BITS Pilani Higher Degree Placements Part 3: Mechanical & Allied Streams

The article below has been written by Akshay Sarda, Pitching Head, for the First BITS Pilani Higher Degree Placement Team.

Introduction

I was associated with the Placement Unit at BITS-PIlani, Pilani campus as the Pitching Head for the higher degree team and would like to share my views particularly on the placement preparation process primarily as a student who appeared for the process myself and also as someone actively involved during the entire placement season.I would like to talk about placement preparations under three broad categories. Your preparations and approach for clearing the written exam, appearing for GDs (if any) and thirdly about the interview process.

Written Tests

As an ME student at BITS Pilani who has put in long, strenuous hours for his/her GATE/BITSAT preparation, this is probably the easiest of the three steps for you in securing a job via campus placements. One needs to basically brush up his or her GATE/IES notes subject wise and i can assure you that you will be able to crack the written tests. The difficulty levels are not at the levels of GATE and are somewhere between IES and GATE (my assessment is purely individual and on the basis of GATE/IES patterns prior to 2014, IES objectives being easier than GATE). Select any question bank of moderate level difficulty and get going. The very next questions in your minds i assume will be of what subjects to focus on. This is slightly difficult to answer as patterns may vary. However the safe option would be to focus on subjects like SOM, Machine Design, Production, Thermodynamics, Material Science and IC engines. You can also alter the combination on the basis of the company domain (eg studying more for Production and Automobile when a company like Hyundai or Hero is visiting). Patterns vary with companies. Please note nothing, absolutely nothing in your written tests will feature from your M.E course

Also please do not ignore another absolutely crucial aspect, the Aptitude Tests. Ignore them at your own peril. They play an extremely important aspect in all company recruitments and please do not be foolish to focus all your energies on the technical part as all of us mostly tend to. Again the difficulty levels will not be CATlike but select a moderately challenging question bank and get going. Online resources in this aspect are pretty helpful and inline with what is asked.

Group Discussions

The most dreaded round for i believe 80% of the population(including me!). GDs are what we loathe. Its important to understand that they can be tricky, ruin your progress made in the written tests but preparation and confidence can make things if not wonderful but surely comfortable. Honestly, i am no expert on GDs myself and there is loads of stuff online on how to tackle them. I personally would like to address the three basic questions

a. Content

b. Communication

c. Conduct

The answer to the first is reading as much you can. The best resource is the newspaper to keep you updated. Try to read as much stuff as you can because if you dont have content you simply cannot talk. Need not mug up numbers or data but its always a added advantage if you have some facts/numbers to support your points. Bottom line is try to be as much aware of your surroundings as much as possible.

The second aspect is all about shedding your inhibitions and fears of speaking in public. This can be achieved by simply PRACTICE. It may sound and feel weird at first but try getting along with your friends initially and start discussing current affair topics. You can browse websites on common GD topics and practice/make points about them. The next step is to be part of discussions where you dont know the other participants i.e attend as many mock GDs as possible. This is actually where you will be able to test yourself. Talking among friends is easy, among strangers is difficult. Another technique is observing other people and taking cues from them.

The third and most important aspect is your conduct. The MOST important reason for companies is to check how you behave in a group. And yes you need to be very careful. I personally suggest getting into arguments is a complete no-no. Have a balanced approach, listen to what others are saying but also present your points in a dignified manner. Please add value to the discussion rather than just putting your point. Need not jump into the GD right away especially when you have no clue about the topic, observe others and go with the flow.

The Interviews

Alas the final frontier. The key to sailing through your interview lies in mastering the KYC (Know Your Candidate) you submitted to the interview panel. THE RESUME. Have absolute control over each and every comma, fullstop on your resume which means you should be 200% confident of what you have put in your resume. Right from BTech projects, Mtech projects, work experience to even hobbies you should be able to defend/justify each and every point. Your resume shapes your interview. A candidate not being able to answer questions from his own resume is no good at all. BE ABSOLUTELY THOROUGH WITH IT. Having said that, please tailor make your resumes for different profiles and organizations. They have to feel you are relevant to them.

All technical questions in the interview will arise from your projects/work ex/publications etc. Place relevant projects first. Remove the irrelevant stuff. Sit down with a sheet of paper and spend considerable time writing down all possible questions that can arise out of your resume. Be ready for these questions. Ask your friends for inputs, share the resume with them. Please note that here the questions posed to you will be from your M.E subjects since your M.E projects will be featured. But this is not sacrosanct depends on the interviewer they can drill down on your B.E basics and not even mention any of your M.E subjects. Prepare a few (2–3) of your favorite B.E subjects also.

Last but not the least please do not ignore HR questions. Please prepare the same and its absolutely discouraging to not be able to answer basic HR questions confidently. I personally feel being able to explain your high funda M.E project in the most basic and layman language to a non technical HR is absolutely brilliant. In the end i would only like to add that BITS provides you ample of opportunities before companies come down on campus to hone the above mentioned skills via workshops/training sessions and seminars. Make the most of them!!


You can connect with Akshay Sarda on LinkedIn or on Facebook.