We assembled at the HR college conference room for the last time. A smaller group than the last time and a sadder group too because this was our final day of the program. The agenda for the day was Resume, Interview training and Networking.
We were asked to prepare Mark Consention’s questions as a part of our prework.
On reading the list of questions the one that stood out was:
“What percentage is 7 of 63?”
Was I really going to be asked such a question in my interview because at that point in time I just couldn’t calculate. I was under too much pressure to do so.
We began the session by being HR professionals critically evaluating resumes. It was especially helpful because we did so in groups and so got to her our team members perspectives on what is adding value to the CV, what isn’t, and what can be done better.
E.g. I was thought one of the resume’s was very neat and presentable but my team mate pointed out the fact that he just didn’t have enough content and had wasted space and left big gaps.
I learnt the following
- Lines must not be wordy and long
- To ask myself whether every line deserves to be there
- Concentrate more on learnings and skills developed rather than the job description
- Numbers and percentages add value
- Perfect alignment and proofreading is a must
Moving on, we had the interview session, which was intense and intimidating.
I was quite lucky because being at the end of the line gave me more time to think and structure my answers using the feedback my peers were being given,
I was able to answers the questions confidently but I needed to make them more concise and to the point.
We were then made to understand the importance of networking or the better sounding “building connections”.
I leant two main things from the networking session
- To listen more and ask more questions instead of selling yourself
- To research current topics that will help break the ice initially
Both these greatly helped me build connections with Shama(Marketing Manager-L’Oreal) and Nishant(Co-Founder & Managing Director-Kedaara Capital) at buiding connections and dinner session that followed.
Instead of going on and on about myself, my likes and dislikes I made an effort to ask Nishant about his life, challenges, hurdles and successes.
This enabled me to understand him better as a person.
I think I was able to make very good use of the networking session. I used the opportunity to speak to the young leaders panel members and Sinhali as well.
I consider myself to be good at having one on one conversations and I really love getting to know people. This in combination with my newly learnt networking tips did the job for me.
I see a great different in my networking abilities from the beginning to the end of the training. For one I am more confident of my public speaking abilities. Two, I am able to think clearly and structure my answers.
And three, I am better informed and aware of what I need to do in order to be most effective.
I went to bed that night with a bittersweet feeling. Extremely sad that the journey was over but grateful for all that it had given me. Although the sessions have ended the skills, learning, memories, relationships and bonds will be cherished forever.