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On the Other Side of Table - Campus Placements

Life does go through a complete cycle and yesterday was one day which made this truth evident to me. I was there at an engineering college as part of the recruitment team for my organization and the visit was enough to bring back the memories of our placement days. It is difficult to take those days out of anyone’s minds where days start with anxiety and excitement and end with varied flavors for different people. Those who are selected are eclectic which others are down coping with the rejections through the day. With such thoughts began the day when we reached the campus at about 9 AM in the morning of September 1st 2014. Ours being one of the prime recruiters for the college, we were being extended the best of courtesy and were being taken care of to the best of their abilities.

There was a big poster welcoming us at the entrance of the campus. The security guard at the gate was well instructed to welcome people coming in for the recruitment. Representative of placement team, mostly comprised of third year students were there to usher us into the building. At first glance we realized that the campus had a pretty good infrastructure to boast of and had added a new academic building to meet the needs of expanding student strength. The entire campus was well maintained with clean roads, nicely pedicured gardens, swanky buildings and well-mannered students. Some of that was probably because of the placement season on the campus but still it was definitely a positive outlook they created as a first impression. We were taken to the third floor of the new academic building and were made to settle down in a well put up conference room. They had arranged for a light breakfast which we enjoyed while waiting for the rest of the team to arrive.

Once the entire team was there, the talent team gave us a walk through with the high-level process for the day, our overall requirements for recruitment, and the pre-placement presentation deck. Post this, we moved to the auditorium where all the 150 candidates who cleared the online written test were seated in their most attentive posture. We were greeted with an enthusiastic welcome amongst the standing audience as we entered the auditorium. The director of the institute ushered us in and guided us to our seats. After a welcome message by the placement in-charge and the director began the pre-placement talk. Looking around the hall, memories of all those scenes of us dressed in our best, suited and tied up ready to take on any challenge being thrown at us started swarming in-front of my eyes. The attentive group with each pair of eyes glued on the presentation and ears eager to pick-up words (to be used for interviews) was definitely something all of us could relate to. The questions and answers that the candidates put forth towards the end of the presentation did tell us that they had spent time to know about the company and few of the candidates seemed well researched.

After the presentation we came back to our conference room and were briefed about the group discussions and interviews. We proceeded to the respective rooms allotted to us to moderate the discussions and conducted them in groups of 9-10 students using a simple case. The aim was to assess the generic personality traits and behavior of candidates in a team environment. The discussions went through much better than some of GDs that I have seen and groups were well behaved to a large extent. A shortlist was released after the GDs and candidates were gives some time to get into the “interview mode”. We started with the interviews and interacted with each of the candidates to know them one-on-one. Each candidate was different and had a very different perspective to bring to table. Some were high academic performers while others were creative fine artists. Interviews went on till late in the evening when we again came together to discuss probable selections and prepared a final list to be released.

We invited the selected group into a room and announced the results formally along with congratulations message from the partner. We also distributed some goodies for the selected-few so that they could show-off proudly to the junta in general. The vote of thanks given by one of the students to mark the end to the day simply brought simply poured the heart of the group as a whole in front of us. Her calling ours as their company as well did leave us impressed and we all dispersed. While coming out of the room, I could see the happy faces busy calling their loved ones to announce the prized victory they had on the very first day of their placement season. Those were the young guys and girls who would start their career in one of the best places to be in and the enthusiasm was evident in the atmosphere. While this was one part of the scene, I could also see a few students sitting on the other side of the wing with another set of emotions – disheartening first rejection and hope for future. I would like to say to all those that there would be many companies visiting their campus and all they need is just one firm to take them in. The campus placement in India is a process designed in a way that each candidate appears for n interviews and would be turned down in n-1 of them but would still emerge out of the process happy after that n’th one. I wish them all a very best for the placement session and the careers ahead. Soon these tough days would turn into memories which would never die down from minds and each activity now would be a story of future. For us, we met a number of interesting people eager to change the world in whatever way they can and the day would definitely be part of my memories.

Did you remember your placement days while reading this? Did this bring smiles to your face or made you nostalgic? Do you have any interesting incident from your interviews? Do share all of those in the comments section.


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