KOLKATA: What are the key traits major recruiters look for in prospective hires during campus interviews? With final placements in full swing at the top Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), this question is on every student’s mind. While attributes such as curiosity, passion and problem-solving skills are on every recruiter’s wish list, every company has its specific requirements as well.
ET spoke to five leading human resources heads across sectors to find out what they felt were the intrinsic qualities that could help students nail the first – and arguably most important – interview at the start of their careers.
Vidya Lakshmi, head of human capital management at Goldman Sachs in Bengaluru
* Ability to express interest: We want our candidates to do their research. We want to hear what specifically interests them about the divisions, the roles and the kind of work we do, and what traits he/she has that could make them successful. It is all about drawing connections between the skill set and the role. We also expect the candidate to be well-versed in current events and industry trends and to understand them in a larger context.
* Ability to be entrepreneurial: We value diversity in our candidates. We are looking for people who are committed, passionate and have a variety of experiences personally and professionally. We believe these traits bring complementary skills like the ability to learn, curiosity and teamwork in solving problems and creating an impact for our clients.
* Ability to ask questions: One of the biggest challenges students face on campus is asking questions. Asking a few (or even one) business-related questions, a question about the firm’s culture or a question about the interviewer’s personal experience is a good start. This helps us gauge the student’s interest in our industry, the firm and how the individual, if given an opportunity, can make a difference.
Sameer Wadhawan, head, human resources, Samsung India
* Curiosity: We look at students with a strong research mindset that comes with a greater level of curiosity, ability to connect seemingly unconnected pieces together and capacity to be persistent yet patient. This is over and above systematic problem-solving abilities.
* Ability to simplify and communicate: At campuses, we try to find students who have the ability to simplify a complex technical problem into smaller and more manageable pieces.
* Passion: A researcher must be passionate about a particular area of work, someone who will typically and eventually super specialise in a technology or product domain.
* End-to-end thinking: Having a clear objective of solution parameters to develop the end product, service or solution that will eventually be used by consumers.
Sumit Gupta, Partner and Leads Recruitment for BCG India
* Strong problem-solving skills: An ability to dissect a business problem in its key components, prioritise these components and identify possible solutions.
* Sharp verbal communication skills to ensure the candidate is able to communicate his findings in a succinct and clear manner.
* Ambition and drive to learn and to drive positive impact on the business problem they have been asked to address.
Deepti Varma, HR director, India, Amazon
* Cultural alignment: The most important thing for us is that the person who joins us is strongly aligned to the Amazon culture. For us, leadership principles are very important. We look at hiring candidates who walk, talk and understand the leadership principles. Those are skill sets we look at in all the hires. Think big, dive deep, learn and be curious – these are the attributes we want. We focus on someone who’s culturally aligned and high on learnability.
Jagjit Singh, chief people officer, PwC India
* Right attitude: We hire for the right attitude, individuals who have a positive work ethic, are courageous, curious and have willingness to learn, keenness to innovate and collaborate.
* Clarity of thought, analytical abilities: At campuses, we look for candidates who have clarity of thought, can communicate with impact and have a point of view on things/developments around them. Their ability to be analytical in their approach and adaptability to technology is a big plus.