How I cracked EPAM Systems Drive 2020- Complete Guide On Preparation and FAQs
EPAM is one of the dream-job for freshers nowadays which is getting exponentially popular. This is a product based company where you’ll provide end-to-end solutions to clients and do product development being a fresher only. As not many of the engineering students are aware of the EPAM drive completely and how to do it, I’ll just help everyone out by briefing every portion and answering the FAQs which I faced before sitting for the drive. Before you appear for your EPAM drive, make sure to go thoroughly as I’ve covered everything in detail about the organization and exams.
I’ll just start with some minor details of mine which will help you out understand where do you stand.
Course: Bachelor of Technology
Discipline: Computer Science and Engineering
College: University of Engineering and Management, Kolkata
CGPA [ Pre-final aggregate up to 6th semester ]: 9.25 [ Total: 10 ]
EPAM India Recruitment Drive Details:
Job role: Junior Software Engineer
Place: Hyderabad/ Bangalore/ Pune ( You can enter your preference, but the final decision will be taken by the organization itself. )
My verdict: Selected
Recruitment Process in a brief:
EPAM India has one of the most uncommon selection processes which is in my opinion, the most practical. Usual recruitment processes include Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning, English, Programming logic, Coding, Lateral thinking, Automata fix, etc. On the other hand, EPAM checks the candidates on their practical knowledge, conversation clarity, coding, etc. To be honest, exams consist of one day, a few hours and your abilities are checked. In many exams, mostly in quantitative aptitude and logical reasoning, there are problems which don’t actually check your skills. I mean to say is, that there many problems which particularly have one way of solving that, which is known to the author. Those problems do not showcase someone’s capabilities but are more theoretical. Either you know them, or you don’t. EPAM, with their unique recruitment process, judges a candidate based on perks required in real life only.
The 1st round is a coding round which is conducted through myanatomy portal as of today. You can give this round from home. Needless to say, this is completely off-campus and anyone can participate. We got to know it from our highly active placement cell, others can refer to organizations like PrepInsta or FacePrep. They keep updating about all the placement drives ever so often in their websites and YouTube channels. There are others too, but I mentioned which I use(d) [ i.e. no promotional activity behind the scene.]
There were 3 programming problems to solve in Java only. You cannot use any other language strictly. EPAM is primarily product-based, they develop and excel in Java. However, this doesn’t imply that if you’re a Python expert, there are no opportunities. According to the orientation, they selected Java as because that is what they use primarily, and also, this is the most common language which is part of the academic syllabus in every college throughout India. Also, you need to have a working webcam which will be on throughout the exam. Leaving your chair, going somewhere else, anyone else appearing the camera, covering the camera, etc. is strictly prohibited and will give you warnings 1-2 times before canceling your exam. Don’t cheat! However, you can have water or stuff, given you don’t leave your seat. So sit prepared with pen paper bottle etc. whichever you need. Needless to say, no mobile phones are allowed. They’ll check your footage randomly later, so even if you do, you’ll lose then. Also, there is plagiarism checking, copying is also not allowed. Also, you cannot switch windows or open new tabs or you’ll be warned and your examination is liable to be canceled.
- Question 1: This was mostly like 2nd maximum element of an array, rotating an array or something similar.
Time: 20 minutes
- Question 2: This was mostly like questions from the previous category, but with an extra pinch of constraints. Mostly based on arrays, linklists, stacks, queues, etc. But the question had a high chance of getting a time limit error. The constraint was on the level of 10^9 to 10^16. Use your loops and algos efficiently.
Time: 40 minutes
- Question 3: This was a question based on graphs. All of my friends including me faced problems based on graphs only. So before sitting for the exam, you might want to brush up your graph knowledge a bit.
Time: 60 minutes
60/100. You can notice that even if you completely solve Easy and Medium questions, you’ll get 50/100. So, aim for the hard one. Each testcase will consist of marks for each question. Myanatomy gives marks for each hidden testcase passed. Unlike other portals, the marks ain’t constant. Like, if you’re using an algorithm of O(n^2), you’ll get 3/5 for a particular testcase if it passes. If the same problem is done in O(n), you’ll get 4.8-5/5. There are no marks for sample testcases.
We had to go through a bit of trouble. Myanatomy crashed for many aspirants. That’s why the test was taken again. However, it didn’t crash for me. In that attempt, I solved 3/3 problems. The hard one was from a graph, but looking closely I discovered that it wasn’t a graph solution. It was more of a searching algorithm. There were many given graph-related functions predefined, but they were of no use. It was kind of a trick question. In my 2nd attempt, I solved 2/3, 2 of them being the easy one and the hard one. Medium one was partial. However, as per cutoff, I cleared both attempts.
