The most exciting and stressful time of your campus life is here. The placement season has kicked off and discussions around jobs and the future seem to be occupying most of your time. Emotionally it’s a roller-coaster. The right approach here is to plan and prepare. Here’s how.
What do you want?
Think about yourself. What kind of a person are you? Are you energised working with people or alone? You will achieve career success in an industry or function suited to your strengths and what you enjoy rather than what everyone else is rooting for. Shortlist the domains, roles and thus the companies you will apply for.
Plan your time
Depending on your choice of career, figure out which actions will maximise your chances of selection. If you are an engineering student, in-depth nowledge of your core subjects will be critical. If you have a winter internship coming up, choose one that is relevant to your future career.
Know your campus
Each campus has an elaborate system of rules that dictate what you can and cannot do in different situations. Are there limitations on when and how many companies you can apply to? Are you forced to accept the first offer that comes along? You may then choose to skip applying to a less attractive firm, if it will prevent you from trying out for your dream company.
Build your CV
Set aside a huge chunk of time to writing, revising and re-writing your resume. Start immediately. Some campuses have a prescribed format. Else research on different CVs for students and pick a low risk professional format to craft your resume. Rolling out a great resume is possible only with multiple iterations and tons of feedback.
Know your company
Which companies are you interested in? What is their selection process in terms of test, interview, case interview, group discussion, psychometric test etc? What are the stages of shortlisting and how many offers will they make? This will give you an idea of your chances with each company and how much time you need to prepare.
Clear the screenings
Most firms will have multiple rounds of elimination. If there is a written or online test, put in deliberate practice by preparing with past question papers. If there is a group discussion or case study, then bring together a bunch of serious friends for joint practice and feedback sessions. This is the time to prioritise placements over grades.
Ace the interview
Begin with a list of questions culled from the Internet and campus seniors. Jot down points against each and then begin with mock interview practice. Do not argue against the criticism they offer. Instead, sift out what changes you would like to make both in content and delivery of your interviews. Ask a few of your friends to put you through stress interviews. Finally, stay grounded. A campus selection process is not a real measure of your worth and you will find a job you deserve even if there are a few setbacks along the way.