The aptitude test was of 75 minutes and had two parts: 1. MCQs and 2. Coding
Just before the test started a sample test consisting of a small code was conducted to test whether everything was working properly
- Aptitude test:
- Part 1:
The part 1 of the test consisted of MCQs based on probability, riddles, data structures, etc.
Questions were really tough. It is recommended to practice CAT level questions for the math questions, I found the test tough because I hadn’t prepared CAT level questions.
Data structure questions included questions like given the in-order and pre-order sequence, what would be the left child of some node.
- Part 2
The second part of the aptitude test was the coding round. It consisted of two problem statements. Both the problem statements included around 8-10 test cases.
It is ok if you don’t complete all the test cases of a particular problem. But try to finish off as many as you can.
I solved only 1 problem and finished 3-4 test cases. The problem was somewhat as follows:
There is a square matrix ‘X’ of dimension n x n. It consists of zeros and ones. Given a value k, print the dimensions of a sub matrix of X consisting at most k zeros.
I can’t recollect the 2nd one.
Around 140 people applied for the test, out of which 16 were shortlisted, 7 for full time jobs and 9 for internships. These 16 people were called for interviews at their office.
A total of 4 rounds were held at their office:
Tech round 1:
- Tech round 1 (Elimination round)
- Group Activity
- HR Round (Pro-fit round)
- Tech round 2
The 1st technical round was a one to one round which started off with “tell me about yourself”. They usually ask what is your favorite language and ask questions on it so please focus an a single language a lot. I had answered Java. So the interviewer was asking me OOP concepts like interfaces, abstraction.
A lot of questions on data structures (mostly on trees) were asked. I was told to write two algorithms on the spot, using a data structure. I was asked to 1st explain the approach then write it. When I explained linked list, he again asked me to suggest one more data structure for the algo for which I answered stacks which was actually a better solution. Then an algorithm to check if a binary tree is balanced or not was asked to write. I didn’t know what was the exact definition of a balanced tree was, so I asked the interviewer about it, to which he answered without any hesitation. So it is okay if you don’t know some concept, what you should be really good at is the basics and optimizations as well.
Questions on process scheduling were asked. Eg: If windows was a single core processor and two applications were started at a time, would the 1st one run infinitely and 2nd one wouldn’t run at all? What process scheduling would be used. I answered round robin or priority scheduling. And yes, be REALLY good at concepts like Big O. They ask a lot about optimizations and they would ask you to optimize almost every solution you give.
Overall, the interview went well. This interview is an elimination round so work a lot for it. I would say, confidence is the key. The interviewer was really friendly. Try to grasp as many hints as possible (they give a lot, so pay attention to every word they say). Practice coding using data structures, focus on a single language a lot than focusing on too many languages. Be clear with basics, high tech stuff is not needed. Optimization and Big O concepts – really important
After this round 10 out of 25 people were shortlisted. All the 10 people had to attend the other 3 rounds.
The group activity had all 10 people working together. It was of half an hour. A lot of lego blocks were given and we were asked to build a model and convince the investors to invest in our model. We came up with the idea of smart homes using solar panels and we had to make two charts displaying the objectives, key features, etc. Team work, taking an initiative, involvement in a group, helping each other, communication skills is important.
The group activity was summarized and we were asked to chose a team leader and all the 9 people picked a single guy, he was really good. There were about 6-7 people there to judge us and our behavior.
It was basically a pro-fit round (professional fitness). The interviewer was extremely friendly and sweet. Basic HR questions were asked like:
Tech round 2:
- What do you know about Morgan Stanley?
- Have you done any projects in groups? Explain how you worked in a group. (He was expecting something unique that I have done as a part of a group)
- Where do you see yourself in 4 years?
- Do you have any plans for future studies?
He also asked something about my internships that I can’t recollect.
This was the toughest round of all. I arrived at Morgan Stanley at 8 am and this interview took place at around 5:30 in the evening when everyone was totally exhausted.
The interview started off with a really tough algorithm. I was only supposed to explain the approach. I tried almost every data structure and ended up explaining an approach without any structure and apparently I guess that is what the interviewer was expecting.
Then I was asked to prepare a class diagram and an ER diagram if I was to develop something like Facebook. This kind of question is a typical one, where you are asked to build a structure for a company. At a point the relationships between entities got really tough and the interviewer went on confusing me. Finally he asked me to write queries which cleared the picture. So the queries were hints and as I said earlier, try to grasp as many as you can. He then asked me what data structure could you use and I was unable to answer so he said graphs could be used which is very obvious.
Two people were selected out of 10. I was one of the two. So if you have any queries you can surely contact me 🙂
- Be confident. As much as you can. That is the key to get into any company. Don’t show even a hint of nervousness and show them as if you are REALLY excited to do a job there.
- Focus on a single language (Java/C/C++ recommended), basics, data structures, Big O
- High tech stuff like machine learning – NOT NEEDED
- Every interview ends with the question – do you have any questions for me? ALWAYS ASK ONE
- Try grasping hints and don’t feel bad if you are not doing well. They obviously don’t expect you to know everything
- Do a good research about Morgan Stanley before going for the interviews
- If they ask you to explain an algo then write it, explain in a really convincing way such that they would hardly look at your written code!
So, do well! All the best!
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