Travel And Tourism Management Courses – A Good Career Choice For Bright Future

Gone are the days when students had limited career choices to make, and all they were stuck with is professions that they had less interest in. In the present times, there are a plethora of career options that allow students to pursue their dreams and be successful in their field while earning a lucrative income. One such option is the travel and tourism course where students get a close insight into what the travel and tourism industry is all about. There are hotel bookings, arrangements for transportation, ticketing, being tour guides or even starting a travel agency of your own. All of this is nothing less than exciting especially when you like exploring new places and like everyone else to have a great time during their holiday. There are multiple benefits to its name when it comes to pursuing such a course. Read on to know how you can gain from it.

You get to know about multiple locations

If you are inquisitive to explore the world, this is one of the best career options to choose. You could be a tour operator or a tour guide where you travel with clients or welcome visitors to take them along to the places to visit, a travel agency manager where you make bookings and set up holidays for clients and much more. With such jobs, you get to be thorough with locations right from accommodations, transportation, places of interest, restaurants, etc. You could either be at the location or manage things from your place of operation and know of places well.

You get to start a company of your own

With a degree or a certificate for travel and tourism, you get the freedom to be your boss. You could start a travel agency of your own while booking holidays and packages for individuals, families, corporate and anyone else who needs a guided traveling experience. When you do so, you get to create collaborations with multiple hotels, transportation booking offices, etc. while making it easy for you to book tickets as well as ensure that your client has a safe, hassle-free and guided tour to their preferred location. It could be within your country or outside it; you get to interact with several associated with similar businesses.

There are multiple career options

As discussed, there are multiple career options that you can choose. You could be a tour guide, a tour operator, a travel agency manager, a currency exchange expert/advisor, employee at government tourist boards of countries/states, etc. There are times when hotels recruit people with a degree in travel and tourism to help them with organizing trips and tours for their guests. This too can give you the option of exploring new ventures and meeting new people. While there are multiple institutions that assist with travel and tourism management courses, it is essential to choose only that travel tourism academy that is accredited and has a reputation of bringing out the best from their students. Checking their faculty and placement records could give you an idea of how successful they would be in sculpting a career for you

Hospitality and Tourism Myths

With the breaking down of barriers between countries, it has become very common for a family from a particular country taking a vacation in an attractive location of another country instead of going to only their domestic locations. Even from the point of view of business, globalization has meant more companies setting up offices in different countries which has let to lots of cross border travel. This has seen a lot of interest in international hospitality and tourism management courses. But because it has seen lots of evolutions in very short time in recent years, there have been many myths associated with hospitality and tourism. Let us take a look at some of them below :

  • Many people still believe that hospitality only refers to the hotel industry. As it has panned out in recent years, hospitality also includes many other aspects like wine tours, curated food destinations, ticketing and logistics, sea cruises etc., just to name a few.
  • Hospitality and tourism is an industry where you can dress up well and smile a lot. This is the wrong notion that several people have about the hospitality and tourism industries. It involves a lot of skill development, strategic planning, and sometimes physically demanding work as well (imaging standing for 8 hours straight at a front office).
  • Many people (and shockingly their children too, who are thinking about career choices) believe that the number of career options in the travel and tourism sector or in the hospitality industry are very limited. This could not be more wrong, and there is a surprisingly bewildering variety of hospitality courses one can choose from.
  • A big myth that is very commonly held is that there are not many places to get formally trained in hospitality and tourism. If the student does his or her homework well, there are a number of high quality institutes which offer UGC recognized courses which are respected in the industry.
  • The general image people associate with someone in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry is that they can speak well, they do look good, but they do not have brains enough. This is very demeaning and more so because it is totally wrong. When you undergo a course, you will be trained in business accounting, marketing, financial accounting, geography, and maybe even foreign languages.
  • The number of myths associated with this industry are legendary. Some people believe that everybody in the hospitality and tourism industry is paid a huge salary. While it is indeed true for some specific job roles, it is not true for everyone. On the other hand, the notion that many people hold about the low paying entry level salaries in this industry are also not accurate. The truth is that like any other industry, the salaries depend on the education and the experience, and also on the complexity of the job description.

For someone looking to make a career in the hospitality or the travel and tourism sector, it is important to look beyond these myths and find out authentic information about the courses, the institutes and the career options available.

