A few weeks ago, we were at the College of Engineering Guindy. We were looking to hire developers and also roles like brand marketer, and other so-called non-technical roles.

After visiting quite a few colleges over the last few months, we put down an internal guide on what we should look for in students. As part of Cyces culture notes, we thought we’ll give you a glimpse into the guide.

We are not too worried about the department you are from. We, in fact, look for candidates who come from non-traditional backgrounds.

All we are looking for is:

Curiosity: We hired a candidate who is obsessed with cricket; he could talk about his opinions with stats that went back to 20 years.

Hunger to learn: In the past, we have hired someone from leather technology as a developer. He’s with us and has scaled very well.

Proof of leadership in college: We are now working with a person who led industrial relations for a key club in college. Her professionalism and understanding of how a company works were miles ahead of other candidates.

Part of any community: We love candidates who have established and run developer/designer communities in college.

If you read: We’re always biased towards people who read, meaning students who read books/magazines or blogs/online publications and specific authors. Many students say that they gather information primarily from Instagram. So, if you tell us that you read a specific author or a blog, you are already at an advantage.

If you can communicate well: Not just vocabulary, but your thought process on how to handle any given situation. In one line: Can you showcase your problem-solving skills in a crisp manner?

If you are a student who is looking to interview in the next few months, here are some tips to stand out:

Nail the ‘tell me about yourself’ question:

Many students, in our experience, take this very lightly and struggle to stick to their train of thought. Write down your achievements, both academically and in life, and create a story that fits the role you are applying for. Rehearse it with your friends, and you will be confident when you answer this. This will set the tone for the entire interview. Find various hooks for this answer. Most students will start with ‘I am from this town, etc.’, while this is not wrong, it gets repetitive for us as recruiters. Start with a different hook. It could even be, “I play a lot of table tennis,” or “last week, I won a quiz,” or “this is my favorite movie.”

Edit your resume multiple times:

Most students do not bother to re-read their resume. Creating your resume is a week-long continuous exercise. Keep tweaking it for each role. If you are applying for the role of brand analyst, do not highlight your experience with technical projects alone. Tailor your resume to suit each role.

Read about the company:

This is crucial. Go through the company’s social media pages, website, and any news articles about it. If you do not understand what exactly the company does, ask professionals in your circle. Then you’ll have a clear idea of the business. It will get you huge brownie points with the recruiter. It shows you care, and can understand complex information.

Ask questions:

You should ask questions about the company culture, leave policy, benefits, etc. Also, bring up questions like “What will be the growth trajectory in the company? What will my role look like in 2-3 years?” Again, we’ve seen only 1/10 candidates ask us questions. We always ask the candidate if they have any questions for us. Almost all of them say they do not. Asking one sensible question alone could set you up for success.

We’re still hiring for internships and full-time roles across all disciplines, look for open roles on our LinkedIn page. Write to us at it you do not find a suitable role.

Check out our other Culture Notes articles here:

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business growth