Book Review: An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU

Book: An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU

Author: Toffee

Number of pages: 189

Price: Rs. 195

An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU took a little getting used to. The colloquial language, the long-winded sentences, the inherent melodrama and angst that accompanies our academic years. It’s an honest, from-the-heart kind of an account, with few pretenses, of how engineering graduates should tackle placements and interviews for that all-important milestone – to land that big first job.

The writing is informal. Heavily laden with drama and emotion. Its target demography is engineering students and fresh graduates. And if you’re not one of those, in the words of the author, “You may read it for some infotainment, if not for anything else.”

Toffee helps you with handy tips about placements, suggests how to crack interviews, breaks down the recruitment process for you and fills in the lacuna created by the conventional education system to provide some professional gyaan. He draws from a large set of experiences, some his own, some from his peers and their set of friends.

He intends this to be “a self-help book written like a novel, in a funky, narrative and interesting style.” But I found nothing funky in the badly-written grammar and long-winded sentences. There is much ceremony about everything in this book. One has to endure four pieces of writing, before reaching the first page of the story:

  • About this book
  • Acknowledgements – which, like a lot of the book could have been crisper and tighter
  • This is not the Prologue
  • The story behind this book

But once I got past the language and the melodrama, I found it to be an insightful read. While I’m not part of the book’s target demography, it was a nice refresher.

Toffee breaks down a recruitment process into the following rounds or phases:

  • Pre-placement Talk
  • Aptitude
  • Group Discussion
  • Technical Interview
  • HR Interview

He is verbose. Devotes a chapter/s to each of the above-mentioned points, replete with anecdotal experiences, some his, some borrowed. The first few chapters are rather mundane, outlining the technical aspects of the recruitment process, stuff which can be tackled with some last-minute planning and preparation. The second half is where the meat is. He outlines the importance of soft-skills, fluency in English and marketing yourself. He places great emphasis on networking, extra-curricular activities and team work. He doesn’t forget to factor in luck either.

Here’s one tip that I will take away from this book: “…girls, it’s better to wear something that you have already tried at least once.” A valuable piece of advice, once you can look past how it’s phrased. Not profound, but helpful. Sometimes, underestimated.

Toffee also highlights how confidence can go a long way in securing your dream job. Perhaps, the reason why employers prefer hiring people already employed elsewhere rather than people looking for a job. It’s slightly easier to be confident and act yourself, when you already have a job in place. You have little to lose then.

What works for An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU is that it heavily draws from real-life, anecdotal experiences. Toffee sets up very believable and plausible scenes. But I wish he (and perhaps his team of editors) had been a little more judicious with the words and emotions. At some instances, I felt like I had a raw manuscript in my hands.

Rating: 3/5

Learn more about An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


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