Before going for the interview, remember to do some googling on the company.
Spend about 30 minutes on their corporate website. Check out the press
releases section for the latest news. If it is a publicly traded company,
check out when it was in news the last time and why.The interviewer wont
expect you to know the company too well. But, it is important to have some
knowledge about the company, the sector it operates in, its main products or
solutions and major clients. Read about the organization, ask people about
what they do, what their hiring policies are like, keep track of the
company’s visit to other college campuses across India.
How you dress for an interview is perhaps as relevant as the way
you lay out your resume. A person who is sloppy in appearance shows a sloppy
personality, so you have to be decently dressed.Of course, decently dressed
does not necessarily mean being dressed to the gills. A tie, shirt and pant
should do the trick.Most HR experts would also tell you to mind the
accessories like ties, belts and shoes. To be sure, badly matched shoes and
ties can have a jarring effect on an interviewer. Similarly, please avoid
heavy jewellery or personal accessories as they would look incongruous on
There is a common saying that minds are made up within the first 5 minutes
of an interview. So keep in mind these important first impression
indicators. Walk in the door as if you already work there, carry yourself as
though you feel perfectly comfortable with the situation. Arrive on time or
a little early. In the waiting area, politely tell the receptionist who you
are meeting and in a friendly way, ask where you should sit. Take slow, deep
breaths to help you remain calm and focused. When introduced to the
interviewer, have a firm, but not painful, handshake. Smile. Have good
posture when sitting or standing. Introduce yourself in a relaxed, confident
manner. Have a well-groomed, professional appearance. Project a feeling of
confidence. Bring extra copies of your resume, some thing to write on and
something to write with.
Interviewers, whether they are from HR or from the actual department you’ll
be working, want to recruit people who are energetic. Imagine for yourself:
Would you rather have someone who is always on the go or someone who looks
sleepy allthe time? In addition, if a person does not show much energy
during the interview, the interviewer will think, “Geez, if this person
cannot get excited about an interview, how is he or she ever going to be
excited about the job?”There is one area where being energetic really pays
off:.Many interviewers start with the question, “Tell me about yourself ?”.
If you cannot enthusiastically talk about yourself for at least five minutes
or so, the interviewer will wonder if you’ll be interested in your future
job for much longer.
Behavorial questions are the ones that are open-ended, the ones designed to
find out about your experience. This type of questions, common during
mid-level interviews, have been on the rise for on-campus interviews as
well. An example of the behavorial questions is, “Tell me a time when you
were under extreme pressure, and how you handled it?”. Preparation makes a
big difference in how you’d perform in answering this type of questions.
Also, before you walk into the interview, think about the different
situations that you have gone through, whether it be pledging for a
fraternity (I personally find this a great one), completing a project, your
part-time job, or any other situation you can think of. This way, when the
questions come up, you won’t need to come up with the example right then and
An interview often develops into a discussion and then the interviewer might
find you sincere for doing the ground-work.In most cases, the last question
in an interview is “Do you have any questions?” Do not neglect it. This is
your opportunity to speak. With a little bit of preparedness, you may grab
this chance to start a short dialogue regarding the goals of
the companies or the latest product it has launched. You can do this only if
you have done some study on the company.
Now Prepare well people,All the best for your future.
A test where 16 years of knowledge is tested in 60 minutes.
A test which is 16 times tougher than your Annual Exams.
Yet most students take it very very casually.
There is a lot of information available online about how to face interview boards, how to draft the perfect resume and tips and tricks to bag the best offers. However, most of it is targeted at people already employed and having work experience trying to switch to a new company. There is unfortunately not much useful information out there for freshers.
Here are a few tips which you may find useful in preparing for campus interviews.
1. Be in regular touch with the Placement Department
The guys in the placement department are out there to help you. Their success is linked with your success. Be sure that the college authorities may be after him, if he does not deliver.
It often helps to be in regular touch with the placement department. Try to get advance information of the next companies that are planning to visit the campus. Try to squeeze out vital information like the number of positions on offer, the pay package and eligibility criteria. Ask for guidance from the placement department wherever you feel confused – like drafting your resume or what to focus on the last few days before the interview. Let me tell you, it often helps to have contacts with people in positions of importance. The proffessor from theplacement department may develop a liking towards you and you will be more than glad to grab that little bit of advantage coming your way.
