You must have seen many people making through the technical rounds but getting rejected in the HR round? Have you wondered why?
It is a common misconception that HR round is a mere formality to hand over the offer letter. It is, however, true in very few companies. In today’s competitive scenario, this thought does not align with most recruiters.
On the flip side, recruiters have so many to choose from and each differentiates from the other only a little. So how does a recruiter finalize a candidate? That is where the HR round comes into play. While technical skills may be more or less same for two candidates, what will differentiate them mostly are the soft skills. For instance, in a restaurant, with taste, you also look for presentation. In work field, your soft skills act as the garnishing while your technical skills are the spices.
Corporates look for candidates who have good soft skills. Through your soft skills, they can understand whether you, as a candidate, will be compatible with the culture of the organization or not.
What does an HR look for?
We have discussed why HR round is important. The more important question is what does an HR look for in a candidate in an interview? Here are few parameters against which a fresher is judged during the interview-
This is not ‘language skill’. The recruiter does not see whether you speak UK English or resonate Shakespeare’s language. Although it is important to have basic English speaking skills, but that is it. What recruiters look for is how well you communicate, and how confidently you do. Here are three things you should be careful about-
· You should be a good listener. Listen to what the other person is saying, wait till he/she has finished and then speak. Interrupting in between is not appreciated.
· Understand what the other person is speaking. If you are unable to understand in the first go, do not hesitate to ask again. If you are not comfortable in asking directly “Can you please repeat?”, you can frame your question in a different way. For instance, consider the following conversation-
Recruiter: What are your outside interests?
You: Instead of “Can you repeat again?”, you can say “So you are asking what are my hobbies apart from my work?”
· Be very clear when speaking. Do not murmur under your breath. It becomes very irritating for the other person to keep trying to understand what you are saying because you are speaking low. Your voice is your confidence.
It is very normal, as a fresher, to get intimidated, since it is your first time. But don’t worry. It is okay to be nervous at first. What you need to understand is, like you need a job, even they need a good asset for their company. If they have called you for the HR round, it is because they want to hire you, not reject you. Like we said, HR round is mainly to test if you will be a good fit culture wise for the company. So, let go off your nervousness, and be yourself. You are good enough being yourself than trying to be someone else. Last moment tips-
· Do not sit stiff. Be comfortable in your chair.
· Maintain eye contact. It shows you are attentive to what the other person is saying. By looking towards the walls or ceiling, you might give a feeling that you are not interested or you lack confidence in your skills largely! Both are a turn-off.
· Like we mentioned, be loud and clear.
· Do not hesitate to say “Don’t know”. This evidently shows that you are comfortable in accepting that you don’t know something. However, if you say ‘Don’t know’ to everything, that might be trouble.
Are you compatible with the company?
Every company fosters a different working culture. When a company decides to add a new resource to their team, they vehemently make sure that the new person is comfortable and compatible with the culture of the company. So, wondering how do you prepare for this part of the interview? Here are few handy tricks-
· Companies look at freshers as a resource who can be molded according to the company needs. Show that you are as flexible as fresh clay. If you show yourself as very stern and hard candidate, it might be a major turn off for the recruiter. Flexibility obviously means, be little less choosy about locations, working hours, etc, unless very necessary.
· If you are asked about a general topic, make sure your views are neutral. If you go on to extremes, positive or negative, it might be that your views do not align with the company policies. For instance, if you are asked about your views on AIB Knockout video being brought down, you can have a neutral answer that “Everyone has their own right to speak their heart out, based on their own personal ideologies”.
· Do not trace-pass the Legal/Moral lines. Every company has its own legal code as per their respective country. While you are answering in your interview, make sure you stick to the values.
Eager to learn more
The one USP that will leverage your position as a fresher is your eagerness to learn more. You should be able to communicate this fact that you are flexible as per the company needs, and in the process you are open to try and explore new avenues. So, how do you place across this information?
· Your academic graph is the first indicator of your urge to learn. Don’t worry if you are just a graduate. This is just a preliminary step. You have already crossed the major hurdles.
· Your engagement in various other activities apart from your academics. Showcase your projects, your achievements, and likes of such. Any activity outside your school campus or college campus that has helped you grow as a person, is worth the mention.
This is ofcourse where everything boils down. As a fresher you cannot bargain much, but it is important to ask what is trending as per the market standards. Research well about what are the salary packages offered in the market by corporates for your job profiles and accordingly decide your demands. For instance, if a mid-size company will offer a 3-4 Lakhs yearly package, and you ask for a 10 Lakhs package, you are definitely not a perfect choice for mid-size company.
The key take-away for icing the HR round is- Be yourself, be transparent, honest and confident of what you are saying and demanding. There is no better way to win the game than being humble and confident about your skills.