What does it take to make it into a high-flying multinational bank? Makarand Khatavkar, managing director, head of human resources (HR) at Deutsche Bank AG, has been in the HR space for a decade and a half with big names such as JP Morgan Stanley Pvt. Ltd India and DSP Merrill Lynch Ltd India. Deutsche Bank recruited 15-20 business school graduates last year from the Indian Institutes of Management in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow and Indore; the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi; the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai;and the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai. As students map out where they go to business school, Khatavkar talks about their thereafter: The Job.
Broadly speaking, what are the things Deutsche Bank looks for when it goes to recruit from a business school?
We look only at the top 10% of a class in terms of academics… There are some standard attributes that we look for in candidates. (These are) drive and commitment. We make observations during interviews, ask situation-based questions and ask for situational anecdotes (to measure drive and commitment). We ask probing questions getting into details.
—Communication skills. We look for good written and spoken communication skills and ability to present ideas, especially complex ideas.
—Intellectual curiosity that a candidate demonstrates and whether he has learnt from past experience.
—Interpersonal skills. Team working skills. We seek evidence of team activities.
—Overall judgement of the candidate. We quiz the candidate on a topical subject, for instance, we may ask, “Given the high inflation and slowing growth environment, what is your view on the Sensex for the next 12-18 months?”
What are some tips to stand out in an interview and group discussion?
Prepare for specific interviews by gathering intelligence on the company through the Internet and by talking to your seniors who are working with the company; swap stories with classmates who have interned with the company.
Businesslike: While dressing for an interview, stick to the classical rule. Stockxpert
Be prepared for interview room emergencies. Suppose you are asked a question on valuation and you are not familiar with the subject, you should be able to turn around the situation smartly. For instance, say, “Sir, I don’t think I can offer much value on valuation in particular, but if you
ask me on merger and acquisition deals or on forex transactions, I can have a meaningful discussion with you.” On group discussions, remember it is really a communication exercise. You don’t have to be right, but you have to have a point of view. Have a clearly thought-out argument and listen to others’ viewpoints and respond to their views.
What should one wear?
Stick to the classical rule. For boys, a white or blue shirt with a black or grey business suit and an appropriate tie. And remember to match your belt with your shoes. For girls, either a Western business suit or a sari in a standard colour, nothing garish.
How much does the brand of the business school matter?
The brand of the business school matters a lot because if you are from one of the top schools, your quality and knowledge is taken for granted. The job of a recruiter becomes easy, since he can rest assured that your basics are basically right.