The Challenges Faced by the Travel and Tourism Industry

The travel and tourism industry is a good example of the volatile industries. To begin with, this industry is not immune from political, social and economic shifts. Many of these factors are outside the control of travel companies and tourism boards. However, being aware of the factors can enable people who have invested in this industry to be more proactive and develop adaptive strategies quickly. Some of the challenges faced by the travel and tourism industry include:

Taxation

Tourism is one of the sectors that governments heavily tax. If you glance at the taxes paid on hotel rooms and airline tickets, you can get an idea of the way taxation can negatively affect tourism. It is therefore important for the travel and tourism industry to offer competitive prices for its services and products. Governments should also realize that tourists already contribute to local economies through purchases and other expenditures associated with tourism.

Travel marketing

Tourists or travelers can at times deem travel marketing to be false, inadequate or exaggerated. Marketing entities can change this perception by working towards creating innovative marketing solutions so that they can attract travelers. Travel marketers should also harness creativity and technology. They should also pay attention to local content.

Globalization

Globalization has created less distinctive locales. Due to global standardization, indistinguishable products are found in every country. If a person is traveling in order to learn or have an opportunity to explore the different and unique, then the lack of unique products becomes a tourism challenge. An example is that shopping malls all over the world tend to offer matching products. Many travelers also find hotels to be so standardized to the point that they almost forget the country in which the hotel is located. Localization is vital. Therefore, travel firms and tourism boards should know how to connect with foreign travelers. They should create multilingual websites and use translation services.

Security

Although security is a major challenge to the travel and tourism industry, many industry leaders have failed to confront security issues. A majority of tourism offices or visitor and convention bureaus lack or have almost no contact with law enforcement departments. Many police departments also lack officers who are trained in tourism oriented policing or protection services. It is vital for industry players to work towards creating a better security infrastructure for travelers.

Despite these challenges, the travel and tourism industry is growing and offers many employment opportunities. If you are looking forward to pursuing a career in this industry, taking travel and tourism courses is a step in the right direction. You can take such courses in a reputable travel tourism academy like the Blue Whale Academy. This academy has trained students pursuing careers in travel and hospitality for many years.
The Blue Whale Academy is recognized in the travel and tourism industry for offering intensive professional training and for providing the students with a platform that enables them to find employment at various levels in this industry. This is the best institute for MBA in travel and tourism.  At Blue Whale we have trained hundreds of students in a number or short term and long term courses. This includes university programs like MBA and BBA. We also have an excellent track record when it comes to job placement for our students.

International Business Management Courses- Accelerate Career Growth

Globalization is an economic tidal wave that is sweeping over the world. Therefore, it is crucial to know that how to manage companies which operate outside their home countries. Managing such companies is a big challenge. For instance, it can be daunting to finance a firm that has a number of branches around the world and can face different banking systems, financial markets, currencies and cultures.

In order to manage companies those have operations in different countries, you need to have a proper knowledge about the international businesses. You can achieve this by taking up our International Business Management courses which will provide you with the skills you need to run a multicultural enterprise.

The international business industry is constantly evolving and this leaves many students wondering what exactly they can do with an international business degree. The fact is that there are many things you can do with such a certification or degree. Let us look at some of the benefits of pursuing a degree in International Business Management.

Gain extensive knowledge of foreign markets

The modern global trade enables organizations to grow fast. One of the reasons why this expansion takes place is that the international business professionals possess advanced knowledge. Possessing an advanced knowledge of foreign markets offers enterprises with an opportunity to broaden their market shares and increase their profits in the processes. With an International Business Degree, you will be able to understand how enterprises can position themselves better for the foreign markets.

Enhance your communication skills

Communication is an important aspect for doing an International business. When you travel to other countries, you will encounter diverse and new cultures as well as unfamiliar languages. Global business relationships can only thrive if and only if you have an effective communication skill. Foreign language courses are often included in the curriculum of students who are majoring in international business. Therefore, it is necessary to be prepared for facing the linguistic challenges of an International business.

Organizational leadership

When you take up International Business management courses, you will learn the basic leadership and management qualities required for working in an organization. Also, you will learn about improving the business hierarchy and corporate structures. In addition to this, you can also acquire knowledge about what you can do to motivate the employees effectively for improving the overall efficiency of an enterprise.