2. Know The Company
Before going for the interview, remember to do some googling on the company. Spend about 30 minutes on their corporate website. Check out the press releases section for the latest news. If it is a publicly traded company, check out when it was in news the last time and why.
The interviewer wont expect you to know the company too well. But, it is important to have some knowledge about the company, the sector it operates in, its main products or solutions and major clients. Read about the organization, ask people about what they do, what their hiring policies are like, keep track of the company’s visit to other college campuses across India. An interview often develops into a discussion and then the interviewer might find you sincere for doing the ground-work.
In most cases, the last question in an interview is “Do you have any questions?” Do not neglect it. This is your opportunity to speak. With a little bit of preparedness, you may grab this chance to start a short dialogue regarding the goals of thecompanies or the latest product it has launched. You can do this only if you have done some study on the company.
3. Be attentive staring from the pre-placement talk
Freshers often have the tendency to neglect the resume part as it is rarely asked during the campus interviews. This is a bad practise as it lands you in trouble, when you have to suddenly fill up a form before the interview. The regular information required like your marks secured or courses attended are easy to fill up but students get stuck when asked to write for example ” Why do you think we should hire you?” type of questions. So, start concentrating days ahead of the interview and be alert every moment on the D-Day and even during the pre-placement talk.
4. Admit It When You Don’t Know Something
It is usually a mistake to pretend to know something that you do not, because chances are that the interviewer will follow up with questions regarding that exact topic. If the candidate cannot answer these follow-up questions, it tells the interviewer either a) the candidate does not know his/her stuff, or b) the candidate lied about knowing the topic. Either way, it is a big turn-off.Keeping calm and answering to the best of your knowledge and ability should be your approach. Do not over do or try to project you know more than you actually know. Keeping calm and answering to the best of your knowledge and ability should be your approach. Do not over do or try to project you know more than you actually know.
Remember the interviewer is not there to grill the confidence out of you, but to bring forth the best in. Just in case you are stuck, ask for a hint. Things might just click. Also, stay alert for clues.
5. Be Energetic
Interviewers, whether they are from HR or from the actual department you’ll be working, want to recruit people who are energetic. Imagine for yourself: Would you rather have someone who is always on the go or someone who looks sleepy allthe time? In addition, if a person does not show much energy during the interview, the interviewer will think, “Geez, if this person cannot get excited about an interview, how is he or she ever going to be excited about the job?”
There is one area where being energetic really pays off: Many interviewers start with the question, “Tell me aboutyourself.” If you cannot enthusiastically talk about yourself for at least five minutes or so, the interviewer will wonder if you’ll be interested in your future job for much longer.
6. Dress well
There is a common saying that minds are made up within the first 5 minutes of an interview. So keep in mind these important first impression indicators. Dress well to show professional courtesy. The interviewer is dedicating his or her time for this interview, and he/she would expect the candidate to give the interview at least an equal weight. A well-dressed candidate leaves an excellent impression and projects the image that he or she really cares about this interview.
This rule applies even if you are interviewing for a company known for its casual dress policies (such as many of the internet companies). Even in such cases, dressing up cannot go wrong.
7. Be prepared for behavorial questions
Behavorial questions are the ones that are open-ended, the ones designed to find out about your experience. This type of questions, common during mid-levelinterviews, have been on the rise for on-campus interviews as well. An example of the behavorial questions is, “Tell me a time when you were under extreme pressure, and how you handled it?”
Preparation makes a big difference in how you’d perform in answering this type of questions. Also, before you walk into the interview, think about the different situations that you have gone through, whether it be pledging for a fraternity (I personally find this a great one), completing a project, your part-time job, or any other situation you can think of. This way, when the questions come up, you won’t need to come up with the example right then and there.
8. Do not miss off-campus interviews
The guys at the placement department of most colleges claim that they manage to get the best companies to the campus interviews. However, you surely often find that your dream companies visit other colleges.
