IIT-B focuses on soft skills to offer recruiters job-ready candidates

IIT

Tests students on parameters like body language, influence of mother tongue and assertiveness; mentors them on areas of improvement

It is one thing to be a tech-savvy geek from IIT Bombay but another to convince big corporate guns to recruit you as companies look for a range of skills in a prospective employee. For the first time, as part of campus placements at IIT Bombay, students were tested in parameters like body language, influence of mother tongue and assertiveness. Final placements start at the institute from December 1.

While assessment of communication skills was made mandatory in the last campus placement season, students had to undergo two separate tests this year and gauged on several new parameters. The aim was to ensure that more students are able to grab high-trajectory jobs.

"Recruiters, over the years, have stressed the need for a range of skills. Students come straight out of school to the IITs and are not exposed to the outside world. Further, students come from varied backgrounds and some may not be very articulate. They may not be clear about the aspects they need to stress on or how to get their point across during an interview. Lot of corporates expect a certain persona and skills, which are not limited to technical knowledge. Hence, the tests have helped in identifying the aspects they need to work on," said Avijit Chatterjee, professor in charge of placements at IIT Bombay.

The first test, introduced this year and conducted by an external agency, assessed aspects like body language, grammar, vocabulary, style and fluency, listening skills, assertiveness and influence of one's mother tongue. The second test, which was conducted last year too, focused on language structure, fluidity, comprehension, coherence and enunciation.

Individual reports were given to the students, highlighting the proficiency level in each parameter and the type and degree of improvement needed. Accordingly, students are being mentored by peers and faculty members.

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