Publicis Sapient came (virtually) to my college during October, 2020. The process was as follows.
The first round was a coding round conducted on HackerRank. There were 2 coding questions.
Question 1: Easy strings question. Similar to this: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/number-substrings-count-character-k/.
Question 2: Graph question. Similar to this: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/number-groups-formed-graph-friends/.
Both questions needed to be solved with all test cases passing. Since many people would’ve solved both of these, it is possible that they also considered how long it took to solve, and only selected those who solved them quickly.
A total of 8 people were shortlisted for the next round.
Technical Round(Domain Discussion Interview):
The interview was hosted on Microsoft Teams and lasted over 1 and a half hours. The interviewer was friendly and interactive. He first asked me about myself. As I described some of my projects, he seemed very interested in the business point of view and expected me to understand how my projects would cater to clients. Since I had done projects in ML, he wanted asked me to explain in depth about them, and made sure that I knew what I was talking about. I also needed to explain the usefulness of my projects.
He then asked me some questions about how we should make sure that products or applications should be user friendly. As a sort of case study he asked me to analyze the Aarogya Setu COVID app. I was asked how I would try ensure that the maximum number of people would be using the app. My general answer was based on the fact that the app needs to usable. He proceeded to discuss with me how exactly an app would classify as ‘usable’ and what improvements could be made in order to achieve such a status.
Then we began to code. I was asked to code using the CodeInterview platform. This portion was entirely based on OOP concepts. I was asked to code the basic structure of a Shopping Cart (similar to that of any e-commerce website) and explain how to structure the Products and the Shopping Cart itself. He tested me in terms of what was needed, and kept pushing me to delve deeper and and add more attributes and functionalities. I realized he was testing not only my coding skills but also how I translated real world concepts into OOP concepts. After some time, he seemed satisfied.
He then asked questions on theoretical OOP topics. These included, what are Classes and Objects(in your own words along with real-world examples), what is Multi-Threading and when is it used, and what is Runtime Polymorphism and how could I incorporate it into the Shopping Cart problem. After this he asked what is the concept and clean code and why do we need it.
Towards the end, I was once again asked some questions about my projects and my interests. Since my projects were based on ML, he asked me to explain it to him in the simplest way possible, using analogies to real-life, for example how would you explain the difference between a GPU and a CPU. Finally he asked if I had any queries for him and the interview concluded.
I was informed within an hour that I was one of the 4 shortlisted for the HR round.
HR Round(Core Value Interview):
This round was more a casual discussion than an interview, nevertheless it was important to be eloquent and articulate efficiently. The purpose was to judge my thought process. I was first asked about the previous round and how that interview went. She asked me about some of hobbies and how much time I spent in them. Following this I was once again asked about my projects, but with more emphasis on how I approached and tackled the problems. She asked who were some people in the field of Computer Science I looked up to and why I was inspired by them.
I was asked several different scenarios. One of them was how I would approach a situation where one of my team members is performing relatively poorly. She wanted to me to try and give an experience I had in the past similar to this situation. I was asked which accomplishment I was the most proud of and the entire process as well as my mindset leading up to that accomplishment. Another question was how was my general approach to learning; are you more of an independent worker, or do you prefer to consult others while learning something new.
It was important to be enthusiastic and keep the entire communication two-way, since they want to see how well you can interact with others.
Finally I was asked which location I preferred and if I had any questions.
By the end of the day, 2 people were selected and I was one of them.
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