Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid by a HR During Campus Drives

Campus InterviewEach corporate level company or medium level company is interested to hire the best talents available in the market (Professional / Engineering Colleges). In their pursuit to achieve their objectives, certain criteria and ways and means are being followed by HR Executive. During this part of assignment, we wish to share our points of view to avoid common mistakes so that the entire exercise is beneficial to both the institutions.

1. Wrong Choice of Colleges

Each company has their own policy in the choice of colleges for conducting campus recruitment. Some companies for example goes by certain standards, in respect of infrastructure, highly qualifies staff, accreditation by National Accreditation Board, number of years in the education field and geographical location for easy access. Even though they may be right in their choice, there are certain inherent weaknesses also.

The student population may be from a particular linguistic state and from minority run colleges. There are instances that companies select candidates for their entire requirement for the year from one institution, even though the talents are spread over many colleges. Some colleges ban the talking of male students with female students and vice versa. The latest information about the lady candidates studied in these institutions experience difficulty to work/consult male co workers in the workplace.  The H R  may avoid these institutions.

The industry has tie-up with institutions on the training of students for enhancing the employability of the students. This tie-up may be increased rather than limiting to a few colleges.

2. Pre-Placement Talk on Annual Reports.

Most of the HR executive prepares their  Power Point from their annual report/ newsletters. Instead they may highlight the mission and vision statement, organization culture, career path, and opportunity for higher education, location of their offices, employee’s perks & work environment. This overview will help the students in the decision of joining a company.

3. Paper based Aptitude/ Language Test

A. Even big Corporate companies conduct the test through paper and pencil. Instead online test can be conducted. This will enable to short list the candidates in the least lead time. Some core companies like MRF, UST Global and L&T IES follow online test.

B. Correction of answer papers. Some HR executives use the staff of the college by providing answer keys. The evaluation done by these staff may not fit into the expectation of the company. Even though dummy role number is allotted, there are every possible ways for malpractices in today’s communication facilities. It is better to bring dedicated staff from the company or service agencies specially trained for these purposes. Online tests may be tried to mitigate this problem.

4. Scrutiny of Applications and Candidates

There are instances of impersonation during the interview. since the HR executive failed to scrutinize the application. Always make a point to check the photograph of the candidate, signature, date of birth, mark sheets verification, nationality, mother tongue, any recent illness, arrears status and attempts to clear the examination. Students normally try to conceal the list of arrears and mother tongue. Hence it is better to verify the mark sheets before they report for interview.

5. Preliminary for Conducting the Interview

Once the shortlisted candidates’ names are announced, the candidates may be allotted time slots for the interview. Most of the HR executives take all the students wait for their turn of interview. It takes 5 to 6 hours to reach this stage and the students tend to become tired.The time slot will facilitate the candidate’s agility and presence of mind since he has time to relax and think over the possible question he may face during the interview.

6. Conducting the Interview

It is normal practice to interview the first few candidates for longer duration and rush to the time for the later candidates.  Hence it is better to monitor time for each candidate.The time frame may be followed as a guideline.

Opening and making the students at ease      - 3 minutes

Probing the various skill sets                            - 12 minutes

Closing the interview                                         – 2 minutes

Writing the notes and comments                    - 5 minutes

7. Initiation of the Interview Process

When the candidate enter the room it may be observed – the body language and facial expression, attire, polished shoes, shaven face. The candidate may be greeted with good morning and give a warm hand shake by standing out and offer seat to the candidate. This will ensure the candidate to ‘play cool’ situation.

We should not pose ourselves as a big guy and show humility for the candidate.

8. Asking Questions

Instead of asking general question like tell me about yourself, family back ground, the questions should be focused on specifics to bring out the skills and abilities of the candidate’s suitability for the post we may recruit i.e. analytical skill, communication skill, organizing skills, innovation and research aptitude. The questions may be open questions, probing questions and hypotheticalquestions, to bring about the skills mentioned above.

Open questions They normally start with words like what, why, how?

eg. What do you mean by optimization?

How will you use this information?

Probing Questions are , soliciting additional information

eg. What is the role played by you in the project work?

How did the Guide help you?

Hypothetical questions. This will focus on the candidate’s theoretical back ground /opinions

eg. How do you plan for the day?

What kind of training you need for the best performance in your job?

9. Signing off

Once the question session is over, the discussion may be closed with a smile and  ask candidate if they have any questions. However no feedback on performance passed on.

10. Evaluation Sheet and Answer Papers

The candidate should not peep into evaluation sheet and answer paper if you pick up questions from answer papers (where wrong answers picked up for questions). Evaluation sheet should be filled up after the candidate leaves the room. The points may be jotted during interview and elaborate details on the skills found may be recorded in the evaluation sheet. Vague comments have to be avoided.

Some examples for writing Evaluation sheet:

Analytical skill.

Positive  points  eg. Objectively analyzed the relationships.

Demonstrates structured thinking

Negative points.  eg. Lacks skill to analyze the relationships.

Demonstrates haphazard thinking


Communication skill.

Positive points.  eg. Articulates well

Persuasive and convincing an audience

Negative points. eg.  Articulates poorly

Demonstrates lack of clarity.

The specific comments will help the selection panel to zero in on the right candidates for selection.


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