Monday, 28 December 2015

5 Resume Tips

1. Don’t Put Everything on There
Your resume should not list every work experience you’ve ever had. Think of your resume not as a complete list of your career history, but as a document selling you as the perfect person for the job. For each resume you send out, you’ll want to highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job at hand (even if that means you don’t include all of your experience).

2. Keep it to a Page
The two- (or more!) page resume is okay when there’s just that much you need to say, but the bottom line is this—you want the information here to be concise, and making yourself keep it to one page is a good way to force yourself to do this. If you truly have enough relevant and important experience, training, and credentials to show on more than one page of your resume, then go for it. But if you can tell the same story in less space? Do.

3. Keep it Simple
Keep it simple. Use a basic but modern font, like Helvetica, Arial, or Century Gothic. Make your resume easy on hiring managers’ eyes by using a font size between 10 and 12 and leaving a healthy amount of white space on the page.

4. Make Your Contact Info Prominent
You don’t need to include your address on your resume anymore (really!), but you do need to make sure to include a phone number and professional email address (not your work address!) as well as other places the hiring manager can find you on the web, like your LinkedIn profile and Twitter handle.

5. Bring it Down a Level
You may be tempted to throw in tons of industry jargon so you sound like you know what you’re talking about, but ultimately you want your resume to be understandable to the average person. Remember that the first person who sees your resume might be a recruiter, an assistant, or even a high-level executive—and you want to be sure that it is readable, relevant, and interesting to all of them.
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Friday, 18 December 2015


Low self-confidence can hold you back from achieving your goals, luckily, though, there are some practical tips you can use to raise your self-confidence. Here are 4 of them!

1. Make a plan to do something. Then follow through.

This is probably one of the most important and effective ways to building lasting confidence. When you decide to do something and don’t back down but go through with it you get proof of your – often underestimated – capabilities and your confidence in yourself soars.

2. Create something.

Everyone is a creative person. But after childhood and the teenage years your creativity is neglected. Rediscovering your creativity is a good way to improve confidence in yourself. Creating something is a wonderful but not always an easy experience. But when you’re done you not only feel good about yourself, you also sometimes discover new, previously unknown parts of yourself. Being creative is good a way to get to know yourself and your hidden capabilities.

3. Realise that the past does not equal the present

What happened last year, last month or yesterday does not equal tomorrow, next month or next year. You create your future in the present and you can to a large degree decide for yourself how much you let the past affect you and your future.
You can choose to let go of previous thoughts that have not been useful for you. You can choose new thoughts to think. This realization creates a sense of possibility and makes it easier to change negative thought patterns.

4. Compare yourself to yourself. Not to others.

This will eliminate a lot of unnecessary pain in your life. The thing is if you pass one person then you’ll just find another person more successful than you. And your brief sense of being a winner will once again transform into anxiety and fear. Focus on yourself, not the other people around you, no matter if they are more or less successful. Compare yourself to yourself. Improve yourself and see how you grow and become a more successful, more confident and happier person.
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Friday, 11 December 2015

Deep Maini and His Grand Entry into the Bank of Baroda

Some stories are quite dreamy. For Deep Maini, a 22 year old graduate from Ghaziabad, life took a new turn when the results of the PO Exam were announced.
Deep remembers vividly all the night outs, the crazy frenzy preparations and all the fun and anxiety he had while preparing for India’s most competitive Bank PO Exam. He is now happy, having launched  career with one of the top banks in the country, Bank of Baroda.

His journey was of course not easy. He committed himself to work really hard, allocated over 4 hours a day for more than 9 months to prepare for the exams and continuously banked on his self confidence to become a bank officer in 2015.

While on this path to his dream career, he had a strong partner to support and guide him all the way; TalentSprint.

Deep says “It all started in January 2015, when I came across free content and live sessions by TalentSprint. Then in April 2015, I decided that this is the best partner for me to achieve my goal. I joined the Bank Exam Premium program and then there was no looking back.“

Recalling his days during the preparation, Deep remembers how he spent time watching videos and taking tests which helped him in getting his dream bank job.

With respect to online learning he adds “while I had learnt most of the topics covered in bank exams during my school days, the video lessons helped me not only to refresh but also get a very strong understanding of the basic concepts. This helped me improve my accuracy levels by removing doubts in my mind”.

This foundation went a long way in his success. The added flexibility of learning at his own pace and own time helped him to optimize the time spent on preparation.

But to succeed in Bank PO Exam it is not just about knowledge. Speed is extremely critical as there are only 36 secs to answer a question.”This is where I got the maximum benefit thro’ TalentSprint’s training. I learnt a lot of shortcuts and techniques which improved my speed multi fold. In fact, I sometimes wondered, why did I not learn these shortcuts and techniques when I was in school.”

