During my professional career I’ve interviewed hundreds of students from numerous engineering colleges and business schools. The most recent experience was at a tier 2 engineering college when I was interviewing soon to-be engineers for product management role. I had a tough time balancing and weighing in abilities of the students with respect to Communication versus Knowledge.
I realized they started too late preparing for their interviews!
Or, they had a very narrow focus – subjects / studies!
In case you are graduating from a tier 1 premier institute then you are prepared automatically during the course of your studies. That’s the kind of professional grooming you get in general. But, that’s just 5% of all the students, who are good enough to get admission in such colleges / schools.
What about those who can’t get admission in teir 1 colleges and have to settle for average ones? For them, preparation should begin as soon as they step into the college.
How to prepare?
Communication: This is biggest roadblock. I’ve interviewed a lot of student and have found that even those who have knowledge are not able to do well during interview just because of lack of communication skills. For me communication is paramount and the senior executives I’ve interviewed and interacted with have selected communication amongst top skills that impresses an interviewer. You got to get rid of inhibitions and probably get out of your comfort zone to master it.
Knowledge: This is no brainer. Communication & knowledge brings confidence. Both of these element are must have. While knowledge comes with progression of studies, communication skills need to be worked upon right from day 1 and practiced and applied, like any science.
Practice and sharpen both of these traits again and again, for any interviewer from any professional company won’t settle for an average-skilled student.
A survey I did last year back resulted in following stats / intelligence:
- Average communication may result in 15% less pay package.
- Average communication results in loss of opportunity at least 30% of the times.
- Poor communication results in loss of opportunity almost 90% of the times.
- Good communication skills influences interviewer to ignore knowledge gaps at least 15% of the times
Hope you focus on communication skills as much as you focus on your studies!
The article is contributed by Shashank Srivastava, Director and Head of Global Marketing, Product Management, Presales and Strategic Initiatives at Cavisson Systems Inc.