Academic Year: Third Year Undergraduate
Branch: Electronics Engineering
College: IIT BHU, Varanasi
Current CGPA: 9.16
I was rejected by a few companies like Microsoft(Coding round not cleared, solved 3 in 45 minutes though), Google(Resume not shortlisted) and myKaarma(Eliminated in the Final Interview Round), I got selected in Oracle. Due to the Internship Hiring Process being completely virtual, a number of students got selected due to cheating, googling, cheating in groups, cheating from candidates who have got an offer, and a lot more. A similar situation is existing in most of the colleges at this time. And you know that clearing coding round is the most difficult in the entire process. Due to this, in some companies, even after scoring approximately 75% or more of the marks, I got eliminated in coding rounds.
No Issues! This time it was completely luck-based I can say that! myKaarma interview was the first interview which I gave and I think clearing the first one isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.
Oracle came to our campus with two profiles:
- Server Technology (open for CSE, ECE, EEE, MnC)
- Application Engineer(open for CSE, ECE, EEE, MnC, CIVIL, MECH, CHEMICAL).
Qualifying test for interview: An MCQ Test that was proctored and held on the Oracle Test Platform. We had to solve about 70-80 questions in 107 minutes. All questions were divided into subsets. Each subset had its own time for solving. There were 4 subsets:
- English and Communication Skill Assessments(20 minutes)
- Software Engineering Basics(45 minutes)
- OS, OOPS, DBMS, Networking(22 minutes)
- Data Structures and Aptitude(20 minutes)
I may have misnamed the sections but there were 4 of them and might have a difference in timings by 5-10 minutes here as I don’t remember exactly. Now each subset had 4-5 more subsets within them having 5-10 questions in each and you were given a specific time for each ranging between 3-12 minutes for each subset. I can conclude this was some test that nobody can pass with cheating as if you cheat you will run short of time. Also, there was no negative marking so yes guess and luck may work 😛 but you need to have some idea about the question. Blind guess will require very good luck! The worst thing was that you cannot come back to a question once you have seen it and gone to the next one! So yes, you need to solve it in one go.
Sample Question which I remember as I didn’t solve it because of being time-consuming:
- You were given a tree structure with many algorithms like rotating trees etc. in JAVA. The code was about 2-3 pages long and then you had 3-4 questions from it. It was one of the questions.
There were similar questions. They checked your speed, your knowledge, your debugging skills, and yes your accuracy! They love JAVA as they own it!. Everything was in Java. They asked OOPS through code debugging and output prediction and not just simple definitions. You need to have in-depth knowledge of CS Fundamentals, JAVA(basics of Java will work), Data Structures, and Algorithms.
Being an Electronics Student, I have very little knowledge(which is insufficient) of OS, DBMS, Networking, etc. I prepared OOPS in Java very well in CS Fundamentals, so I answered the questions with ease.
Based on the performance in the test and in each subsection, they shortlisted students for Server Technology and Application Engineer Profile. Among 600-700 students (the rough idea of 6 branches), the shortlisted nearly 40 students for each profile for Interviews. I was shortlisted for Server Tech Profile. Both of my interviewers were very friendly.
- Anagram Strings with Case Insensitive(having the same set of characters and same frequency). I quickly coded it. She asked me to run some test cases and it was fine. The code was fine.
She asked me a puzzle:
- Three ants and a Triangle. She modified it a little. Instead of saying that ants can travel on the edges only, she said that they can move inside the triangle and on edges and in any direction. This was something that made me surprised as the answer could be undefined as there can be infinite possible cases.
I explained this to her, and she told me not to think so much complex. Maybe she was trying to know how I was approaching and thinking about the problem. So I restricted the ants only to edges and gave her the right answer. I had seen this puzzle for the first time there. Practice Puzzles also with DSA! With this, the round was over. It lasted for about 30 minutes. Yeah, they had to interview 80 of us!