While these learnings were good, Deep believes that the key benefit of TalentSprint’s online program comes from the high touch it offers through interactive live sessions. Deep attended all the LIVE sessions conducted by Ms.Sylvia Fiona and Mr. Rohit Agarwal without fail. His interactions with “Rohit Sir” (as he and many others call him) helped him do better with Maths especially with doing calculations faster. Ms.Sylvia’s classes helped him do better in English in the Prelims and Mains. Apart from this, it gave him the confidence to face the interview with courage.

After being selected as Bank of Baroda PO, Deep called us up to share his story. He is excited about his new post.

TalentSprint wishes him a great career ahead.


Deep Maini and His Grand Entry into the Bank of Baroda

Some stories are quite dreamy. For Deep Maini, a 22 year old graduate from Ghaziabad, life took a new turn when the results of the PO Exam were announced. It all started in January 2015, when I came across free content and live sessions by TalentSprint.

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Monday, 7 December 2015

Etiquettes at Work

As a professional, there are standards you need to keep up with (if not surpass!). There are certain things, however obvious and basic they may seem, that separate the professionals from the not-so-professional. Some of these pointers can be very helpful in maintaining your image as a respectable and professional worker.

1. First impressions are very important! Remember that you are an ambassador of the business and hence need to behave accordingly. Conduct yourself respectfully and courteously at all times.

2. Always maintain your integrity and act with honesty and dignity, especially when it may not be easy to do so. This includes not talking about your co-workers behind their backs and stepping over others to climb the corporate ladder.

3. Dress sharply and always strive to look your best, this works wonder in making sure you look the part of a professional. Be neat, clean and conservative. Shower regularly and use appropriate deodorant.

4. Avoid chewing and popping bubble gum in the presence of others, it’s completely inappropriate and you shouldn’t do this.

5. The physical connection you make when shaking hands with someone can leave a powerful impression. When someone's handshake is unpleasant in any way, we often associate negative character traits with that person. A firm handshake made with direct eye contact sets the stage for a positive encounter.

6. Show respect for others’ workspace. Always knock before entering.

7. Be polite to everyone, don’t interrupt unnecessarily when others are talking. Give them your undivided attention. Be cordial and friendly even when you’re in a bad mood or otherwise under some stress.

There you have it, adhere to all these and whatever else common sense suggests is the appropriate way to behave and you will be recognized as the professional that you want to be known as. Good luck!
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Friday, 4 December 2015

7 Fundamental Business Skills for IT Professionals

There are some basic, fundamental skills that all aspiring IT Professionals should look to hone and perfect over time to further their career and enjoy any significant success in what they pursue. Some of these are listed below, hopefully you can inculcate them into your persona and succeed in your professional endeavours.

1. Listening
Listening attentively helps you understand people around you and enables you to communicate effectively. You also gain some insight about other people’s subject matter expertise if you pay rapt attention to what they’re saying.

2. Negotiation
Anyone, including IT pros, will find themselves stuck and unable to move forward when facing obstacles or a challenge of some sort. Negotiation can often be the difference between success and failure when working with multiple people or groups.

3. Basic Business Finance
IT professionals don’t have to understand advanced financial operations. However, they should know the basic principles such as return on investment (ROI), depreciation, the difference between capital and operating expense, etc.

4. Understanding the Company’s Business Model
If, as an IT pro, you have a good grasp on the business model of the company, you will be in a much better position to be able to offer suggestions on how IT can benefit said business. Without this knowledge, IT pros won’t know what’s actually relevant to making the company more successful.

5. Understanding the Company’s Operating Model
When IT pros understand how the cogs of the company fit together, they will have the contextual framework to differentiate between real improvement and something that’s only hypothetical. This knowledge will also give an IT professional substantial leverage during critical negotiations.

6. Political Power Mapping
Career advancements often depend largely on others deciding that you’ve done enough and deserve a new opportunity. Knowing who in the company has this kind of decision-making authority will help you to network effectively.

7. Doing Your Job

No matter what your role may be, proficient delivery and doing your job well is of utmost importance.. Understanding how your job fits in to the big picture is imperative because it defines how you should leverage your position to have the biggest impact.

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Monday, 30 November 2015

5 Tips for Exam Preparations

Preparing for an upcoming examination can be a stressful and exhausting task, if not approached correctly. You might be the kind of student who gets increasingly nervous as the day of the exam draws nearer; if you are, this article is tailor-made for you, although students who take a relatively more relaxed approach can benefit equally from it.

Tip No.1: Lose That Fear!

Productivity takes a backseat when you’re ruled by fear: Fear of not having enough time to prepare or not preparing well enough, fear of going blank when the paper makes its way to you, fear of not matching your(or your parents’) expectations, the list goes on. Fear only holds you back, and the stress it brings to you reduces your brain’s efficiency, so that your (otherwise baseless) fears actually come true!

