This Session gives an overview on campus placements (particularly on-campus, still the most of the ideas will apply for off-campus selections too) and preparations for the placements. You might already know most of the information given here, but we think there is no harm in giving it.
What Companies Expect
The IT field is a constantly growing one, where the technology of yesterday is a relic today. There is a wide gap between the requirement and supply of the skilled manpower. So there is a very high demand for such capable people. They are looking forward for such people and expect their employees to be dynamic enough to have the aptitude for continuous learning and a willingness to work more. Software development is teamwork, so the companies expect reasonably good communication skills. It’s enough that you have the capability to express your thoughts freely.
The Selection Procedure
Most of the companies follow the similar methodology for campus selections. We feel that the companies adopt more a filtering approach to selection strategy in initial stages.
Many companies mandate a 60%-75% average in the qualifying degree. Few companies look for good track record from school days itself. Consistent performance is also sometimes taken into account: some companies require that the candidates should have no arrears.
Next comes the written test. The test topics and weightage given for each of the subject tested varies between the companies. The aim is to select the candidates with good aptitude that includes C aptitude and general aptitude (analytical aptitude and reasoning). Depending on the companies the other subjects tested varies. When you are selected in the written test, some companies have Group Discussion for further filtering of the candidates.
Finally you have personal interview. Depending on the company there may be one or two interviews; in case of technical session and HR/Stress interviews. Performance in interviews is crucial in the selection process because it is where you are evaluated fully and final decision is made on your selection.
What to prepare and How to prepare
Proper planning for placements will help a lot in improving your chances for getting placed. Identify your strong points and weaknesses and plan accordingly. Preparation should start well ahead of the placement dates, and 6 months time will be more than enough.
There are many facets that are to be considered for preparing for placements. The preparation should constitute: improving technical capabilities, increasing the general aptitude, developing good communication skills and mental preparation.
Long before placements start, you should have clearly identified your areas of interest and specialization. There is more possibility that the interviewers will ask questions in those areas.
As far as technical capabilities are concerned, it’s more a long-term preparation. You can go through the textbooks of the concerned subjects once again and know the subject better. Don't mug-up; this is not for your semester exams. Concentrate more on concepts than data; employees prefer good thinkers to RAMs.
If you don't know C language basics, start learning C immediately. Knowledge of C language is a must and almost all the IT companies test C aptitude. C++, Java and UNIX aptitude will be an added advantage. It is worthwhile investing lot of time improving your aptitude in these areas; they are here to stay in IT field for a long time.
Good skills in general aptitude is a must to pass the written test, and sometimes in interview also general aptitude skills are tested. You can perform better if you prepare well for improving the aptitude. Both short and long term preparation shall be useful. Know the shortcuts for answering these questions since time is an important factor in answering these questions. Now lets look at few tips on solving the general aptitude questions.
- Each one of you will have your own positive and negative aspects in problem solving. First identify your gray areas and work on them assiduously.
- The two most important attributes when we go for any aptitude test is speed and accuracy. One without the other is meaningless.
- Remember that it is almost humanly impossible to solve all the problems in the stipulated time because it will then reflect poorly on the standard of the question paper being set and no company will ever allow that. So don't be in too much of a hurry to answer all the questions and in the process make some stupid errors.
- Reasoning ability is more important and not our mathematical skills. Almost 95% of our problems do not require too much of a mathematical intellect on our part.
- When you sit in for a test try to identify those problems that take more time to solve. Remember that all the questions carry equal marks and it doesn't make sense for us to solve one problem in say 30 seconds and another in, say 3 minutes. Skip such questions in the beginning and come back to them later if and when you have time.
Having good oral communication skills is a must for success in the personal interview. It’s enough that you are able to communicate your ideas effectively without any inhibitions in English.
English is a language in which you can achieve a considerable fluency in a short time span. This requires a conscious effort on your part, and thus, a good command over the English language can be achieved. Make it a point that you speak in English with your friends and ask them to point out the mistakes you commit while you speak.
Mental preparation plays a vital role in the placements. We should have the confidence that we can get placed. This is the basic and most important point to be noted. Build a positive self-image and project the best in you.
The problem India faces is not the problem of unemployment; it is rather the problem of 'unemployability'. We should make ourselves capable and improve ourselves to make suitable for being employed. For that preparations will help a lot.
The only way to success is Practice- "Practice makes a man perfect"
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