I have written this article on how to prepare for campus placements keeping engineering undergraduates in my mind. Since I completed my engineering last year, I was always keen to share my experience on campus recruitments. This placements season seems to be a bit tighter than the previous seasons given the current economic situations and the general slowdown in hiring.
How to Prepare for Campus Placements?
I have worked as a Coordinator in the Placement Cell of Assam Engineering College and after watching almost 40-50 recruitment companies closely and working with them for the recruitments, I thought of presenting a few tips on cracking campus recruitment jobs that can help the aspiring candidates.
Only the best of the best will have the chance at grabbing the jobs and that means the ones who start preparing earlier will be ahead of the competition. As we start preparing for the placements, many questions strike our mind. I have tried to answer some of the most important FAQs so that it might help you prepare.
Which Companies Visits our College for placement?
Well, most of the time there are 3 types of companies that generally visit our college during placement. The IT companies (generally arrives for mass recruitment purposes), the Core companies (may include IT companies if coming for Electronics or Computer Science branches), the Public Sector Undertaking companies and sometimes a few startups. The job profiles that are offered to the freshers are generally:
1. GET (graduate engineer trainee): Most of the IT, Core Companies and Public Sector Undertaking Companies will recruit you under this profile.
2. Sales/Marketing Executive: Generally Startups and sometimes a few marketing giants may appoint you under this.
What are General Salary Packages Offered by These Companies?
This is the far most important query that is asked by most of the students, cause relying on this most the students decide that whether or not to sit in the placements. So I shared a few general packages that will give you a fair idea of what they actually offer.
IT Companies: The CTC of these Companies generally vary between 4-6 lacs per annum depending on the college you belong to and what kind of tie-up does your college has with these companies (unless the companies are like Facebook or Google or Microsoft or any other tech giant, the usual CTC varies under this range only).
Core Companies: In general the signing CTC that the core companies offer are between 6-8 lacs per annum. Sometimes they may even hit as high as 10 lacs depending upon the reputation carried by the college.
Public Sector Undertaking Companies: These Companies generally offer the highest salary bid if we keep aside the packages of some of the few tech giants I have mentioned above. Their package varies from 12-14 lacs per annum.
Of course, for getting this stature of salary package you must give a stiff competition to the other fellow students of your college and must end up in the top 10 candidates list according to your CGPAs or Aggregate Percentage of all the semester exams.
What is the eligibility criteria set by these companies?
Well, companies coming for the campus placements generally set low eligibility criteria if they are considering more number of recruitments. In general, it stays around 7.0 – 7.5 CGPA or 65% – 70% as far as the IT and Core Companies are concerned. But when it comes to the Public Sector Undertaking Companies they sometimes push it to 7.5 – 8.0 CGPA or 75% – 80% as most of them don’t consider taking aptitude or screening tests.
How to Prepare for the Placement?
1. Back to The Roots:
A lot of candidates tend to ignore this, but the most important thing in your selection process is going to be your knowledge of engineering topics – that you’ve studied over the last 2-3 years. All of your efforts will go waste if you lack the basic knowledge of the subjects. Forget mugging up and reproducing – something that you’re used to do for the exams. Instead, revise all the subjects ‘for yourself’!
2. Pick Your Favorite Engineering Subject / Topic:
Interviewers make their job easier by asking you for your favourite engineering subject. Now, you should really be very well prepared to handle interview question. Once you tell the interviewers your favourite topic; expect a few questions related to it. If you are an Electronics or Computer Science student then work on your coding skills. Hackerrank.com is a fine place for learning as well as practising coding. Register for free and start coding.
It’s natural that you should be prepared to answer questions on your favourite engineering subject or topic. If you haven’t already decided, it’d be worth going back to all the topics and find out the one which you found the most interesting.
3. Aptitude Tests:
This is where the first eliminations will begin – the aptitude tests. Lots of engineering students fear the aptitude test. Go for freshersworld.com’s placement papers. They are the best in class. And don’t worry much because it’s VERY EASY to crack aptitude tests.
All it takes is practice! Yup! You read that right. Just keep on practising and in a month or two – you will solve all the aptitude questions like a pro. Don’t expect to master the aptitude skills in just a week or two. At least 1.5-2 months is the minimum required time.
One thing you can definitely do is skip the harder topics; like for most of the students, questions on permutations and combinations, the probability is difficult. So skip them! But at the same time, make sure you’re very good at cracking all the other types of questions. You can always discuss questions and quick way to solve aptitude questions with other fellow students.
4. Written & Spoken English:
Like it or not, but the Indian job markets demand people who can speak and write correct English. Unfortunately – very few people pay attention to their communication skills. If you think you need to sharpen your English speaking/writing skills; then NOW is the time to do it. It’s going to help you in your entire career. Trust me, a lot of people unnecessarily get rejected because they can’t communicate or express themselves.
5. Interview (Technical):
If you’re good at engineering topics, then cracking the technical interview won’t be a problem. There are several tips here on bihog.com that will help you crack the interviews. It’s better to ask your doubts in our technical discussion sections (no matter how basic they are) and get your ideas clear.
6. Interview (HR):
If you think that clearing aptitude and technical rounds ensures that you’re selected, then wait a minute – many times, overconfident candidates get rejected in HR interviews – something that shouldn’t happen to you. So take the HR interviews seriously!
But that doesn’t mean you should have a serious expression on your face. All you’re expected in an HR interview is to be yourself, have a smiling face, don’t be overconfident and be excited about the things. Don’t overdo anything! That said if you have any questions or doubts about cracking the campus recruitments season; post them below. Wish you all the best!
7. Build Your Skills Showcase Portfolio:
When there are thousands of other engineering students preparing for the same job that you are preparing for, your chances of getting selected are going to go down. How do you stand out from the competition? Well, the answer is simple –
“Have something that others don’t”
That is, have something that others don’t have. If you are looking for an IT job; why not work on a few pet software development projects on your own and list them on your resume? For example, you could develop a very simple project or projects – like a backup manager, an Android or iOS app or a Perl script that does something cool – and add it to your resume?
When you appear for an interview, do not forget to bring the interviewer’s attention to your projects. I’m sure they’ll be more impressed to see that you’ve gone beyond academics and done something on your own.
If you are from the non-IT background, add something to your resume that shows that you are doing something more. It could be a research or observation about something that you’ve studied, some practical study or research or mechanical design, a computer model, a robot, a drone something like that.
Though this article is mainly focussed on how to prepare for campus placements, I would strongly advise the students not to panic before the recruitments. And even if you can’t crack one company don’t get disheartened. During a single placement season, there are almost 40-50 companies visiting a single college. So be patient and keep faith in yourself and simultaneously do keep a note on the things that I have mentioned in this article.