5 mistakes you make while preparing for campus placements and how to avoid them

Reading Time: 5 minutes

1. Thinking you got this covered

Common mistakes: Being overly confident, not preparing enough, not talking to enough people.

Yes, you felt entitled when you made 95 percentile in high school; you felt entitled again when you cracked JEE to get into one of the premier colleges of the country with a branch you were looking for (Read CSE). And now, you are entering placement season on campus with the same sense of entitlement.

Placements are quite virtually Ground Zero where one needs to start from scratch and not rest simply based on past laurels. While you may have been a Math Whiz at School or National Rank holder in any of the premier examinations but your efforts through college & the relevance of your skills to the role you are applying for are the clinchers for you to land a job.

“That isn’t going to work out for you. Not for campus placements, not anytime in the near future”

If you approach placement preparation with insufficient preparation, it’s going to come across in every interview, GD, test you take and it’s going to show, often for the worse.

The hack: Approach placement preparation with a fresh perspective, the confidence and self-assurance will follow. Preparing from scratch also gives you a brush up on basics you left untouched since you were a fresher.

“By revising, what you don’t gain in new information you will make up for in increased speed and accuracy.”

Practice case studies, solve coding puzzles, study for those dang aptitude tests, read up as much as you can and who knows? You might actually stumble upon something that you missed the first time.

‘Something that could land you your dream job”

Hinging your first job, such a cornerstone moment of your life on false confidence would be doing a grave injustice to yourself. We hope you don’t 🙂

2. Botching up your resume

Spidey’s got no chill

Common mistakes: Typos, generic statements, incorrect contact information

Recruiters spend an average 6 seconds on any resume and a mistake is a red flag they won’t fail to overlook. Hasty, copy-pasty resumes drafted overnight is the worst mistake when preparing for campus placements. Your resume is a doorway to an interview and messing it up ensures that you don’t make it to the interview itself.

The hack: Set aside a few days before placements begin on campus dedicated to building your resume. Write out a couple of drafts according to the profiles you are looking to apply for (a resume for a Mechanical Engineering Profile will be starkly different than one built for an IT profile). Send these drafts out your seniors in those profiles for their feedback and build on it with further iterations.

You can reach out to professionals who can review your resume and help you with interview preparation on TapChief.

A well-presented resume, customized to the profile you are applying to will get you shortlisted every time, CGPA cutoffs and eligibility notwithstanding.

3. Being a loudmouth in a group discussion

You really don’t want grumpy cat in your Group Discussion

Common mistakes: Grabbing attention, being nervous, speaking too much, flying solo.

You will find a lot of companies still use group discussions to eliminate candidates and refine their Interview Pool. It’s highly likely that you will come across one before campus placements are done. Group Discussions are fairly easy to mess up if not done correctly. That being said, it’s also easy for you to shine out in GD given that you keep a few things in mind.

The hack: Cracking a GD is about maintaining a fine balance of drawing attention and hearing out alternate opinions. Simply put, if you are helping your group reach consensus you are on the right track.

“Attention given>>Attention grabbed”

Most candidates forget that GDs are used by recruiters to gauge your ability to negotiate around arguments while still putting your point across. Let the balance tip to either side, you risk being either too dominating or too docile. Both of which are bad for you.

As a general rule of thumb, treat your GD as a conversation or a healthy argument as against a passionate duel of morals and you will do just fine.

4. Bombing the interview

Interview Panels. Every.Damn.Time.

Common mistakes: not reading up on the company, not being prepared yourself, not having any questions ready, lying, wearing your 3-days-on-the-chair shirt

Woot!Woot! You are in the last leg of landing that Job you wanted, only to drop the ball in the interview. All those tests, shortlists and group discussions mean nothing when you approach your interview unprepared.

The hack: Have a few questions ready for the panel; saying that you have no questions makes you unprepared and uninterested in the company.

Avoid giving textbook responses or playing a weakness into a strength.
Your interview panel will have seen dozens of candidates spout the same answers multiple times and can see through whatever you are trying to sell to them. Lying doesn’t work for the same reason, a few follow questions will see that.

Be earnest and confident with what you know, the interviewers are not looking for the right answers, they want your answers. Also…

“You can’t help being nervous, period”

No amount of preparation will help you get over it. However, you can work on fighting the nervousness itself, by familiarizing yourself with the interview process beforehand. Set up a mock interview with someone from the company with the same/similar profile. Let them grill you multiple times until most of your responses become muscle memory. Because…

“muscle memory=confidence”

5. Believing a rejection to be the end of the world

If there were points for being adorable. They are over-koalified

It’s natural to feel down miserable after trying your best and not cracking the interview. You were so close! Only to fall short in the end.
Multiple job rejections one after the other can be daunting and tough to come out of. Comparing yourself to the ones who made it will only pile onto the gloom.

But all hope is not lost, companies don’t hire candidates for multiple reasons — unavailability of vacancies, lack of a culture-fit et al, not all of which are within your control. It’s important to brush yourself off a rejection and enter each company process with renewed vigour and determination. Talk to your support systems, friends, family, heck, your pet too — get the gloom out of your system and do your best for the next process.

“The biggest mistake you can make during placements is not believing in yourself”

Hope this helps you face campus placements this season. Good luck!

Are you looking to get your resume reviewed or practice interview questions for upcoming campus placements?

Drop us a line on [email protected] with the company and profile you are looking for and we will arrange a mock interview with you within the hour.

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