Advice for Campus Placements

Welcome to this blog post! This post provides some suggestions regarding how to prepare for campus placements at universities and colleges. This post is actually a part of the write-up I had written for helping the students during my master’s. The write-up was a request from a college club. This is in a question-answer format. I hope it will be useful for others.

Brief Introduction
I am Saksham Kumar, an M.Tech final year student of mechanical systems design (department of mechanical engineering) at IIT Kharagpur. I have done my B.Tech in mechanical engineering from IIT Patna. I have received a job offer from Eaton Technologies Private Limited through campus placements at IIT Kharagpur. Through this blog post, I am going to share with you my interview experience as well as some placement strategy. I hope this blog post will be useful for anyone who is wishing to sit for placements this year.

How did you get into Eaton? What was the selection procedure?
Initially, we were asked to submit our CVs. They shortlisted students for interviews based on their CVs. The placements were going on online due to the pandemic. 

On the day of the interview, I received a message with a link to join the interview. I clicked and my first round started. It was a technical round. The interviewer started the interview with the famous first question “tell me about yourself”. I introduced myself and after that, the interview proceeded in a technical direction. The interviewer was friendly and he started a discussion about my M.Tech project. As my M.Tech project, I am utilising machine learning for diagnosing faults in machines. I introduced my project. He delved deeper into it. Then, he asked me to share my screen and show the details of my project. I had my PPT prepared which I had used during my semester evaluation of the project. I opened that and started explaining things slide by slide just
like I had done during my semester evaluation. He asked some more technical questions and then, he asked some friendly non-technical questions like my place of residence. Around 45-50 minutes had passed by now and he told me that he was feeling that I would be a fit for the company which was a positive sign. Then, he asked me if I wanted to ask him something. I told him that I had browsed through the website of the company and was interested in the fields in which the company was working. I asked about some of that work. He explained to me his field of work which was monitoring the health of civilian structures. I had done a project in the same field during my B.Tech and I used this opportunity to let him know about some details of that project. I was satisfied with my first round. 

My second round of interview was scheduled after some time. It was an HR round. The interview started with my introduction. The interviewer then asked me to share my screen with my CV open. She asked me questions like which companies were in my top list, what my experiences were while working in a team during internships/projects etc. She was slowly going through my CV and asking questions on my PORs (positions of responsibilities) written in the CV like what my roles were, what I had learned etc. One of my hobbies is chess and she asked a few questions on it like how playing chess had helped me in life. This round went on for around 45 minutes. 

After the second round, I had a third and final round which was on data science. Since my M.Tech project involved machine learning, they had considered me for a role involving data science. The questions were mostly on the intricacies of machine learning like neural networks etc. Some HR questions were also asked like how I had worked on my weakness etc. One interviewer asked me if I was thinking about getting a PhD. This round also went on for around 45-50 minutes. 

After a few hours of my interview, I received a call that I had been selected for Eaton.

How to prepare for them?
For Eaton, the shortlisting for the interviews was done based on submitted CVs. Therefore, it is advised that the students targeting these jobs should have a strong CV. They should devote ample amounts of time to writing as well as polishing their CVs. Getting their CVs evaluated by some seniors who are experts in the field is also a good idea. Many core companies take written tests as their first round to shortlist for interviews. So, students targeting such roles should revise important technical subjects taught in B.Tech as well as the various topics of aptitude. 

For interviews, the students should be fully aware of whatever they have written in their CVs and they should be ready to answer any question related to them. Apart from this, they should practice important HR questions. Some practice for speaking good English is also preferable. 

What difficulties did you face while preparing for this Company/Profile? How did you overcome this problem?

Preparing for the written tests of core mechanical companies was a tricky part as initially, I had little idea of what questions to expect from such a big syllabus of mechanical engineering. To overcome this problem, I utilised a few books which are related to GATE preparation. Many such books contain the theory of subjects in a brief manner through which we can revise important stuff. Such books are also very helpful for practising numerical questions. The questions asked in the written tests of core companies are generally on the easier side of the GATE level questions.

According to you, who should ideally apply for this job?
Anyone who wants to work in core companies would be suitable for this job. Those who like the area of machine learning and data analysis would also like the role. Data analysis is nowadays used a lot in many core companies too.

Any specific advice you want to give to the junta (people) sitting for placements this year.
The placement phase is a time when it is important to maintain your cool and not get very affected if you are not getting the desired outcomes. During this time, your focus should be to appear in as many interviews as you can irrespective of the past results. Please do not let the result of one interview/written exam affect the result of another. 

I will quickly take one probability example to illustrate an important point. Suppose your probability of getting a job after getting shortlisted for the interview is 20%. This may seem like a bad number as you have an 80% chance of getting rejected. But if you appear in 10 such interviews, your chance of getting at least one job offer becomes close to 90%. Therefore, you should not take any rejection personally and focus on playing the game.

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