Critical and analytical thinking

Critical and analytical thinking involves evaluating the problems and situations thoroughly before you dissect all the facts to reach a conclusion. You will learn to take decisions without assuming anything or by holding any biases. In addition, you will also learn how you can have a clear line of thought before you take any step.

Creativity

Creativity is putting your imaginations to the work for gaining results. It is necessary to be creative when tackling with unexpected or new problems in a business. Being creative will also help for searching innovative solutions for the problems or for launching new products among other competitors.

As you can see, you will gain a lot of useful knowledge by taking an International Business Management course in Mumbai. You can take such a course at the Blue Whale Academy. The academy has many years of experience in training students, particularly in the field of travel and hospitality. We also offer courses in marketing management, human resource management, business management and also include some emerging segments like animation and visual content creation and designing. We ensure to offer high quality training for all our students for making them good professionals.

How advanced technology has boosted the hospitality industry

These days, the world is being run by technology. No matter where you look this stands true and as such the hospitality industry cannot be an exception to this norm. In fact, this particular industry is one area which has been benefited immensely by technology. There are so many tech tools that are being used in this domain such as the algorithms that are used regularly in machine learning as well as artificial intelligence (AI). Technology has in fact revolutionized each and every aspect of the hospitality industry. In fact, it has enabled the consumers of this industry to make plans without any problem whatsoever.

Greater productivity and efficiency

You do need an MBA in hospitality to better learn how to use technology in this particular sector though. Thanks to its use of technology the industry has become a lot more efficient and productive than what it used to be. Coming back to the consumers making plans in a seamless manner – people can now easily use an app on their smartphone and reserve a dinner or arrange accommodation for their next big vacation. In fact, it is common knowledge to see consumers using technology that makes their experiences at restaurants a lot better.

What are the people saying?

In fact, a recent report stated that 73 percent of its correspondent revealed that using a restaurant tech made their experience significantly better. 95 percent of restaurant owners also feel that when they use technology it makes their business a lot more effective than before.

Businesses focused on people

With the help of the best hospitality courses, you would learn how to focus on the people’s side of the business. In fact, in spite of the increasing use of technology in this industry, there are plenty of restaurants and hotels that still think of themselves as businesses that are focused on people.

The Truth of the matter

It is not that they deny the technological side of things but for them, the human aspect happens to be a lot more important. The actual truth of the matter, in this case, is that people who use technology more often in their work are able to focus on serving people to a greater extent than those who do not. Thanks to the technology they are able to come out of their back-office more often and are able to spend a greater deal of time in their front offices.

It is here that they are able to make a greater difference to the teams that are working under them as well as the guests that make their world go round.

Conclusion

The thing is, no matter what business you are in if you wish to remain in the hunt you have got to use technology at the very least. This is the reason why the leaders in this domain need to use technology that helps them with their back office work and thus provide a much better experience for their users. Technology can help streamline things and thus make it a win-win position for all the parties involved.

Why MBA in Hospitality is in the Limelight in India?

There are enough reasons for the students now as to why they are pursuing an MBA in Hospitality. But if you are looking for enough reasons to make sure that you make the right decisions, you are on the right page. Considering a job in the hospitality industry comes with a lot of perks. You can be a manager at a restaurant, ship captain or director in a cruise, or somebody else in such similar areas. You should definitely check out the reasons why you should opt a career in the same field—

A job that pays well- A career in this industry would definitely pay you very well. There are ample of jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry. There is hardly any scarcity in this industry as it is continuously booming. You can opt for airplane pilot, cruise line representative, ship captain, flight attendant, and manager at a grand hotel, chauffeur, tour guide and many more. Most of these jobs pay really well. You do not have to worry about out of job anytime. MBA in hospitality doesn’t sound a bad option after all.

Get acclaimed anywhere in the world- With your skills, you can get acclaimed at anywhere in the world. There is always need for a restaurant manager, event planner, cruise ship captain, etc. everywhere. It is not specific to any particular country. And, your qualification is not restricted to the country you are pursuing it from. If you have dreamt of working in a restaurant in Paris, then you can fulfill your dream right away. With the right skills, you will be welcomed everywhere.

No fixed time- You can actually choose the time of your work in this profession. If you are someone who isn’t really a morning person, then you can definitely go ahead and get yourself a job that suits your choice. Opt for a restaurant where you are required to work only in the night shifts. It is not really important that you have to get up early in the morning every day. You may also take occasional breaks to spend time with your family. There is also possibility of earning full income for working full hours in a few days.

