piyush started his venture in the cultural tourism space. He is the founder of Indomania Cultural Tours – an initiative to showcase the rich culture, diversity and colourful side of India. He then joined Crownit – a market research company as a founding member and headed the marketing and business development aspect of the business. His core expertise lies in marketing and operations and he has a great appetite for startups. During his professional career spanning almost 15 years, Piyush has also worked as Destination Manager at Travel Another India; Area Manager at Great India Rural Tours, and Assistant System Engineer at TCS.
For a student, campus placements are the most important time of their lives as it marks the transition from student life to the beginning of their professional stage. As initiation into the real world, campus placements mark the foray of students into the real world and hence it is extremely important that one is prepared. Most interviews are a combination of personality tests, gauging the professional capabilities of a student and his willingness to work and give his best. The best way to prepare for a campus placement interview is from Day 1. Here’s a step-by-step guide for placement preparation. Check it out and take notes!
1. Prepare a relevant and concise resume
Thorough reading before applying to any organization is highly recommended along with knowing the difference between a resume and a CV. A resume is a short document encapsulating your achievements and is the preferred choice for hirers. Be sure to highlight your best attributes and keep the format very crisp and visually appealing. Another tip is tailoring the CV or resume as per the needs of the job and organization. Don’t’ rely on ‘one size fits all’ approach and build a strong resume that highlights all your skills and achievements (both academic and extra-curricular).
PS: You can also opt for video CVs as it is increasingly becoming a popular choice with companies.
2. Research- The underdog of every interview
Research is the backbone of any activity and it is one factor that will set you apart from your competitors and it will not only help you prepare better but will also let you know if the company is the right fit for you. Every time you present yourself, don’t have an arbitrary trail of thought, rather focus your energy on synthesizing research about the company. A company’s vision and culture, salary insights, interview questions and additional perks and benefits are a few factors to check for sound research. With workplaces offering flexible timelines and hybrid modes, be sure to know your worth and ask for what you need.
3. Soft skills- Essence of every interview
Being appropriately dressed adds an oomph factor to the confidence which is extremely important in putting across your thoughts with honesty and articulating answers intelligently. Read a little about body language and ways to communicate effectively. If you know something, try explaining it with examples. In group discussions, try to take charge of the narrative and pick it up from other people. Be patient in listening to every answer as this tends to leave a good impression on the recruiters. Also, personal grooming should never be left out.
4. Curiosity, growth and learning
Always be a student first, this approach will help you grow and stay curious. During your interview, ask open-ended, yet specific questions like, ‘What are the strengths and improvement points of your current team’ or ‘If I do not get this job, what do you think I should work on?’ And, if you don’t know an answer, simply say, ‘I don’t have enough knowledge about this topic, but let me go back and do some research.’ This approach will make the recruiter believe you are open to constructive feedback and learning.
5. Practice the interview or go on the spot?
This is a very individualistic choice, most of us benefit from practicing, however, some of us are more spontaneous. But this does not mean you don’t do the homework of learning; it simply means you don’t parrot answers. If you are someone who gets nervous about interviews, all you need is a lot of practice before the real deal. This makes sure you go in the right direction.
Finally, do not let college placements scare you, they are just another beginning of your life. Even if you don’t crack the first few interviews, you will have immense learning from them to pave your way forward.