(Tips) Fresher? Your job search questions answered!

As another academic year draws to a close, students who will be graduating from graduate and postgraduate courses are no doubt apprehensive about the next step - finding a job.

So what are the skills fresh graduates need in order to find a rewarding job? Are there certain attributes that MNCs look for? Certain personality traits interviewers look for?

To answer these and anumber of other related queries, Amit Bansal (career counselor and trainer who heads PurpleLeap, an organisation that works with colleges to make students employment-ready) hosted a chat with Get Ahead readers on April 9, 2010. 

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the unedited chat transcript:
[Follow Amit Bansal]

Amit Bansal says, Hi everyone! I am Amit Bansal and I am looking forward to your questions!

sen asked, I mean to get into MNC what a fresher should learn ?

Amit Bansal answers, Sen, apart from learning technical skills (depending on the MNC and industry you want to go to) one also needs to learn Soft Skills.


mamu asked, sir, sir I am just completed my Class XII exams and am planning to work for BPO and carry on with my studies. what kind of future can I have in BPOs?

Amit Bansal answers, If you wish to join a BPO to continue with your studies, it maybe the right thing to do. Normally, experience earned in a BPO is relevant only if you wish to continue in the BPO industry. The BPO industry is here to stay and offers good growth. However, a lot of young people move out of it as they are unable to cope with sales pressure and night shifts on a longterm basis.

rajesh asked, Hello Sir,I passed out of college last year.I have completed my master's in computer science.I m not able to find a proper job.Although i have few programming skills,most of the companies ask for experience which i dont have.

Amit Bansal answers, Hi Rajesh, i believe that if you work on your soft skills and improve your resume, you will get a good job. Also, try to do some internships / projects that may give you experience even if they don't pay.

Jeev asked, Hello Bansalji, My son is 9 th standard and there is an opton of droping Maths, you think it is advisable to drop Maths? Other optional subject is Environmental science

Amit Bansal answers, Sir, it depends entirely on your son's aptitude. Please get an aptitude test done. let him learn according to his aptitude and without any kind of pressure.

ajay asked, what kind of preparation should freshers require for campaus/interview

Amit Bansal answers, 
Freshers should work on enhancing their 'self awareness'. They should understand themselves, their goals, strengths and weaknesses. The more 'self-aware' they are, the better they will perform in the GD/PI rounds. Also, they should do practice tests, GDs and interviews. They should also have an original resume and not simply cut-copy-paste someone else's.

Anand asked, Do you feel Management really makes a difference to a life of a businessman? Afterall, there are people like Adani and Dhirubhai who are only class 10 pass.

Amit Bansal answers, 
Training in management grooms a person to face the business world. It cannot teach a person to do business if that person has no aptitude for it. Let's put it this way - management training is like puting the icing on the cake. It can't help you if there is no cake!

Chidambaram asked, Dear Mr Bansal, I have often seen that the students who do better in colleges don't do that well in their careers. What is the reason? Moreover, those who are street smart they go on to do very well in their careers. Why is it so? Infact, companies too hire people who are more street smart, why so?

Amit Bansal answers, 
Hi Chidambaram, that is a very pertinent question - one that all young people should ponder on. What you call 'street smartness' I would call Personal Effectiveness. It is the ability to bring out a high output with minimum input. Corporates today want people who are effective at the end of the day. Qualifications do not guarantee personal effectiveness. Young people should work on developing personal effectiveness by developing their soft skills.

Sundeep asked, how much weightage is put on soft skills for an experienced (2 yrs) MBA desirous of shifting his company? Can u elaborate on the importance of SS vis-a-vis the stress on domain knowledge?

Amit Bansal answers, 
Hi Sundeep, Soft Skills will be just as important if not more important than domain knowledge. A corporate is not scared of hiring someone with limited domain-specific knowledge as long as that person is trainable. But it would stay miles away from a person who does not have the right attitude / soft skills.

AmitV asked, Hi, My Brother is completed hi 10th & Diploma(E & TC) in 2002. Till then he had no gap in his education. After that due to some crisis on family front, he could not continue with his education and had to look after the family business. However re joined part time BE (E & TC) (Pune University) in 2006 and will complete it in 2010. Thought being hard working and good in academics his resume will now show some Gap in his education. What do you think are the Job prospects for him. Regards

Amit Bansal answers, 
Hi AmitV, Your brother should do some practice interviews. He should work hard on answers pertaining to the gap - he should be able to explain the reasons for the gap and also prove that he did not waste his time and actually grew in that period. If he can do that, he will get a good job. The gap is really not the point. What he says about it and his own confidence will matter.

VJ asked, What do interviewers look in candidates when they hire ?

Amit Bansal answers, 
Hi VJ, thank you for your question. Interviewers look for 3 things: 1. Can you do the job - ie do you have the ability? 2. Will you do the job - ie do you have the drive? 3. Will you fit in - ie is your attitude and work style compatible with the work culture of the company? They are scared of hiring a misfit.

jia asked, I have completed my MBA in HR this year. Due to some reason, though I attend most interviews that are coming to my campus, I don't seem to get through. What kind of skills do you think are necessary in this field other than the knowledge that I've gained from my Degree.

Amit Bansal answers, 
Hi Jia, To crack the GD/PI rounds, take care of the following: 1. Make sure your resume really talks about you. The questions will come from your resume so you should be able to talk about what you have written. 2. Think seriously about what kind of person you are, what are your goals in life, what are your strenths and weaknesses. 3. As you become more and more aware of what kind of person you are and where you are headed in life, your clarity and confidence will show in what you say and how yo present yourself. 4. Do a lot of practice GDs and interviews

Shiven asked, Mr Bansal, There is something called genetics and inherent nature of human being. By coming to training institutes and developing skill, to what degree you feel a person can change his attitude? I mean if a person is dumb, he is dumb period. Do you think training can make his smarter when the fact is he is genetically a duffer and dumb.

Amit Bansal answers, 
Hi Shiven, The purpose of personality development / soft skills / personal effectiveness training is not to turn everyone into a CEO or a genius. It is to enable each person to bring out his / her highest potential. Whether one is a receptionist or a CEO, is he / she able to perform effectively and to his / her maximum potential. That is the objective.

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Courtesy: Rediff & Amit Bansal