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Interview Preparation Tip's

Write an effective resume 
Resume writing is a very important skill. It is the first view that an employer gets of you, the candidate. It has to be truthful & should present you as the best candidate to do the job. Some people send the same resume to apply for every job but this is not the best way to handle it. Every job is different so the skills that you showcase to different employers should also be different.

Resume format 
If you do not have work experience, your resume must contain the following information in the order given below:
  •     ✶  Name :

  •     ✶  Address, contact number & email ID

  •     ✶  Objective

  •     ✶  Education - Awards & Honours

  •     ✶  Work experience (if any)

  •     ✶  Extracurricular activities

  •     ✶  Other accomplishments

  •     ✶  Skills & aptitudes

  •     ✶  Interests

   For a good resume, do
  •     ✶  Write only one or two pages - depending on your work experience.

  •     ✶  Include any special recognition, accomplishments or projects you mayhave been involved with.

  •     ✶  Write about your self in a positive light.

  •     ✶  Strive to be concise & target your information to that particular employer.

  •     ✶  Write only short bulleted sentences & not whole paragraphs.

  •     ✶  Keep it light & easy to read - leave adequate white space, set the font size to at least 10 points, highlight key points & make sure the text is          well-aligned.

  •     ✶  Check for spelling & grammar errors by having someone else read & review your resume before you send it off.

   For a good resume, do not
  •     ✶  Try to fit too much on the page (leave some blank space for relief).

  •     ✶  List personal information such as marital status, religion, caste, height, weight, etc.

  •     ✶  Include salary requirements (leave them out until the interview stage).

  •     ✶  Make negative comments about previous employers.

  •     ✶  Include any health information.

  •     ✶  Include references (these can be provided upon request).

  •     ✶  Include reasons for leaving a previous job (save your reasons for the interview).

Gear up for a Group Discussion (GD) 
Big IT employers such as Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, etc often conduct Group Discussions & Personal Interviews before they hire new employees. The idea is to give people a certain topic & get them to discuss it together, thus helping them find out who has the most knowledge & the best interpersonal and soft skills.

Group Discussion (GD)
  •     ✶  Is a formal discussion among participants on a given topic.

  •     ✶  Generally involves 8 to 15 participants in a group.

  •     ✶  The moderator of the group gives the group a topic to discuss.

  •     ✶  The participants are given time (around 5 minutes) to collect their thoughts about the given topic before the discussion begins.

  •     ✶  The group is then asked to discuss the topic for 20 to 25 minutes.

  •     ✶  The moderator withdraws to the background & silently watches the discussion once it starts.

  •     ✶  The moderator takes notes about all the participants in terms of their contribution to the discussion, comprehension of the main idea,             patience, assertion, accommodation & more.

   In a GD, you must speak up
  •     ✶  It is extremely important to create a favorable first impression.

  •     ✶  If you start the discussion, make sure you have clear knowledge about the given topic. You need to be confident & self-assured about the            facts, figures & information you are talking about.

  •     ✶  Once the discussion has started (by you or by others), pay attention to what everyone is saying & take notes. Express yourself when you             genuinely have something to add.

  •     ✶  Allow everyone to speak. For example, if someone is trying to say something, make sure you do not interrupt their point. But this does not          mean you remain silent or do not make your point.

  •     ✶  If you are concluding the GD, make sure to summarize all the main points raised during the discussion. Do not start any new topic. Also             mention those points which you may not have agreed with, but which someone else has raised.

  •     ✶  Be as formally dressed as you would be for a job interview.

  •     ✶  Be cool & confident while presenting your viewpoint.

  •     ✶  Non-aggressive body language & eye contact are very important.

  •     ✶  Address the person farthest from you. If he can hear you, everyone else can.

  •     ✶  Use formal, plain & simple language.

  •     ✶  Listen attentively as it is very important to encourage participation from all members.

  •     ✶  Stick to the subject that is being discussed without going off on a tangent.

  •     ✶  Take a stand on the subject - either ‘for’ or ‘against’.

  •     ✶  You may change your stand during the GD - this indicates your flexibility & accommodation of other people’s viewpoints.

  •     ✶  Focus on consistently making points that will enhance the quality of the discussion.

   Do not
  •     ✶  Address anybody by name in a GD. You may not even know everyone’s name. It is better to address the group as a whole.

  •     ✶  Debate with one particular person for too long.

  •     ✶  Get into personal arguments with the other participants.

  •     ✶  Interrupt while another participant is speaking.

  •     ✶  Allow one or two members to monopolize the discussion.

  •     ✶  Use slang words like yeah or nope or Hinglish words such as yaartheek hai or chalta hai. Use swear words or is rude to anyone.

  •     ✶  Keep repeating your point again & again.

  •     ✶  Make controversial remarks relating to gender, political parties & religion.

