I clearly remember it was July 2019, almost 8 months before the pandemic struck. A little background about me, I’m a B Tech graduate from Computer Engineering who graduated in 2020. I was sitting in the waiting area of the company I went to for my interview along with 29 other people, most of them from my college only. We all were suited according to the interview and also according to the instructions given by our Training and Placement Head. I kept tapping my feet in nervousness, sweating profusely waiting for the process to start.
Round 1(Aptitude Test): The first round of interview started with an aptitude test, 30 minutes for 25 questions which were ranging from easy to moderate in terms of difficulty.
- The question paper was in MCQ(Multiple choice questions) format with a single correct answer. We were made to sit on adjacent tables with some gap in between, mostly to prevent us from cheating.
- The questions were from the topics – Speed, distance and time, profit and loss, work and time, probability, mensuration, etc. The paper was simple and not to mention I got selected for next round.
Round 2(Coding): The second was the coding round.
- I started warming up my fingers to type faster than the 14 other candidates who were left after the first round. And then what happened after shook me up. We were handed papers in which we had to write the code. If I was a fictional novel writer I would have written at least a dozen pages of how I felt at that time. But I had to suffice with what I had.
- There was only one question – to find if two strings were a of each anagram* of other and only one rule – not to use any inbuild function of any programming language. I chose the most convenient language – python and went with the easiest approach – made a dictionary(hashmap) of both the strings and compared the dictionaries(hashmaps) with each other. If the dictionaries matches, the strings are an anagram of each other else not. After waiting for more than half an hour I was called in for a technical interview.
- *Anagram strings – In anagram strings both the strings have same characters occurring an equal number of times. For example, TRIANGLE and INTEGRAL are anagram of each other as they both have same characters occurring an equal number of times.
Round 3(Technical): The third round of interviews was the technical round. I was called in a cabin where I was greeted by two interviewers. One of them looked like he had some technical knowledge, the other one was just there to make me doubt my technical knowledge. The fun part began after the formal introduction.
The interview questions were as follows:-
Interviewer 1: Why did you write your code in python?
Me: Sir, python is a high level interpreted language which has many inbuilt functions which make it easy to write code.
Interviewer 2: I never use python, it makes you lazy, if I were at your place I would have written the code in C++.
Me: Yes sir, it is true, python makes you lazy but it has its own advantages – like it is an interpreted language so it is helpful in rapid testing and supports many libraries.
Interviewer 2: True, name some of the commonly used libraries.
Me: I have used Math, Numpy, turtle, OpenCV and some other(I don’t exactly remember all the names).
Interviewer 1: Good, so write a program to print Hello World using an if-else block.
Me: (Thinking hard for 2 minutes) Can I use C programming language?
Interviewer 1: Yeah sure, Go Ahead.
Me:(Wrote this code)
Interviewer 2: Explain it.
Me: The printf function in C language gives the number of characters inside the quotes so the if block will only run if the inside block returns 0. But in this case the printf returns 5, combined with a negation operator which results in 0, so the if block won’t run and else block will. Hence the output will be Hello World. ( They seem impressed).
Interviewer 1: So which is your favorite subject?
Me: I like both Operating System and DBMS.
Interviewer 1: * Asks some basic questions on DBMS*
Me: *Answers them confidently and probably correctly*
Interviewer 1: So what are views?
Me: Views are virtual tables which are used to either store complete tables or partial data from tables.
Interviewer 2: What if we delete data from views, will it reflect it original table too.
Me: Yes the original table will show the changes too but there would be some discrepancies in the data if the view stores data from intersection of two or more tables.
Interviewer 2: Good.
And then both the interviewers kept on asking some basic questions on DBMS and OS. There were some other questions on Data Structures that were not that tricky. The whole interview lasted for more than 35 minutes in which I also had to explain my internship project which I did perfectly.
Round 4(HR Round): The last round of the interview was the HR round.
- I had to wait for almost 2 hours before the result of the technical round was declared.
- I guess the interviewers weren’t that impressed. After that, I was made to sit in a cabin which was larger than other cabins and well furnished too. And then entered the Managing Director of the company.
- I was a little confident after the technical round seeing the MD I become a little scared.
- I formally greeted him and he tried to make me comfortable by asking about the previous rounds. I answered in a feeble voice. After which the interview started. I don’t want you to bore with the details of the round but there was this one question that was very eccentric(maybe because no one has asked a question like this before).
- He asked, “Would you help someone even if it requires you to sacrifice your life in the process.”. I was a little stunned by the question and couldn’t answer it at time.
- After which the interview ended in a few minutes with some other HR questions. I was a little less confident about my selection after that question and wasn’t sure if I will get selected.
- After the interview ended, I left the office. It was raining heavily, I rode back to my home in my vehicle and hoped to get selected after that technical round.
After a week I was called inside the Training cell and was informed that I’ve been selected. I was feeling ecstatic, but I had to revert to the company if I wanted to join by the end of the day. But that’s a story of another time.