Chapter 3 - Decoding Campus Placements : A step-by-step guide

Decoding Campus Placements : A step-by-step guide

Preparing for campus placement is the initial step in preparing for a professional life ahead. Campus placement preparation holds significance as it paves a path for a better professional career ahead. It not only reduces the time & effort of students in finding their desired jobs at an individual level but also opens a wide range of opportunities for candidates to excel in the field of their interest right after completion of their studies.

Being placed in a corporation while still in college is indeed a matter of pride for students. The campus placements season is beginning at almost all the colleges and each one of us wants to prepare to do the best. As a student, one must prepare thoroughly for campus placements. Thus, in this month’s blog, we will discuss step by step how to prepare for campus placements and some valuable tips and tricks as well.

1. Aptitude tests/ Skill assessment tests

The aptitude and skill assessment tests hold a vital role in placement preparations. This test helps in determining the logical & analytical quotient of a candidate and usually consists of a few sections such as communication skills, logical reasoning, quantitative ability & knowledge about their field.

Here are a few tips to perfect aptitude preparations for placements:
  • Solve random aptitude-based tasks and previous aptitude-test papers constantly & consistently to get hands-on experience.
  • Talk to professionals/seniors in your domain & ask for relevant tips.
  • Do not shy away from taking feedback.
  • Work with resources such as practice set books, sample papers & practice papers.
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of your core field as much as you can.

2. Group Discussion (GD):

Group discussion is a campus-based group exercise that tests a candidate's communication skills, leadership skills, listening ability, teamwork, problem-solving skills, confidence, general awareness, etc. as per the situation provided.

Here are some tips to do well in a GD:
  • Know what your topic is: Be clear about your topic, how to present it, and have a structured argument in your head. Try to have a solution-oriented approach during the discussion rather than constantly talking about the problem.
  • Communication skills: It is one of the most important aspects of a group discussion round. Listening carefully to what other candidates have to say improves your counterargument.
  • Take charge and be perceptive: To be the best amongst the lot, you'll have to take charge. Be quick with your response while making sense and respecting other candidates' points of view.

3. Panel Interview Round

In a panel interview, a panel of recruiting professionals interview a candidate face-to-face. The value of this round is much higher as it is for the very first time when a candidate is going to have a one on one conversation with the recruiter. Your performance and confidence in this round will decide whether your application will be moved forward or not.

The following points can work wonders while preparing for a panel interview and help you stand out from the rest:
  • Research thoroughly about the company, the roles and responsibilities offered for the role you are applying for and the values of the organization, and so on.
  • Practice for a panel interview by asking friends or family to take your interview.
  • Have clear thoughts and structured answers for generic questions like why do you want to join our company, how will you bring a new perspective to our company, where do you see yourself in the next five years, etc.
  • Be confident and ask for feedback once the interview is over.

4. Technical test

The technical round is a one-on-one interview, evaluation, or presentation designed to demonstrate how well one knows their core competencies, programming languages, and what they can bring to the job. An interview with the project manager or boss, a test on your core topic, or a situational test are all possibilities. It usually assesses the conceptual clarity and fundamentals of the student regarding the specialized subject. The best ways to prepare for a technical round or technical interview, therefore, are a sum total of all the preparation you would do for campus placements.

Some of the best tips for preparing are:
  • Background research: Begin with the areas/domains that the company works on and the common challenges it can face in terms of products/services and their execution. Dive into Quora, Glassdoor, and other sources for interview experiences with the company or its closest competitors. And always brush up on the products that the company offers.
  • Practice coding challenges: More often than not, you would be asked to code or work on a solution to a technical problem. And it’s not just that you arrive at a solution – your execution should be clear and comprehensible.
  • Prep your Interview strengths: In the end, a technical interview is also an interview format; conducted face to face, online, on video, or telephonically. Prepping for it is also a good way to gear your practice quotient.

5. Case Based Interview

You will need to prepare for an interview where case study questions will be asked. While preparation is required for every job interview, extra time is required to adequately prepare for case study interviews.
Providing an answer to a case study question involves much more than simply recounting the issues and problems set forth, it includes identifying the most important issues, employing sound and logical analysis, developing an action plan for addressing the problem(s) and making recommendations. Depending on the firms you're interviewing with, case study questions can be presented in verbal or written format, and address a number of topics.
In the case based interview, coming up with the "correct" answer isn't nearly as important as the process you use for getting there.

6. General HR Round

A general HR round marks its entry at the end. In this step, the candidate is required to give a brief introduction, answer some tricky questions of HR, and discuss the salaries and perks of the job after getting selected. It is a case of persuasion, in which you must persuade the HR staff, who are screening you for potential red flags, that you are the right candidate for the job.

Some of the common interview questions that you must be prepared for are:
  • Introduce yourself
  • Describe yourself using 3 words.
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • What motivates you?
  • Why should we hire you?

7. Tips and Tricks for acing the process

Some tips and tricks to ace the campus placement process are jotted down as follows:
  • Research about the company: A little sneak peek or investigation about the company will give you a sharp edge over other interviewees. You can do this by visiting the company’s website, examining their social media handles, and getting in touch with their peers through LinkedIn.
  • Apply with a crisp and clear resume: A resume plays a crucial role in your job search and is the perfect medium to showcase your qualities and skills and hence, it must be designed to get special attention as it is your ticket to get shortlisted for a job interview. Your resume should be tailor-made to the requirements of the job you are interviewing for.
  • Career Fairs: Career fairs are a good opportunity for interview practice. The recruiters at these fairs are part of the team that interviews potential employees and can, thus, provide valuable insights into the general requirements of recruiters and their interview styles.
To make sure one gets the job of their dreams, preparation is the key. The steps and tips mentioned are simple to follow and can be the bridge between you and placement in your dream job and company.