Shrishti Sinha is an HR Professional with over 4 years of work experience across multiple domains of HR such as Policy and Operations, Training, Employee Engagement and Recruitment. Presently, she is working as a HR Business Partner at Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited. Prior to Reliance Jio, Shrishti worked as a freelance writer with publishing houses, start-ups and content curating companies. When not in office, she spends her time reading books and writing short stories on her blog. On weekends, Shrishti loves making sketches that capture human emotions, which is a means of catharsis for her. This week, we invited her to share internship insights with us.
1. What is the first thing that you notice while interviewing an intern?
The very first thing that we notice, is their reason for interning with us. Are they looking for Stipend or Experience? This usually shows their level of interest and motivation going forward.
2. Does a good cover letter give a helping hand for hiring an intern?
Yes! A cover letter gives us a lot of insight into what a candidate is like, without having to read the entire resume at length. A good cover letter also reflects a candidate’s comprehension skills.
3. Which mode of interview do you prefer for hiring interns? Physical, Skype or telephonic and why?
If availability is not a problem, then our first preference is always a face to face interview. You get to speak to the candidate at length, unlike the Skype or telephonic methods of interviewing, where poor network could hamper an interview experience. It also helps us capture a candidate’s verbal and nonverbal cues. The way they carry themselves, their comfort level with ambiguity, maintaining eye contact and facial expressions, convey way more than words.
4. Do you give more weightage to the grades of the candidate or his skills for a required role?
In my opinion, nothing overrides academic performance. Different companies may have different criteria in their own order of priority. In my current organization, a candidate qualifies only if they are first class throughout. So academic come first, evaluation of skills follows.
5. What are the most essential things that should be involved in a resume? What do you think about video resume?
Three most important aspects that must be emphasised in a resume are:
a. A clear comprehensive career objective statement
b. Clean tabular format display of your academics (Class 10th, 12th, Graduation Percentages)
c. Extra-Curricular Activities in reverse chronological order.
Video Resume sounds like an interesting concept! Instead of asking the usual “Tell me about yourself” it will actually be nice hearing them talk about themselves.
6. What are the most essential skills that an intern should possess regardless of the position he is being conducted for?
I am dividing “Skills” into technical and soft skills. Some of the technical skills that give an edge over others, would be:
Knowledge of Excel (Pivot, VLookUp, Data Sorting)
Good understanding of PowerPoint
Some of the soft skills include:
An attitude to learn
Basic corporate etiquettes
7. Do you prefer giving PPOs to ex-interns or hiring a fresher, why?
Offering a Pre Placement Offer to an ex-intern who has done well during their stint is preferred, because they already know how to things function in the organization. They probably have a network of people they became friends with or know from different departments, which means they know how to get their work done.
8. What are the things you observe in a candidate during an office interview?
Like I said earlier, a face to face interview is our go-to choice as a mode of interview. Some of things I as a recruiter watch out for are:
a. Confidence and Comfort Level – I understand the candidates would be nervous, but in spite of all the nervousness and the first times, it is interesting to see how they contain themselves and not act jittery. The ones who are able to put forward a confident face, certainly leave a mark in my mind.
b. Subject Knowledge – When Freshers go for internship opportunities, it is very important that they brush through their subjects very well. If they have prior internship experiences, then they must also remember all the projects they have been a part of, as interviewer would be equally interested.
c. Communication Skills – There is nothing better than talking to a candidate who is able to articulate what they think and want, clearly. As far as the message was sent across, Language is never a barrier. I have had candidates who weren’t proficient in English and requested if the interview could be continued in Hindi. This little act also talks volumes about awareness of their weaknesses.
9. Why do you think it has become important for a student to do an internship during their degree course?
An internship gives them the opportunity to gain experience in the field of their choice. It gives them a sneak peek into the fast world of corporate, polishes their business etiquettes and acts like a platform for them to experiment as much as they can.
The more they are able to bring on their plate, the merrier. Of course, that is without compromising the quality. Also, it gives them an edge over other candidates who have zero on-job experience and thus, increases a recruiters’ interests in their profile.
10. Did you do an internship during your graduation? How was the experience?
I interned with Reliance Digital during my MBA Days, and those were the most memorable 5 months of my life. Right from taking printouts and running around for signatures to designing an entire employee engagement plan for digital stores PAN India, it really was one learning experience.
I stepped into the corporate world as a lost student and raw professional, only to come out more confident and trained as an HR Professional.
11. What is that one thing which interns learn after completing their internship in your company?
More than the job related skills, it is the corporate etiquettes that an intern learns. The first impression matters, and an internship is a great opportunity to understand how to carry oneself, how to brand/ portray yourself, learn from the actions, words and body language of business leaders.
This way, when you actually join the corporate world, you will be more confident, less naive and a smarter professional.