Alumni Speak

‘Online interviews have made the hiring process convenient’

Apeejay School of Management alumna and graduate recruiter Garima Setia reveals what she is looking for in a candidate

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Garima Setia

Garima Setia, graduate recruiter, Thoughtworks, says it was her alma mater Apeejay School of Management (ASM) which helped in developing her interest in Human Resources, thereby inspiring her career path. In an interview, the alumnus talks about the impact of Covid on recruitment, tips for cracking campus placement, and more. Edited excerpts:

How did Apeejay School of Management prepare you for your journey? What memories do you have of the institution?

The first year was quite overwhelming. After we got our respective specialisations in the second year, the experience turned out to be pretty good. I pursued Human Resources and Marketing. The faculty there was very helpful. The lectures were enriching. Besides, I was actively involved in events as an MC or a coordinator, which gave me good exposure. Once the placement season began, the teachers focused on mock GDPIs (group discussion and personal interview), which prepared us well.

My best memory from Apeejay is winning the ‘Dr Stya Paul’s Award for Human Values’, an honour I had never expected. Once I completed my MBA and joined a company, I got the opportunity to stay connected to Apeejay through the campus placement team. The process was very smooth and a good learning experience. Now, I am working with one of my dream companies. So, I think I owe my journey so far to ASM.

What made you opt for Human Resource (HR) management?

It was not really my passion initially. I did not want to pursue an MBA in Finance (I already had some experience in the field prior to my MBA), nor did I want to choose International Business. Once I started my course in HR, it interested me very much. Eventually, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the same.

You are a graduate recruiter. What does the job entail?

In my first company, I was appointed as a recruiter for candidates across roles and levels. As part of it, I also worked on-campus recruitments and thoroughly enjoyed my experience. This inspired me to move to a specialised campus recruitment role. As a graduate recruiter, I am involved in employing both graduate and postgraduate students.

When you are hiring a candidate, what qualities are you typically looking for?

I am hiring tech candidates at present. So, apart from technical skills, the prerequisites are good communication skills and overall fitment in the industry. We also look for cultural fitment, body language, etc.

How have online interviews in the pandemic impacted the hiring process?

There are both pros and cons. In the virtual format, the hiring process, in a way, has become convenient. In the case of physical interviews, there were often no-shows owing to factors like travel and distance. The candidate response has improved in the case of online interviews. At the same time, people have been holding on to multiple offers and turning down companies very late. Second, there have been cases where people read content from their screen or had some assistance at home while answering. Even with the cameras on, people now have the scope to look up information on Google during online tests.

How different is the virtual format from in-person interviews?

There is a huge difference. Interviews are very personal when you are meeting someone face-to-face—their gestures and body language can be noticed, which aids the hiring process. Virtually, both the recruiters and the candidates are still getting accustomed to the new format.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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