Alumni TnP

Interview Tips

It’s that time of the year again. When we are busy finding formal shoes discarded after first year. When we are busy wiping the dust off the books to revise for the interviews. When we are busy buying new clothes for the interviews. When we are busy finding seniors for guidance.

The LinkedIn account becomes more active than Facebook. The phones are kept away. Placement season is truly when all people in an engineering college become sincere students their parents’ think they are.

Having been through this exciting time last year, I feel it is my responsibility to share my experience for the benefit of my beloved juniors. I was fortunate to get a job during 2015-16 season and was also involved in written rounds of almost all companies. I feel I have some tips to share which might be helpful.

DO’s

  1. Sit in every company’s placement procedure. Even if you do not want to take up a job at least do it for the satisfaction of your parents. Even if you do not get it, it’s a good experience.
  2. Get formal clothes that fit you well and try them on beforehand. If you are buying new ones, you are anyway going to try them on. But if you are borrowing from a fellow junior please see if you are looking presentable or not.
  3. People respond to how we dress, so make sure your attire and body language speaks business and do not try to stand out forcibly ( like wearing an orange tie on a white shirt 😉 ). Guys, a light colored shirt with a tie and pleated formal trousers that is comfortable and for girls, traditional Indian attire with less accessories or western formals will do. Whatever you are comfortable in.
  4. Make your CV short, concise and precise. Do not bluff. Try to write everything in one page, if not maximum two. Never three.
  5. Practice Practice Practice English among your peers. English speaking among friends is something which is always encouraged but seldom practiced at Burla. Try to form groups and practice GD’s and Case Studies. Try doing mock interviews one-on-one like we used to do in English lab in first year.
  6. Complete RS Aggarwal Quantitative Aptitude book and try to complete Indiabix.com’s English and Reasoning parts. If you are taking CAT coaching you can practice the easy-medium questions from your online portal or materials. If you have not taken any CAT coaching try borrowing materials from your friends.
  7. Completing all these materials will give you the confidence of cracking any written exam of any company (regarding aptitude part). Once this is done you just have to revise a little before every company. Try completing these well ahead before your first company comes. I have found the institute library and the back bench of the classrooms to be the perfect places to solve problems in peace.
  8. For Group Discussions you must realize that there are certain etiquettes to be followed. Always try to lead but taking the lead is a double edged sword. If you haven’t got a proper idea about the topic you might start off in the wrong direction. If you feel you have grasped the topic properly, you can start off the discussion. There are some topics you may not have a clue about. In that case, listen to what some are saying and then try to think what new direction you can add to the discussion. Do not unnecessarily argue and fight. Be polite, humble and to the point.
  9. For Personal Interviews it mostly depends on the HR who is interviewing you. Make sure you have both technical questions and HR questions prepared well ahead. Do not think the HR may not ask about technical questions. If you do not know the answer tell it honestly to the HR that you do not know. Never bluff. The HR may not be smart enough to know the correct answer every time but he can catch your bluff. Plus a simple Google search can find any answer. You are not expected to know everything. But you must know everything about some things. Prepare well and don’t lose your cool.
  10. There is one golden rule for cracking any personal interview i.e be honest. Be honest to yourself and the interviewer. Honesty reflects on your face, mannerisms and body language. Dishonesty reeks off the face of the vile.

DON’Ts

  1. Do not dress like you are Lady Gaga or Yo Yo Honey Singh. Boys, do not go with cool haircuts and flashy jeans. Girls, do not over accessorize. A simple watch is all it takes. Also do not use too much make-up.(Yes we do know when you are using make-up or not. For Christ’s sake we have seen you without make-up for most of our B. Tech. No offence. You are all beautiful.)
  2. Do not give cocky answers. Like I want to do MBA and take your position/job. This doesn’t show humility and loyalty.
  3. Do not say you are very much interested in higher studies. Most companies that come to Burla do not accept people who say they are interested in higher studies. If you want to say you want to pursue higher studies, better give a damn good reason for it. This might go against complete honesty, but it depends on the company.
  4. Do not say yes to everything they say to get a job. Be original.
  5. Do not quarrel during GDs. Do not point fingers or get up from your seat. Be polite.
  6. Do not worry or think you have to get this company or you are screwed. There are a lot of opportunities out there for the skilled engineer. Do not think that not getting any company means the end of your life. Trust me no company is that big. You have a very good alumni base who can guide you in case you do not get any placement.

SPECIAL TIPS FOR DELOITTE USI CONSULTING

  1. Deloitte just looks at communication skills and a little technical knowledge.
  2. Be thoroughly prepared to be grilled on your CV regarding internships and projects. Do not write things on your CV you have no clue about.
  3. Revisit all your previous projects or internship learning. The interview will focus mostly on that.
  4. The HR may not always know the correct answer but he/she can always know when you are bluffing.
  5. Go through online case studies from Deloitte’s website and discuss among your friends. This is very important.
  6. Do not try to make a fish market out of the Case Study round. Discuss with your group mates earlier and make sure you tell everyone to contribute and collaborate rather than arguing.
  7. Believe it or not, buy a little professional looking pen. It’s a big company which cares more about looks and presentation than anything else. Do not bring out your trusty Elkos Alfa without a cap, when you might need a pen.
  8. Prepare well for all the rounds and be honest. On the D-Day you will find everything easy and you will become one of the D-Guys/D-Girls.

Final Words

The TnP coordinators are one group of people who manage everything on their own. Please cooperate with them. When they ask you for your details over and over again, you have no idea how many sleepless nights they have spent devising custom pamphlets, e-mails and correspondence letters for every company. They are truly the reason for the placement season and they give it their best; sacrificing grades, sleep and relationships. A big round of applause for them.

Despite all preparations there might be some people who may not be able to grab a job. Do not become depressed. Give AMCAT, e-Litmus, Cocubes exams. Apply off-campus.  Apply for internships at startups. Go for pool campuses. Start your own company. Drop a year to prepare for GATE/CAT/GRE. There are loads of opportunities; you just have to look for them. Do not be disheartened. At last I would like to quote a famous line from 3 Idiots which I have found to be very true. :-

Baccha Kabil Bano Kabil, Kamyabi To Sali Jhak Maar Ke Peeche Bhagegi.

Feel free to ping me on WhatsApp at 9439627455. I might be busy during the weekdays so may not be able to take your calls but I will always answer on WhatsApp. You can call me on the weekends. I am always happy to help.

About the author

Abhijit Mohanty

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