In conversation with Arun Dobriyal, a Computer Science graduate from IIT, Kharagpur who was recently hired by Facebook for a whopping pay package. In clear and concise words, Arun gave us quite a few nuggets of knowledge that many students, aiming for similar achievements in life, will find really valuable.
A long and hectic day of exams and interviews, concluded really well for him when he was informed that he has been selected. Words cannot do justice to his joy at that moment and thus, when asked about his reaction to the news, he says that his happiness knew no bounds. Since the previous statistics on Facebook’s recruitment were quite dreary, his expectations were quite low this year. Therefore, his pleasure in being one of the lucky four this year from his college is perhaps quite obvious. At the end of the day, this feat can be attributed to his amazing knowledge and persistence.
His account of that day proves how thorough the company is in choosing only the best and most deserving. An online exam was conducted to select 25 students out of over 200 students who had applied. There were two software engineers and a HR person from Facebook’s Palo Alto office to manage and conduct the whole process. The 25 were subjected to an offline coding exam consisting of just two questions, only to select about 10 students. The shortlisted students then underwent a round of individual interviews. He was the first one to face a conference call interview with a few people from California, which also consisted of two on-the-spot coding-type questions. If this wasn’t enough, there were three more rounds of interviews to conclude the hiring process. But in the end, he and three others passed with flying colors and, of course, hefty pay.
Arun, with his vast experience and wide range of accomplishments, has lots of advice for future graduates. In one of his most important points, he clearly implied how trivial a résumé is. It’s a formality and a minor part of the process. It’s all about exceedingly strong fundamentals.
When asked about what giants like Facebook are looking for in students, he answers with supreme proficiency in algorithmic programming and data structures. It is algorithmic programming and not system programming that has gained a lot of importance. Of course, qualities like good communication skills and other soft skills are given for any such high-profile offer.
One of the most important qualities that set you apart from your peers is how good you’re at using algorithms to solve any given problem instantaneously. An exceptionally strong foundation in the subject is pivotal to your success. Although the programming language is the candidate’s choice, being very good at one language is a very valuable asset. In his opinion, it’s a must. His repeated emphasis on fundamentals illustrates the fact that they are a must to perform effectively, be it in the interview or at the company itself.
To those who’ve a long way ahead before sitting on an interview chair, his advice was loud and clear – Try to gain as much experience as possible. Internships at start-ups and corporate companies, in both India and abroad, are the best opportunities to do so.
That companies like Facebook visit just a few colleges every year, only to recruit a handful of people shows how competitive the recruitment market is. Although talent from all over the country wishes to connect with companies like Facebook, not all of them are able to find the right opportunities.
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