Persistent Placement -My first interview

This was my very first experience for the recruiting procedure. Persistent had come for placement activity and this article is my experience for persistent placement

It was 12th November 2009. Persistent Systems was visiting our college campus. We gathered at A1 placement Hall at 9am. Criteria for sitting for placement was 60% aggregate throughout in all sems. Almost 250 students from total of 3 colleges- MIT, MAE and my college MITCOE were sitting for the placements. The HR persons from Persistent systems came at around 9.30 and they gave a presentation. Persistent was offering a package of Rs. 3.1 lakh/annum CTC after training period. The package during training was Rs. 2.5 lakh/annum. The pattern of selection was first an aptitude test, then 2 technical rounds and one final HR round.

Aptitude Test:

The duration of the test was 60 minutes. It consisted of two sections 1.General Aptitude 2. C,C++,Java. Coming from E&TC background, I could not solve the second section very confidently. But I scored heavily in Aptitude questions. I never expected to qualify as my programming was very weak. I had hardly studied anything from the above mentioned topics. Still, I qualified. In total 57 students were shotlisted from aptitude test.

Technical Interview 1:

This was my first ever interview. So, I remember everything from this interview. I was extremely nervous. I had never given any interview before.

Me: Excuse me sir, may I come in?
Interviewer: Yes, please.
(He had my answer sheet. He confirmed my marks)
Interviewer: So, Nikhil you are from E&TC branch. How confident are you in C, C++.
Me: Sir, we had C basics in First Year and Data Structures in Third Year second semester. So, I am confident in C language. But I have never studied C++ or Java.
Interviewer: Why do you think we are recruiting from all branches? Even Mechanical students don't know anything about software programming still we hire them. Why?
Me: I believe that programming requires logical thinking and analytical approach. Languages are just a medium. We can easily learn them.
Interviewer: Suppose you have a rope and a matchstick. You do not have any method to measure the rope. You need to measure time. One rope burns in 60 minutes. How can you measure 30 minutes?
Me: If we burn the rope from both sides, we can measure 30 minutes.
Interviewer: Now, suppose you have 2 ropes and you need to measure 45 minutes. How will you do it?
Me: (Thought for some time and said) We burn the rope from the middle..
Interviewer: How can you know what is the middle? you cannot measure it.
Me: (Thought for some time) If we can measure..
Interviewer: Leave it. Relax. What do you think are your weak points?
Me: I believe I am very weak in mugging up. I could never learn 8 mark questions by heart which we have to write at least 2 pages answers. I tried for the past years, but I still cannot mug up.
Interviewer(laughs):But still you managed to score distinction throughout. Thank you. You may go.
Me:Thank you, Sir.
I cleared the first technical interview. I felt a bit relieved. I was waiting for my turn for the second interview. One of my batchmates who also cleared the first interview said that the second interviewer asks a lot of technical questions. I got really tensed. I had no preparation whatsoever about programming.

Technical Interview 2:

Me: May I come in?
Interviewer: Yes.
Interviewer: Please feel comfortable. Can you tell me the difference between C and C++ ?
Me: (I was very tensed..I knew what was coming..All technical questions..and I lost my confidence completely). Sir, C++ is advanced version. It has many functions...(The answer expected was, it is object oriented language)
Interviewer: (Understood that I knew very little) Tell me different data structures in C.
Me: Stack, Que, (thinking for some time..)
Interviewer: Name the different classes in java
Me: (silent)
Interviewer: What is the full form of SQL?
Me: (I knew this answer but tension got me) Structured..(silence)
Interviewer: Ok Nikhil. Thank you very much.

As expected I did not clear the second technical round. But I realised that I must be very well prepared if I expect to get a job. So, I prepared very well for the next interviews and got placed in Infosys later.

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