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Hello everyone, I am writing my second article on CAclubindia after the success of the earlier article called 'Early Bird Catches the Worm' which was categorized under exams.

Today's article is about the campus placement program conducted by ICAI. The process actually starts right after one becomes successful in qualifying the exams.

I will share my experience starting back from 17th January, that is the day results were declared till 10th March, the day I got through Campus Interview. I was placed as a senior associate for mergers and acquisitions in PWC SDC Kolkata.

After results- It's your call whether to sit on campus or not. Particularly, if you had several attempts, think carefully before applying for the campus.

Generally in off-campus, not much relevance is given to attempts. Also, in off campus, you get an idea how interviews are conducted by organizations and the selection steps such as GD, written test etc. Accordingly one should attend a few off-campus interviews even if they are not prepared because there is always scope for improvement irrespective of the fact whether you are selected or not.

Things to be done in the meantime:

1. Keep checking CMII ICAI website regularly because you will get information on list of organizations, venues etc.

2. Prepare a CV or update existing CV with specific focus on type of work done in articleship or industrial training or even if you have worked in any organization which can even be your family business.

3.Start working on a CV questionnaire. Imagine you are in the interview panel, think what kind of questions would you like to ask and answer them on your own. Then discuss the same with yourwith seniors and friends.

4. Most organizations would ask a few general knowledge based questions so start following professional websites like LinkedIn, Investopedia or follow newspapers such as Economic Times, Financial Express, Business Standard etc.

5. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, make one. It is a useful platform where you can connect with professionals. For those who have it, please update your profile.

After list of organizations are announced- If you were a rank holder or first attempt candidate then go through names that will be conducting interviews on Day 1(Premier Day). Else look for names from Day 2 and onwards. And now that you have an idea about who are likely to shortlist you, start research on each of these probable names in as much detail as possible. Once the short listing is done by companies, think carefully before you give consent to them. If they have mentioned your likely role/position, then do background work on skill sets and responsibilities required for the same.

On the day of interview- Keep all your research related work and other documents in an appropriate place so that you have access to them on the go. Your patience will be very much tested so make good use of waiting time till you are called for the interview.

Most interviews are generally a mix of technical and general questions so both academic and non academic areas will be tested. This is what I observed when I went for my interview:

1. Generally the panel introduces themselves and then asks us to walk them through the CV. Instead of mentioning about school, college, articleship firm or qualification they are more keen to know what makes you stand out from the rest so it's important to engage their attention by saying something interesting even if it is not related to academics. If they find it interesting they will want to know more about it.

2. There is no need to talk about family unless panel asks a question relating to family.

3. They are interested to know about your favourite subject so be prepared for technical questions pertaining to the same. It is possible that certain questions may be totally unknown. What we should do is instead of making random guesses, admit to the panel that we are not aware of the same and would like to look up about the same given the opportunity to do so.

4. For those who took more than a single attempt, panel would like to know about reasons for the same. Be truthful in answering it.

5. Articleship related questions will be asked by the panel. Never tell them that your articleship was in a small firm because irrespective of size of firm, it is after all a learning experience. They are not interested to know about size of firm. What they are looking for is how different you are now as compared to when you qualified IPC exams. They will grill you if they come to know that you did articleship from a relative's firm.

6. If you have anything to say as regards your availability for joining, mention it immediately. HR people would also like to know about the same so the earlier you clarify it, the better. In my case because I have Advanced ITT in April, I told them specifically that I would be available from May.

7. Once selected, you have the option to sign declaration form. Depending upon your level of confidence, it will be your call whether to sign it or not.

That's all about the campus interviews from my side. All the best to aspiring future CAs who will be in a similar situation in six months from now.

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