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BlackRock Interview Experience (On-campus)
  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 09 Sep, 2020

BlackRock was one of the Super-Dream companies that visited VIT. Eligibility criteria were 60% or CGPA 6 in Xth, XIIth, and pursuing a degree with no standing arrears. 1000 students(Company was open to all branches) were short-listed for the online test for tech. profile(I would be describing the process for tech profile only as that is the one I applied for).

Online test: The test had 3 sections

  1. Software aptitude section- A problem was described and a detailed flow chart was provided with some statements missing in some boxes. The questions were like, “Which of the following statements/ commands would come in box x”. There were 3 problems like this and each problem had 4-5 questions.  
  2. Data structures and Algorithms section-  Detailed knowledge of trees was needed. Questions ranged from basic concepts like tree traversals to a detailed understanding of AVL trees. 
  3. SQL section- 25 MCQs on SQL was asked. Questions involved choosing the suitable query for the given output of the database provided, basic concepts of DBMS.  I would recommend stronghold on the basics of SQL and good practice of SQL questions on Hackerrank.

After this round 152 students were shortlisted for the interviews. As per my experience, there is no exact number of rounds that you have to go through. Some students had 2 technical rounds. I had only one technical round followed by 1 HR round.

Technical Interview: The interview went on for about 1 hour.  There were 2 interviewers:-

Interviewer 1: Tell us about yourself.



Me: Mentioned my name, pursuing my B.Tech. in CSE from VIT which you already know, focusing on programming and my core CS subjects like OS, CN, DBMS these days, have made some decent projects on web-development like to follow tech. trends, other areas of knowledge include penetration testing and ethical hacking, and I make great pasta.

Both laughed. Then a detailed discussion on my web-dev projects followed. I would suggest not to write anything on your resume that you have not done by yourself or don’t know. They go in-depth of it and you will struggle if you try to bluff. After spending about 35 minutes on my projects they moved to data structures and algorithms.

Interviewer 2: How good you think you are in DS and algo?

Me: Not an expert but I would rate my self 3.5 out of 5.

2 problems were asked.

  1. Problem 1: Find an element In an array in which numbers are in decreasing order first and then the number is in increasing order. 

    Example: 

    {9, 8 , 7, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13} find 12.

    Very simple problem. I asked many questions about the problem like is the point of transition of the array from decreasing to increasing presence in the center, is it a string input or a number input, is there a situation where the number to search will not be present in the array. It’s always a good practice to ask questions and not jump on solutions. It shows that you are approaching the problem from a wider perspective. Remember, they are not looking for how fast you can solve the problem. They want to see how you approach a problem. They are interested in your problem-solving skills.



    I gave the brute force a linear approach. Then I gave the optimized approach of finding the point of transition in a long time by ‘divide array in 2 part’ strategy and then applying binary search on the required sub-array. Both said its a good solution.

  2. Problem 2: There’s a cricket match going on and you have a stream of scores coming to you. You have to keep a record of the largest n scores with you. How you would do it.

    Again, I asked questions. Whether I have some scores with me already and then new scores are coming or I’m empty and then scores start to come one by one? Are the scores coming in sorted order? I took a stack and tried solving the question. One of them asked why this data structure. I said that I was just running the problem and not finalizing my decision. Then I gave my solution of using a min-heap. Both said your solution is perfect.

After this:

Interviewer 2: Do you have any questions?

Me: Yes, how has the company tackled this current pandemic situation because being an American company it got hit pretty badly with stocks fell steeply but ever since May the business seems to have got back on track.

Answered..

Me: One last question ma’am. Have I cleared this round?

Both laughed and one of them said, “Oh very nice, HR will tell you that, keep your fingers crossed.”

And it ended. After about 30 minutes I got a call and the person said you will have your HR round which is the final round at 8:10 PM. I joined the call at 8:10. HR said that there had been a clash as he was taking another interview. I was rescheduled to 9:10 PM.



Note: If you don’t have many projects in your resume then you’ll be asked questions on OOPs and CS core subjects.

HR Interview: The idea in my mind was to not make it a round of questions and answers but a normal chat about the things he wants to talk about. He asked me about my hobbies which led us to a conversation on EDM and rock. He asked me about my family background and the failures that I had faced and how I faced them. I asked him about his working experience and what difference he has seen among the students he has hired in India, Australia, and other countries. I think the key is to listen to what the person is saying and ask questions about something that he has said. If you listen closely you will get questions in your mind and never hesitate to ask. Take every question to be an open-ended question and talk about your experiences in group projects, in college, something that you like. 

That’s it. Got a mail from the Placement cell the next morning which stated that I have been selected by the company. 

Tips: Don’t think of being calm and chill. It’s an interview and you will be nervous. Just remember that the person interviewing you has also been this nervous when he was giving one of the first interviews of his/her life. It’s normal and happens to everybody. You will feel relaxed automatically and your interviewer will be surprised to see how you are so calm and confident in this situation.   

  


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