Within the next 30 minutes, I had a second round. About 30 of us were shortlisted for the second round. I thought that it was a DSA Round and was prepared for the same but something unexpected took place.
Round 2: With my introduction and talking about having breakfast and waking up late, etc. the interviewer tried to make me comfortable with him. He asked how was my previous round and how would I like to improve this round as compared to the last one. I told him about the puzzle scenario.
Next, he asked about my favourite subjects in Academics. Being an Electronics Student, I answered: “In college curriculum, I like Digital Electronics and my pass time and favourite is Competitive Programming”. This was some turning point in my interview. He ignored the second part and started to ask me about Digital Electronics. I was like:” What the hell have I said?”. I don’t know much about digital electronics especially counters, registers, RAM making, Computer Architecture, and more in-depth details, etc. but I knew a few basics of Boolean Algebra, Flip Flops, etc. Thanks to COVID’19! Due to Online Semester and Examinations, I didn’t study the entire course. But I had done one project on Digital Electronics- I made a prototype of the Tetris Game on Proteus Simulation Software. Though this project wasn’t on my resume as it was for core electronics and not for coding jobs, yet it saved my interview.
He asked me questions on Flip Flops, PWM( I told it is an analog pin and we control the speed with it- the first part is incorrect- he told its a digital pin and second part is right and he asked how- my Arduino related projects save me here), JK Flip Flop use(I didn’t know, hence I started talking about my Tetris project- how I set up the blocks coming down with Flip Flops) and much more. After discussing Digital Electronics, he asked me about my second project- a website that was made with OMDB API(so no database), Angular, ExpressJS, and was hosted using AWS. He was interested more in how I hosted it as it was for Server Tech(I guess). I told him the entire process with each and every command- from cloning from GitHub to hosting and giving domain name with AWS. I had done this project in mid-July and hadn’t revised it as Interview was scheduled suddenly the last night and I am a Lazy Person! But since I had seriously made my project, I explained all of it to him-even the Linux, Git, and AWS Console Commands. He looked quite satisfied with my project knowledge. He asked me if I had any questions. I asked what are kinds of work an intern is required to do and what technologies do I need to know before joining, as I don’t know DBMS. He replied that Oracle is not just about DBMS, it has Cloud Computing also and my project of site hosting would help me a lot in that. This round also lasted 30 minutes and we had a brief discussion on what all I said.
Some tips from my interview:
- Work Seriously on Projects. There are a number of people who can develop a site but there are very few who can host and have knowledge of Web Architecture. So just don’t develop a site, host it also publicly. Know about DNS, Web Architecture(basics and diagrams). This will help you a lot. In myKaarma Interview also, I told about hosting sites and interviewer was impressed with my knowledge of hosting, Linux and DNS but I couldn’t optimize space complexity of one of my DSA Questions, which proved to be a negative point(I used Stack which wasn’t required and made the code longer and it took time to write the code). Especially for Non-CSE and 1st/2nd years, having such information will enhance your resume.
- Have a dev and an ML project in your CV to show you have knowledge of both the domains. It is helpful for getting jobs in both profiles- SDE and Data Science.
- Be honest with the interviewer. At some points in the interview when I couldn’t answer Digital Electronics questions with ease, I told him that Digital Electronics was a college course and I don’t remember as Semester is over and I haven’t prepared that.
- Think and Speak- Don’t be like me who spoke Digital Electronics and unfortunately, he knew a lot about it and started asking about it. It was lucky for me that I had done a project on that which saved me. You can say your extra-curricular activity but you should know about it in brief, for example, if you say Aeromodelling- Just don’t restrict yourself to making models- know more about them- how they fly-air dynamics, etc.
- Solve problems on Leetcode and GFG especially DP Problems though I was asked none but yet you need to be ready for the worst-case scenario. Solve Codeforces problems for knowing Implementation Problems and Greedy of course.
- Solve Leetcode 30 day challenge- it helps you revise the questions!
Hope you find it helpful.
ALL THE BEST!
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