Note: People who do well in Group Discussions have a lot of knowledge on a wide variety of topics. Reading various newspapers, magazines & books is the best way to develop such in-depth knowledge & confidence of handling various subjects. Also watch TV news regularly & keep abreast of current affairs by reading up on various topics on the Internet.

Ace that job interview 
Preparing for a job interview? Here are some tips: 
A job interview is the last & most important step in the process of landing a job. 
It is an opportunity for the candidate & the employer to meet & get to know each other better. 
It is your best chance to exchange information, convince the employer that you are the person for this job & make up your mind about whether you really wish to work in that company. 
During the interview, the employer will judge you on

  •     ✶  Attitude

  •     ✶  Appearance

  •     ✶  Personality

  •     ✶  Confidence

  •     ✶  Knowledge about yourself

  •     ✶  Knowledge about the company

  •     ✶  Suitability for the job

  •     ✶  Basic ability to do the job

Before the interview 
Visit the company’s website & research the company, product lines & competitors. 
Get permission from your references to use their names. 
Prepare answers to the most common interview questions.

Common interview questions
  •     ✶  Tell us something about you.

  •     ✶  What do you know about this company?

  •     ✶  Why do you want to work for this company?

  •     ✶  What are your strengths & weaknesses?

  •     ✶  Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

  •     ✶  What has been your most significant achievement?

  •     ✶  What are your salary expectations?

  •     ✶  Are you willing to relocate to a new city?

  •     ✶  What has been your greatest crisis & how did you solve it?

  •     ✶  How has your education prepared you for this career?

  •     ✶  Which was the last book you read?

  •     ✶  Why do you think we should hire you for this job?

  •     ✶  Which person has had the greatest influence on you? Why?

  •     ✶  What have you done that shows initiative?

  •     ✶  What motivates you?

  •     ✶  How do you work under pressure?

  •     ✶  Are you ready to work late hours?

  •     ✶  Why did you leave or are leaving your last company?

Answering interview questions
  •     ✶  Be prepared for all possible questions in advance.

  •     ✶  Listen carefully.

  •     ✶  If the question is unclear, ask politely for clarification.

  •     ✶  Pause before answering to consider all facts that may substantiate your response - it shows that you can think things through.

  •     ✶  Always offer positive information & be enthusiastic.

  •     ✶  Get directly to the point.

  •     ✶  Discuss only the facts needed to respond to the question.

  •     ✶  Do not open yourself to areas of questioning that could pose difficulties for you.

  •     ✶  Be truthful, but do not offer unsolicited information.

  •     ✶  Focus & re-focus attention on your successes.

  •     ✶  Do not feel low because of some failures.

  •     ✶  If you don’t know something, say you can find out & get back. But keep this to the bare minimum. 

  •     ✶  Be prepared for hypothetical situation questions - take your time on these.

  •     ✶  Be prepared for unexpected questions; these are designed to see how you cope with the unexpected.

  •     ✶  Assume all questions are asked for a good reason & answer accordingly.

  •     ✶  If you ask questions, keep them brief. Remember that you are being interviewed & not the other way around.

  •     ✶  Do not badmouth previous employers if you had been employed.

After the interview
  •     ✶  Thank the interviewer.

  •     ✶  Follow up politely if you don’t hear from them within the specified time period.

  •     ✶  Chin up - if you did not get selected, forget it & gear up for your next interview. Something better is waiting for you!

Make effective presentations
  •     ✶  A presentation is the process of presenting the content of a topic to an audience consisting of one or more persons.

  •     ✶  Presentations are made in the classroom as well as in the boardroom, which means that every person has to be prepared to make great             presentations to make an impact in the professional world.

  •     ✶  Presentations generally consist of a PPT containing slides about a given topic. It is like a speech made with the help of visual aids.

Presentations Have to be interesting & motivating:
You want people to pay attention & to know exactly what you are saying. If you want them to do something at the end, that too should be clearly specified towards the end of the presentation. Body language, confidence & your own belief in what you are saying are the most important aspects of a presentation.

Before the presentation
  •     ✶  Start preparing early: Do not wait until the last few days to prepare.

  •     ✶  Think about your audience: What are they expecting out of you?

  •     ✶  Be clear about your purpose.

  •     ✶  Use an effective introduction.

  •     ✶  Organize your presentation clearly & simply.

  •     ✶  Use supporting material such as graphs, visuals, data or statistics to support your point.

  •     ✶  Create an effective conclusion.

  •     ✶  Sound spontaneous, conversational & enthusiastic. It should seem like you are talking to your audience, not preaching to them.

  •     ✶  Use body language effectively.

  •     ✶  Use visual aids to enhance the message.

  •     ✶  Check the physical environment in advance. Does the overhead projector work? Do you have a place to plug in your laptop? Can you             connect to the Internet?

Finally, cope with stage fright by remembering that it is normal & that everyone feels it

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