Engineers from core branches like Electronics, Mechanical, Chemical today are often found chasing lucrative employment in fields like IT and analytics, areas unrelated to what they spent four grueling years studying. But Rishav Rej of BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus decided to take the road less traveled by. Armed with an impressive resume that included plenty of experience and projects in his core branch, ECE, Rishav earned a place with one of the world’s leading semiconductor and telecommunications company, Qualcomm. TopTalent.in brings you his opinions and advice about dealing with interviews.
TopTalent: How does it feel to be selected by Qulacomm?
Rishav: Great! I was always interested in Communication Engineering. Making it to one of the leading companies in MODEM technology, it really feels special.
TopTalent: Can you describe the complete hiring process of Qualcomm?
Rishav: Qualcomm had come in the first semester to hire fresh grads and recruit summer interns as well. Firstly, there was an online test and the shortlisted candidates were called for interviews. There were two rounds of interviews, one for technical and the other HR. Five of us were selected for the internship program of 10 weeks. During this interning tenure we were evaluated and our performance reviews were submitted. We also had to go through an Exit Interview. Combining both these components they selected 4 out of those 5 interns as new hires.
TopTalent: What was the toughest question you encountered and how did you answer it?
Rishav: ‘Tell us about yourself’ was definitely one of them. This was the one question which I was certain would make all the difference as technically all my fellow candidates were very competitive. I took the opportunity of answering this question by telling the interviewer about my projects, internships and my interest in the field of wireless sensor networks, a field that works in close lines to Qualcomm’s R&D. And the rest of the interview went smoothly.
TopTalent: What was your preparation strategy?
Rishav: I wasn’t prepared actually on the day of my interview, but I was confident about what I know. So that confidence did help me through. During the internship period sincerity and dedication did the trick for me. Previous experience in the form of internships and projects can also come very handy. I had worked in the Engineering Section of Moser Baer India, MODEM-Automation Team of Qualcomm and in Research and Development for Tejas Networks. Also, I had done projects in the fields of Data Acquisition through Wireless Sensor Networks, Data Indexing in Wireless Sensor Networking and Optical Networking in Fiber Optics during my four years in college.
TopTalent: Can you talk about what resources you referred to before the interviews?
Rishav: I mostly referred to my class notes and went through the few technologies Qualcomm was working on. Basically I brushed up on concepts.
TopTalent: What were some important factors according to you that made you stand out?
Rishav: I cannot say that for myself, but one thing which I always ensured was to carry myself in a confident manner. I kept repeating to myself, ‘There is nothing to be afraid of or nervous about’. I think the most crucial point is to be able to handle any situation well under pressure. I tried to constantly remain calm and I think that might have turned things to my favour.
TopTalent: Currently, what are you working on and how has the experience been so far?
Rishav: It’s the third day since I’ve joined Qualcomm and been allotted my team. The general atmosphere and ambience here is awesome, everything that I had hoped it would be. Also, my peers here are the friends I had made during the internship, who joined the company along with me. Coming to my work, it is in CDMA, something which has always interested me. So far, it’s been a perfect combination of work and fun. At present I am just taking my time to settle down and am definitely looking forward to a great experience ahead.
TopTalent: What is your advice to students who are aiming for similar placement offers?
Rishav: Be very clear about what kind of work you want to do. Remind yourself of your aim and always keep it in your mind. If you have clearly defined goals, you will be able to ensure that your preparation is organized and up to the mark. This will also give you the confidence to crack the toughest of interviews.
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