Let us be practical. In these recessionary times, frankly most of the placement officers are working overtime to bring companies to campuses. Its not that companies are not recruiting freshers, they are only recruiting a fraction of their regular intake. Even if the well placed companies decide to hire freshers, they will prefer to visit the best campuses instead of hopping across a number of colleges. Let us face the fact that overall the city colleges are luckier with morecompanies coming for campus interviews. So, keep your ears open and do not miss out any opportunity that may come in the form of off-campus interview. There may be huge crowds in off campus interviews vying for a handful of positions, but it may prove your lucky day!
9. Do not get discouraged
It is easy to get disheartened and discouraged if you dont land a job after a few rounds of interviews. With your peers celebrating and your girlfriend looking in a different direction, life may become a bit tough. But remember, you only need ONE job offer to change everything. It is never late so dont give up and relax. There are number of ways you can keep working and trying to make yourself more employable. Analyze your mistakes, talk to your helpful successful peers and also your teachers. Keep working harder, go for training programs. And there is always the option of going for higehr studies.
Placement interviews last anywhere from 5-6 minutes to 30-40 minutes. However, you should not come to any conclusion about your chances based on the duration of the interview. A short interview is not necessarily bad. A long interview is not necessarily good
*2. What are the types of recruitment interviews?*
While some companies conduct separate HR and Technical interviews (these could be individual elimination rounds or the candidate may be put through both the interviews) some companies combine both Tech and HR modes under a single interview.
*3. What is the size and composition of the interview panel?*
The size of the interview panel normally varies from one to three. With the top I.T companies drastically scaling up their intake, recruitment teams are under time pressure. Hence single panels are becoming increasingly popular. Recruitment teams comprise senior or middle management personnel from both HR and Technical functions in the company.
*4. Should I carry all my certificates with me to the interview?*
Carry all the original certificates (starting from 10th standard) with you when you go for an interview. Please also carry one set of attested photocopies of all the certificates (which you can give to the interview panel in case they ask for it). You should also carry any certificates that you may have pertaining to your extra-curricular activities (indicating awards won, participation in various events/games/sports).
5. How should we enter the interview room? What should we do after we enter the interview room?*
Normally, when your turn comes, either one of the panel members or an assistant will come and call you into the room for your interview. Whether the door is open or net knock gently on the door. At the door, clearly and loudly say, “May I come in, sir” and walk in without any trepidation. Once you reach the interviewers’ table, wish the panel members (by saying “Good morning” or “Good afternoon”), and wait for the interview panel to ask you to be seated.
6. Is there any good sitting posture?*
There are no rules regarding sitting posture. You may read in some books that you should cross your legs at the knees, tuck your feet under the chair, put your hands in your lap, etc. as suggested ways of sitting in an interview. Just ignore all such advice – whatever posture you are comfortable with, adopt that posture. However, you have to ensure that you convey seriousness. So, any posture conveying casualness should be avoided – like sitting back in the chair and rocking the chair on its hind legs.
As far as your hands are concerned, you can keep them on the arm-rests of the chair you are sitting in or you can keep them in your lap.
7. Can I lean forward and keep my file and rest my elbows on the interviewers’ table?*
No. The table belongs to the interviewers – it is their property. Do not lean on the table. Keep your file in your lap. However, you can use the table when the need arises – for example, if you need to write or draw something as a part of your reply to a question, then you can keep your paper or book (and the file) on the table, write whatever you have to and once it is over, take your file and paper back and keep them in your lap.
8. What type of language should we use in the interview?*
As already discussed, an interview is a formal occasion. It requires formal language and that too, English. Do not switch to vernacular in the middle of your conversation in an interview. However, you need not worry about the fluency of your language. Go ahead and communicate your ideas in as simple a language as possible without worrying about any language errors you may make.
*9. What role does body language have to play in an interview?*
Use body language – movement of hands, head, etc. – in a manner that conveys
confidence and has a positive impact on the interviewers. Do not overdo your
hand movements, etc. Gesticulate only to the extent necessary.
*10. What does the interview panel look for in a candidate in an interview?*
The interviewers will look for a candidate who has an aptitude and skill required for the job and who can be moulded to take up higher levels of responsibility in future. The suitability is established by looking at the knowledge and behavioural dimensions. Knowledge, aptitude, willingness to learn, ability to adapt to situations, ability to be a part of a team, logical flow of ideas, balanced thought process and a very clear goal orientation are some of the parameters that interviewers will check on.