Tip No.2: Time It Out!
Prioritize. The most important portions of your coursework should obviously take more of your study time up. Make a schedule that is realistic and stick to it, rather than assigning too much for you to do in any particular day and then ending up disappointed at not being able to do so. Spend more time on subjects that are not your strong suit, but don’t neglect the ones you think you’re good at, either.

Tip No.3: Get your Two S’s: Sleep and Sunshine!

Your brain converts short term memory into long term memory when you sleep, and REM sleep improves recall dramatically. Getting less than the recommended amount of sleep can reduce your memory’s efficiency drastically, and you shouldn’t skimp on your sleep under any circumstances. Organize your day so that you aren’t left with the option of pulling all-nighters and cramming last minute.
Sunshine gives you Vitamin D, which is necessary for your brain to work at its best. Go out for a walk in the sun and reap the rewards when you ace your exam.

Tip No.4: Don’t get distracted!

When it’s time to study, don’t keep checking your phone(switch it off if you find this hard!) or making excuses to get up and take an unscheduled break (scheduled breaks are necessary, though!). Tell your family and friends to allow you to have your study time so that you don’t get distracted. Keep your eye on the prize, and reward yourself when it’s time for a reward. Be true to yourself (don’t cheat by saying and don’t get disheartened!

Tip No.5: Motivation and Revision
Remind yourself of what you’re good at, and don’t beat yourself up over minor hiccups. It’s well accepted that having time to revise is amazingly helpful, and will help you feel assured and confident in your ability to answer tricky questions when the time comes. Remember that you can’t do everything at once, but you can do it all over time. Keep faith in yourself and do your best!

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Friday, 27 November 2015

7 Tips For Job Seekers That Hiring Managers Wish You Knew

Remember that getting hired is a decision that is a direct consequence of how well you market yourself, and more importantly, it is basically the product of the conversation between you and the hiring manager.
As a job candidate, you have probably already heard all the common tips about how to impress the interviewer. Firm handshake? Done. Good eye contact? Check. Cut the “likes” and “ums” from the dialog? Check.

Even so, you might find that you’re still struggling to get that break in the job market and secure the position you want. We may be able to help. One of the biggest things to remember is that hiring is a two-way street. For you to have a greater chance at finding the right match for yourself, you need to inculcate clarity and openness into the hiring process. Remember that you are making a decision just as much as the companies are!

Here are some tips that hiring managers secretly wish you knew and that can greatly increase your chances at finding and securing the perfect position for yourself.

1. Your Resume Isn't as Significant as You Think

Hiring managers are well aware of the fact that resumes aren’t the ultimate authority when it comes to judging the candidate, and that they can, in most cases, get a much better picture of who you are by evaluating your entire online presence – your social handles, work portfolio etc, which are all usually more up-to-date and revealing than resumes. So make sure that all these are such that they reflect on you well.

2. Hiring Managers Don't Only Want to Interview You

They actually want to have a good chat with you and to be able to decide mutually if you should work together. So get comfortable, don’t appear harrowed or under pressure, talk about each other’s goals, if you can float some ideas you have for growing the company, discuss your work values, and see if you click.

3. Past Accomplishments aren’t as Important as Future Growth

Work history can be good to know, but the past is exactly that: the past. The company’s future is the main thing. Spend more time talking about what you see in the company’s future, what you can bring to it, how you can increase it’s value; rather than go on about positions you might’ve held.

4. Put All Your Needs For Success on The Table

It’s important to find common ground with a hiring manager, and this requires you to be frank about your needs for success and happiness. Similarly, ask about the hiring manager’s needs. Can you relate, and do you think you click?

5. Hiring Managers Evaluate You Based on Your Questions

It’s important to not be fearful (or too pushy), strike a balance and ask questions of every hiring manager you meet. Your questions help the hiring manager understand you fully—your interests, concerns, and passions. Likewise, you’ll get personalized responses from different people, which will give you deeper perspective into whether the position is the right one for you.

6. Verified Is Good

Although this may seem somewhat like a harsh truth (because it is!), it’s best to acknowledge that hiring managers tend to support applicants who know someone they know, and have possibly even been referred to them by. This is because these candidates have been vouched for by their trusted network, and this goes a long way. Hence you should aspire to build and maintain a healthy professional network to the best of your ability.

7. Hiring Managers Would Like to Enjoy The Process

Recruiting has developed a status for being a difficult chore. But this doesn’t always have to be the case. Interviewers value your drive and passion and if you can convey these in your conversation, you’re headed in the right direction. Both the candidate and the interviewer are getting to know each other at the start of a new and potentially rewarding association. If the start of this relationship is productive and fun, it’s a given that it’ll only grow with time!
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Monday, 23 November 2015

Important Questions in Interviews, And How to Answer Them

Many companies incorporate a strategy while interviewing employees that aims to disarm or otherwise unnerve potential employees who often think that they couldn’t have prepared any better, only to be disappointed and even shocked at the end of an interview. They just can’t handle some of the questions as well as they ought to.