Lots of perks- Definitely the pay is competitive. But this is one career option that offers more than just money. Managers in the hospitality industry get compensation packages that include good financial incomes. Also, they get health and dental coverage. There is life insurance in many areas. If you choose cruise ship captain as your career, then you may well get to go to international destinations, spend a day or two there. Getting discounted flights, free drinks and food and complimentary tickets for game shows are also common.

Riding the new-age start-up wave III

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Continuing with our discussion on new-age startups that have the potential to create jobs, and unconventional ones at that, what if we were to give wings to our wildest fantasies and make them take largely maiden flights to hitherto unheard-of vocations. So to say, whereas the last two blogs talked about ideas that had already been tried and tested, what follows is largely uncharted territory – fantastic, fanciful & insanely exciting.

For instance, while we’re already aware that the last bastion of one-horned rhinos in Assam, India, aren’t exactly staring at a bright future, not everyone will, despite beating hearts and glowing emotions, feel it apt to visit Kaziranga and Manas wildlife sanctuaries in person. And this despite the fact that the state, torn apart in the 1980s by ethnic strife, has been pretty placid in recent times. Actually, the greatest issue for everyone, whether from other parts of India, or abroad, is accessibility. The North-East isn’t exactly well-connected though things are changing.

Given these circumstances, what would a wildlife warden sitting in Kohora, one of the main gates of Kaziranga do in order to increase footfalls? Sure, the conventional advertising and PR activities will remain. However, maybe one can take up something really innovative like experiential safaris which are basically augmented reality-like virtual tours that’ll get the potential tourist so engrossed that she’ll pack her bags and set sail for Assam at the earliest opportunity.

In other words, in order to entice tourists into visiting in person, presuming the potential tourist checks in at the website, he gets to see the vanilla pop-up and drop-down advertisements, PR testimonials and the usual stuff. However, the call to action here really is a small video grab that, against a nominal fee, helps one plunge into rhinoceros land lock, stock and barrel! Once the viewer clicks the video, it streams to pan out into a well-cut game-like video that encourages the viewer to partake of the joys of the park – sight birds and wild buffaloes, run around with the shy deer, spot a slithery python sunning itself on the giant eucalyptus, or indeed cap the horn of the one-horned pachyderm with Santa-like caps! This will be designed to be so interactive that the viewer will be induced and so influenced that he’ll book his tickets and make his reservations right away!

Similarly, for heritage tours, one can have an app that is inspired by and designed like a treasure hunt! Imagine an otherwise mundane city ‘darshan’ / tour brought to life with a little imagination where the tourists in different buses are pitted against each other in a race akin to a treasure hunt! For instance, let us assume that Mrs Namrata & Ms Shalini have clicked on to the app. Now, they’re given the option of outwitting each other and winning free passes to the latest water park in town. The app gives them clues akin to a treasure hunt and in the course of the race, they almost experience the city first hand, a decidedly tasty bait for them to make reservations and pack their bags. What’s more, the same app can be replicated on ground and gifts handed out to the winning team. This will easily add the much-desired zing to plain heritage tours or city sightseeing experiences!

Having already spoken of places where the wild things are – of Nature’s bounty as it were – and of man-made heritages and city-walks, it’s a good idea to take a swim with the dolphins and sea-turtles off exotic costs and picture-postcard islands. Yes, when we talk of coastal tours, what is almost always missed out is the crucial bait that makes potential tourists opt for one beach over the others. Look at Goa for instance. What is it that makes this tiny state the party capital of India? Cheap booze? Wrong! There’s cheaper liquor available elsewhere in the country. Is it the beaches? Nine out of ten times, Goa’s famed beaches will leave one underwhelmed. The answer, it’d appear is a quagmire – a cultural heritage that’s as un-Indian as it gets, locals who make a career out of lethargy, a strong PR and Bollywood’s go-to destination for all things sinful! Which is precisely why while a honeymooning couple might choose it, a couple travelling with kids would prefer the serenity of Pondicherry. And while Goa is top-of-mind while selecting a beach vacation, quainter places like Pondicherry and Daman are slowly moving up the line too. So yes, the point is to remain a little enigmatic and a little exotic in order to be that much more attractive to the discerning traveller. So to say, advertise by all means but be clear about your USP. And play it to the galleries.

