This was my first professional and wildest interview experience.
On 21st July, Sahaj came for a Pre-Placement talk, they told us about their company through doodle art, which was pretty interesting. They announced that on the very next day, there is a Screening Round (which is a simple coding round) of 1 hrs. Shortlisted students would go to the next round the actual “Coding Round” which would be 3-4 hrs. Shortlisted students here would go to the next Interview round. So the sequence was something like this:-
Pre-Placement Talk –> Screening Round –> Coding Round –> Interview 1 –> Interview 2
But, something weird happened, they decided to do a 30-minute coding round another day with a single question, A simple DP-based question (simple in a sense with respect to other DP questions).
Round 1: Coding Question (30 minutes/1 question)
You can find that question below, I failed that question three times because I wasn’t thinking dynamically. I solved it with DP and submitted on the last six minutes. Fortunately, the code was correct.
Out of 200 students, 13 were shortlisted, fortunately, once again, I was on that list. They called us to Placement Cell to assemble.
They then for some reason decided not to take the “3-4” hrs coding round and move forward with an interview.
I waited there for like 3 hrs, and my turn came.
Round 2: Interview
Now, here’s the main part begins,
They told everyone to be very chill just like friends. Out of these 13 students I was the most chill guy out there. They asked me about my introduction, I introduced myself and mentioned my project because it was very unique. My project was still in progress, It was about 3D Animation and AI together, and they both were fascinated by the concept because they never saw any student mentioning a similar type of project.
They then showed me a list of topics DS, Algo, DBMS, OS, and CN in the same sequence increasing difficulty, they asked what do I want to choose. I don’t know what I was thinking at that time and said OS, they said I was the first guy to choose OS, and at that moment I realized, I was fed up!
They asked, If there is an icon on the desktop and if we click on it, what actually happens? It might sound simple that it opens but, it was not the answer. The answer is may more complicated, I went completely blank, with a couple of wrong answers.
They gave me the choice to switch Subjects, I jumped on DS immediately, They gave a question, I knew if I knew that I can do that else I’m going home.
By god’s grace, it was a simple hashing-based question.
The question was, If we go on adding elements in the list, what would be the very first element that occurs only once in that list.
Example (Which they gave me): 1 1 2 3 4 3 2
Expected answer: 1 -1 2 2 2 2 4
- Add 1, list=, return 1
- Add 1, list=[1,1], return -1 (no single occurring element)
- Add 2, list=[1,1,2], return 2
- Add 3, list=[1,1,2,3] return 2 (2 is still occurring first)
- Add 4,3 list=[1,1,2,2,3,4,3] still 2 is occurring first
- Add 2, list=[1,1,2,3,4,3,2] return 4
I hope you get the idea, I used a Python dictionary, and they were expecting a visual representation or pseudocode of some sort, I wrote complete Python code in hardly 2-3 minutes.
Initially, I completely mistook that question, I thought we have to find the first once occurring element of the whole list not , [1,1], [1,1,2], [1,1,2,3], etc.
They pointed out that, I immediately fixed that with another for loop covering my code and slicing the list.
Mostly my code was correct, they said it has a few mistakes in the algo, I found two, returning -1 and clearing hash dict every time next iteration starts.
I don’t know why I was in so much rush or what, they kept on saying multiple time “hadbadi mat karo, aaram se karo, hamare paas bohot time hai”, I relaxed a bit tried drawing some structures, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and all. Everything I was doing on the paper, they were both looking at each and everything I write. I tried one or two syntax errors and they were like no, it’s all right we don’t care about those errors. They, even told me which three lines I was messing up. Finally, after a lot of false alarms and mistakes, I told them I couldn’t figure it out, they told me what I was doing wrong.
The code snippet was:
i in set(ls): #making a set of list to
hash had only one value, returning it and breaking
Now the thing is, the moment he said you have used set, I understood my mistake, I usually do coding in PyPy3, in this version, when we convert a list to set, the order remains unchanged, So I would have never thought that I was doing wrong there. I realized, in other languages it is possible that the set order becomes random.
After that, my interview was over. They gave me feedback, the same thing something like “hadbadi mat karo, hum bhi pehele aise hi the lekin relax rehena kafi important hai nahi toh isse tumhare hi performance pe effect padega, tumhare paas knowledge hai like handson practice vagera voh sab like dikh gaya”.
After that they asked, the generic question “Any question for us”, I asked any recent incident happened at there company, They replied with “Yeah, today itself, we posted coding question before start time” (which they actually did and then changed the question).
Overall, I won’t say it was a bad experience but, it was something very different than other companies, whole interview went around for like half hour or so.
Results aren’t announced yet, maybe there would be a next round or maybe not but, statistically they would probably pick 1 or 2 guys from our college.
Thank you for taking you time and reading.
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