About the Author: Kiran Eshwar, a student of Global Institute of Business Studies (GIBS), shares his enriching experience as an HR intern at Stepping Stone Solutions.
As a Talent Acquisition intern at Stepping Stone Solutions, I had an enthralling experience in learning the essentials of recruitment. The biggest takeaway from my internship is the lessons I’ve learnt, both as a recruiter and as a fresher joining the job for the first time.
I along with 20 of my friends attended the interview for this position in May. We had two rounds of selection starting with a group discussion (GD) and ending with a face-to-face interview with the HR head of Stepping Stone. We had a great time in the GD round because the topic we got was a very good one. We were asked to discuss “3 idiots” movie. 13 people were arguing that it was a good movie with a lot of life lessons to be learned from and a few were arguing against the movie. I was speaking on the usefulness of the movie. I believe, I registered an important point by saying that students have the right to choose their career. I was countered by one of my colleagues who questioned me about considering the career suggested by parents and relatives who wish for a student’s success. I kept my calm and conveyed that parents and relatives should make sure that the student actually likes the field and chooses a specific career only after researching about all the pros and cons. If they find that their child doesn’t have a real interest in that field or doesn’t have clear knowledge about it, they can intervene.
In the face-to-face interview, I met with one of the toughest stress interviews I have ever faced. It was the exact opposite of GD round which was easy. I was asked about why I chose MBA & HR and also why I jumped from technical background to management. I was also questioned about my previous small-scale business which I was running and why I quit that to join MBA. I kept my calm and answered all the questions. Finally, I had the offer letter in my hand!
At the first day of my work, I was trained to use TimesJobs and Naukri portals. I was also briefed about the clients they had from various industries. I was given few requirements straight away and was asked to work on them. I was perplexed. They had not given me any quality training but they wanted me to speak with people who had to 12-15 years of experience! I was dejected. I even thought that I had made a mistake by choosing such a small company which does not have standard procedures. I started making calls and stumbled a few times. Then, my HR head intervened. She taught me the most important lesson of recruitment. She told me to spend quality time on screening each profile, understanding the job description thoroughly, and doing the right search before making any calls.
If she had told this to me beforehand, I might not have stumbled but I would not have realized the importance of it too. I understood why they didn’t teach me that in the beginning itself, and so I started to approach my work with confidence. This went on for the first 2-3 weeks. I was given hands-on experience and I also got their support whenever I had a difficulty .This made me feel like an expert in 3 weeks’ time in recruiting. I started enjoying my work and thanked my stars for getting this opportunity. I worked for both IT and non-IT requirements and for both junior and senior level positions. I learnt how to speak with an experienced candidate and a fresher. I also had interview experience when I was allowed to take initial screening interviews for a few freshers. Also, I learnt the importance of maintaining relationships with both selected and unselected candidates because a recruiter doesn’t know when a previously unselected but a prospective candidate might become useful.
I successfully hired 5 people during my tenure as an intern, out of which three were for Stepping Stones and two were for other clients. I would like to suggest the future HR interns to choose a small company/startup which doesn’t have standard procedures but which lets you learn the art to become an expert much faster than the large sized companies. It is a proven fact that people starting their career with smaller companies get to learn more as they get hands-on experience straight away which further help them in their career growth.
Editor’s note: Are you a people person too? Check out these cool HR internships for a similar enriching internship experience.