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Manish Dhawan was fresh out of a leading engineering institute and had applied for a role at a manufacturing firm.
However, he was surprised when his classmate with lower scores and no relevant work experience, was chosen over him.
A senior from his college later told Dhawan that his answers in the interview lacked conviction. This is despite the fact that he answered all the technical questions accurately.
Incubation lab BridgeLabz Solutions recently did a study on technology employability in India. This showed that 50 percent of engineers were found to be under-confident while applying for jobs.
For employers, what matters is not only your degree or knowledge, but how you present yourself in an interview. Technology and manufacturing firms are paying special attention to these aspects.
There could be instances where a candidate does not know the correct answer to a technical question. Rather than faking an answer or lying, it is imperative that he/she is truthful and confident about that the fact that they are willing to learn on the job.
On the other hand, as the survey also pointed out, engineering school syllabus is out of sync with the real-world needs. Rather than having yearly meetings on fee hikes, the engineering institutes need to focus on course revamp every one to two years.
Human resource experts also state that even instances like inability to give a 'firm' handshake or drinking multiple glasses of water during an interview is a clear sign of under-confidence.
Similarly, when given an opportunity to ask questions to the interviewer, the type of queries also matter. Asking about the job role and team or compensation structure is appreciated while staying quiet can be seen as being 'dull'.
At a time when every employee is considered as a company's brand ambassador, HR managers also look to choose people who can represent this brand everywhere they go. And under-confidence means that the prospective employee will not be able to appropriately present the vision and mission of the company in any public forum.
No engineering institute will be able to help a candidate in getting this training. This will have to be done through a mix of observing seniors or talking to alumni working in a chosen company.
At the end of the day, how you market yourself on the day of the interview can be a make or break moment for your professional career.