Tips to earn a placement in IT firms through multi-round campus selection

Representational Image. Photo: iStock/ Delpixart

The pattern of campus placements for IT professionals has witnessed a massive change in recent years. While earlier, representatives of a company arrived on a campus and spent one to two days there hiring people, nowadays the firms conduct virtual hiring simultaneously at more than one campus.

Currently, companies complete the appointment process in three or four rounds. Initially, the firm conducts a virtual meeting in which all students who registered with it for campus selection take part. At this meeting, company officials explain the nature of their business, working style and pay packages.

The first round of the selection follows and it involves an eligibility test for Aptitude & English Ability. Students shortlisted in this test face the coding round, which is more crucial.

In the coding round, the students have to create an algorithm as an answer to the test cases within a specific time-frame and sticking to coding rules. From the experience of observing over 40 firms conducting campus placements at Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) it is learnt that the cut-off decided by the companies for this round is 70 percent. However, some firms set the cut-off as 50 percent with two questions.

The next round is a technical interview of around 30 minutes, during which the student’s thought process and problem-solving skills are analyzed. Some firms conduct two or even three rounds of the interview depending on the pay package they offer.

The last step is the HR round, after which the student is given appointment.

Practicality matters

Here are some observations related to campus selection in the post-COVID-19 period:

• Skills are more important than textbook knowledge. Students should be more practical rather than theoretical.

• Students gaining campus selection are initially asked to undergo an internship and are given permanent appointment based on their performance. A one-time bonus could be expected during internship. Certain firms arrange a certification course for new recruits to improve their skills.

• Many companies mention the words ‘CTC’ along with the salary they offer. CTC is short for ‘Cost to Company’ and the amount offered includes joining bonus, relocation bonus and tax. In other words, the take-home salary of an employee will be lesser than the amount mentioned as CTC.

For instance, if CTC is Rs 10 lakh per annum, salary will be Rs 9 lakh and performance bonus Rs 1 lakh. The take-home salary of the employee after deducting a tax of Rs 4,200 will be Rs 71,200.

However, students should not decide to join a firm based solely on CTC. There are companies which offer ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) and steep salary hikes after two or three years.

How to prepare for campus selection

• Conduct a study on the company on your own. Also search the internet for interview experiences.

• Carry out two or three relevant projects, which would prove that you can work as part of a team.

• Engage in two or three internships with startups or, if possible, big companies.

• Sleep soundly for at least eight hours before the placement drive.

• Ensure that you are located in an environment where you don’t lose focus.

Things to note during interview

• Aptitude round: Questions on logical reasoning which test your skills in Basic Mathematics and analysis will be asked. Practise answering such types of question in advance and, if necessary, prepare notes.

• Coding round: You should be thorough with a coding language such as C++ or Python. Examine previous years’ coding interview questions. Ensure that you are trained properly and have a strong profile in coding platforms such as CodeChef, Codeforces, HackerEarth and LeetCode.

• Technical round: Students should know about data structures, algorithms, operating systems, networking and AI/ML.

• HR round: There is no need for special preparations to face this round. You can be yourself!  

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