In a first, companies set to conduct virtual interviews during placement season at IITs

ByPriyanka Sahoo and Shreya Bhandary, Mumbai
Aug 21, 2020 12:21 AM IST

In a first, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will conduct their placement season online in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, recruiters scouting for talent at the premiere technology institutes will select candidates virtually.

HT Image
HT Image

After going online for the autumn semester and convocation ceremonies, IITs are now exploring options to best enable students to participate in recruitment drives remotely, from their homes. Online software, tests and virtual or telephonic interviews are on the cards.

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) plans to maintain its placement calendar and kick off the drive on December 1. “The format of interviewing will be through online software via video conferencing and in some cases, telephonically,” said BV Ravishankar, training and placement officer, IIT-B. Over 1,700 students of the institute, from various programmes, will seek employment through the placement drive this year.

IITs in Chennai, Delhi, Roorkee, Mandi and Guwahati confirmed to HT that their placements will be done online, in the interest of the students’ health and safety.

“The student registration process has not yet started, but we expect around 900 students to register this year. We’ve clarified to students that placements will be conducted keeping in mind social distancing rules and regulations as prescribed by the government,” said Vinayak Kulkarni, head (Centre for Career Development), IIT-Guwahati.

“Student registration is currently underway and in two weeks, we’ll know exactly how many students are opting for placements or deferring placements in 2020-21. The entire process will be conducted online this year keeping in mind Covid-19,” said C S Shankar Ram, advisor (training & Placement), IIT Madras.

While the lockdown has eased in many parts of the country, IITs are working to ensure placement season is not affected by rising cases of Covid-19. “Lockdown or not, campus visits or face-to-face interviews will be tough at least for the next few months. Therefore, conducting online interviews and group discussions will be adopted by the institute,” said Dr Sunny Zafar, advisor (Career & Placement Cell), IIT-Mandi.

The institutes are already readying students for online pre-placement tests and virtual interviews. Recruiters are likely to have the option of choosing from a host of online models. “Not every detail has been finalised, but we have given recruiters a free hand to decide on the hiring pattern,” Zafar added.

Among students, the virtual process has added to the anxieties of a batch that is facing an unprecedented placement season. The slump in the economy, the pandemic, revised visa rules in the United States of America, lockdown and internet connectivity are among the concerns for many.

“The season started with mock interviews and announcement of the complete timeline for the current season. There are certain changes in the timeline and we had to adjust our preparation schedule. As the complete process, tests and interviews will be online, I am quite worried about the problems I’ll face due to internet connectivity. Usually, preparation is something we do alongside friends, but we are having to resort to video calls for the same now,” said an IIT-B student.

“Despite industry projections, we are expecting placements this year to be at par with previous years, if not better. The institute as well as recruiters are very keen on conducting interviews online this year,” said Vinay Sharma, professor in-charge, placement and internship, IIT-Roorkee.

For two years in a row, IITs have boasted of at least one student being offered an annual package upwards of Rs 1 crore.

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