What the interviewer looks for? – Part 1


2011 definitely appears to be a Year with a lot of recruitment potential especially in the IT services Industry. Needless to say that these positions are going to be filled through an interview process that includes multiple rounds, most of the rounds being extremely demanding and only the best talent will make it to the final round / get the offer letter. Let’s take a look at the steps / multiple rounds involved in a typical interview process and some best practices for breezing through these rounds.

Part 1 talks about the overall selection process and framework as well as the expectations from the Interviewer. In Part 2, I will address the assessment framework that would be more from a technical point of view for the Java / J2EE platform.

Selection Process

For candidates with 0 – 8 years of experience the process below is more or less the standard. For Senior Professionals, there could be additional discussions with the Head of the business unit and so on. However, for the sake of simplicity, we will limit our discussion to the standard rounds.
Sourcing – The resumes that come in are scanned, filtered and a shortlist of candidates is created
Preliminary Screening – The objective of this screening is to eliminate the people who do not possess the right attitude and basic technical knowhow. This is either a written test and / or telephonic interview or a face-to-face one. This stage of the selection process concentrates on the problem-solving skills of the candidate. This obviously requires good communication skills since the candidate has to articulate the problem-solving approach and solution.
Technical Interviews – The technical interviews go deeper and deeper into what you have accomplished both academically (especially if you are a fresh grad) and your previous work experience. The emphasis is on testing the technology fundamentals as well as assessing your soft skills and abilities like team work and communication.
Reference Checks – Usually the organization would ask you to cite three professional references that they check up for credentials. Make sure that these are only professional references and not just personal acquaintances or friends / family members.
Final / HR interview – The HR interview usually addresses all the non technical aspects of the job i.e soft skills and financial aspects (Salary / Compensation). Ofcourse, here’s where you get your offer letter and all your hard work, resilience and patience is finally rewarded :-).

What the interviewer looks for?
Attitude – Pride in past work (academic/professional) and organizations
Aptitude – Strength in what you do and willingness to learn
Foundations – Trainable, not just trained
Communication – Ability to articulate thought processes
Ethics – Value systems, Integrity and Trustworthiness.
Focus – Self Awareness, Clarity of Strengths, Weakness and Goals

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