Nitty-gritty of Campus Placements
| Brig. (Dr) Sunil Kumar Moudgil (Retd) - 01 Nov 2019

Securing the best job is a primary goal for most college students. But it is not an easy endeavor as most students seek to enter the professional world for the first time. Essentially, the success resides in possessing a relevant degree, knowledge, skills, and personality traits for the job at hand. But at the same time, success in getting a campus placement also involves interacting professionally and courteously with recruiters/hiring managers throughout the selection process. On this front, adhering to proper interviewing etiquettes and behavior becomes pertinent. 
 ‘Interviewing etiquettes’ are the norms of polite behavior, that students are expected to adhere to while interacting with recruiters, hiring managers, and other members of an organization during the interview process. When candidates adhere to standard interviewing practice, they are more apt to be perceived favorably, and recruiters might infer greater maturity, diligence, and intelligence. In addition, exhibiting proper interviewing etiquette is an avenue though which candidates demonstrate person-job fit, the compatibility between a person’s characteristics and the necessities for a job. 
 Given the increased trend toward informality and more casual workplaces, most of the fundamentals are still uncompromising.
 As a student, the whole process of campus placement starts with writing an impressive ‘Resume’. Where in, one needs to spell out professional objective/aim, professional/academic qualifications, professional experience if any, skills, strength & weaknesses, professional affiliations etc. along with some basic personal data. Resume is typically kept to one page including a passport size photo (digital) on the top. Resume should be visibly appealing with no grammar mistakes. Every resume must be one of its kind (absolutely a big ‘No’ to cut & paste). 
What purpose a resume serve? 
  A well written resume wins a call to face an interview.  
 During campus placements, often Group Discussion precedes Personal Interviews. In Group Discussion, a cluster of candidates is given a topic (factual/controversial/abstract), a few minutes are given to think about the same and then the group is asked to discuss among themselves for 10-12 minutes. The aim of Group Discussion is to gauge - Personality Traits and the Skills of the candidate, based on the job description.  The personality traits could be Leadership skills, Ability to interact in a team, Communication skills (Non- verbal, Verbal & Listening skills), Assertiveness, Reasoning ability, Initiatives, Ability to think on one’s feet, Clarity of thought, Knowledge about the subject and individual point of view, Ability to create a consensus, Data based approach to decision making and Confidence etc. Candidates those who adhere to the fundamentals of do’s and don’ts are likely to perform better in Group Discussion (GD).
 Do’s of Group Discussion (GD): -
• Be aware of your body language while speaking
• Speak pleasantly and politely
• Discussion is not an argument, learn to disagree politely
• Stick to the discussion topic, don’t introduce irrelevant information
• Agree with and acknowledge what you find interesting
• Confident speakers should allow quieter students a chance to contribute
Don’ts of Group Discussion (GD): -
• Don’t lose your temper
• Don’t shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch
• Don’t use too many gestures when speak e.g. finger pointing, table thumping etc.
• Don’t dominate the discussion
• Don’t Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish saying before you speak 
Face to Face Interviews:     . The candidates those are selected at a group discussion level are invited to face personal interviews. Personal interview process is to assess the overall personality of a candidate. Interviewer’s task is to get the best out of a candidate. Interview begins with Informal interaction then moves on to close/open ended questions, leading and probing questions. The overall objective of an interview could be any one of the following or combination of some: 
• Supplement resume information
• To see that one understands one’s strengths and weaknesses
• To assess suitability for a specific job
• To verify certain details
• To assess social etiquette 
• To encourage the suitable candidate to accept the job
To meet the objective of an interview, the questions can be broadly classified in to 5 categories:
• Behavior-Based 
• Situational/Hypothetical
• Skill-Testing
• Problem-Solving
• Classic
Interview Etiquettes The aspects which should be kept in mind (and well-rehearsed) while facing an interview during campus placements could be: 
• Exhibiting a neat and professional appearance
• Being on time for the interview
• Maintaining a smile
• Learning the art of story telling to avoid nervousness 
• Being natural, relaxed and confident 
• Use an appropriate body language
• Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication
• Not wearing too much perfume or cologne
• Not smelling of cigarette smoke
• Refraining from exhibiting tattoos
• Keeping cell phone out-of-site and silent
• Not using slang
• Not speaking negatively while answering any question
• Be honest, don’t bluff  
• Be first to greet. Sit when told
• Thanking the interviewer at the conclusion of the interview
The knowledge of some of the facts given below, widely known/published in surveys, could be of immense value to students while preparing for interviews: 
• 33% of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone
• Having little to no knowledge of the company is the most common mistake made during interviews 
• 67% of bosses say that failure to make an eye contact is a common nonverbal mistake
• When meeting new people, 55% of the impact comes from the way the person dresses, acts and walks through the door
• 65% of bosses indicate that clothes could be a deciding factor between two almost-identical candidates 
• The number one question most likely to be asked is: “Tell me about yourself”
Happy campus placements!!

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