20 Feb 2015 19:56 IST

Clarity in communication can help swing a dream job

Read on for insights from Prahlad Rao, Director of Thomas Assessments

More free advice on getting that dream job is something you’d probably rather skip. Between your college placement centre and tips from seniors, from persuasive columns to gyan from career guidance gurus online, you think you’ve heard it all. But, if you’re curious — a trait companies look for when hiring — read on for insights from Prahlad Rao, Director of Thomas Assessments, a global player in talent assessments

Vital factor

One’s ability to communicate plays an important role when it comes to landing a job. Academic performance is a measure of your diligence and is, of course, most important. But how clearly you can communicate what you mean and make others understand your view is vital in an interview.

Rao notes that a common misconception people have is that you need good diction and English to be an ace communicator. Cricketer Kapil Dev, whose English language skills were somewhat limited in the early days, is a role model to follow. He is a forceful and confident communicator. At no time did the lack of language fluency deter him from putting across ideas unambiguously. One should, therefore, work on clarity of thought and confidence to master the art of communication.

So how does one think clearly and talk confidently? Rao advises that, first, you must do some serious research on which industry you want a career in. Most often, career choices are based on a hot fad on the campus, inputs from select seniors or subjects for which you had good professors. Spending time on knowing what characteristics are necessary to succeed in a field will help you train and position yourself better. For example, a career in finance requires comfort with numbers, being detail-oriented and following key events such as the Budget announcements.

Second, know what your personality traits are to pick a suitable career and company. You can take the help of your placement counsellor and friends. Many psychometric evaluations which cost under ₹2,000, or even some free tests available online, can offer insights and guidance.

Third, be authentic. “Hiring managers can detect superficial behaviour in two minutes or less” says Rao. Reputed companies look for people grounded in strong values and would resist taking short-cuts for gains. So, clarity and confidence in one’s ethical values are both a must.

Darn over-achievers

All this said, the fact is that even Satya Nadella could have been nudged out of his first job by an over-achiever. You know, those 9.8 GPA students who are master violinists, State-level table-tennis champions and secretary of the astronomers’ society? What chance do we have against such competition?

Multi-talented

Rao says that multi-talented candidates certainly have an edge over the others, but companies have a certain culture and each job-role needs specific character strengths. Collaboration, handling issues and managing conflict are skills needed for almost all roles. So, if you work on improving these attributes in your college days, they will not just help you in getting a job but will be handy throughout your career.

He says that your answer to an innocuous question: “What was the most difficult situation you faced?” could reveal a lot about you to the interviewer. You can outpace competition if you have put in the time to both enhance your ability to handle different issues and also analysed what you learnt from it.

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