02 Nov 2016 17:12 IST

How to plan for campus placements

It is important to know as much as you can about the company and the job you are applying for

Campus placements seem to be the ultimate objective of most business school students and today the choice of a b-school is largely driven by its placement record. However, many students tend to overlook their role in preparing for the campus placement process. This leaves a lot of them feeling let down and bitter.

A few simple steps could help you be better prepared for the campus placement.

Choose wisely

The most important step in a successful campus placement is to choose the companies that you wish to apply to. Although this might seem obvious, the reality is very different. For a variety of reasons, almost the entire batch tends to try and attend the interviews of the first few companies, or the larger and well-known ones.

By choosing the companies you wish to actually join and work for, you will tend to have clarity. This would help a lot when faced with the question of why you would like to join that company. The answer you give will be far more convincing and that does count for a lot. Being placed on day one in a company that does not excite you might not be the best career move.

Elevator pitch

The next most important step is to prepare and practise your elevator pitch. This is a two-minute introduction of yourself and your capabilities. It is not only important to prepare this script but also to practise delivering it. The best way to perfect your elevator pitch is to practise in front of a mirror and then deliver it to your friends.

You should seek feedback in terms of delivery, facial expression, body language, etc., and work on improving various aspects where you feel you fall short. Such a planned and rehearsed elevator pitch is what you should deliver when asked, ‘tell me about yourself’.

Research the company

Even though most companies today deliver a pre-placement talk, it would be better if you were to research the company, its key focus areas, latest news, and so on. Knowing these details would help you engage the interviewer in a meaningful manner and also subtly communicate your interest in the company and the specific job.

Ask the right questions

Most interviewers would ask if you have any questions. The questions you ask have dual purpose. The primary purpose is to get the information that you require. In that context, your questions should be focused and pertinent. Most importantly, do not ask questions about the points covered in the pre-placement talk.

If at all there are some points from the pre-placement talk that require clarifications, reiterate what was mentioned in the talk and then bring in your question. That shows that you have paid attention to the company’s presentation. The second purpose of asking questions is, again, to sell yourself to the interviewer. So the questions you ask should not end up painting a poor picture of you.

All the other usual points always hold good: Rest well, dress smartly, and carry a copy of the resume and any other relevant documents. However, the key element is to be clear about the company and the job you are planning to apply for. Therefore, your success in campus placements actually starts with researching the company, the job, the culture, etc., and then being absolutely sure that you want to be a part of that organisation.

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