Placement Preparation Mantra

Starting a career with a good job is the dream of all students when they get into a professional college. Placement preparation training plays a vital role in making the student come out as a winner in the interview. Here are 10 steps that you could follow before your job interview.

An important point to consider while writing the "perfect resume" is using relevant information that would help the potential recruiter make a decision about you.

Step 1 : Prepare a PERFECT RESUME

One should ideally start placement preparation efforts six months ahead of placement interviews. The first step is to start by training yourself on how to write a perfect resume. The layout must be clean and avoid unnecessary clutter, fancy fonts or colours. Keep the text sharp by editing out unnecessary words but at the same time highlighting your strengths. Choose your words strategically. For instance, "Was captain of my college cricket team at the inter-college sports meet" could be worded as "Led my college cricket team in the inter-college tournament."

An important point to consider while writing the "perfect resume" is using relevant information that would help the potential recruiter make a decision about you. For instance, writing your father name or marital status (in most cases) adds no value. Projects, training and internships must be described in such a way that they reflect your contribution. You could use a three-point format, each point not more than one sentence describing your project objective, what you did and what you achieved. Highlight your extracurricular activities where you excelled over others.

Show the first draft of your resume to your Placement Officer or anyone with professional exposure. Get it reviewed by as many people as possible and incorporate whatever feedback that makes sense to you.

Step 2 : Get to know the various job opportunities

Talk to everyone and keep abreast of companies visiting the campus, the jobs on offer and their selection criteria. Get to know through newspapers, television and internet about the various career opportunities and job openings existing in your area of expertise.

Step 3 : Practise interviewing techniques

What would you do if you were asked to prepare a major presentation in 1 months time? You did prepare and practise till the last moment so as to make an effective presentation. Do the same for your campus interview performance:

  • Train yourself on all types of interviews and interview questions.

  • Create and prepare a list of common interview questions.

  • Reflect on who you were as a child, a teen, an adult, a student and a friend. What excites you in life and what depresses you? What are you good at and what are you bad at? The key is to knowing yourself. Only then you can answer all the questions with conviction.

  • Next, think about the interview questions: strengths/weaknesses, long-term/short-term career goals, what motivates you, your skills and career interests. Develop and answer your list of questions.

  • Practise with professionals having industry experience to review your answers. Revisit your answers and incorporate feedback that makes sense.

  • The objective is to portray that you know yourself well enough to be able to make sound career decisions. When someone asks you about your strengths and you take two minutes to blurt out a badly-formed answer, he would think you dont know yourself well enough and hence he cannot trust you when you say you are interested in working for his company. All the thinking and preparation that can be done before the interview should be done before the interview.

  • Get someone to coach you - ask your friend or your placement officer to interview you and give you an objective feedback.

Step 4 : Practise for written tests

Talking of hurdles, this is a big one! If you dont get through the written tests- both (aptitude or technical), you wont be able to cross the first hurdle towards your dream job. Get hold of some sample tests and practise as much as you can.

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Step 5 : Review course curriculum

Information is power, and having prior information about who is coming to recruit on campus, will help you determine what you need to study beforehand. If you are clueless about the kind of questions the interviewers will ask, then be ready with a list of three to four "favourite subjects". Some companies try to test how good you are in your strength areas and select you on the basis of that knowledge even if that is not relevant to the job profile on offer.

Step 6 : Master Group Discussion Techniques

Form a GD practice group along with your classmates who are serious about cracking the GD. GDs can be tricky affairs because you need to walk a fine line between being too aggressive and too meek. You cant hog all the limelight, yet you cant hide in the background. You cant be too loud or too soft. Practising in the training sessions will get you the balance right.

Two, you must share your own views, or else you will not be able to speak with conviction. But to develop a viewpoint, you need facts and awareness. Read newspapers, magazines and watch news basically, know the world around you. Awareness will give you sufficient fodder for a discussion.

Step 7: Research companies and industries

Surf the Internet for information regarding the company - history, locations, main products/services, and for any major news story in the past two to three months. Also read about the industry-major players, industry history, major challenges, trends and future direction. Knowing the company and industry, adds credibility when you say you want to work there. Being well-informed reflects interest, a potential to become productive early, and also ones ability to make a sincere effort.

Step 8 : Get a set of formals

You may already possess a white shirt and a pair ofblack trousers. But get a new set! The best policy is to be conservative. Go for plain white well-fitted full sleeve shirts, black trousers without pleats (and other fancy stuff) and plain black leather shoes.

You could give the tie a miss. If not, then make sure you are comfortable - wearing a tie in the hot summer sun and getting drenched in sweat is hardly impressive. Just to reinforce, err on the conservative side. For instance, avoid metal embellishments on shoes and breast pocket buttons on shirts.

Women have several options when it comes to formals. A light-coloured formal shirt and black trousers or a simple, light-coloured saree or salwar suit, will do. Avoid something too flowery or ornate, and team it up with a pair of formal shoes (but avoid pencil heels!).

Step 9 : File all certificates

Get together all your educational/ non-education certificates including Class 10 and Class 12 mark sheets, technical certifications and the NCC/ NSS certificates and every other documentary proof of achievement so far. Arrange them neatly in a file folder and have them at hand during your interview.

Step 10 : Enjoy the Interview Process!

This is more important than it seems. After all, how can you come out as a winner in your interview if you do not enjoy it? Think of all your past successes and achievements. Get into a positive, confident mood. Visualize your success and expect the best results. Just go out there and have fun.

Success in interview is your ticket to a great future. Plan well, prepare hard and more important- BE POSITIVE. Good Luck potential champions.

--Shrikumar Menon is CEO of MLS Training and Soft Skills Coach. He can be contacted at

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