These kinds of questions help employers eliminate bad hires, and make sure that the candidates can hold their own, think fast and perform gracefully under pressure. However, while the notion of answering these questions can appear daunting, with a little practice applicants can turn them to their advantage and use them to stand out from the crowd.

No matter how smart you are, or think you are, the truth is that preparation is key, and rehearsing tricky questions is the only proven way to answering confidently.

Here are a few of these questions and the strategies to adopt while answering them.

1. Could you tell me a little about yourself?
Most interviewers use this question to assess your poise, style of delivery and communication ability, as well as to gain information. Don’t give a speech about your entire life history. Instead, briefly cite recent personal and professional work experiences that relate to the position you're seeking and that support your credentials. Even better, prepare a personal branding statement that quickly describes who you are and what you can bring to the company.

2. What are your greatest strengths?
Focus on four specific skills that employers hold in high regard: self-motivation, initiative, the ability to work in a team and the willingness to work long hours.

Briefly summarize your work experience and your strongest qualities and achievements that are directly related to the responsibilities of the job you are applying for.

3. What are your weaknesses?

Most interviewers don't expect you to be perfect or reveal your true weaknesses. The best thing to do is to turn this question around and present a personal weakness as a professional strength. Let's assume that you're a workaholic who tends to neglect family and friends when working on important projects. You can turn this around by saying that you're result-oriented, meticulous and remain involved in projects until you've worked out all the kinks, even if it means working extra hours or even on the weekend.

4. What can you tell me about our company and/or industry?

Don’t skimp on your research. Check out the company website, especially their "About Us" section.. Write down key points that you can mention when asked. Interviewers want to know that you're interested in them, and even view the opportunity as more than just a job.

5. Aren't you overqualified for this position?

No one, or hardly anyone expects you to say "yes" to this question in today's job market. If you do, the interviewer may think you'll grow disgruntled and leave the company. Instead focus on the experience and the skill set you'll bring as well as the value they'll receive by hiring you.

6. What sets you apart from other applicants?

The interviewer who asks you this is actually probing your readiness for the job, and the willingness to work as hard as required. Describe how your experience, qualities and achievements are going to make you an asset.

7. Where do you hope to be in three years?

The absolute worst answer to this is to say that you want to be president of the company or have the position the interviewer currently holds. Instead, talk about your motivations; especially what will motivate you on this job and what you hope to have accomplished.

8. Do you have any questions? Can you think of anything else you'd like to add?

Don't say "no," or imply that everything has already been thoroughly discussed. If you think the interviewer has any doubts, now's the time to make him see why choosing you is the most logical course of action he can undertake. Show your interest in the company: prepare some key questions in advance. Asking about the company’s corporate culture or what the interviewer likes best about the company will give you insight and let the interviewers know that you're interviewing them as well.

Calmness under fire will demonstrate that you can handle crises on the job just as easily. Remember, interviewers are looking for a candidate who is both competent and confident, someone who not only wants the job, but also recognizes its requirements and can quickly hit the ground running. Answering these questions with self-assurance and conviction can help you outshine other applicants, and put you in prime position to land the job you seek.

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Friday, 20 November 2015

7 Ways to Manage Your Time

When it comes to success, there are no shortcuts, and you have to be willing to put in the time to become the success you envision yourself to be. To do this, however, you have to firstly HAVE the time to become the aforementioned success, and secondly and more importantly, you have to USE the time you have available to you in the most efficient, resourceful way possible. To help you do just this, here are a few tips that could have you well on your way to that super-successful version of yourself, provided you put in the hard work, of course. Without further ado (don’t want to take up too much of your time now, do we?) here they are:

Make a Time Diary
Jot down how you’re spending your time, over a week at least, to get an idea of just what you’re doing each week; make sure you’re honest, if you spend 25 hours a week watching television, write it down.

If you don’t know what you’re doing with your time currently, you can’t know how to better it and in effect, be more effective.

Learn to Say "No"
Switch off your cell phone and beeper. If someone asks you to do something that you don't have time to do, politely but firmly respond accordingly. And don't feel guilty for doing so.

Time-Based, To-Do List
Lists are always helpful, and you can’t have an effective plan until you have this, a time-based to-do list to know exactly what you have to do, when you have to do it, and how much time you have to do it in.

Let Your Computer Help
There are many time-scheduling software available on the Internet to help you make the most of your time and you should avail of these to get a better handle on your time.

Letting your computer help also enables you to minimize the amount of clutter you have, phone numbers on slips of paper, business cards in notebooks, a desk piled high with calendars and lists and the like.

Multitasking (although possibly dangerous such as talking on the phone while driving etc) can be effective if done properly. Listen to books on tape while commuting. When you watch television, pay your bills.

Don't Be a Perfectionist
Perfectionism is procrastination if you spend an inordinate amount of time making sure that every detail (whether important or not) is EXACTLY the way you want it to be. This excessive attention could be much better used.

