Short answer: There is no way. If you want to get a good placement, a high paying job, how can you even expect to do so without putting in your best effort.
That said there are some places where your efforts are best put to use. To get a great job you have to work hard as well as work smart.
How am I equipped to answer this question?
Um, this might sound like self congratulation, but I daresay I got the best job in my college, Bit Mesra. And I did work hard, but there were people who worked harder, but did not get as good a job. I don’t claim to be more intelligent than the next guy. So only thing I can attribute my success to can be working smart. Still, take everything here with a pinch of salt. I am no authority on this subject, and just speak with experience (or lack thereof).
On to strategy……
No matter what company you are preparing for, there will be at least three things you will have to face. Aptitude test, technical test and a personal interview. You need to be good in all three of them to excel. Remember, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. But you need not be, nor can you hope to be, exceptionally well in all three.
The Aptitude test.
The aptitude test will gauge your logical thinking ability. Most of the questions you will face will be of numerical ability, though puzzles are not uncommon. If you did prepare for engineering entrance exams and clear them, numerical ability problems should be easy for you. Still it is necessary to get practice, identify your problem areas and work on them. The book I used and found extremely useful was “Quantitative Aptitude for CAT” by Arun Sharma, TMH. Any other standard book of quantitative aptitude should be good enough as well. If you have the time a good book of puzzles can be useful. However you must be careful that you do not end up wasting too much time in this.
The Technical test.
If you are preparing for the software companies, most of the questions will be from general CS papers like C, C++, operating systems, data stuructures. Don’t expect questions from neural networks, compiler design and the like. Some companies may test you on DBMS and Java but this is quite uncommon. In C/C++ pointers is a common topic and file handling is what most people fumble in. You can expect questions from I/o streams and precedence table.
If you clear technical and aptitude rounds, you will have to face personal interview(s). Here the panel is more interested in knowing how you present your self, and less in what you know. To excel in this you need to have good communication skill. It does not mean you must have very good English, but rather that you must be able to get across your ideas.
Nothing beats group discussion when it comes to improving your communication skills is a really short time. So even if you are sure that a group discussion will not be a part of selection process, participate in some GDs. Form a group of 8 to 10 like minded people and get started. Finally undergo as many mock interviews as you can. You can ask your friends to form a panel, and they can take your interview, while you can take theirs. Quid pro quo.
- Whatever happens, don’t panic.
- Remember the company needs you as much as you need them. Do your best, and you can clear any selection process.
- Even if have very poor GPA, poor English, bad mathematics don’t despair. With six months of hard work, you can get just any job. I did.
- Don’t be afraid of hard selling yourself. If asked about your strengths don’t be apologetic. The selection team wants to know the best of you.