Saturday, June 14, 2008

Self - Introspection before Self Refinement

Introspection is the art of examination or observation with some amount of analysis. With the word self being attached, it becomes all the more prominent that it means self examination. Understanding onself and who as a individual you are.
We speak to all kinds of people that we interface daily. We speak to our family members, we speak to our friends, store keepers, and who not. But in the whole process if you notice we dont speak to one person for years and decades and that it "YOURSELF". In keeping our social poise correct we tend to neglect ourselves. Tell me one thing truely how much do we talk to ourselves, how much do we analyze or how much do we figure out who we actually are and what we actually need. The teachings of being good to society has made us appear in different packages with different outer covering....but we tend to ignore our inner self. Most people either preparing for interviews or any kind of personal examination tend to analyze these but then these are only just for the sake of doing it and thus they do it. During my interactions with different people and candidates I have even noticed that some people even copy others strengths and weaknesses and tell that as theirs in interviews. They might succeed in the interview but how long...How long are we going to continue this process of cheating others or indirectly cheating oneself.
I have met individuals who on being told that they possess some weakness start the refinement process rather than giving it a thought to check if that actually is their weakness. A proper self introspection with enough time spent on oneself would give an individual answers to most questions asked in an interview or for the matter would give an answer to the purpose of life and existence. This would make your goals very very clear and once where you wish to reach is clear, the path becomes all the more prominent. You might then take a longer route but never a wrong one because every decision you would take would either be aligning it to your vision or not.
A company when gets formed decides its vision, mission etc. Similarly every individual needs to decide their own personalized vision and mission and this will become clear only through proper and time tested method which is self introspection. Once this is set the process of self refinement can come into picture and would make life happier and fruitful.
"One should develop worthiness in tune with one’s aspirations. There is a natural law which rewards according to one’s worthiness. Therefore, instead of knocking at other’s door for help and succor, we should not only introspect ourselves but also try to uplift and refine ourselves according to the light given to us during introspection. This is the highway to success in all fields."
Let's take an oath to talk to oneself on a continuous basis and help ourselves to take right decisions in life. You have helped others so many times. Its now time to help yourself.
If you think discussing with me would make this process easier then do get in touch with me either through mail ( alternatively please call me at 9886606366.
Good Luck.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

GD for IT fresher jobs

Today the word GD has become more popular and scary among freshers than C++ or OOP's. GD has become an hurdle for most individuals aiming to get a job in the IT Sector. Look at the current situation: For every 1 job there are more than 20 candidates fighting for it. And thus GD has become an easy way of elimination in most IT company recruitment processes. During my mentoring to engineering students I ask them a question - What is a GD and Why is a GD after all required for a technical job? And the irony is till date I have not found a person who could give me the right answer or even justify his/her answer. They tell me atleast 10 Do's and Don'ts of a GD but they really dont know what is it required for? Let's demystify the whole process.
A GD is basically a "discussion" amongst people either on a topic/situation or circumstance. Please note that its a dicussion and not an argument or a debate. I am sure every person who has the ability to "think" has participated in a GD for atleast thousand times in a span of a decade. Please before you start commenting on this statement of mine let me justify it. A GD is very similar to what happens when couple of you sit together and discuss on a topic.Hang me to death if you and your friends have never discussed on cricket - Whether Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman of all times or not? Have you never discussed about movies....There are many such instances - Starting from discussing about rumors to girls/boys we have all been a part so many times.We have been a part of many such GD's knowingly or unknowingly. The only difference to those and ones which takes place in the recruitment process is you speak in English, you do not use slangs and you sit in an ordered manner and discuss. Rest all remains the same. The thing which I wish to highlight is that we all have participated in GD's hence the fear of being a novice or the fear of not being able to speak needs to be thrown right away. It's fear which stops most of us to do stuff in our life rather than lack of skills.
Now having discussed what a GD is lets see why is it required for would be IT professionals. An IT professionals life is more than just coding, testing or maintaining it. It involves enormous rounds of discussions with fellow team members, managers or customers depending in the role you are in. Hence it becomes all the more important to see if skills like Persuassion, Effective communication and Interpersonal skills are in the blood of an would be IT professional. Also worth noting that like in a company a GD need not be tested only for leadership skills. It also needs to test the followership skill. What I mean here is just like a company which does not need only leaders similarly in a GD not all candidates need to be a leader to qualify. A good follower is more valued than a good leader.
There is more to GD's and smart techniques to excel in GD's specially for IT aspiring candidates. It is very much different from the original format of an GD and needs proper guidance to excel. The series of articles on GD's for IT professionals would contain a)Various types of GD's and how to excel in it b)Ways to break and pitch in your content c)How to over shadow lack of communication skills and lack of domain/topic knowledge.
"To excel in anything you need to look at the way you are currently doing it rather than worrying about if it is the right way of doing it"
Write this statement in your mind "IT companies are not looking for candidates who have a strong vocab or a excellent speaking style. They want individuals who can communicate in an effective manner. Thats it."
For more details or if you need help please get in touch with me at or feel free to talk to me at 9886606366

