Placement@IT– The Final Destination

  • Author : Dr Deepak Shikarpur

Placement in a good IT company is the ultimate goal , But career planning with long term view is a strategy which will yield lifelong benefits. There are professional career counselors who can help you as well. But you, as a person, need to look inwards and find answers and you will surely succeed.

You know the importance of planning if you want a software project to succeed. However, you do not take the same disciplined approach to planning your own career. The reason is because you do not have a planning framework for careers such as the ones you have for development projects

Four Phases of Planning Your IT Career

Learning where you want to go and how you will get there will help develop your career and advance your career up the ladder. Do not leave your career plan in the hands of others, take control now. Defining an IT Career Development Plan starts with a discovery phase., which is followed by a planning phase. Only then are you ready for the implementation of your Career Development Plan. Last stage is build credibility/trust in the minds of Employer so that you succeed in the long term.

  • Self Reflection
  • Career Plan Development
  • Implementation of the Career Plan
  • Establishing Credibility/Trusts

Big Company or a Start up for a First Job ?

You need to be clear about your career goals. Have a long term view on career planning rather than a short term money (package) oriented . If your goal is to work in an MNC and retire as an employee then hoping to get first break in a good company may look lucrative or right step. Some may get the first break in a small company and after gaining experience can switch to an MNC for long term employment. Getting a job is more important than waiting for a perfect job for a fresher.

But the scenario is totally different for a fresher who wishes to become an entrepreneur. Such a fresher will be ideally suitable in a startup where one gets varied experience and almost no bench. You may not have a plush office workplace, or good number of people around you in the office.. As it is all IT jobs are insecure. . In an MNC, you will be a drone and will have a comfortable life, but growth will be slow and you can pretty much wish goodbye to your aim of being an entrepreneur, since it will become hard for you to keep that fire in you alive


The final Countdown has begun and now students need to work on crossing the last hurdle that is, Placement in a Good IT company/Industry. Normally you face this situation in the last leg (last semester) of your higher education . If you are well prepared for this test, the probability of getting placed is almost 100%. An interview is a two way process with the interviewer trying to understand the candidate’s capability and potential. The candidate needs to explore the organization’s ability to provide to his/her career decisions and needs. Most recruiters are fond of well informed candidates who are well versed with the job profile and the company profile. If not, they should ask the company to provide necessary details so that it helps them choose the right place and deliberate, if they are interested in the position or not. Many candidates, come without knowing what they want or what they are looking for. Most freshers tend to look for higher compensation instead of thinking about their career goals and growth.

A candidate needs to have long-term plans and a desire to grow in an organization. They need to ask questions to the interviewer which give them information on career and growth opportunities within the organization. Always think about the bigger picture of the job and the organization. Do not get distracted and trapped in the job/title for short term gains.

As a fresher, you have no work experience that an interviewer can test you on. In general; IT companies look for aspirants who are 60 % + throughout in academic scores (without failures in between) . Then in the next stage they seek candidates who are sound enough in communication and have Fundamental knowledge of technical domain which they are looking at. Era of hiring based on general technical knowledge is soon getting over.

Have a Great Introduction of the interview

Well begun is Half Done. Most people have short attention spans. You are competing for attention with so many others fresher candidates. Start your introduction absolutely strong (but not rude) so that you capture the interviewer’s attention. Focus on your strengths Do not start with statements such as ‘If given a chance, I will do anything for the company’. That is understood and given. Please do not make emotional statements such as ‘I’m very passionate’.


Most hiring professionals strongly believe that ,if a candidate is good at fundamentals ,he or she will definitely be able to grasp and learn new things. Fundamentals enable an employee to exhibit and solve problems. Most large companies recruit freshers on the basis of fundamental knowledge. On the other hand most small and mid size companies, hire people based on knowledge of advance technologies.But fundamental knowledge is very critical and forms a major component of the knowledge base.

Soft skills (Personality)

In most cases soft skills, ability to express and explain oneself is definitely another winner in the search during campus interviews. During campus interviews recruiters meet hundreds of students and hence the students with self confidence can definitely make a lasting impression. Candidates with limited spoken English skills should definitely take the time and effort to improve their soft skills . This is in my opinion make or break issue in most cases.

In addition to English, having knowledge of minimum one foreign language (Spanish/French/German) will be ideal. It depends on the employer. If the company has presence in Japan , knowledge of Japanese will become a qualifying factor. Most of these languages have authorized certifications. It takes on an average 300-400 hours to grasp the basic knowledge of a foreign language and an equal period to pass the certification test. I strongly urge students to acquire multi lingual skills from Day 1 (from semester1) as this time is not available just before appearing for the interview.

Problem Solving (Analytical skills)

Logical thinking and problem solving are skills that most recruiters look for in the recruitment cycle. Many companies think of problem solving skills as one of the most important ones in the recruitment evaluation. If a person has an ability to do problem solving they will most definitely be able to absorb new things and solve larger problems.

Are you able to apply the first principles when solving a challenging problem or do you always need to memorize solutions to similar problems that you have solved in the past? This is where life is different than typical classroom or question/answer sheet approach. Can you try a radically different approach or do you give up easily?

Many tests/interview questions are deviced to test this aspect. Some students also link mathmatical aptitude to this skill. But it is not true in all cases. Those persons who can play contract bridge , Chess or solve murder mysteries or reading Puzzles solving Riddles from school days , have a very good chance to excel in this aspect.


A person with integrity and loyalty is also a key factor in the selection criteria. IT industry has been facing a large issue with attrition and hence a person who is loyal and has a high level of integrity towards the employer is always well regarded . In some cases if two candidates have same technical skills but one shows more tendency to be a long term player , he will have a high chance to get recruited. Many companies use different psychometric tests/ techniques to look for this. It is not a very easy task to locate this aspect of the personality. In some cases a film is shown to all candidates and questions are asked based on the film and its characterization. answers can reveal true nature of the mindset of the candidate.

The point to note is that recruiters evaluate candidates based on a mix of different criteria. Having perfect soft skills but poor fundamentals will not work as most candidates will not pass the initial test that would enable a candidate to sit and meet the recruiter. On the other hand, having perfect fundamentals but poor soft skills would not allow the person to express his abilities in a personal interview.

Social Media presence

One interview is normally never enough for the interviewer to conclude that you’re perfect for the job . you are shortlisted, a team in the HR Department may also search for you online on social media (linkedin/facebook) to see if there is anything negative or suspicious they find.about you which they couldnot trace in the interview. This exposes you to your social media habits and what people think of you. Your profile gives them idea about your real background . Maintain a systematic LinkedIn profile, even if you donot have work experience. LinkedIn has a public part of the profile that shows up when someone searches your name LinkedIn recently  launched a new App ‘CheckIn’ that lets recruiters explore more information about candidates.

Avoid as far as possible too many recommendations from your friends praising as you are a superhero. The interviewer will surely discount their opinions about you. Work on getting recommendations from your teachers or from senior working industry professionals and have an element of subjectivity. That assumes a lot of significance.

Look at your comments on Facebook and Twitter. You may be saying something interesting or funny on a political/social event or about a country/personality . All this may not go well with your future employer.

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