Riding the new-age start-up wave II

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Continuing our discussion on rocking start-up ideas in travel and hospitality, before we go on the ideas per se, wouldn’t it be worth our while to ponder for a while on allied career paths that you might take after graduating from the prestigious Blue Whale Academy. Confused? We’ll tell you a story that’ll most likely help you understand better.

Take for instance, Anthony Bourdain’s or Samantha Brown’s jobs. Do you think both of these supremely successful travel-show hosts have travel degree under their belts? And we’re not talking of honorary degrees that various academic institutes have conferred on them. Just a cursory skim through Wikipedia will tell you that these people are just plain hardworking chaps who eked out a supposedly cushy life on – guess what – their communication skills and affability alone! So yes, we’re suggesting you can take up an allied career like travel media – don’t restrict yourself by the medium but go the whole hog with TV, radio, print, web and social media. But remember, it’s very competitive and you might not mint money from day one. So, please be patient! And also be prepared for the grime and the smoke that travel entails, as well as inclement weather and your body’s reactions to conflicting time zones. It’s not all about tasting exotic ales & dining at thrilling live barbecues.

Moving on to innovative start-up ideas, there’s the sterling case of Lyft – the cab rental service that unlike its rival Uber enables ordinary people become cabbies and then puts them across to passengers who require rides! So to say, imagine that you’re driving back from office and decide to ferry someone to a place that lies on the way. You post on the Lyft app that you’re travelling on say, the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli-Link-Road to Powai from Goregaon East. This update immediately goes up along with your location details to other users and the user closest to you hitches a paid-ride to Poonam Nagar, Andheri East that’s on the way! In other words, you don’t need to don a cabbie’s uniform, nor go out of your way to earn money – just go with your flow and make money while at it!

Then, take the unique case of two very elemental – yes, maybe, but that much more necessary and ubiquitous apps – WeatherSphere and Peek. WeatherSphere, no prizes for guessing, helps avid travellers negotiate the inclemencies of weather so that the fury of Nature never plays spoilsport in one’s travel plans. Just ask travel aficionados how relevant real-time weather updates are and you shall know just how important a need gap WeatherSphere fills in. Coming to Peek, the app is experiential in the sense that it awards a guided-tour-like experience to its users. And unlike the dime a dozen websites that provide luscious photographs and location reviews, this app by Ruzwana Bashir also employs testimonials by big names to build credibility so genuine that even established players like Disneyland are willing to pay it a 15-20% commission from sales that happen through it’s platform!

And if you always were this grumpy air traveller who managed to find fault with everything from seat reclining angles to food freshness, to heck even the air-hostess’ chipped nail paint, worry not, there’s help for you too! The name’s Tensator – an obvious portmanteau for technical translator. Simply put, these are multi-lingual HD holograms that attempt to enhance ease of travel by answering passengers’ questions about security, flight and gate locations, and airport navigation and in a manner that has been reported to be more affable and knowledgeable than regular ground crew. Currently on a pilot in Dubai International, Washington Dulles, and Boston’s Logan International airports, they’;re so popular as to already solicit coveted epithets like ’employee of the future’.

Further, there’s the absolutely delightful Scottevest – a travel garments’ retailer that prides itself in making travel wear that is fun and functional at the same time. They claim to make “travel clothes with special pockets designed to let you take everything with you”. In other words, they have special pouches/compartments for your mobile, Kindle and other portable devices all sewn in with your travel clothes. Interesting, isn’t it?

To conclude, we return to an app promising a service much like what we began this series with, HotelTonight. This app’s product differentiator is that it helps you make last-minute hotel room bookings without burning a hole in your pocket.

Riding the new-age start-up wave I

Bluewhale_3When it comes to earning dignified livelihoods after passing out from the prestigious Blue Whale Academy, there is indeed no greater truth than saying that the world is indeed your oyster. Given the dynamics of the job market across the wide wide world today, it is indeed no exaggeration to say that apart from jobs across the entire hospitality and ancillary services-related industries, there are indeed wholly unexplored jobs that are waiting to be claimed.