Monday, June 9, 2008

Employability in IT sector

If I were to break the word Employability it would be employable + ability which directly means the percentage ability of an candidate to get employed in an industry. I have been reading a lot of research papers of employability index pertaining to India and 1 thing really puts me down and that is poor employability ratio of Indians. If you pick today's Education times(An Times of India journal) it is alarming to note that of the 4,50,000 engineering students who pass out only 1/3 are employable in the IT sector. If we look the same from another angle out of 3 candidates only 1 of them is employable. Also something worth mentioning is that out of the 1/3 rd who get into IT companies only 35% of them have proven as a valuable asset to the company and 27% of the remaining had to be thrown out of the company stating different reasons like downsizing etc. This issue is worth analyzing. Employability in the IT Sector is all about Hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are those which engineering colleges for the matter ensure that it gets drilled down into your bodies. Hard skills are all those technical skills which you read in and out and also get it verified and reviewed during exams. What remains ignored otherwise is the soft skills. May be because of the word soft it has remained a soft target or something which gets ignored by most. Our education system needs to be blamed for this lack of interest shown in soft skills. Soft skills include all those Interpersonal skills, Communication skills, Team building and Leadership skills etc. End of the day these all seem to be more important than the rest. Every organization who hires you has to ensure that you become an asset to the organization at the earliest and start being billable to the client. In a survey conducted for most Hiring Managers it has come out openly that a Manager would prefer to hire a person with less Hard skills and more soft skills than a person who has better hard but poor soft ones. Infosys India's largest IT employer has openly said that the only criteria to become a future Infosyian is to have the skill of learnability which is nothing but the judicious mixture of soft and hard skills. Lets take a small glimpse of a day of an IT professional and see where all the soft skills come into picture.

9:00 AM - Reaches offices - Checks mails. (Written Communication is required where in he needs to understand the context of the mail and also reply to them in an effective way)

10: 00 AM - 1:00 PM- Takes time of do complete his primary work. (This also requires some amount of reading skills like reading requirements documents etc)

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Takes training/knowledge transfer session for juniors/fellow colleagues (Effective communication, persuassion and listening skills need to be exhibited here)

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM - Takes International calls talking to members of the team who are outside India (Along with communication requires understanding different cultures etc)

If you have seen the case above there is so much need of soft skills that a company cannot ignore to see in a person who is to be hired. And hence these skills are verified during English written exams, GD rounds and Personal Interview rounds.

Clubbing the right amount of soft skills and hard skills makes an candidate fit enough to get into the IT sector as well as succeed in it.

Having said all this lets not play a blame game(like blaming education system and engineering colleges etc) and gear up to increase the employability ratio in India. I have been mentoring a lot of engineering students and my personal experience tells me that most of them know what to say when asked but its the fear and lack of confidence that puts them down. And when I tried analyzing them the reasons were very different and unique which has made me conclude that soft skills improvement needs a personalized approach with proper and right self introspection.

Please feel free to discuss/comment of the above topic. Alternatively you also call me at 9886606366 or mail me to to discuss on this further.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Soft Skills for IT professionals - What is it? & Why is it required?

Arun - Hey Amit "What happened in the GD? How did it go?"
Amit - I don't know dude...I did not get a chance to speak...I had so much to speak but somehow I could not...
Arun - And what about you Govind?
Govind - I expressed some points but did not get noticed by the Moderator...Lets see what happens
This is what happens in most post discussion talks after GD and Personal Interview. No one is confident of getting through as no one actually knows what is right and what is wrong in GD/PI.
Lets break the mystery and take it one at a time.
Q - Why is soft skill required?
Ans - Most training institutes/experts have un-necessarily hyped the importance of it and teach students starting from English Grammar to what not to students aiming to get into a IT company without even caring to explain them the real need of it. The only soft skill required to crack an IT job is "Effective Communication". The word effective is more than important here. Technology today is based more on collaboration rather than individual contribution. Hence effective communication becomes more than important to express the other person either dependent on your work or otherwise. Let me give you a small example - If you are asked to test a piece of code you must have bare minimum skill to effectively communicate to the developer the bug which you found in the code and how to simulate that. This is just one of the instances where communication comes into picture. So to conclude IT job requires just the basic level of communication which is effective.
Q - Is there a way to improve soft skills?
Ans - To improve any skill be it be technical or soft we need to start from the root. And the root or need for any skill is "attitude". If you have a right attitude any skill can be grasped at fast pace. And mind you even attitude can be groomed and given the right direction. Once the direction is set soft skills can be easily fine tuned as per the needs of the industry.
Q - Is there any fool proof methodology to improve soft skills?
Ans - Yes. But not the way currently institutes or experts are doing it. Soft skill improvement needs to be very very personalized. There is no "One size fits all" strategy in soft skill improvement. Technical knowledge can be gained either by reading a book or solving some problems but soft skill improvement is very different and needs personalized as well as professional approach.
Q - What are stages of an recruitment process where soft skills are required?
Ans - Starting from some written rounds, GD rounds and both Technical and HR interview rounds. Every rounds needs a specialized way of preparation and planning.
This is just few questions which I have tried to answer in a sweet and simple way. For more details please feel free to mail me at or call me at 9886606366 and we can together try and improve your chances of getting through.