Why are Placement Assessments mandatory for all students? PM Mohak Mehta explains.

In the past month, the Institute Placement Team has been conducting placement assessments for all final year students who have registered for placements. These assessments are intended to evaluate students’ preparedness for placements and serve as a session where students are judged on various parameters which companies look for via mock interviews and group discussions.

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Placements - IIT Bombay

In the past month, the Institute Placement Team has been conducting placement assessments for all final year students who have registered for placements. These assessments are intended to evaluate students’ preparedness for placements and serve as a session where students are judged on various parameters which companies look for via mock interviews and group discussions. These assessments were made compulsory for all students who had registered for placements, with students being given a choice of three firms namely ProAvenues, TIME and SMART. These firms charged a fee of Rs. 450, Rs. 500, Rs. 550 respectively per student.

We spoke to several students and a Placement Manager (Mohak Mehta) to find out the utility of these assessments.

Students’ take

….most students stopped taking the assessments seriously.

Conducting placement assessments a couple of months before the onset of the placement season seems like a good idea at the first glance, however there were numerous instances of students giving negative feedbacks of this procedure. Many students complained that they were not given on-the-spot feedback and even if they were, it was quite predictable and not really helpful as far as the term “assessment” goes. There were many other problems, including mismanagement of slots by certain firms which led to students’ assessments spilling from one weekend to the next. As a result, most students stopped taking the assessments seriously. Many were also of the view that it was wrong to charge everyone for assessments by making it compulsory, chiefly because they did not gain much out of the process.

But, why haven’t students received their reports?

This left no privacy of the individual assessment and anyone could see everybody else’s assessment report

One of the firms, ProAvenues, promised that they would be providing reports of the assessments to each student once the assessments are done. The firm sent all the reports to the Placement Team to be given to the students. This entire set of files, containing reports of all students, was uploaded onto the Mechanical Engineering Placement Group (and probably a few other groups as well) with no password protection. This left no privacy of the individual assessment and anyone could see everybody else’s assessment report. Moreover, these reports were not uploaded onto many other Placement Groups and quite a number of students still haven’t seen theirs, believing that the reports have not been released yet.

PM’s take:
We talked to Mohak Mehta, the Placement Manager in charge of B.Tech students regarding these issues put forth by the students.

Why are there so many negative reviews regarding the assessments?
Firstly, the reviews that we got regarding assessments are of mixed nature. Moving to the negative reviews, often these are given by those students who go unprepared for the assessments. To cater to problems like these, we initiated “Placement Readiness Sessions” where in one of the sessions we highlighted the importance of coming prepared for the assessments. In order to help students extract maximum benefit from the assessments, important pointers regarding Group Discussions and Personal Interviews were also discussed in the session.

Why are the assessments not scrapped entirely if so many students are showing lack of interest?

A huge number of these students do not know the meaning of a Group Discussion or the procedure of an interview

As the Institute Placement Team, we must look at the needs of more than 1600 students who have registered for placements. A huge number of these students do not know the meaning of a Group Discussion or the procedure of an interview or even basic concepts of resume-making. For them, the assessments go a long way in making them understand the placement procedure and also serve as a wake up call that the placement season has begun and that they need to put in efforts to do well in the real interviews.

Why not then make the assessments voluntary for students? Then, the students who need it will register for it and those who feel they do not need, will simply opt out.

Also, professional assessment firms offer prices as low as Rs 450 per student only because we assure them a minimum of 300-400 students each

If we do this, then we will lose out on a significant proportion of students who really need the assessments to understand the placement procedure but think that they don’t and end up not signing up for them. Also, professional assessment firms offer prices as low as Rs 450 per student only because we assure them a minimum of 300-400 students each. Adding to this, in the past years the most common complaint that a lot of core companies in Phase-1 and general companies in Phase 2 had was that students were not well prepared for the interviews and could not even explain sections of their resume to the interviewer. For these students the assessments are very necessary and only by making it compulsory can we ensure that all students participate and have an idea of what to expect and how to answer in the interviews.