The candidate should also be able to apply his skills in tune with the ethical and moral framework of the society.
*11. How do the interviewers assess the candidate in this manner?*
The interview panel members assess the candidate by asking him/her a variety
of questions and looking at the candidate’s responses for these questions. Whatever be the questions asked, they look for certain qualities and attributes in the candidate. The main qualities that they look for in the candidates are:
Level of knowledge the candidates possesses
Conceptual understanding of issues
Clarity of thought
Planning of career
Reacting to a situation
Knowledge is the single most important attribute that the interviewers look for in the candidates. The candidate should have a proper understanding of the issues involved.
Whether it is the subjects that you studied in college or it is other areas that you claim to have knowledge in (like computers and software), the panel members will be interested not just in the marks scored in exams but also your basic conceptual understanding of various issues involved. In addition to conceptual understanding, the interviewers will be interested in your ability to apply what you have learnt to other areas. This reflects in the clarity of thought that you are able to exhibit. Your thinking
process is reflected in your answers to a variety of questions and hence, it is imperative that you think through the question before you hasten to give a reply to the question asked.
Your ability to express your ideas clearly and succinctly is an attribute that carries a lot of weight in the interview, and this is something that the interviewers will be looking for specifically. Communication skills play an important part, and you have to make a conscious effort to communicate properly what you have in mind.
The interviewers will also be interested in knowing how well you have thought about your career how you are planning for your career. They want to be assured that you are not generally drifting in the sea of life and have come to their port not by chance but you are there by design and prior planning.
You will also be evaluated on a number of personality related issues including, your value systems. The interview panel members are likely to create situations to see how
You will react to different situations. This is essential because, in real life, you will face a number of situations and you will have to react to them without any additional time to think about them. In fact, if we have to describe what an interview is in one statement, it is all about how you think on your feet and react to situations.
*12. What are the different types or categories of questions?*
Different companies focus on different aspects. The nature and type of questions also vary from one candidate to the other for the same company. Hence, a candidate should prepare on a range of areas/questions like:
Awareness about the domains/areas where the company is operating
Career related questions
Personality related questions
*13. Since you are saying that certain questions or types of questions are likely to be asked in the interviews, is it advisable to prepare answers for these questions and go for the interviews?*
While you should prepare for interviews, you should not be preparing a specific answer for any question. Let us understand the difference. Preparing for the interview or for a particular question will mean that you think through the question, what your approach will be in handling the question and what points you will consider in answering the question. Preparing an answer will necessarily entail working out your answer (in its entirety) and, probably, even committing it to memory. This will not
help. Once you are clear as to what points you will cover in your answer, the
answer itself should be framed in the interview – on the spot. Make sure that you never go with answers learnt by heart. It is very easy for an experienced interviewer to make out that the answer is not spontaneous and that it is coming from memory.
*14. What should be the answer for the question “Tell us something about yourself?”*
First of all, note that there is nothing like “the answer” or “the correct answer” for any question – except for questions which require a fact to be given as the answer.
“Tell us something about yourself” is the first question asked in a number of interviews. This question is asked for two different reasons. The first is that it puts you at ease, as it is a fairly easy question to deal with. The second reason is that the interviewers get to know some basic details about you, while at the same time, getting a little bit of time to go through your application/bio-data.
Nevertheless, it is an important question. This often lays the foundation for the entire interview – a number of subsequent questions can be based on what you say in response to this question. You should cover your educational background very briefly and then emphasize on your technical skills and favourite subjects. Highlight your
achievements be it academics or otherwise. Mention hobbies and extracurricular
activities and a few details on the kind of person you are likes etc. Family background is not essential. In case you cover this, do so very briefly.
*15. What is the level of questions in academics?*
Subject knowledge is given significant weight age by interviewers. Such questions are aimed at testing your understanding of the basic concepts in the area of your graduation. Focus would be on areas of work of the company, electives, projects, favourite subjects etc. You should have an idea about new developments in your area of study. Unless you prepare thoroughly for academic related questions, you could get into serious trouble in the interview.
