Technical skills required

DSA >> OOP ~~ DBS > OS

Resources

  1. InterviewBit is comprehensive and highly structured. It covers every DSA topic and has various solutions for each problem. It also has sections for System Design, Puzzles, DBS, etc.
  2. GeeksForGeeks has a long list of interview experience rounds.
  3. GeeksForGeeks and TutorialsPoint are useful for OOP, DBMS, and OS topics.

Preparing your resume

Interviewers skim through your resume to understand your skills. Write points which showcase your technical skills (eg: coding projects, past internships, TAships). Extra curricular activities (clubs, sports, etc) don’t matter.
Don’t sugar coat; write things as they are. You might have a very small resume; Don’t fret over it. Most companies don’t care about your resume, unless they have a resume shortlisting round.
Here is a copy of my old resume.

Coding Rounds

Coding rounds are 2 - 3 hours long, and typically have 2 - 3 DSA questions. In addition to the DSA questions,

During my year, companies held their coding rounds on,

* Cocubes supports only C, C++ and Java. Other platforms supported most languages.

Usually, solving 2 out of 3 questions can get you through the coding round, but it depends on the difficulty of questions.

Specific to BITS, these rounds can get hectic. We had 4 coding rounds together for day-1, with no breaks.

Interviews

Typically, interviews start off with a brief discussion about yourself, followed by technical questions.
While solving a question, keep the interviewer in sync with your approach. Don’t overdo such that it hinders your thinking. For a DSA heavy question, state the time and space complexity of your solution. Then proceed to find a better solution, or prove why this is an efficient solution.

Some obvious guidelines,

* Specific to BITS, interview rounds can go till ~3 AM (starting afternoon), and you might not be able to step out in between. Have some food supplies with you. Keep your phone charged.

My Experience

I gave coding rounds for 6 companies; Uber, D.E. Shaw, Microsoft, Arcesium, AppDynamics, Goldman Sachs. I got selected for the next round in Microsoft, Arcesium and AppDynamics. Most of the questions asked were straight from GeeksForGeeks and InterviewBit.

  1. Arcesium
    • TR 1: 16 students called. My interview started with a discussion of my GSoC project, past internship and research project. I was asked standard questions from DBMS, similar to round 2 of this interview. These questions were followed by their applications, and more questions were built on top of it. Other students were also asked on one of the three topics, DBMS, DSA or OOP.
    • TR 2: 8 students called. I was questioned on OOP. It was a standard text book round up, covering all topics.
    • TR 3: 4 students called. Mine was more like an HR round. I was given puzzles, and asked aptitude based questions.
    • TR 4: 4 students called. I was given 2 DSA questions to solve. I hurriedly tried to solve the first one and ended up taking too much time and attempts.
    • Result: 2 students were selected, I wasn’t in them. Probably due to poor performance in TR 4.
  2. AppDynamics
    • TR 1: My resume was discussed (Semester Project and GSoC). 1 DSA Question and one maths puzzle was given. Solved both.
    • TR 2: 1 DSA Question was given. Solved it.
    • Result: 2 students were selected, I wasn’t in them. I’m not sure why. Maybe due to relative performance.
  3. Microsoft
    • GSoC and Semester Project was discussed in all three rounds. All of them had 1 DSA question, which had to be written on paper in C.
    • TR 1: It was a simple question on matrix manipulation. Further questions involving variations of time and space complexity were built over it.
    • TR 2: The question to finding longest path in a tree. My algorithm was correct, but I was unable to write an error free code on paper. We went through two dry runs and my code didn’t work in both of them.
    • TR 3: The question was to convert data stored in blocks of size X into blocks of size Y. I was able to solve the question and write the C code.
    • Result: 12 students were selected, I was in them.

FAQs

  1. Does GPA matter ?
    • Yes. Most companies have a GPA cutoff of 7 for appearing in their recruitment drive. A few may have 7.5 or 8. Resume shortlisting rounds if any, primarily judge you on your GPA and projects.
  2. Does my majoring branch matter ?
    • Yes. Some companies allow only circuit branches to sit for their tests. Otherwise, there is almost no bias.
  3. I did not get an Internship via the on-campus drive. What should I do ?
    • Start by making a list of companies you want to try for. Follow the career pages of these companies to look for openings. Look for alums or people you know who work there, and request for a referral. A referral would increase your chances of getting called for an interview.