After the 1st round, selected candidates will receive an e-mail of selection. In my case, I received it within 4 hours. You’ll receive the mails a few times, each time with particular information updated. However, you only need to look at where is your 2nd round i.e. nearest location from your residence, date and time, and you can ignore the rest. You don’t need any printout of that email. The place you’ve given while filling up the form before the 1st round, you can directly go there, your name will be enlisted. There’s no system for admit card or anything else.
After you reach your location on time, you’ll be presented with an orientation of EPAM which will include but not limited to organization culture, clients to deal with, growth of the organization, CTC, etc. You can have any doubts cleared there as it will be an interactive session. Then you’ll be going to the computer labs of the respected colleges for a 2nd coding round in the same portal.
Here you’ll face 2 coding questions and 11 Java MCQs. This is necessary as no organization can trust blindly to the candidates who have given their exam from home. A round under their physical guidance is necessary. Everything else applicable in the 1st round’s pattern is applicable here.
- Question 1 (MCQ): There were 11 MCQs based on Java and OOP, obviously.
Time: 20 minutes
- Question 2: This will be a basic question. In my case, long-story-short, the problem was kind of converting a binary number to decimal and picking the maximum value. Again, each testcase will consist of marks. In the previous year, this question was to design a regex or regular expression to accept IPV4 addresses.
Time: 40 minutes
- Question 3: This will be a complicated one. In my case, there were particular numbers given like 1, 3, 7, 9. I had to construct numbers consisting of these digits like 13, 37, 79, 93…n in any order. There was a limit given, suppose 37. I had to print the count of how many numbers in this range can be formed using the provided digits.
Time: 60 minutes
The cutoff will be decided by them. It’s not fixed. Those candidates clearing the round you will receive an email. Make sure to check your SPAM folder for the email too. It’ll take 30-60 minutes for results to be declared, wait and have lunch.
In my case, I solved the 1st coding one completely. For the 2nd one, I failed at 3 testcases. I solved that later at home, but for that particular day, I failed those. For the MCQ round, the questions were mostly on Threads, Synchronization, and inheritance. Brush those before you appear.
If you receive the email of the previous round, congratulations! This is the G.D. round, i.e. group discussion. They’ll form groups of 8/10 people as necessary. In my case, there were a total of 72 students coming to this round, and groups of 10/11 were formed. You’ll enter a round-table room. There’ll be an instructor in the room who’ll mark you based on your English conversation only. The managing people were kind enough to take all outstation students and ladies candidates in group 1/2. We all were overwhelmed by their gesture of caring for a candidate, although, I was in the last group because my house is at a 2hour distance only.
Topic: Doomsday in 10 minutes.
Time: 10 minutes (measured in stopwatch)
In my case, the instructor was Mr. Andrews, who is of Russian origin. He told us to talk like we were in a cafeteria. It doesn’t matter who talks what, it matters if you talk or not. Just a have a normal conversation and be fluent. If you’re from the state board, don’t worry, I’m from state board too. Out of 10 people, after 7 minutes, 3 people were given chance specifically by him to talk (I’m not one of them, they were my friends). They got tensed but continued their conversation. 1 of those 3 got eliminated, and one other. 8/10 to the next round. Elimination is not compulsory in this round. There were 1/2 groups where none was eliminated.
This 1:1 technical interview round. If your group number is one of the last, trust me, you’ll have to wait a lot! Like a lot! There’s nothing fixed in this which is needless to say. I’ll just share my experience and basic questions he asked me as far as I remember.
- Introduce yourself.
- Thorough details of completed and ongoing projects(if any).
- Data Structures like Stacks, Queues, Arrays, Link lists.
- Java-based questions like garbage collections, threads, virtual-final-static methods, inheritance, etc.
- Basic questions from pointers, call by value and call by reference- difference and where to use, etc.
He asked me for approx. 80 questions in 45 minutes. Out of them, I answered approx. 74. For the ones which I didn’t know, I clearly stated that. 1/2 I messed up in tension, but he was aware of the fact that I knew but got nervous at that point.
You’ll be asked to wait for sometime after your technical round. If you’re selected, you’ll proceed to the HR round. This will mostly be a normal conversation about hobbies, what you do and what not. I told him I write blogs, I have some project ideas in mind and he asked why I wasn’t going for a startup, which is indirectly asking, “why should we hire you?”. He asked me to take water as I was choking at the end of the day(it was 10 pm then). He asked me about my family, how would I go home so late, etc. He said that he liked energetic people in which I explained to him the controversial ‘996’ working policy in China.
Overall, it was a long day from 6 AM (departing from my home) to 12 AM (coming back home). We got a list after 7 days from the host college, in which my name wasn’t there. I was disheartened, obviously, but was waiting for the organization to distribute selection e-mails to the candidates officially. But after a long and tiring 19 days, I got my e-mail of selection on 15th August, i.e. on Independence Day at 2.32 AM.
Now you are mostly aware of all the perks of EPAM and FAQs of the drive. If you’ve still some query left, do comment below!
Best of luck!