When you are just walking out of a college campus in the wild-wild-west of the job market; you have to deal with several challenges. Even when it comes to campus placements or college placements, cracking a job interview and being selected for your first job requires special effort; especially for college students due to the tough competition they face.
When it comes to handling competition, there are two ways to handle it, either bow before it or break it by building yourself as a strong desirable brand. The same thing was done by Apple with the iPhone; they broke the competition by becoming such a desirable brand that consumers started realizing that the brand was worth the premium price.
The same equation also applies to job seekers, especially those who have good and proven academic track record. If you have been a sound and consistent performer in college, you can surely use the below mentioned tricks to beat your competition and emerge as the winner among the crowd.
Build the strength of your Resume
Ask anyone the key to cracking a job interview and the first thing they would tell you is to build a strong Resume. Your Resume or CV is the gateway or the first point of contact with your future employer. But, many college students who are entering the job market fail to use their Resume to their advantage in a job interview.
Your Resume is a marketing tool; a document that convinces your future employer or the company why they should hire you? Therefore, despite many experts telling to you to super-honest on your Resume, at times it works counter-intuitive to the efforts of getting a job. A strong Resume always puts forth your biggest strengths while covering up the weaknesses in the best possible manner. Your Resume should not expose your vulnerabilities, in-fact it should ‘sell’ your strengths to the interviewer.
For instance, if you do not have a perfect academic track record, you can highlight your volunteer work experience or social work that you have done as part of your college. This strengthen your candidature in the interview by showcasing a someone who possesses practical knowledge and intellect as opposed to only bookish knowledge.
Set a Time Limit
The biggest challenge for freshers who are walking out of college during job interviews is that companies or interviewers take you for granted. They will call you for endless number of rounds and give you several tests before they actually decide to hire you. Therefore, it is always better to set time-limits for the interview and show that you are professional enough to follow the set-timelines and that they shouldn’t take you for granted they should also do the same.Walking out of an interview once the time-limit is over may seem rude at times, but staying beyond lessens your perceived worth. Therefore, even if an interview is stretching beyond the prescribed time-limit, use your judgment to decide whether to stretch for 5-10 minutes more. If not, make your exit.
Withhold your Salary Details
The general norm as far as Interview call or the introductory round of Job Interviews in India is mainly focused around getting the personal details of the candidate and getting to know their salary details. Although, this has become an practice which is accepted generally by the industry, you as an interviewee also have the right to withhold your salary details.
Any HR professional who is hiring you already has a fair bit of idea about the salary you might be drawing or expecting. There are many websites such as Glassdoor which put out accurate details related to salaries of working professionals in different fields. The questions regarding salary details are put across to you during the first round only to curb salary expectations/drive your price down. If you want, you can politely turn-down these questions with a response “I don’t feel comfortable discussing confidential salary details, but would love to get a read on what the company’s expected salary range for this position is for someone at my level.”Such a matured response and unique approach to handling salary question will surely help you earn a place in the mind of the interviewer.
Limit the number of rounds
Let’s get one thing clear, when it comes to jobs for college freshers, the interviewers have a plethora of options and candidates to consider and screen. But, this doesn’t give the interviewer the right to call you for endless rounds of interview. Many times, interviewers often call you for multiple rounds to show that they are interested in hiring but actually are waiting for someone better to show-up for the job profile. Therefore, before agreeing for “one more” interview, get a read on where they are in the hiring process, and what exactly do they want to discuss in the next round. If you feel that the answer to this question is not really clear, you can decide for yourself if you would like to go ahead for the additional round or not.
Be Serious about the Job Opportunity
Just because you tick all the right checkboxes for the job profile, doesn’t mean that you will be able to crack the job interview easily. HR folks are professionals and can easily tell the difference between confidence and arrogance. Therefore, while trying any of the aforementioned techniques, you must always do it with an honest and graceful manner. You must exhibit your enthusiasm and eagerness to get the job, while also maintaining that you value your skills and abilities as well.
The best way to do this is to reinforce your enthusiasm for the job is at the end of the interview. When the interview is about to wrap-up take a few seconds to express your gratitude for the interview opportunity and tell the interviewer why you are excited to get this role. This will send out a positive message to the interviewer about your approach to the job.
To sum up…
In the competitive job market, college students and adopt the aforementioned tips and tricks to actually highlight and enhance their self-worth before the interviewer and earn a unique place in their mind. These tricks will not only help you earn an edge over the competition and other job seekers but also showcase you as a professional ready to take up the job responsibilities of the role on offer.
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