Hello Peeps !!!
Today I would like to share my experiences of placements at IIT Kharagpur.
I am a final year student of Mathematics and Computing at IIT Kharagpur. I mainly sat for Software Development Engineering , Quant and Analyst Roles. I targeted product based companies , startups and Trading / Hedge Funds.
This year placement season kicked from Durga Puja and there were tests lined up like every year. But this year , everything was online — Tests and Interviews both. Unlike other years , this year saw interviews being conducted from 12:00 AM till late night , so we had to take naps in between in order to get refreshed for interviews. The number of companies were even more than last year and even more companies might come in December.
I got shortlisted in EXL in Day 1 but was reluctant in joining the company as the role provided was not that interesting to me. So after Round 2 , I was cut short.
I didn’t get shortlisted for any company in Day 2 , but fortunately many good companies and a bank came in Day 2.
On DAY 3 , I got shortlisted for IDFC Bank , Reliance JIO and Works Application.
The interview process of IDFC Bank was entirely CV based. The role was of Business Intelligence Analyst. They asked me questions entirely based on my CV and the projects/internships that I had done. They were looking to discuss a project in detail , so that they were able to judge the technical expertise a candidate gained after completion of the respective project. They asked me one question about how to check the stationarity of a Time Series Model , Use cases of Siamese Convolutional Neural Networks and How can it be used for One Shot Learning and to explain the logic behind Monty Hall Problem. I didn’t prepare CV well , so unfortunately was not able to provide satisfying answer to the interviewers. Later on I came to know that I had less chance of getting the offer.
Key Take-Aways -: Prepare your CV very well and have solid understanding of the concepts that you had applied on your projects. Know ins and outs of a particular algorithm applied in a project and get ready to be grilled. For Analyst roles , have solid grasp on Probability , Statistics , Stochastic Process and Puzzles from GeeksforGeeks. Practise Case Studies and Guess-estimates also.
After that I was interviewed by Works Applications , Singapore. I had just 30 mins to refresh myself , so I looked up some explanations related to Time Series on Google and made some notes , in case the company asks me some question related to Time Series Forecasting.
Works Applications had 2 Technical Interviews and 1 HR. All the technical rounds were taken on Hackerrank live coding platform. I had to write the entire code for the solution and also explain my logic to the interviewer , parallely. They shortlisted only 7 candidates.
In Round 1 , the interviewer asked me to introduce myself and explain some of the major projects listed on my resume. He then asked me one easy question related to finding the intersection point of two Linked List. I explained him the logic in one go and wrote the code , considering all the edge cases. He then asked me another question to find a given word in a matrix of characters. In the matrix , you are allowed to move in four directions from a given cell — top,bottom,left,right. I explained him the approach just after he finished telling his question and also explained the time-complexity. He then asked me to write the code. I wrote the entire code in CPP , did a further analysis of the time complexity and he felt satisfied. He was looking for an optimized approach , but I couldn’t arrive at one during that time frame —Hence just gave him an idea that was lurking in my mind. It lasted 1 hour long.
Overall after Round 1 , he was satisfied with my thinking and solution and I was further invited to Round 2.
Round 2 was taken by a senior engineer working at Works Application for 12 years. He asked me questions about my CV and asked me about the challenges that I faced while doing the project related to One Shot Learning. He was pretty much interested in the project related to One Shot Learning and so carried the discussion on it further. I prepared that topic very well and so could give him satisfactory answers. Then , he asked me one algorithmic question about grouping anagrams together. Specifically , given an array of strings , task was to group the anagrams together. I gave him two approaches — one brute force and other a bit optimized one. I wrote the code , did an analysis of my approaches and explained the time complexity in detail , which made him satisfied. Later on he told the most optimized approach , and I just did a simple time complexity analysis on it. After that he asked me to find out the product of the array elements except itself (pretty easy one !!!). I gave him the entire solution right after he finished his question. Also explained why I chose the approach. I had also mentioned AWS on my resume , hence he asked a question about that. I gave him a genuine answer that I was working on a project that might had to use AWS , but stopped the project in between as my semester started. Just gave him a basic answer on AWS and it was fine. Overall he felt satisfied. It was 1 hour long.
After that I was invited for the HR — which was a pretty basic one. Works Application extended the offer to me after that and I felt a deep sense of relaxation. They selected 2 people from KGP only.
In between Round 1 and Round 2 of Works Applications , I had one technical round of JIO. The questions asked by them were entirely based on Dynamic Programming — -One was finding the max subarray sum and Another was on Edit Distance Problem. I had to code and explain both the algorithm in Aspiring Minds Platform , explaining my approaches to the interviewer. I was further invited for Round 2 of JIO , but didn’t appear for it as the feedback from Works Applications was very positive.
I chose to move on with Works Application , Singapore.
I realized that , placements are a mix of luck , hard work , patience and performing well on an interview as much as possible. My target was to explain each and every concept in detail to the interviewers , so that there was not a single piece of doubt after questioning me.
Lastly , I wish all the best to my friends who are yet to get placed. All the best to everyone !!!
P.S. I had multiple backlogs (around 7) after my 4th year (2019). I got a PPO from VISA , Bengaluru but it got revoked as I had to stay for an extra semester. Just after Durga Puja (2020) , when the placement tests began , my father was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was admitted to nursing home. Thankfully he got cured and came home safely after 10 days of getting admitted. I managed to maintain my composure easily during these periods , as these situations were like nothing to me as I had already dealt with one job offer loss and multiple backlogs (I lost interest in some subjects 😔). Thankfully I came home in June and performed decently on the subjects I took.