For a young graduate fully equipped with the knowledge and skills required to step into the industry, the job interview is one big hurdle to pass. No matter how fit you are for the job, if you may fail to impress your employer at the interview if you do not present yourself properly. “The Exemplar 2018”, the second session of “Are You Ready? 2018”, the official career fair of the university, was all about ingesting yourself with professionalism to make an unwavering first impression!
The session was held on the 29th of October at the Auditorium of the Department of Civil Engineering. The audience was brimming with over 200 enthusiastic undergraduates, curious and excited to learn the secrets to succeed in an interview. Their thirst was quenched by Dr. Mahesh Jayasinghe, Managing Director of MPower Soft Skills (Pvt) Ltd, our esteemed facilitator for the event.
Dr. Mahesh first took us back to our childhoods and walked us through one of our favourite fairy tales, Alice in Wonderland. With his explanation, we understood that there’s more to this story than being just a children’s story. Through Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Mahesh showed us that it is important to plan ahead of anything we do. That is how we can ‘know our way through a forest than being lost in one’.
Next, each and every member of the audience was given a personality test to fill out. After everybody was done, he divided the audience into four categories based on their answers. Then, Dr. Mahesh described the special traits and qualities of each group and further explained their strengths and weaknesses while advising each group on how to overcome those weaknesses while enhancing the strengths.
Then came the most awaited and fun-filled part of the session; the mock interviews! Dr. Mahesh called onstage four interviewees with four different personalities and acted out interviews to display the good and bad traits of each of them. The first interviewee was a very shy, timid but qualified character, coming from a rural background. The second interviewee was a casually dressed, not much organized, happy-go-lucky one with a knack for coding. Then came in a famous actress who was looking for a few extra bucks to accommodate her extravagant lifestyle. Lastly came a well-organized and well-dressed graduate with all the necessary qualifications. After all four interviews were done, Dr. Mahesh popped the most obvious question, “Who would get the job?”. Most of the audience thought the answer would be the fourth interviewee. To everyone’s surprise, Dr. Mahesh declared that he would hire all four, owing to the fact that all four candidates are unique in their own way and the company requires all four types of people. He explained that each candidate had their very own positive traits and strengths, all of which is useful for the employer. His message was that, all of us are unique in our own way and that we should believe in ourselves and face our interviews with confidence while expressing and presenting ourselves in the best way.
Hence, The Exemplar 2018 concluded with success, having been able to provide valuable insight into what employers seek in their interviewees and how to present oneself effectively, in order to land on their dream job.