Indeed, given that a strong start-up wave has invaded India, there’s no time like now to be in travel & hospitality. For, like we’ve always desired the world to be, the best thing about startups is that they pay credence to winning ideas. Ideas that have the potential to change the market dynamics and fill glaring need gaps.

Take for instance the stupendously fantastic thought that went behind the modern marvel – Oyo Rooms! When its 22-year-old founder & CEO Ritesh Agarwal, an avid traveller faced the very real and practical issue of unpredictability of quality budget rooms, he pivoted the concept of aggregating standardised budget hotel rooms that undergo periodic audits so as to maintain that most elusive of qualities that the budget traveller faces – QUALITY! In other words, Oyo Rooms is nothing but a cluster of hotel rooms (according to their official website, the present count is over 40,000) that promise to give you exceptional quality without burning a hole in your pocket. The rates are standardised and services are adjusted accordingly. For instance, Oyo Rooms across the country (and they claim to have a footprint across 164 cities via 4,000 properties pan India) priced at, say Rs. 1,000, will have the same facilities across the length and breadth of India – from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kolhapur to Dimapur. It’ll not be like the unorganised sector where if one gets, say a Wi-Fi room in Guwahati for Rs. 2,000, she’ll have to shell out Rs. 2,500 for the same in Ratnagiri. Apart from price, Oyo Rooms’ fanatical attention to hygiene and standards is another USP for the upkeep of which too, regular audits are carried out.

The point here is not to only to marvel at the success story of a barely-out-of-his-teens Agarwal (that’s of course there) but in order to see how an astute businessman could sense the potent need gap in the market and turn it around into a winning business proposition. And, as any businessman will willingly tell you, at the heart of every single winning business is a simple scalable and executable idea, not rocket science! Purists might argue that there’s hardly anything novel to Oyo Rooms and that it is inspired by the international success of AIRBNB. To that we’ll say that the first measure of success is how many detractors it has! And if, at all, it’s just a matter of inspiration, what stopped others from getting inspired?

Again, when commuting to and from our colleges & offices, haven’t we all fervently cursed the traffic and the attendant din and bustle and promised to take the issue up with gusto with the local MLA? But how many of us have actually done it as against the vast majority of us who have simply preferred to plonk ourselves on the sofa and watch the umpteenth re-run on F.R.I.E.N.D.S? True, isn’t it? A far more practical solution would be what Alta Bicycle Share is doing – operating a bicycle-sharing system. This not only eases commutes by easing traffic snarls but also does a splendid job of reducing carbon footprints and burning unwanted fat in the cyclists’ bodies! How cool is that?

So to say, even our very home-grown Meru cabs did something very novel back then when it launched. It identified a need gap in the market and cashed in on it – a perfectly-sound and logical business idea that was instantly lapped up by passengers who were fed up of cajoling rude auto-rickshaw and cab drivers into rides that they would almost certainly have to overpay for. In it’s stead, Meru proposed a dial-a-cab service that obliterated the very need to step out of your homes before the taxi arrived at your very doorstep. Moreover, you paid by the meter and got a ‘pucca’ receipt for it too! Now that was innovation! Back in the day that is. Of course, one might argue that Meru is a dead duck now, but can anyone deny that back in it’s heyday, it was a beautiful swan?

While at a walk-in keep in mind…

Job Interview Tips

So, it’s raining campus placements at your prestigious Blue Whale Academy. And you’ve decided to give it your best shot. Now what?

Time it right – First things first, never ever arrive late for an interview, its criminal. Indian Stretchable Time is all very well for a stag party, not an interview. If you respect their time, they shall respect yours. What is that Newton said about every action having an equal and opposite reaction?

Be at your best behaviour – Make sure you’ve had a luxuriously long shower, trim your nails, use loads of deodorants, cologne, after-shave, mouthwash and perfume. But don’t stink of perfume, it’s revolting.

Have good oral hygiene, because you will be speaking and bad breath immediately repulses. Also, don’t be shabby. Match your clothes by all means, but remember it’s not a party. No embroidered/bling shirts or tees with garish slogans. Don’t look like a scarecrow in sagging clothes or a wannabe TV star in clothes that are bursting at the seams. Match your shoes (men, no chappals please) and belts, ties and shirts. Men, no unsightly facial, nasal or aural hair. Using tweezers is really quite simple and doesn’t make you less masculine. Ladies, no chapped nails or lips or unibrows please. And smile. You’re never fully dressed unless you’re wearing one.

