Monday, 15 July 2019

What one should do to prepare for placements?

The answer below would be useful primarily for CS students.
I was lucky to avoid the stress of placements given that I had a return offer from Rubrik (the startup where I interned). However, based on the interactions with my friends and cracking 5 off-campus job offers myself, here are some points that I’d like to talk about.
  • Maintain a decent CPI. A lot of companies that visit IITs for placements restrict the CPI cutoff to 8.5. I would suggest that you should ideally try and keep yourself above 9.0 to be on the safest side. A few companies like Tower Research have even higher cutoffs (9.3 or so).
  • Create an error-free resume. Make sure that your resume is neat and clean, well-formatted and it doesn’t have typos/spelling mistakes. Clearly highlight all your projects, skills and most importantly, your internship experience. Talk about the things on which you’ve worked. In CS, non-core skills are mostly ignored. No one really cares about you being a basketball player or a dancer. All that the companies care about is your coding skills.
  • Focus a lot on Data Structures and Algorithms. I cannot emphasize more on this. You may be excellent at Machine Learning, but you may lose great opportunities because you couldn’t clear the coding round of that company you were dreaming for. To filter out not-so-good candidates, most companies take a coding test which is based on Data Structures and Algorithms. Therefore, it is absolutely important that you are able to crack this coding test to be eligible for the interviews. InterviewBit is a great platform to practice Data Structures and Algorithms problems.
  • Select companies carefully. I have seen that a lot of students grossly undervalue themselves and apply for almost all sorts of companies just because they are afraid that they should have a backup in case they don’t crack their dream company. Yes, it is good to have a backup, but don’t go to the extreme case where you are literally applying for every other company. Aim for some 4 - 5 top notch companies that suit your interests.
  • Revise your Project work. A lot of companies will ask you about your projects and ask you to explain the details as well. In such a situation, it is important that you do not screw up. If you can’t explain something that you did, it is a red flag.
  • Apply off campus. There are so many recruiters out there on LinkedIn who are eying for IIT grads. Reach out to them and seek help. You’d be amazed to know that many companies would offer a lower package during Campus placement and the same company would offer you a higher package if you apply to them off Campus. One of the companies from which I had an offer gave me a package that was approximately 26% higher than what they offered during Campus placements.

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