Setting unattainable expectations of yourself just adds stress to your life, Kemp explains.
Reward Yourself
Never let any progress, however small, go unrewarded.
It can be as small as spending some time with yourself or getting a massage, but a sense of accomplishment accompanies the confidence and drive to go on and do more.

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Preparing for the IBPS PO Exam with Smart Strategies by Anjan Jyothi

I cleared the IBPS PO Exam in the very first attempt. It is not LUCK. It is not FLUKE. My name is Anjan. I did it with TalentSprint. And this is how exactly I did it…

I appeared for the IBPS PO 2015 Exam. .The two stage exam being conducted for the first time, I was not sure, how to prepare. Then, a friend of mine, who was also preparing for the exam, introduced me to a few interesting videos on youtube and found them interesting. I then registered for a free webinar on how to prepare for IBPS PO. That’s when I came to know of TalentSprint and then joined the online program which was one of the key decisions which helped me get ready for the exam.

5 Key Success factors

Here are the 5 secrets that helped me clear the IBPS PO in first attempt

1: Planning:  I made a detailed plan as suggested in the webinar. I committed to prepare for 3-4 hours every day so that I can cover the wide range of subjects required. Also, I decided to prepare for both the stages in one go.

2: Executing the Plan:  This was the  most difficult part. I wanted to do 30 minutes of calculations every day, read 2 newspapers every day and 2 hours of preparation and 30 minutes of practice. it was initially difficult for me to commit 3-4 hours. However, I could after a week of persistent self motivation was able to be in line with the plan. This is when I started getting confidence on my readiness for the exam

3: Falling into a rhythm - The next two weeks, I set into a rhythm of preparation. Weekly Live Doubt Clearing Sessions helped me to take stock of where I stood and how things were moving.  Also, the weekly tests conducted helped me to take stock. Yes, I started with below 40% performance in the tests. But, I could see myself improving week on week.

4: The final push:  The final push came during the last 1 month. I was able to increase the time to almost 5 hours a day. The LIVE refresher sessions for IBPS Prelims and Final exams helped me revise my learnings and more importantly practice different types of methods to solve the same problem. I was able to, at this point of time, understand the areas where I am strong in.

5: Key Factor:  As both Rohit sir and Sylvia madam had repeated 100s of times duing their live sessions, only 3 key factors to succeed. Practice, Practice and more Practice. I realized that this is absolutely true. I had taken 100s of tests, practice calculations even when going out ( I started adding, subtracting and multiplying the first and last two numbers of cars when I was travelling :-) and I continue to do so well after the exams are over). I was amazed at the power this gave me.


Preparing for the IBPS PO Exam with Smart Strategies by Anjan Jyothi

I cleared the IBPS PO Exam in the very first attempt. It is not LUCK. It is not FLUKE. My name is Anjan. I did it with TalentSprint.

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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Interview 101

Sometimes even the best candidates can fail at any interview. So how do you crack the perfect interview?
That is one question every candidate has been trying to figure out since the very first day. So how is the perfect impression created within a few minutes of meeting? Maybe these few steps can highlight what you should focus on, during your interview:

Research is a primary essential for any interview! A well-research driven candidate shows high prospects in the future of the company. You’re research would also prepare you for tackling questions and make you ease into the company environment.
You should also research on what role you would be playing in the company. Check their past work and portfolio.

Dress Well.
Our society emphasizes a lot about first impressions. To be honest, all of us tend to judge a person in the first few seconds, and a lot of that judgement deals with how they present themselves.
You can never be overdressed or overeducated, is how Oscar Wilde puts it.
The bottom line is you should dress how you want to be addressed.

Be Punctual.
A part of your first impression highly depends on punctuality! Why? Because in the professional world, Time is considered as Respect. And no one would like to disrespect their new employer at the very first meet.

Be Yourself. Be Confident.
Remember, an interview is not all about communicating your qualifications but also about your personality. So be yourself and be confident! Confidence is a reflection that you can handle responsibility.

Be Attentive.
The employer will ask you questions about yourself, and your past work. Make sure you answer to the point. Also if you have any questions, go ahead and ask. This shows how interested you are in the company.

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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ultimate rules to master Aptitude skills for competitive exams

For some, Aptitude is  as scary as Higher Mathematics while others don’t even realize that this is what they studied as part of their lower standard Class I to VII math .
Now the question  is, Is it really tough? The fact of the matter is, it is MATH  what most of us ;educated or un educated, employed or unemployed, do in real life. Profit and loss; what we do when we buy or sell an item, Percentages; sharing  a property or money among friends or brothers, SI/ CI; where to invest FD, MF or RD and what gives better returns,  Time & Distance; What speed can make me cover 100Km in 30 minutes and Numbers, are something we all play with on a regular basis.  With this, we should understand that aptitude is child’s play and overcome the first  psychological barrier of treating Aptitude as a difficult subject. In this article we will discuss the 5 best practices to master Aptitude for competitive exams.
1.       Rule 1: Memorize simple yet forgotten stuff,  like Tables, Squares, Cubes, % and their equivalent fractions,  so that you get the feel of the ABCD of aptitude.

