College is a fun phase for everyone. However, it is also one of the most impactful and life-changing phases for almost everyone. For many, it is the time of life when they get used to being independent and living on their own. They also learn to create a healthy balance between studying and social life which will then be translated into working and social life. These skills come very handy really soon after college since this is the time most graduates enter the workforce and begin their jobs. Many students in India get into their first job via college placements, and this allows them to get selected in one of the major companies in the nation. However, this requires you to clear your placement interview.
The placement interview serves as a way for employers to shortlist candidates and select who is well suited for their firm. Prior to the interview, they review all your progress and reports which lets them see if you are eligible for the interview or not, so you don’t have to stress too much about your qualifications here. If you are looking for top tips to ace your placement interview, this article is bound to help you.
1. First Impressions Matter
This may seem very obvious to most of us, however, the two most important things that can make or break an interview are grooming and punctuality. It is advisable to go to bed early on the night before the job interview and groom properly. Also, you must arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than the time specified to you. You must also ensure that when you reach, you are not flustered or sweaty and that your phone is either off or in silent mode. You can take a few deep breaths beforehand and should greet everyone as you enter the room. Remember to smile and be friendly, yet not over-friendly. Body language is also very important, so avoid slouching or fidgeting in the interview room.
2. Research the Company before Job Interview
If this is a company you have dreamed of working in, chanced are you know a lot about their work environment. However, you must still research them properly before the interview preparation. Someone who knows a lot about the company is seen as an enthusiastic candidate and is given preference over others. You will also be able to answer their questions better with this knowledge.
3. Anticipate Their Questions and Practice Your Answers
They may surprise you with certain questions, however, a majority of them will be standard questions that are asked in a majority of placement interviews. While answering them, you will need to speak with confidence, expertise in your skill and therefore will require some practice. You can look up lists of standard interview questions online, and rehearse your answers in a mirror as this will help you speak with conviction. However, you must also ensure that you don’t memorize them and end up sounding like a tape recorder.
4. Prepare Scenario Stories for Interview
A very popular form of interviewing these days is called behavioral interviewing which involves the interviewer asking you to tell stories from your past. These can often include events when you have had to face a certain challenge, or gotten success after a lot of perseverance. You should practice your answers in the mirror the same way you do for the standard interview questions.
5. Make a Unique Resume and Know What’s On It
Although this might seem like a very obvious point, your resume needs to be unique. A ton of candidates walk in with the generic online resume and don’t get the job because it shows their lack of creativity. You must follow the format for resumes, yet ensure that yours is completely unique. You should also know what is on it, and be ready to explain it if the need arises.
6. Try to Have Fun during Job Interview
Fun isn’t something one considers when giving an interview, however, you may need to have fun to get confidence. Think of it this way – you are going to meet some friendly people who are genuinely interested in getting to know you, your ambitions, hopes, and dreams. You need to avoid thinking of it as a job interview and confidence will follow you.
7. Prepare Questions to Ask Them
During the placement interview, it is very likely that they will ask you if you have any questions for them. You should never say ‘No’ as a response since this shows you lack curiosity, or that you are overconfident. You can instead ask them some well-thought questions that you may genuinely have about your role in the firm.
8. Practice an Elevator Speech
Interviewers can sometimes ask you questions that make you go on the spot. These can be broad interview questions like “Tell us about yourself”. For these scenarios, you need to have your elevator speech prepares. This speech is like a summary of who you are, your ambitions, and your professional life, all under one minute. You should ensure that it is honest, detailed, and relevant.
9. Bring Your Portfolio with You
You should never assume that your job interviewers have a copy of your CV with them. You don’t have to worry about what’s on your CV since they have already gone through it to shortlist you for the interview, however, you should always have a copy with you. It should also include a business card and examples of any past work you may have done in the industry.
10. Close Like a Star
The way you exit the interview is just as important as the first impression you make. You must stay cheerful, thank the interviewers, and say that it was great to meet them. You should also send them an email within the next 24 hours thanking them for the interview and follow up a week later. If there is still no news, you should not hassle them.