A tricky topic, considering you are going for your own interview! If you take the against path, be prepared to answer questions which follow in the interview round.
Points in Favour
- Fresh graduates come without any pre conceived notions about the organization and have fresh ideas to change things
- Laterals on the other hand have a "this is how thing work here" kind of attitude and are apprehensive of changing broken things. They tackle ideas in a routine way.
- Freshers come with more energy, enthusiasm and are self motivated to do big.
- Freshers are also not demanding in terms of huge salaries.
- Fresh minds also bring a lot of innovation to the organization, apart from the cheerful atmosphere they create in an otherwise boring office space.
- A lot of time and money is spent in training graduates out of college.
- College experience is not a full proof way of judging a candidate's abilities and talents. Most students perform well in colleges but when it comes to practical applications, they might not be that well versed - a quality that makes a huge difference in the corporate world.
- Laterals on the other hand, always have some practical experience to show.
- Organizations have no way to find out how much of a graduate's certificates and laurels are true - a trend of faking which is increasingly taking ground these days. For experienced laterals, organizations have the option of carrying out rigorous backround checks which reveal everything about the candidate's past experience.
- Fresh graduates cannot be expected to take decisions critical for the organization.
- If the work is good, lateral hires can display as much energy and enthusiasm as a fresh graduate.
- An organization's talent pool should be a mix of fresh minds and experienced heads alike.
- While new thinking is required at all points, it is the experienced who can judge problematic situations better and also make sure that new ideas are truly new and not a failed implementation of an earlier idea itself.
- Entry level work is always best performed by fresh graduates while the lateral hires are required for the higher levels of project management.
Don't be afraid to take the Against path, even if you are a fresher yourself. The panel would be glad to hear your views and in fact at times even be more impressed. You just have to present your points confidently. But yes, for sure this question would definitely come in your interview - if you were yourself so vocal about lateral entry why should we take you? So try to be neutral in your approach. Talk about how laterals help organizations save money spent in training and so organization should prefer them but if the organization is looking to be innovative in the long run, they need fresh ideas, ideas which are separate from the office monotonies.
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