Recently I’ve come across the posts of some juniors asking for guidance in preparing for job tests and interviews. The tips (read: Huge Wall of Text) I am going to share with you are particularly important because no one tells you these things in university. This post is particularly focused towards fresh graduates who genuinely want to get hired without any “Pawa” or “Connections”.
The first thing to understand is the employers’ perspective. Mostly the potential employers can assess you with two different type of tests.
1. The General Test which consists of assessing your Quantitative, Analytical and English Language Skills
2. The Technical Test (which is honestly a nightmare for any fresh graduate)
If you clear these two hurdles, you are surely getting called for an interview. For now we’ll leave the Interview part and focus on the strategies to tackle the screening tests.
First: The GAT/GRE Type test
Remember the time when you prepared for the NUST Entry test? You were at the prime of your 12 years of education. Most of you might also have secured boast-worthy merit positions in the entry test. Well, guess what? After 4 years you have a huge pile of rust gathered on those skills. The added irony is that most multinational companies assess you on the very same skills and the very same tests, which you aced during University Entrance exams.
Companies, like P&G, Unilever, Engro prefer to evaluate the Mathematical, English Language and Analytical skills of the applicants.
IMO, the best way to prepare for these type of tests is to give GAT & GRE with full preparation. GAT books are easily available in the market and you can polish your analytical and quantitative skills from them easily. On the other hand the material provided by GRE-ETS (once you register with them) is comprehensive enough to prepare you for any general exam. I must recommend that, once registered, you should go through the material provided by ETS-GRE (esp. the Maths Handbook) as it helps a lot in clarifying your concepts.
Giving GAT & GRE will not only prepare you for any type of general assessment, but will also open up your possibilities for abroad.
(Side Note: Read English Literature! It is the fool proof method to increase your English Language Skills)
Now the Second Hurdle: The Technical assessment
Here is what you should do:
1. Buy a decent sized notebook
2. Gather all your Core Course books (The bulk of which must be from the final four semesters)
3. Sift through every single one of them and write down all the main concepts, theorems, conclusions, highlights, formulae of each chapter. (No Need to waste hours on reading whole chapters/grasping concepts etc. Leave that for later).
4. Throw away all the books ( not literally though! 😉 ) and keep this handbook of yours in a “Sacred” place. This should be your personal guide book. Go through it before any technical test. Consult textbook only if you really need to verify something.
If you follow all these instructions, GOD Willing, there is surely going to be a courier guy standing at your door step, handing you the interview letter. I don’t want to sound cocky (but I’ll still do it). Since graduation, I’ve secured a top 10 place in almost all of the screening tests. With the exception of failing miserably in the P&G test because … that was the first and only one which I gave without preparation.
Now the final and the most nerve wracking part: The Group Discussion/ Interview!
Honestly Speaking! This is all up to you and how well you present yourself, your activities, hobbies, achievements AAAAND FYP (for fresh grads!). My job was to bring you this far.
Speaking of myself, I fear the interview/group discussion more than anything else, because interacting with humans is way more difficult than interacting with machines! 😉
In fact I’ve been rejected in interviews/group discussions more times than in screening tests! (Surprise!) 😮
Or in case everything fails …
Just ask your Father to get you “IN” somewhere… Because this surely is the only foolproof method to securing a job! 😉
Nauman Noor (DE-30-EE)
Assistant Manager Operation
PS: Thanks a lot Sir Shehab Ahmad (DE-29-EE) and Hassan Naveed (DE-30-EE) for guiding me back in 2012.