INTERVIEWER- Hello everyone, today we have Mr Raj Narayanan who has been placed at Halma plc. So we are here to interview him regarding his preparations and strategies to crack the interview of this company. So firstly, could you please tell us about your role?
RAJ- Hi, Halma plc recruits at IIT Kharagpur for their Future Leaders Development Programme consisting of four six-month rotations within the Halma group, with opportunities to work under four different sectors, in various functional areas. Moreover, these projects are typically in different global locations.
INTERVIEWER- Ok Raj. Could you please describe in brief about the selection process for the company?
RAJ- Firstly, candidates submit their CV on the CDC portal on the ERP based on which there is an initial shortlisting. Post a psychometric test; a questionnaire is floated on the programme’s website. This is evaluated to release the final shortlist for campus group discussion rounds. These candidates are also allotted buddies who are currently future leaders. Buddies can be contacted for information regarding the program and advice regarding the interviews. The remainder of the process is the Group Discussion, and Personal Interview held on campus.
INTERVIEWER- That was a long process for selection. Could you please tell us more about the questionnaire?
RAJ- The questionnaire has questions regarding campus life, critical takeaways from internship experiences and career goals. The questionnaire is different in the sense that you are expected to write answers that reflect who you are as a person. My advice would be to be as open and reflective as possible and leave out the generic answers students generally prepare for HR interviews.
INTERVIEWER- Is there any specific process or method that you would recommend for preparing for the GD (Group Discussion)?
RAJ- My Group discussion topic was non-technical (and I think it was that way for all the groups). The topic was open-ended, and the discussion too was such. I do not feel preparation is required for such topics, though mock discussions with peers will help with expressing thoughts well and maintaining a good flow. My advice would be to stay as coherent as possible and work well with your group. Adding analysis to points being discussed and bringing new aspects to the discussion is a plus.
INTERVIEWER- So could you talk about how your interview went after getting shortlisted from the GD round?
RAJ- The interview experience was excellent since it was an amicable conversation and not a grilling session that candidates expect. It is more of a fit interview, and I would advise being honest and clear about yourself. The questions tend to be far more personal than the regular placement interview and having some clarity with regards to learnings from experiences in and beyond campus life as well as some serious thought given future goals and ambitions might prove helpful.
INTERVIEWER- Thanks Raj for sharing your insights about the GD round. According to you, what is the best way to handle questions related to personal life?
RAJ- Your answers should reflect the kind of person you are, and ideally be supported by evidence from your experiences. For example, internship experiences need not be limited to the technical expertise acquired, but also to the experiences gained outside work hours; campus life need not be limited to projects undertaken or posts held but also your hobbies and extracurriculars and so on.
INTERVIEWER- Okay Raj. Did you face anything like a case round or a sort of guesstimate round?
RAJ- There were no case rounds or guesstimates in the entire process. However, practising cases helps in structuring your thoughts and putting them forward in a concise manner, which would benefit candidates in an interview. I was lucky to have a fantastic case group, with super friendly people who helped me through the process and made it a lot of fun.
INTERVIEWER- Okay Raj. We have reached the end of the interview. As you have graduated from IIT Kharagpur, are there any fundae that you want to share with your juniors for placement preparation and their life at KGP?
RAJ- Many students do not have clarity on their field of interest or the domain they would like to pursue as their career. Please remember it is alright to be confused. Keep trying different areas; knowing what you do not like is also progress. Nalanda is full of opportunities during the placement process and approaching each opportunity with an open mind helps. Avoiding companies due to pre-conceived notions will only reduce opportunities. I had discussions with my seniors who advised me on company-specific as well as general preparation. The placement process is very tedious but help from my friends. Both batchmates and juniors made it more comfortable and I think this is the crucial ingredient to placements along with preparation.
As far as life on campus is concerned, I feel saying yes to opportunities as they come by is very important and will help you grow as a person. It is a great time to explore what you like and should be utilised to the fullest. Time spent overthinking should be gladly diverted and spent enjoying with friends. Cheers!
INTERVIEWER- Thank you Raj, for giving your precious time for this interview to Communiqué IIT Kharagpur. I hope your interview will help the students in their endeavours and we wish you all the best for your future achievements.