2.       Rule2:  Conceptual  approach vs. Formula based approach
Many have the habit of remembering formulae for practicing aptitude questions. Though it is a good practice,  when the examiner twists the question some  get perplexed as the question explicitly does not throw the idea, which formula needs to be used.  So it is always advisable to go with a concept based approach for aptitude practice. Moreover by mastering the definitions and concepts, it is not only easy to remember the formulae but one can also derive the formulae if needed.

3.       Rule 3: Don’t be traditional
“ Ends matter not the means “, and same is true in case of scoring marks in Aptitude section.  Don’t try to  derive the answers by doing step wise calculations etc , this method is good for getting marks in Board exams not in the recruitment tests.  For solving aptitude questions follow the following 4 approaches.
1.       Traditional
2.       Formula based
3.       Substitution Method
1.       Elimination method

1.       Rule 4: Practice Practice Practice : Kohli, Yuvraj, Rahane still practice …why not us? Even after mastering the above mentioned things, still the next best practice is to “ Practice, Practice ..Practice”.  Practice always improves speed and accuracy, so even the best needs to practice so that they don’t lose grip over the subject.  Hard work always pays so does practice in Aptitude exams.
Once you master the concepts, questions asked in different forms will no longer pose a challenge. Memorizing the essentials and applying  quick and smart strategies in the aptitude exam proves beneficial. Overcome the feeling that time is insufficient and focus on optimum utilization of the given time. Keep in mind even when you take time to practice, focus on the topics that you can expect in each exam and then invest time accordingly.
Hope these tips will help you in getting your preparation for aptitude section into the right groove…ALL THE BEST.

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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

5 Interview Mistakes you have to avoid

You are appearing  for your first ever job interview and you want to make an impression. Your resume talks so much about you, but are you ready to match not only what you've put down on your resume but also about what it takes to get the job. Employers are very particular about who they hire. Even a small mistake can get magnified when it comes to competitive jobs and opportunities.

It is imperative to be aware and understand how to avoid these 5 common interview mistakes.

Mistake 1: Not researching about the company and the job that you have applied for
If you have no clue about the job or the company you are interviewing for, you appear clueless about what you want and may automatically get disqualified. You should understand the company’s current needs; tap into social media, search for blogs or articles and keep yourself well-informed.  
Mistake 2: Not appropriately dressed
This is one of the biggest mistakes . Wearing the wrong attire for an interview. One doesn’t have to make a fashion statement nor does one have to spend money to buy expensive clothes however it is important to look well dressed, professional and polished. First Impression matters. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes. It would make all the difference when you pick the right colors and attire.
Mistake 3:  Arriving late              
Job candidates who arrive late reflect poor time management skills. Always respect the interviewer’s time. It shows that you are reliable and mean business. If you are not serious and professional enough to be on time for your own interview you leave a very poor image of yourself and lose your chances of getting hired.
Mistake 4: Helping yourself to a chair before it is offered to you
It is polite to wait to be offered a seat. Don’t just enter and sit without being asked to. This can even amount to arrogance. Basic courtesy and professional etiquette is something that has to be ingrained. You need to be aware of how to conduct and present yourself irrespective of the confidence you feel in an interview room.
Mistake 5: Over-explaining answers
Answer to the point. In order for you to do this, you need to have clarity on the question. Take a couple of seconds to structure what you need to say to be specific. Do not rattle off as this leads to rambling. It is a sign of nervousness when you start sharing information that is irrelevant.  Do not bore your interviewer by being too talkative either. Remember to stay on track while answering. A good idea would be to practice ahead hypothetical interview questions , this increases your confidence. When you are confident, you tend to relax, actively listen and respond appropriately.  

"The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare."

 The better prepared you are, the better your chances to ace ‘the’ job interview.

