Getting pre-interview jitters is pretty common.
The problem arises when it starts affecting your performance in the interview rounds.
Keshav, a B.tech graduate wanted to break into the field of Data Science but his lack of confidence and fear were pushing him back.
Despite hours of preparation and research, he couldn't crack any interviews and get a job.
His goal was to get an offer from his target companies and get over his fear of interviews and be well-prepared for every stage that he would face.
Challenges: Fear of interviews and less experience🚨
“I had a fear of interviews, I would get really anxious and this used to affect my performance,” says Keshav.
Like any other fresher, getting nervous before interviews is normal but Keshav was finding it hard to control his emotions.
His major pain points were:
👉 Fear of interviews
👉 Less experience as a Data Scientist
👉 Weak fundamentals
👉 Lack of guidance
Since he had just graduated, he wanted to secure a position as a Junior Data Scientist or as a Data Scientist intern at a reputed company.
Keshav says, “I used to take the help of Youtube videos which helped up to a certain extent but my basics were still not strong enough. I was having trouble solving technical problems.”
Keshav also explained that he wanted constructive feedback and a plan of action for his interview journey. He wanted someone who can help him identify his weak areas.
Solution: 1:1 Mentorship with Sandeep 🎯
“I was searching for a solution and that’s how I came to know about the mentorship program at Preplaced. Since there was an option to book a trial session with a mentor selected by me, I took the chance,” says Keshav.
After going through the list of mentors, he selected Sandeep Sricharan Mukku, an Applied Data Scientist II at Amazon with an experience of more than 9 years.
His mentorship style includes strengthening the basics and encouraging his mentees to take on challenges by providing constant support and feedback.
“The trial session was an eye opener for me, it was extremely informative and all my doubts were cleared,” says Keshav. “I was doing everything but realised that I was not doing the important things.”
Keshav took the 1:1 long-term mentorship under the guidance of Sandeep.
Sandeep suggested a timeline of 1 month for Keshav to help him crack his data science interviews.
✅ A systematic plan of action
✅ Mock interviews
✅ Understanding of the interview process
✅ Resume review
✅ Curated resources for upskilling
After evaluating weak points of Keshav, mentor Sandeep created a personalised and flexible plan to help him improve.
The first priority was to make Keshav’s fundamentals strong as generally, that’s the requirement for an entry-level data science position.
They also discussed the interview process for a Data Scientist and what specific topics to prepare.
“I think the main problem that I faced was of the mindset,” says Keshav.
Sandeep created a list of points that needed improvement in Keshav’s case. He consistently got constructive feedback from Sandeep.
The mock interviews were particularly beneficial for Keshav as he got used to the interview environment and improved his communication skills and how to drive the discussion in his favour.
“As much as I got grilled in the mock sessions, Sandeep would also motivate me and highlight my strengths too and how to use that in my favour,” says Keshav. “It made me feel that I can do it after all.”
Since Keshav had less work experience, Sandeep helped him with his resume by reviewing it and discussing the modifications that can be done to make it better.
“Earlier, I had done some projects that Sandeep reviewed and gave suggestions to make it better,” says Keshav.
And this is what mentorship looked like for Keshav.
Results: Secured a Data Scientist Internship 🚀
“This time around, I was confident and felt fully prepared for the interviews. I applied to 3-4 companies and got selected by 2 of them,” says Keshav.
Keshav says that he was surprised and did not expect the interviews to go this smoothly.
He joined as a Data Science Intern at one of the leading companies he applied to.
“I am obliged to Sandeep and Preplaced for helping me fight this battle. Sandeep helped me constantly improve by identifying my weak areas and constructive steps to work on them,” says Keshav. “I had a mindset shift where I was not doubting myself anymore and second-guessing my abilities.”
Advice to fellow preppies 💪
“I would highly recommend you to seek out a mentor. Just like a friend, a mentor would stay by your side throughout the whole process until you reach your goal,” says Keshav.
Keshav says that he was working on his skills before meeting Sandeep but the results only showed when he got his guidance.
“I would also like to add that mentorship will only be 100% effective if you are also open and willing to accept the feedback and work on it,” says Keshav. “Looking back, you’ll definitely be glad that you reached out for help.”
Keshav’s efforts were directed in the right direction and showcased his true potential. He also gained some serious confidence.
Just like Keshav, you can also get your happy ending with a mentor by your side.