Some Tips for Graduates Appearing for Placement Interviews

The ultimate objective of management graduates is to land their dream job and to start a highflying corporate career.

The placement interviews are thus the doorway to opportunity and hence, management graduates must put in all their efforts in making it a success. This means that the preparation for the placement interviews must start well before the actual days and it is advisable to plan for them as soon as one enters the second year of the management course.

The first point to note is that a well made and well presented resume is the first step and hence, management graduates must spend as much time as possible in preparing the resume. Indeed, even for the summer placements, resumes are needed and these have to be polished and prepared in a thorough and detailed manner.

It should also be noted that many corporates do not link to go through resumes that are more than 3-4 pages in length and hence, it is advisable to prepare a resume that is succinct, lucid, and conveys all the information to the point and accurately.

HR professionals usually skim through each resume in a matter of minutes or even less than that and being seasoned professionals; they can spot a good resume when they see one. This is all the more reason to start working on one’s resume as soon as possible.

The next point to note about placement interviews is that it is all about peaking at the right moment and hence, despite how many hours spent planning and preparing for the placement season, the key aspect is that one must be physically and mentally fit as well as be “in the zone” when the eventual placement days arrive.

Given the fact many business schools have compressed placement sessions despite efforts being made to stagger the placement season, it is important to be focused and motivated for the placement interviews.

Of course, many business schools in the United States follow an elaborate placement schedule that reduces the stress and strain as well as the pressure cooker kind of situation that gives nightmares to students.

However, the vast majority of business schools the world over still have a gunshot placement season where most offers are made during the course of a week or so. As mentioned earlier, one has to be physically and mentally fit in time for the placement season and this means that is better to work out and exercise before the placement season and to eat and stay healthy.

The third point to be noted is that given the fact that the summer internships usually lead to Pre Placement Offers, selecting the dream job and choosing the offers must be done diligently and by giving adequate thought to the outcome. This means that one has to be careful about accepting the PPO and at the same time have enough breathing space left over to attend other interviews as well.

Though many business schools now have the provision of multiple offers and letting the students select the appropriate one, it is still important to understand that the first placement usually determines the course of the career for a few years at the minimum.

Apart from this, getting into investment banks and consultancies is a different ballgame altogether and if one is aspiring for these jobs, it is better to start preparing from day one of the first year (we are not joking here) as such jobs demand consistency in grades, all round achievements, and well rounded personalities. This is the reason why many management graduates who aspire to join consultancies and investment banks “build their profile” right from the start of the management course.

Finally, though we have stressed on the importance of placement interviews as the ultimate goal of business school education, one should not take it to the point that a unwanted outcome in the placement interview makes one totally “lose it”.

In other words, do not be disheartened if you do not make it to your dream job and instead, try the other options of building your profile during the first few years of your career so that you can eventually make it to the job of your choice.

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