So now that you’ve arrived, you just enter the lobby and wait for your turn keeping absolutely to yourself or burying your nose into a book? Not a great Idea. Mingle, but don’t be noisy or boisterous. The lobby is under CCTV camera surveillance and you are on the radar. The organisers are testing your soft skills – how do you take to people, are your communication skills good, bad or ugly, are you a loner or a whiner. Also, wish everyone taking the interview – most are your friends and batch mates anyway. Only, no group hugs or selfies. You are on the brink of a professional journey and the age-old saying ‘well-begun is half-done’ is eternally relevant. And professional etiquette is the eternal sunshine of a spotless CV.
And since interviews usually have a written round, carry a good pen that doesn’t blot. Also, write legibly and don’t doodle if you finish before time. Again, don’t copy or pore over others’ answers. Read the questions very carefully and try not to sound very academic in your answers. They’re looking for professionals, not students.

Also, always carry a hard copy of your CV. And make sure you have studied it meticulously for typos. Also, make sure you can justify whatever is on the CV. Know your marks and grades. When someone asks you what your marks are, don’t say ‘80 point something. They’re your marks, they should be top of mind.

Research your interviewers – Research the company, their DNA, team members and potential colleagues. But don’t stalk them on social media. No one likes half-baked answers. So, if you don’t know, say so rather than fumble or lie.

And, lying through an interview is never cool. What if you land the job and they find out you’re faking it? First jobs are the stepping stones to a career and the crucial entry point into the industry. And since it’s a wireless world and poaching happens, your reputation travels at lightning speeds. And nobody likes to be jobless, right?

And even if you have to wait for a longish time, don’t crib. Remember, it’s a walk-in and they usually take long. And you’re on camera. Adjust your schedule accordingly.

Once you’ve got your turn, politely seek permission to enter and sit only when asked to. Firm handshakes, warm smiles and an easy manner. Do not talk with fake accents, tap your feet or flex your muscles. Talk with reasonable speed but do not murmur or slur or shout.

They’ll usually offer you tea, coffee or water. It’s wise to opt only for water as slurping while talking isn’t really cool. Make sure you opt for a private audience with your placement director to understand the desired skill sets and alumni feedback.

As you take on the interview, follow the simple rule of listening very carefully and asking again when you do not understand, rather than miscommunicate. Also, don’t be vague or use college/SMS/mobile/social lingo or anything evenly remotely abusive. You’re not among friends. Never dwell too long on questions or snap at irritating interviewers. They’re probably trying to test your patience.

And be street smart but not zany. For instance, at my first interview at school, they asked me “Which is the shortest month?” I replied, “M-A-Y”. I was in that moment while my future classmates had to face other rounds.

Again, there will be questions like ‘How do you fit into our organisation/role’. These are generalised questions and it’s a good idea to read up such questions on the Internet. And have some stock responses ready, but not quite rehearsed and by rote. It’s not a poetry competition. And never be a bundle of nerves. You’ll have to do a lot of calming frayed nerves later anyway. So take two deep breaths, say that prayer that always works in your mind and get set go!

Also, remember if the interview board is spending time with you and you are having a good time, you are doing well. Longer interviews usually mean you are getting aboard. Never ever bitch or badmouth others. And don’t carry baggage of any kind. No one likes a sore loser.

Then, comes the trickiest part, money. This is usually at the end of the tether. And as first timers, say the classic line ‘If all our expectations are on the same page, this is the last thing we should disagree on’. Tell them to make their best offer and we’ll see if it works. Again, don’t appear too eager or too hung up. As a fresher, you need that elusive first break.

After you’re done, ask anything that you might need to know and the vital ‘next steps’. Say courteous ‘good byes’ and ‘thank yous’.

And never follow up immediately. Decision-making takes time and these are busy executives who are at other academies too.

It’s usually OK to wait a fortnight before making any e-mail enquiries. Telephonic should be taken only if hugely necessary.

Stop by at the lobby by all means to share your experience but again don’t bitch. Or try to paint a false picture to intimidate others and lessen their chances.

Even after you exit the venue, take a good vantage point before you lighten up and loosen your tie or light a cigarette.

So, what are you waiting for? Do your homework, stay positive and chive on. We’re sure you’ll get there! Godspeed and good luck!