Also, I sat for the written test of Hero MotoCorp (I wanted to see how it feels to sit in placements), cleared it, made it to the Group Discussion and kept dead quiet there scared that I might make it to the interviews and get selected (something that I did not want as a budding entrepreneur – options in life). Moreover, I also gave one placement interview at Teach for India in November 2010 (which was fixed way before the incubation offer was made for Gyan Lab) which I comfortably cleared and was selected for TFI 2010 Fellowship.
So, here are my key learnings from sitting for placements twice and interviewing over 60 people ranging from MBAs from INSEAD and Michigan-Ross to Diplomas from the most unknown Institutes:-
1) You must remember basic etiquettes – being humble during an interview helps you a good deal, being arrogant does not. If the interviewer points out a mistake in what you have just said, don’t get protective on yourself but instead reply softly that you will look more into it and thank him/her for the correction
2) Don’t take too much of stress – it has been proven that a relaxed mind performs much better than a tensed one. Do not study too much before a placement interview – if you really wish to prepare, study for about 30 – 60 minutes for the same everyday starting today (given that you wish to study!)
3) And that makes me say this again that it does not mean that if you study, you have better chances of getting placed. It is only mostly for self satisfaction. I know folks who have drawn cartoons and got a nice core job, or drank milkshake with the interviewers while answering questions on hobbies and other life related things. It is upto you how you want to do this – there is NO STANDARD RULE!
4) Don’t be too snobbish and bullish on setting your eyes on your core company, ignoring all other companies. I have seen people doing so initially when they made it to the interview round of all other companies and one fine day, their luck ran out and they had to be content with much worse jobs.
5) It is not necessary that your job profile and package will be directly proportional to your CGPA (or marks or whatever). You must understand that your good marks show one thing – that you are dedicated to a cause with a single-point focus. No company will come and see your grades as a sign of excellence – they just use it to sometimes reduce their workload. Also, a lot of companies prefer the 6 and 7 point folks because attrition rate among them is comparatively lower with chances of them shifting from one job to another are way lower (you know why!)
6) Please remember that this is your first time placement experience in your life and the guy on the other side of the table is more experienced. So, he would be smarter than you in the room. All you can do to beat his smartness is be honest and you will be on your own turf. It is really a wonder as to why most people try to be people they are not at placement/job interviews
7) Remember not to make a face when some company offers an Rs 3 or 4 lac package. Trust me and have a look at yourself – you know so little about real life and real work. In case, you are from one of the core engineering branches, you have studied things which are really outdated, yet a company is ready to make a bet on you. Not only this, they even pay you while they train you for the job. Always have a hold on reality and focus on the quality of work profile. It will help you grow better and money will actually start coming once you have a quality work profile. Never focus on the money!
8) You can control everything but you cannot control luck. During placements as well, the last ingredient that can make or break your day is luck. So, if you do not get through one company, do not let disappointment get you. I have a friend who sat for 17 placements, made to the interviews on 14 occasions and yet could only get placed on the 18th attempt. But the 18th job profile and pay was much better than most of the earlier ones. EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY – and so shall you!
9) Placement is no big deal. Remember how class 10 boards were so tough before we gave them and how they we told our juniors they were like shit easy after they were over. It is the same case with Class 12 Boards, College Entrance Exams, CAT and Placements. Your mind needs to be in control and not get overwhelmed in the process. It is good to be excited and you must be – it is a new experience but never let it bother you. Do this and you are good to sail through!
That is all, I know about placements and jobs. Be true to yourself and wait for luck to shine on you one bright day. All the best, guys! Remember that only genuine people find genuine happiness.