Round 1 – Resume Shortlisting
Don’t know clearly what the criteria was but almost everyone with a CPI above 6.5 was shortlisted. Around 270 from whole batch were shortlisted for the next round.
Round 2 – Data Interpretation Test
Most important round as highest elimination take place here and also first impression about you is formed whether you will be given any preference in interview slot, forgiven for a tiny bit of mathematical errors during interviews or not.Please practice a lot, as it sounds easier to many but it is not. Everyone around you is of same caliber. CAT aspirants will be direct benefactors here.
Pen and paper based test (Maybe they look at rough work although I didn’t write a single word, just marked the options). A module was given with 30/35 questions to be done in 35/40 min. Calculators are allowed but time crunch is still there. No negative marking though. Better be prepared for it and get a general idea of average profit percentage, CI, SI and INFLATION rate. Many of the questions were based on that which were relatively easy but not everyone was able to comprehend what the actual meaning is. If you are comfortable through first passage then mostly each of them are related in continuation to it. But don’t waste all the time on a single question. Move on and please tick any of the option if not getting to an answer (No negatives). Try to attempt as many as possible to reduce performance pressure in further round. The better you perform, easier it is to navigate further rounds as they have a mindset of already selecting you. Don’t cheat, H.R. caught someone and believe me it was not pleasant to see a batch mate being yelled at in front of her.
Round 3 – Day 0 Case Interview
65 students were selected in the analytics profile for a case interview a day before the D-Day. It was a simple case study concerning micro-finance company in a village with two possible clienteles. It was simple but I screwed up and did wrong calculations almost three times. He corrected me each time though. There is not too much to explore, they don’t expect you to be sailing through these with knowledge of finance, as they are aware that most of the students have little experience whatsoever. Only Math part is seen and decisions are purely based on Math. Then he talked about my projects and a little about my intern in an algorithmic trading firm. I guess he knew that I had no background in management whatsoever (No PoR and a modest CPI). I was selected anyway for Day 1 interviews among 24 students who steered clear. Point to be noted – A little imagination on possibilities of exploring business and good conversation skills will help here a lot. Try to convince him that you want to be like a consultant to their clients. Most of the batch mates aiming for Cap One prepared case studies which I apparently did not. I sat their mostly fearing worst outcomes. But my good score in DI test went a long way helped me a lot.
Round 4 – Lots of Case Interviews
They were late by an hour or two (good for everyone, specially in Kanpur which on December 1 is unforgivably cold) which went perfectly with my plan of appearing in GS before.
One about a telecom company involving broadband plans and some differentiation to get point where maximum profit is obtained. Somewhere down the line he asked me another point where zero profit zero loss condition occurs (see technical term for it in sample case interview here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cDT5YZQwOs). Take a look at it positively if you want to do well, it will probably help you a lot.
I don’t remember another one but there was a case interview apart from the one mentioned above. I suggested pretty good alternative business ideas in this one though on his demand of how to maximize profits, capture more market share and expanding the business. He tried to deter me and told me that my calculations were wrong. I knew they weren’t but I cross-checked it anyway and politely refused to admit any at all and said that I beg to differ in this matter. I have to say I was pretty confident securing an offer earlier at GS. The point is be confident, that way you won’t commit any errors.
Finally a behavioral interview where every single person who was selected was subjected to the tortures of H.R. questions, he wrote in a separate form the responses and told that these are just the formalities which need to be done for the company.
Q.) What you did during your previous experience in individual projects where you had a problem?
Q.) Took a helping hand from acquaintance you say, what about mentor?
Here I told him that my mentor was apparently the V.P. of the firm and he couldn’t cater to all my needs being busy pretty much all the day. He looked at me discouragingly and started noting it aggressively and I knew I had made a mistake bitching about the company. I tried to cover it up saying that my colleague (fellow intern) was better equipped being in Mathematical field and some other reasons (Lesson learned – Don’t give a negative review of previous firm whatsoever).
Q.) After that some more questions about why you want to join Cap One to which I replied that my friends who interned there gave a positive review about client connection and it would be an opportunity to hone my presentation skills being only in the technical field up till now and blah blah.
Then he started bragging about how cap one is evolving with advent of competitors in form of NFC, Apple Pay and how I would be a perfect fit with my “technological skills” and how I could polish my soft skills being in connection with them, to which I showed my “genuine interest”.
After that a pizza treat (1 selected except me, I turned down there offer at the end of slot 😛 ate the pizza though) to end the tiring slot with over 10 interviews starting from 6:00 am up till 2:30 pm that day.
Also another point worth the mention here is that Cap One offered two profiles exclusively. The other one was data scientist with same package being offered in which lesser number of students sat and no case interview was there on day 0, only final interviews. Good for guys with a hands-on coding experience as competition was very less and they ended up extending offers to 5 students there.
I was extended an offer for the mentioned profile but refused it and ended up taking another offer. Have a nice placement season.
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