Campus Placements offer final year students a great opportunity to get a job during the course of their academic pursuits, and provide them a secure future. Keeping in mind the importance of the campus placement programs, it is vital for students to prepare adequately for these and make sure that they put their best foot forward.
During the placement season of your college, there would be two types of drives that you will come across:
i) On Campus Placement Drives: Various companies (TCS, Infosys, IBM, HCL, L&T, Deloitte, Wipro, Accenture) visit the campus to recruit final year students for their entry level positions. The process includes various stages such as: pre-placement talk, aptitude test, technical test, group discussions and personal interviews.
ii) Off Campus Placement Drives: In such drives, recruitment is conducted at a common place that may be a particular college, where students from different colleges assemble and take part in the various stages of the campus placement drive. Sometimes, these are also called ‘pool campus drives’.
As you must have understood, the major point of distinction between the two types of processes is the competition level. In on-campus placements, you compete with your college peers only whereas there’s more competition in the other.
Criteria For Recruitment
The criteria for recruitment varies from company to company and from post to post. Many a times, this big companies recruit for various profiles from one college. Hence, obviously the criteria for each profile is different. However, there are a few things that are common to these processes. They are:
- General eligibility criterion for most companies is 60% aggregate, i.e., your average percentage score in all semesters. However, some companies like Microsoft demand a 70% aggregate. So it is advisable to score at least above 60% right from the first semester and above 70% if you have great ambitions.
- Another important thing is not having any active backlogs at the time of the placement season.
- The general placement procedure for most colleges:-
- Introduction of the company (Pre-placement Talk)
- Aptitude test (and/ or Technical Test) (profile based)
- Group Discussion (applicable for select companies)
- Interview (Technical and/ or HR) (profile based)
- The company representatives like to make sure that the candidate would fit into the work culture and team dynamics in the organisation.
- Some qualities that hiring managers look for in their potential candidates are: Long-term potential, enthusiasm and passion, problem solving skills, patience, ambition, team player capabilities and positive attitude.
The Recruitment Process – In Detail
1. The Pre-Placement Talk
This is where the representatives of the company talk about its history, accomplishments, major services/products, etc. The one thing you gain out of it is that you find out a few crucial facts about the company which can help you in the interviews. Many interviewers deliberately ask questions about the company which were answered during the talk, just to see whether or not you were paying attention. And, if you do answer, it’s obviously a brownie point!
Also, any queries regarding job profile, location, and other HR related things are addressed. So, for instance, if the company is offering an IT job but you want to go only in the core electronics sector, you can choose not to sit for the company. They also tell you about the “service bonds” the company has (if any).
TCS and L&T have a 2 year bond, i.e. if you leave the job before completion of the bond period, you have to pay a fine. Some companies have no such bonds and thus are preferred by people who plan to pursue higher studies.
2. Aptitude Test
Aptitude tests consist of basic problems in quantitative ability, logical reasoning and verbal ability. Generally, these tests are easy and just require logic to crack them. A catch here is that the test could be a simple one but the cutoffs could be high or low depending upon the number of students a company may want to hire.
(i) Students preparing for exams like CAT, SBI PO etc have an upper edge in clearing aptitude tests. So other students should practice a bit to get a feel of the type of questions and quick methods to solve them.
(ii) Some companies may have cut-offs in all sections, while some may have no negative marking. So enquiring beforehand about the format of the test is a good idea.
3. Group Discussion
Not all companies take a GD. However, you will find that many of the companies with high packages take a GD. Generally speaking, there will be a panel of 3 or so experts monitoring you throughout and the duration ranges from 20 – 30 minutes. Marks are awarded on the basis of your content and conduct. Content is the single most important factor in a GD. Conduct, though secondary to content, is also a vital parameter to judge you.
Just about anything can be given as a topic for a GD (political, social, abstract) and you will be given around 5 min to prepare your points. More often than not, out of a group of 8, maximum 2-3 candidates are shortlisted.
A personal Interview is the last leg of a selection process. Usually, the companies have one interview in which they ask technical as well as HR questions. However, there can be separate interviews.
Some examples of HR questions:
- Tell me something about yourself.
- Why do you want to join this company?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should we select you?
All the questions would invariably fall in one of the above type.
The best strategy to ace these questions is to prepare your curriculum (courses pertaining to the job profile) thoroughly. Most of the profiles are IT related so brushing up on the computer languages is a wise move. Usually basic fundamentals are assessed in an interview, although there might be interviewers who like to ask open ended questions like puzzles. One should remember that in such questions, the focus is on the approach rather than the correct answer.
Hope this gives you all the information you need regarding the campus recruitment process.
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