Securing an admission to an institute of your choice abroad is one thing and getting a job on the university’s campus is another. In order to ensure that you get a job through campus placements it is crucial that you are aware of the entire process.
Securing a permanent job placement immediately upon graduation from a university in the US is not mammoth task. While it may seem so at the outset, the career placement centers at universities are well equipped to guide students through the job placement maze. To achieve success with the goal of receiving multiple job offers, it is necessary to gain an understanding of the recruitment process.
The recruitment process can be essentially categorized into four steps: (1) Prescreening (2) On campus interview (3) On site interview and (4) intimation of offer / rejection. Companies spend significant amount of time and money on their own campus recruiting efforts, which may include holding presentations and introducing students to the company among other things. While the recruitment process is the responsibility of company’s human resource department it is generally overseen by the senior management. Hence the importance of this process cannot be understated. Many companies already have well defined visa processes for obtaining H 1 B visas upon employment.
The prescreening stage is perhaps one of the most important stages of the recruiting process. It is at this stage that recruiter process. It is at this stage that recruiters will peruse through all the resumes received and select students they would like to interview. Recruiters essentially look for students with a strong academic performance, prior work experience, involvement in extracurricular activities in a leadership capacity and hobbies to an extent. The time spent on each resume varies but is generally no more than a few minutes.
The criterion for selection is only the resume. Given the limited time spent on this process, first impression matters. As such, the content on the resume has to be clearer lucid and well articulated. There should not be any typographical errors and the CV should clearly highlight the student’s forte. The career placement center at most universities offer assistance to students in writing resumes.
On campus interview
Once the screening is completed the recruiters generally forward a list to the career placement centers to invite the students for on campus interviews. Many a times, the recruiters themselves invite students either telephonically through email or via letters. The recruiters representing the company are generally either alumni of the university human resource departing employees and /or employees of the specific profit center / department seeking to recruit students.
The primary intent of the on campus interview is to assess the individual. In some cases, the interviews are held to judge the technical competence of the individual while in others it is to assess whether the student will fit into the company’s environment. Generally the interviews last for no more than thirty minutes.
There is no specific questionnaire that students can use to prepare for the interview. However, students can visit the numerous sites that list typical questions to prepare themselves. The questions that surface repeatedly in interviews include career related questions and / or resume related questions. Students should also be well read about the recruiter’s business activities product offerings its mission statement and position in the market place.
An interview is not only about answering the questions succinctly and effectively. Presentation is equally important. Recruiters also assess a student’s body language command over the English language, confidence and poise. These are intangibles which can make or break a call back.
On site Interview
Based on the performance on the on campus interviews selected students are invited for a subsequent round of interviews at the company’s offices. Generally, speaking not more than 50 per cent of the students interviewed on campus will be called back. During the on site interviews students meet a few representative of the company. Some representatives are potential colleagues and superiors of the individual in case he/she does get selected and joins the institution while others are from the human resource department.
The purpose of the on site interview is two fold. From a student’s perspective it gives the student an idea of the firm’s culture, environment and values. It is an opportunity for the student to ask questions regarding responsibilities, upward mobility as well as clear other doubts. Equally important it allows the company to evaluate whether the student has the technical competence and can seamlessly integrate with fellow peers.
Intimation of offer / Rejection
In some cases students may receive offers during the on site interview while in others it may be a few days later. Some companies also conduct background checks prior to issuing offers. These checks have become more prevalent after the September 11 attacks. In any case, there is some room for negotiation but generally companies have certain benchmarks that they follow.
Before accepting an offer, it is important that the student discusses the process of obtaining an H1B visa (i.e. work visa) as well as any other personal issues such as health insurance potential vacation plans if any shortly after joining.
Given a choice students should evaluate their offers not only on the basis of compensation but also the recruiter’s recognition in the market place, responsibilities potential for promotions and work culture among others things.