16. What are the typical questions that the interviewers ask in the area of “personality related questions?”*
Personality related questions basically include two types of questions. The first type is about your “Strengths and Weaknesses.” Strengths and weaknesses are asked very frequently and this is a fairly important question. It requires prior thinking and proper preparation. The second type of questions on your personality relate to your value
systems. The interviewers may ask you about the values you believe in. There
can be questions on honesty and integrity. Very often, the interview panel members may create a situation involving compromise of values and ask you to react.
17. What are the strengths that we can talk of?*
Do not look at a “standard list” of strengths from which you can pick up your strengths. You have to assess your own personality and come with your strengths. Typically, they may pertain to hard working nature, congeniality, convincing ability, discipline, punctuality, goal-oriented approach, analytical approach to problem solving, working well in a group, etc. Make it your list of strengths and not what somebody else has told you. Also, after you tell the interviewers about your strengths, be ready to face a follow-up question asking you to give a situation where your strengths helped you or to explain how you realised that you had these strengths.
You should be prepared to give an example by narrating a short incident which highlights your strengths.
18. Can I say that I do not have any weaknesses? If I mention some weaknesses, will it not go against me?*
There will hardly be any human being without any weaknesses at all. So, do not worry about mentioning your weaknesses in an interview. It will not go against you. What the interviewers will be interested in is how well you are able to assess yourself, and after identifying your weaknesses, what action you are taking to overcome such weaknesses.
If you give a reply like “I do not have any weaknesses,” it will reflect poorly on your self-assessment capabilities. Assess your weaknesses along with your strengths before you go for the interviews. Talk to your close friends and immediate family members. They are the best people to give you an idea about your weaknesses – what you are not good at. Be prepared to explain what steps you are taking to overcome your weaknesses.
Almost every one of us will have one or more of the weaknesses like lack of punctuality, impatience, impulsive decision-making, etc.
*19. What are the typical questions that the interviewers ask in the area of ‘career related questions’*
Typically the questions will focus on what you intend to do in life, how you envisage your career taking shape, why you chose your branch of study, how do you plan to use the knowledge acquired in work, why you want to choose a particular area/branch of work, alternate career plans, why you intend to join a particular company, which domain/area you wish to work in, how you will contribute to the organization, where do you see yourselves in 5/10 years from now etc.
Most interviewers expect you to have a goal or a career objective. You may not be in a position to spell out your plan in detail. Nevertheless, you should have a broad framework and alternate plans in mind. If you indicate that you have no idea about your future plan, it could mean that you are a drifter and this could work against you.
For questions on ‘where you see yourselves 5/10 years from now’ get details from seniors or friends working in the industry and from websites of leading companies in the industry. This will help you to understand how careers of people progress in organizations and to frame an answer.
*20. How to tackle a question “why do you want to join us?”.*
Before the interview, prepare specifically on the company by gathering information about them from magazines, seniors and friends working there and the company website. Check out basic like revenue, net profit, growth, spread across countries/states, take overs, domains/areas of specialisation, products, awards won, latest news, corporate governance etc. This will give you ample information to be prepared for this question.
*21. How should we prepare for questions asked about my hobbies and interests?*
Normally, the interviewers will ask you questions on your extra-curricular activities, hobbies and interests. In case you have none, tell them that you do not have any. But if you have any, then you should be ready to deal with them in some depth. For example, if cricket is one of your extra-curricular activities or hobbies, then you should be able to deal with past statistics, current happenings in cricket including the names of players in the teams of various countries. If reading is one of your hobbies, potential questions include: the names of the authors whose books you read, the names of the books that you have read in the recent past, the main characters in those books, an analysis of the characters, etc. If you indicate reading of magazines as one of your interests, then you should be ready with the following details for the magazines that you read regularly: the names of the publishers, the number of languages in which they are published, names of the editors, recent cover stories, etc.
For the newspapers that you read daily, you will need to know details like the places from where the newspapers are published, the names of the editors, etc. You may also face a question on how your hobbies/interests have helped you mould your character or will help you in achieving your career goals.
*22. How much time will we get to think before we start answering a question?*
The general rule that you should observe is “Think before you answer any question.” Do not be in a tearing hurry to give a reply. You need not start your reply the moment the question is asked. You can take 2-3 seconds to answer the question. This valuable time helps you collect your thoughts before you answer the question. This is particularly useful if the question is slightly “uncomfortable.”
