PUJA S. NAVIN
Are you ready to work in night shifts and what are your salary expectations?
The job scenario has never looked brighter for the first timers as it does today. Pick up any vacancies supplement and you can't turn a page without two advertisements inviting you to a walk- in interview.
Advertisements are everywhere. At hoardings, at cafes, they pop up at websites just as you finish checking mail besides flickering at jobsites.
Companies like Google, 24X7 Customer, Genpact, and HSBC have recruitment numbers nothing short of 200 - 800 per month.
This is precisely the reason why these are wonderful times to be young and, in college.
Well, skills that make up the employability repertoire, team work, customer service, communications skills, and leadership abilities are all there to build in a real-time work situation.
And added to this is the variety of choice, since there are several service lines one can choose from. If advertising is your game, there's Google, if financial services is what you like there's ICICIOneSource, and there's DELL for technical troubleshooting.
But are candidates really taking advantage of this phenomenal opportunity? A talk with the consultants reveals a completely different picture.In spite of large requirements, the actual hit rate (number of offers made) rarely goes beyond two per cent, says a senior consultant from Manpower, a multinational recruiting firm.
Consultants say that since these are jobs at entry level most candidates look at these as stopgap arrangement and treat the interview too in a non-serious manner. What else can explain the trend of a group of college friends gathering together and paying a visit to a walk-in to check out what's happening?
For example, at a recent walk-in interview for a bank-hiring agent for its web trade business, a huge crowd of potential applicants gathered. Of the 150 - 200 people, who walked in, only a few had taken care to look presentable. Many looked as if they had just come back from college late in the evening with bags slinging on their shoulders, others came unshaved, some without resumes, others in complete informal dress. So, what is it that can enable candidates to tilt the balance in their favour? Here are a few tips from consultants.
Dress your best: First impressions do matter. A well groomed person is not only confident, but also conveys his interest to work. Instead of jeans and sports shoes, a formal plain shirt with a tie is a good interview gear for men, while women will do fine in western formals or the salwar suit. A folder containing the certificates and the mark sheets just completes the formal look. An application letter depicts to the future employer that you look into all the details.
Attitude is key: Says Vinod K. Meghrajani, Hyderabad Centre Head of Ma Foi, a recruitment firm, most companies examine the personality and attitude of the candidates. They are not interested in skill sets for which the company will impart training.
As this is a seller's market and the number of job vacancies far outweigh the number of candidates, some candidates display ``I will get the next one, if I don't get this job'' attitude.
And this sometimes translates into candidates not answering questions with humility and poise, not showing interest in the questions asked, asking for unrealistic salary hikes.
At times, if the candidate is getting Rs. 10,000 he will ask for Rs. 20,000. While the industry norm is to give 25 per cent hike, say consultants. It always helps to go to an interview armed with the information about the company. You can go on to the company website and check the processes, culture, products of the company. You can check the latest developments about the company in the `Press Releases' column.
One of the questions that will eventually spring up at the interview is ``What do you know about our company?'' This works both ways; it helps the candidates to select whether working for a company will be the right cultural fit for them. Says a senior consultant at Manpower, every company has a personality just as a person has one. While Google opens its arms to those who are enthusiastic, fun-loving, team up with people, Dell would go for aggressive persons, and GE is balanced in its approach rallying behind systematic process-oriented people. Getting an inside view of the company through their website not only makes you confident and this is easily visible to the company.
Be realistic while stating salary expectations and even before venturing for the interview know whether you are willing to work in night shifts. And finally, it is always advisable to produce correct documents and no false records.
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