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Friday, 17 July 2015

Job Interview Essentials for Freshers

The job interview preparation, especially for freshers, starts from the time you come across an advertisement and apply for it by submitting your résumé. Once your résumé has been shortlisted, its time to get ready for the interview rounds.
The three critical rounds of evaluation are:
  1. Written Test which comprises of Technical/Aptitude or both and can be conducted online or on paper.
  2. Group Discussion (GD)/Just a Minute (JAM)/ Extempore that evaluate communication skills and thought process. It helps filter candidates clearly especially if there are too many for the position.
  3. Technical and HR Rounds.
When you look at a job description, you will find several criteria mentioned -the degree, academic track record and the skills the company is looking for.  Resist the temptation to send your standard resume at hand and customize it for that particular role. Painful as it may sound but for every single job you apply for you should tweak or if required even completely re-write your resume highlighting the areas relevant for the role. This will ensure you get called for the interview.
Once you receive a communication asking you to attend an interview, remember to check the date/time/venue for the interview so you can be prepared.
As you get ready for further rounds of the interview follow the mantra of three Ps’ – Prepare, Practice and Present.
You should start preparing for the first round which is usually a written test. Revise subject matter, then practice sample papers of the company or online tests.
For the next round of Group Discussion, JAM or an extempore, read and stay updated on the current affairs - domestic and international. This will help you participate actively in the Group Discussion or speak fluently in the JAM session.
Extempore speaking is an art by itself. A sound vocabulary, concentration and streamlining of thoughts are some of the key factors for a successful and interesting extempore address. More than the preparation, practice is handier.  Speak in front of your siblings or friends, continuously for a minute, but without any interruptions. This practice will not only help you to get through extempore but also GD and JAM round.
The next two rounds are Technical and HR which are more challenging than the previous rounds. Before participating in these rounds, there are three important things you must know to tailor your interview response.
  1. Research about the company. Is it a service or a product-based company or anything else?  The best place is to go to the company website and find out all the details. Once you understand the company profile, re-look the job description that you have applied for. Understand the key skills the company is looking for that particular job. Analyze yourself and understand your relevant skills. This will help you answer technical questions effectively.
  2. The final round is the HR round which is the most important round of an interview. Complete your homework before going for the interview. Check out the company's website for all details - how they have grown, what they specialize in, the products and services they deal in, their revenue model.
  3. Learn other details too - branches and locations of the company, the number of employees, mission and vision, core values the company believes in. This will help you answer HR questions effectively and with confidence. Remember that the HR round is the decision maker.
So before you go, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
  • Dress like a professional. Your appearance should be pleasant and professional.
  • Ensure that you carry all the specified documents including your résumé
  • Reach the venue 10 minutes earlier than the expected time and connect with the concerned person
  • Maintain the right body language and etiquette throughout the interview
  • Speak to the point
  • Stay grounded and answer questions in a manner that gives them the confidence that you are the right candidate for the job and that you will be an easy person to work with.

The most important thing is to prepare; always prepare for success and not for failure. As Thomas Alva Edison says, “Good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.”
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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

5 Most Important Soft Skills that Every IT Job Aspirant Should Possess

If you want a job, have technical skills. If you want a career, have people skills.
“Soft skills” are those critical employability skills that employers look for in any prospective employee. Today the IT industry is looking for employees with “soft skills” as well as “hard” technical knowledge. Employees who can integrate networking, project management and teamwork, business technology and specific application skills are valued significantly more as compared to others.  These are the “Life Skills” which shape a professional’s personality.
‘Soft Skills’– The Key to Being a Successful IT Professional
  1. Effective Communication: Communication at workplace extends beyond emails and face-to-face meetings. It assumes new dimensions when one has to deal with people from different culture, background, language proficiency and even hierarchy. Expertise is acquired slowly, but feedback from mentors is a sure way to help in honing these skills.
  2. Teamwork: Most jobs require one person to coordinate with multiple people from several functions, at different knowledge levels and varying geographies. Coordinating with them, understanding their perspective, respecting them for the strengths they bring to the group and being aware of one’s own responsibilities goes a long way in producing amazing team results and becoming an invaluable “team asset”.
  3. Problem Solving: A typical IT job will require you to solve new problems each day and face challenges to improve the existing solutions. You will need to adopt a mindset of embracing learning as a continuous journey and never becoming complacent with existing knowledge.
  4. Continuous Self-improvement: You alone are responsible for your career. Your employer may make learning resources available to you but the responsibility to use, learn and utilize the learning at work, everyday, will be only yours. Spending even two hours on the weekends to keep yourself abreast of technology trends will go a long way in understanding this continuously changing landscape and sharing valuable technical inputs with your group.
  5. Time Management Skills: You will be swarmed with activities and people, emails pouring in, discussions and even distractions. But remembering your tasks, prioritizing them and staying organized will go a long way in establishing your credibility as a reliable and efficient person. Never hesitate to seek out advice from your manager or colleagues; each one of us goes through the learning phase and success comes to those who apply their learnings.

The combination of soft skills and domain skills is the winning formula for IT career aspirants.  Domain knowledge complemented with well-honed set of interpersonal skills, gives a competitive advantage over others in the IT job market.
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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

4 Things Fresh Graduates Must Do Daily to Improve Communication Skills

‘Learn English in just 3 weeks’, ‘Speak like an expert in 20 days’, etc. The list of available options in the market which promise to improve communication skills is endless, however is it really possible? The answer is NO. Communication skills, like fitness, is the result of continuous workout. The question that hits us next is how should we practice? Should we enroll in another course again or is there something that could be done daily to improve the communication skills.

