There are two ways in which people learn. First is when people learn from their own experiences, and the second is when they learn from someone else’s experience. I believe that learning from someone else’s experience is the smarter way to avoid committing mistakes. This piece is going to help you in the same manner if you wish to score a business role on campus!
As students approach their final year of engineering, one question that comes to every student’s mind is “How to prepare for placements”? I was no different. I remember spending several days discussing preparation strategies with my seniors. Their valuable experience was a great help to me. It has been more than a year since I joined Deloitte and I hope that my experience would help you in getting placed in your dream organization too!
Let’s begin with “when to start the preparation?”
The most appropriate time to begin your placement preparation is during the summer break after your third year second semester. Utilize this time to strengthen your core concepts and mental aptitude. Make a timetable and stick to it. At the end of every week, revise whatever you learnt in the past. Do not waste this precious time just before your fourth year begins, else, you’ll regret it later.
Students tend to ignore or don’t put in many efforts into strengthening their mental aptitude. Be aware that the first round for almost every company is “quants, mental ability and logical reasoning”. Even core companies have a mandatory aptitude section. Even if your concepts in the core subjects are strong, but you’re not able to clear the aptitude round, then all your efforts will go in vain. So, to clear the first round of any company, it is very important to be well prepared for aptitude questions. RS Agarwal’s book and Indiabix are excellent resources for preparation.
Another reason why the first round is considered as the toughest is that you will not be informed about “why you’re not being selected for the next round”, “what mistakes did you make”, “what was your overall rank in the exam”, “where do you need to improve” and so on. Believe me, after failing to clear the first round of 3-4 companies, these questions start to haunt. The placement department will only send you a list of selected students for the next round. At such a point it becomes very difficult to find out where you went wrong. Maybe you did well and secured the 4th rank in the exam but if the company only wants 3 students from your branch, in such a case even though you did well you still won’t get selected because of the branch cut off. The worst part is that you won’t know about it. Hence you need to be at the top of your game. Keep introspecting your performance. Try to find out your weak subjects or topics and keep improving with every single exam.
Once you clear the first round, the next round is usually “group discussion” or “JAM (Just a minute)”.
• Group discussion will mostly be case study based. You will be grouped with 5-10 other students. The examiner will give a case study with a problem statement and you’ll have to formulate the steps that should be taken to arrive at the solution. They will give you marks based on and your involvement in the discussion, your approach, clarity of your ideas and feasibility of your solution.
• JAM will be an individual activity in which a topic is given to you and you are asked to speak on that topic for at least a minute. You will not be given any extra time for thinking and preparing. Make sure that you keep yourself well aware of the current affairs and trending topics of science and technology. In case you get an unfamiliar topic, do not panic. Be confident and speak something even if it is irrelevant, just speak. The main reason for having a JAM is to check your confidence. So whatever you speak, speak with confidence
Coming to the final round which is the personal interview. Your interview will mainly be based on the details you mention in your resume, so be true to yourself. Know your resume well before you face the interview panel. Review your internships as the interviewer will be interested in knowing about your internship experience. Read and understand all the project you have done in the last three years. Make sure to skim through your core subjects too, because even in interviews of non-core companies, interviewers tend to ask questions related to the various subjects of your branch. They might even ask you a few riddles or guesstimates depending on the nature of the role you have applied for.
The personal interview is also all about how confident you are in front of your interviewer. Even if you are not able to answer a few questions or even after answering the questions correctly if you see that your interviewer doesn’t seem impressed, do not lose hope. Stay calm, keep a smile on your face and be confident.
During placements, the most important thing to remember is to aim for the best but always be ready for the worst. You might get rejected from a few companies but don’t let that loss affect you. You mustn’t let your past failures affect your current performance. Learn from your failures and go for the next exam with a fresh mind.
Placements are not as difficult as they look like only when you have a proper plan. Everything becomes easy if you jump into it with the right strategy and the right mind-set. It is a test of your patience and perseverance. Stay positive and optimistic. You will surely get through the placement process with flying colours.
All the best!
Meet our Mentor
“More than a test of your knowledge, it’s a test of your patience and perseverance.”
Solution Delivery Analyst, Deloitte USI
So, are you a rebel yet- ready to commence your journey towards the unorthodox path of Off Campus Placements? Let us know in the comments!