Avish Hakani is an Intrapreneur, Digital Marketing Professional, Tech Enthusiast and a writer. He love watching movies and playing indoor games during weekends. Presently heading the Digital Marketing & Branding dept. at Explara, one of the fastest growing Event Management software company, his day-to-day role involves mentoring and taking care of new interns who join their super cool team.
1. What is the first thing that you notice while interviewing an intern?
Before the expectations of a role comes evaluating a person. I always look for 3 things:
- Good Attitude, because it makes a lot of difference while
- Good Communication, because it creates transparency
- Willingness to learn, because it helps a person develop faster and decreases knowledge gap
2. Does a good cover letter give a helping hand for hiring an intern?
It does help a lot. Having an assurance that the person is actually in the direction of what she/ he wants to pursue makes it easy to train them. It is equivalent to giving a resume as it allows one to present their skills, qualities and experiences as a part of the bigger picture of their career life.
3. Which mode of interview do you prefer for hiring interns? Physical, Skype or telephonic and why?
We at Explara like to invite them to the office so that we can actually evaluate if the person is right for the internship position by talking to them and understanding their point of view face to face for pursuing the particular internship. We think it is our responsibility to guide the person if we feel the position is not right for them.
4. Do you give more weightage to the grades of the candidate or his skills for a required role?
I believe grades are not a measure of a person nor are they even the sole measure of academic accomplishment. Grades are only an imperfect reflection of how much one has learned during their academic period as it is the best time to build yourself into a resourceful person.
5. What are the most essential things that should be involved in a resume? what do you think about video resume?
Any kind of previous work done with or without evident progress is really important, it allows us to understand how much interested a person is in something she/ he is applying for. I have seen a few video resumes on Youtube Video previously as I was very much interested in having one for myself. I think the fact that it allows you to express yourself Audio-Visually helps you stand apart from the usual.
6. What are the most essential skills that an intern should possess regardless of the position he is being conducted for?
Unlearning is a skill that a person at an Internship level should possess regardless of the position. Intending to let go of what they have already learned or acquired is a great skill to have. It is not about what is right or wrong. It is about being open to and exploring something that lies underneath the judgment or say, underneath the right and the wrong.
7. Do you prefer giving PPOs to ex-interns or hiring a fresher, why?
Given that we have a suite of 12 products across Pre-Event, Event Day and Post event timelines we would prefer to give PPOs to ex-interns as we invest time in training them but at the same time, we would want to hire freshers as well. It highly depends on the situation.
8. What are the things you observe in a candidate during an office interview?
It is really important to me that the person comes prepared with at least the basic information of the company she/ he is applying to. It really puts me off when candidates ask what is the company all about, I wouldn't mind if they ask me to elaborate the concept of the company after knowing the basics. I always observe the body language of a person, it reveals a lot about them. Body language allows us to understand a lot about how the candidate is conveying their thoughts and opinions or whether they are positive and enthusiastic about what they are trying to pursue.
9. Why do you think it has become important for a student to do an internship during their degree course?
I believe given the dynamics of our education system nationally and internationally, it has become important to gain knowledge of what happens in practicality. Working hands on in a Professional environment allows young people to discover realities of life. It is a fallacy especially for us millennials and post-millennials that we have been raised being told that we are special and that we can get whatever we want instantly. Lack of work experience during the academics could be really damaging speaking from my experience in working with many companies.
10. Did you do an internship during your graduation? How was the experience?
I started as a Digital Marketing Freelancer after completing my school and I did an internship post my graduation. To be honest, that particular internship under the guidance of an expert digital marketer accelerated my knowledge to higher dimensions that freelancing couldn't previous to that. In fact, post my internship I was able to offer better services as a freelancer before I joined a company full time.
11. What is that one thing that the interns learn after an internship in your company?
Interns, in fact, everyone gets to learn the dynamics of a Business2Business Software as a Service market after working at Explara. Also, they learn how important it is to be focused in life.
12. What was the best input given by an intern, which was also implemented by your company?
I can talk about the changes I did at the Digital Marketing Level. Our latest intern Purva Verma suggested that we should really good content formats for Social Media and we implemented those to engage our audience. It worked well.