Top tips to improve communication skills:
1. Listen More - Listening helps in structure and content. Listen to English news, programs on BBC, attend seminars, Techtalks, etc. Remember,  we learnt our mother tongue by doing exactly this.
2. Speak More - Speaking in English helps you gain confidence. Take every opportunity to speak in English. The fear of making a mistake should not stop you from using the language. The idea is to start thinking in English and not just translate to English. Self correction is the first sign of success.
3. Read More - Reading helps in building vocabulary. Read as much as you can, find the time to blog, express your views and improve your written and spoken communication. As an investment into careers, youngsters must subscribe to at least one national daily, one online news service and stay updated on what's new and happening around you. This will help build vocabulary and at the same time improve general awareness.
4. Observe and Interpret Body Language - You must also pay attention to your body language. Generally, when we listen to a speaker, we judge both verbal and nonverbal cues simultaneously. So, observe good speakers and try to emulate a few things if possible.

Every individual needs to be well equipped with the tools to communicate effectively, whether it is on the personal front, or at work. Communication is basically a two-way street, which entails the relation between the sender and the receiver. There are some barriers that occur while speaking. One can try to overcome all language related barriers by first learning to speak English and then improving.

Multiple employment surveys point out that an increasing number of graduates are not readily employable for various reasons. We live in the Information Age, where a major part of our communication takes place via e-mail, text messaging, telephone or video conferencing and for obvious reasons, candidates who can read, write, speak and understand English fluently score over those who cannot. This is the sole reason why few graduates do not get an ideal job even after a long, hard search and even good technical skills.

A final word to the fresh graduates - do the basics right and practice to succeed in your career.
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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

4 Sutras to Score More in Verbal Aptitude

4 Sutras to Score More in Verbal Aptitude
 When you think of Verbal Aptitude, you know it involves understanding words; the relationships they share with each other, how words are connected to make meaningful contexts and it becomes our job to comprehend those contexts using some clues and hints.
 It is a critical component in your exam and it takes practice to master Verbal Aptitude. It is not enough if you just read a lot but you are equally required to listen, write and speak to ace this section.

Here are the 4 sutras to help you score more in Verbal Aptitude.
1.      Logical Thinking & Reasoning
Usually questions pertaining to Jumbled Sentences otherwise called as Paragraph Formation and aka Sentence Formation fall under this category. The objective here is to logically connect word parts or sentences to form meaningful contexts. The mantra is simple - You identify the subject, then identify the action and then connect and create the remaining sentence.
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
·         are given to /cannot be/people who/quarrelling/happy
·         that/lived in/halls/I dreamt/I/marble
In the first one, the subject is 'People', the action is 'quarrelling' where you also have a helping verb - 'are'.
Now, let's connect: People who are given to quarrelling cannot be happy.
Let's do the second one, the subject is 'I' and the action is 'dreamt' and 'lived'.
Now let's connect: I dreamt that I lived in marble halls.

Another question pattern would be 'Analogies' which involves understanding the relationship between words.
Let's take an example:
Marathon is to race as hibernation is to
·         Winter
·         bear
·         dream
·         sleep
All we need to do is understand the relationship between the stem pair 'Marathon and race' and then identify the word that shares the same relationship as the stem pair. Now, Marathon is a long-distance race and Hibernation is an inactive state resembling deep sleep. Now, these are literally definitions, so we have our key words in the definition and all we need to do is look for options that project the keyword.

2.    Grammar - Get your basics right
Typically questions like sentence correction or improvement, finding errors, selecting words, active- passive voice or direct - indirect speech fall under this category.

Let's take an example:
If I had known / this yesterday/I will have helped him/ no error
If you are familiar with 'If conditionals', you would be able to immediately recognize that this is an example of a third conditional where the form is "If+ past perfect tense, would have +past participle" and that the error is in part 3 where you change ‘will’ to ‘would’.
Now you know how important it is for us to know our basics and the rules when it comes to grammar. It makes life so much more easier.

3.    Vocabulary - It’s all about the words and their meanings
Question types like Synonyms or Antonyms, spellings, one word substitutes and even idioms and phrases will fall under this category. So a good knowledge on root words will come handy, apart from good amount of practice writing to ensure your spellings are in place and make sure you understand the difference between the literal meaning and the implied meaning when it comes to idioms and phrases.

4.    Comprehension
A good knowledge and understanding on vocabulary will help you with this category. Learn to understand context as a whole, identify the main theme or message. Learn to read between the lines. Your ability to summarize, paraphrase and interpret will prove beneficial. So, question patterns like Reading Comprehension, Cloze Passage and completing statements will no longer pose a challenge.

So, the 4 Sutras for you to keep in mind when it comes to Verbal Aptitude are
  1. Logical Thinking and Reasoning
  2. Grammar - Get your basics right
  3. Vocabulary - It’s all about the words and their meanings
  4. Comprehension
Remember, apply and practice them to ace this section on Verbal Aptitude.

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