*23. Should we give short and crisp answers to the questions asked or should we give elaborate answers?*
You should avoid giving “Yes” or “No” as the responses to questions that you are asked in the interview. You should also avoid one-word answers. While you should not end up giving a very long answer to any question, give a long enough answer to communicate clearly your thinking on the issue that is under discussion. Remember, the interviewer would like to know your personality, clarity of thought, etc. Hence, you should look at every question as an opportunity to let the interviewer know more about you.
*24. If we do not know answers to some questions, can we guess? Aren’t there chances that the interviewer himself may not know the answers?*
Do not underestimate the calibre or the intelligence of the interviewers -normally they are very learned people. It is in your interest that you do not work on the premise that the interviewer may not know the answer. If you do not know the answer, say that you do not know. However, if you want to guess, do so by saying that you would like to guess the answer. You can say, “Sorry sir, I do not know the answer. However, can I make a guess?”
Your making a guess will work only for questions that are fact based and not opinion based. If the interviewers ask you for your opinion on an issue, you cannot obviously say that you do not know.
*25. Should we always be completely honest in an interview?*
In general, “honesty is the best policy” in an interview. Be your natural self as far as answering questions is concerned. However, in our day-to-day interaction with anybody, all of us wear a “mask” to show a different identity form what we are. The type and level of mask may vary from person to person. You should try to have a genuinely pleasant expression on your face. Smile often.
*26. What should we do if the interviewers ask irrelevant questions?*
Do not ever believe that the interviewers are asking you questions that are not relevant to the selection process. In an interview, there is nothing like an irrelevant question. Remember that the interviewer is trying to assess you based on how you react to situations. As discussed already, look at every question as an opportunity. Tackle it keeping in mind that your thought process is under scrutiny – the issue under discussion is not relevant.
*27. What is a stress interview? Are stress interviews common in campus selection process? *
In almost all the Campus selection interviews, the interviewers try to make the interviewee as comfortable as possible. Very seldom does one come across stress interviews in campus recruitments. In stress interviews, the candidate is subjected to pressure. Right from the word “go,” the interviewers shoot questions at rapid-fire
speed. They will probably not give enough time to the interviewee for any question – before the interviewee can complete an answer, the next question is asked. Sometimes, the next question is asked even before the candidate starts the answer. The interviewers also tend to make fun of the candidate almost throughout the interview – making comments that the candidate does not know anything, etc. They can ask very personal questions in a stress interview which can make the candidate very uncomfortable. While stress interviews do not form a significant proportion of the total number of interviews conducted for any institute, it is not uncommon to find a stress interview here or there. You should be mentally prepared to face a stress interview.
*28. How should we tackle stress interviews?*
On the basis of how the interview progresses, you can make out whether your interview is a stress interview in the first half a minute itself. The most important thing in a stress interview is that you should keep your cool. Since the panel members are putting you under severe stress, they will give you the benefit of doubt in case you are not able to answer the questions at all or you give a wrong answer. They will not hold it against you as much as they would in a normal interview.
Do not react to their taunting remarks. If they make a caustic remarks, just smile and say, “I understand that that is your view, sir, but my view is …….” Do not sitting there cursing yourself for getting into that mess. Focus on the question that they are asking next. Overall, a candidate who can keep his/her cool will come out in flying
colours from a stress interview.
*29. At the end of the interview, how will the interviewers indicate that the interview is over?*
They will make a clear statement like, “Thank you, Mr. ———. Wish you all the best.” Sometimes, the interviewers may ask you question like, “Would you like to ask us anything?” Such a question also indicates that they are through with their questions.
*30. In such a case, can I ask them any questions?*
You certainly can. However, ask questions that are relevant. Please do not ask questions like “How did I perform in my interview?” or “How did I do in my written test?” or “Will I get selected?”
You can use this opportunity to highlight your interest in the company. For example say, “you have been consistently growing at the rate of 30% annually. What helps you to maintain such a high growth?”. If you don’t have any specific questions just say “Thank you sirs. I don’t have any questions to ask’
*31. What should I do before I leave the interview room?*
Stand up, push your chair back a little, wish the interviewers by making statements like, “Thank you, sirs” or “Good day to you all, sirs, ” turn back and walk gracefully out of the room. If the door is closed when you are going out, you may again close the door behind you after you go out.