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‘Learn to control your fears and you can ace any interview’

PR professional and AIMC alumna Darshita Srivastava says believing in oneself and the learnings one has acquired are important to be a part of the corporate world

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Passionate traveller Darshita Srivastava chose to pursue public relations (PR) because she loves the idea of storytelling and believes PR is an industry that allows her to tell stories about different brands. An alumna of the Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC), Darshita is working with a US-based digital transformation firm, Brillio in Bengaluru as a PR Lead (India). Before joining this company, she has also worked with other PR firms such as Edelman and PRHub. In an interview, the PR professional talks about her job interview experiences and more. 

How did AIMC groom you to face the challenges of the job world?

The real-time scenarios taught by the professors gave us insight into what we should be looking forward to or expect in our careers. We learned to present our thoughts in front of an audience which I think is a great exercise as it helped me conquer my stage fears. All the lessons which at that time I thought were overwhelming proved to be the most important life lessons. An example of this is learning to write crisp content or managing an event which is another important trait that a PR professional should develop early in their career. Most importantly, AIMC gave us the opportunity and platform to learn from thought leaders and industry experts.

What is the key to crack campus placements?

Believe in yourself and the learning you have acquired. No one expects you to know everything. The interviewers or employers want to see if you have the willingness to learn; if you have the passion to grow. During an interview, go with an open mindset. Be confident like you will conquer it. In case you fail (well, every failure is a great learning), there’s no harm. In fact, do not treat it like a failure but a stepping stone to perform better. If you have questions, feel free to ask them. Let the interviewer know that you are interested in learning about the role and your growth in the company. Employers are always happy to answer your questions. Sometimes, we make a situation really big in our head. Learn to control your fears and you can ace any interview. Do not forget to enjoy the interview process – each interview is a unique experience!  

Any interesting interview anecdotes you want to share with us?

I would share my interview failure which would tell you why I said previously that to enjoy the interview process. It was my first corporate interview, I wanted to move away from the agency set up and go to the corporate side. I got an interview call from a multinational company and went to meet the interviewer. I got so overwhelmed with the opportunity and the company’s reputation that I started questioning my capabilities. My fear ruled me and the interviewer picked it too. Of course, you can only imagine what happened next. I never got a call from them again but it served as a great learning experience. My biggest regret – I doubted myself. My greatest learning – I let go of self-doubt.

Few learnings from your professional journey

  • Make room for mistakes.
  • Trust your teammates.
  • Be keen on learning from your mentors.
  • Speak your mind, you might have the most valuable ideas. Don’t be shy to share them.
  • Always scout for opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Be kind towards yourself and others – create a balance between your work and personal life.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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