Thursday, February 13, 2014

TCS Interview Experience with solutions and aptitude material batch 2014 - 1

TCS Interview Experience with solutions and aptitude material
Oct 28th, 2013
Venue – Prof Ram Meghe Institute of Technology and Research campus, Amravati.
Reason – Campus Drive of TCS.

It was a big day for many of PRMITians. The day which was going to make a massive difference in the coming years to come. From a perspective of career. Of life. Of relations and of aims. TCS arrived for campus drive and yes, it was ‘The Dream Company’ for many of us; including me.

While we were busy cleansing our eyes from ‘eye boogers’; Suhas Sir, a TCSian, gave us information about TCS and why they came here. He gave a small presentation where we tried our best to control yawning. And following it, he asked if we have any query. And with this our slumber was gone. Remember always try to fire a query when they ask for. This gives us a chance in getting the limelight. Luckily I asked the right question (courtesy – Sanket Chandak) and he literally praised me for this question. I thought everyone would clap for me. But no one did!! Then he also said that if you want to face the interview, be bold and talk, communicate. I got the advantage there. Voila!!

We were on campus from 8 am in the morning. No grain of food consumed. Stomach was as airy as the distance between the nucleus and electrons in a molecule. But energy was sustained. The first batch was of Mechanical department. Many of them went awestricken to watch the difficulty level of questions. But after they were out of the exam hall, and when we get to know about the answers we realized that paper wasn’t that tough though.Next batch was of five toppers from the respective branch for verbal section; yes, they conduct verbal section separately for toppers. And thereafter, students of Electronics & Telecommunications and Information Technology attended verbal and aptitude test.

We mugged questions and answers that were confronted by Mechanical guys and then EXTC-IT guys. It took minuscule time to realize that both papers were identical. Astonished and happy instantaneously. Noted down all the answers that were memorized by our friends. On hand. On leg. On neck. We turned real-life Ghajini. We were up and ready for the test. More or less like ‘satva-pariksha! We were shifted to Open Source lab of CMPS Department. Felt tensed!

I was advised by many friends to give a glance through all questions in first 2 – 3 minutes. You will find at least 10 questions that can be solved within 30 seconds duration. I decided to do the same. Always double check your strategy before going to such tests.

Entered my CT reference number and password. Instructions were provided before the actual test. Read all instructions. And there it was Section A: Verbal part. It was a cakewalk. Easiest part! I wrote down the whole formal e-mail with some basic inputs using keywords given by them. Then was the turn of the aptitude section. As suggested by my dear friends I checked every question. I realized I was confronting a very tough test. For a second it felt like the dreams watched for years are on the verge to extinguish. No repetition of questions. Very long in length. Hard to interpret. Brainstorming. And it was as simple as understanding Quantum Theory in Particle Physics.

I was solving one question after another. It was very hard to stabilize yourself when you know that none of the questions is repeated from the 1800 questions solved in practice. That intense pressure. It was feeling as I am at the abyss of Mariana Trench. But remember tough time never last too long, tough person does. So always be prepared to face such circumstances. And handle the stress. A serene mind has the answers to all questions. Trotting through all questions swiftly I solved 24 out of 30 questions. Time was over and the paper was automatically submitted. I was much tensed and later got to know I am not alone! The paper was no closer to the papers of TCS from the past. Thank you Youvraj Taneja, Aditya Gole, Aditya Sharma and Mayur Ingole who helped us and co-ordinated very well. Thank you guys!

The results were supposed to be declared at 1930 hours on our college website. We all were on hold. It was very sturdy. Tense 2 hours. Nervousness compiled with anxiety. I was more curious while opening my college website than I use to while booking a tatkal ticket on IRCTC website. Around 1945 I received the call from Sangram Dandge Sir. May be it was the best call till date. He said that I have successfully cracked aptitude test and convey everyone through message that result will be uploaded on the college website in next 30 minutes. I was on cloud nine. I was like Buzz Lighter, who using his boosters comes up straight from the abyss of Mariana Trench to deep space Horse Shoe Nebula shouting – ‘Infinity and Beyond!!’ The kind of aptitude test that we appeared was no easier. But this was not the end. Many of my close friends could not crack it. Felt very bad. Only 68 out of 390 appearing students cleared the test. And out of which 38 were from computer science; my branch. The happiness was not the optimum, for obvious reasons – not all beloved friends will be there at Shegaon and I have been yet to clear technical round, human resource round and managerial round of filtering. But instead of thinking about all the stuff, I decided to concentrate on preparing necessary documents and certificates. I reviewed my resume. Again an 11th hour decision that helped me making to TCS. I took a print out of the report, which I submitted to EnablingBiz, a Delhi based company on topic ‘A comprehensive guide to planning a website’s structure and information architecture.’ A wise decision indeed!!

Oct 29th, 2013Venue –Amravati Railway Station.
Reason – Departing to SSGMCE, Shegaon.

We were up early in the morning and were at the Amravati Railway Station. Me, Pratik Malviya, Sanket Chandak, Ojas Kale, Kshitija Taywade and Ajinkya Bansod settled down in train and the train departed.We tried to mug up every necessary and expected question and then its answer. The books were working as ‘Navneet's 21 apekshit prashnasanch’ or ‘Diamond Publications’. I somehow managed to read the basics of C, C++, Data Structure and Computer Networks. And there we were at Shegaon Railway Station.Very soon I departed from the station to my home and dressed up for the interview. Meanwhile, all other friends collectively reached our destination Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj College of Engineering, Shegaon.So, we were finally in Shegaon. Right at the same location, we were supposed to be. This was a very familiar place for me. The faces working at the college were memorable. The buildings were household. The ground was. I have seen things changing here. I was part of this ecosystem for almost 12 years. Like yesterday I was here. And BOOM!!! Back to same place. That too for potentially the biggest achievement of my life till date.

Interview process started and each one of us was getting the call. At first the panels were trying to wrap up EXTC and Mechanical guys. For CMPS guys six rooms were allotted. So that we can be assaulted with the power of spearhead questions. I personally was not mentally prepared for the interview in peak hours. I had read technical questions and HR questions a week ago. Was not enough confidence to crack interview to any close proximity.

Four of my friends Pratik, Ojas, Chandak and Ajinkya received the first call from the interviewer. It was fun to see their faces elaborated with tense lines over the forehead and the face-palm expression. With a blink of an eye, they were off to interview. Like yawning, anxiousness too is contagious! I learned it that day. I turned anxious. I was on knelt.

I was mentally retarded as billions of calculations were assimilated in my brain. It was turning out to be a big bang for me. But then instead of gulping down all the knowledge which was decorated in front of me in the form of books; I decided to stay calm and stabilize my conscience.

Next minute I received calls for my interview. It was my turn. I can easily see the mischievous laugh on everyone’s face. I was confident. Unambiguous in my mind. Mentally steady. And prepared! Many friends wished me Good Luck. I was standing outside room no 3 for my turn. Throat was dry as if I had come running straight from the Sahara desert. Legs were pumping harder than my heart. In nervousness I chewed lip’s skin to the depth that new red skin layer was visible. Collar of the first ever shirt was itching. New shoe was biting. Socks were engraving. Even beautiful girls in the aisle were not appealing anymore. Ghanshyam Kalmegh – my college mate cum project member came out of room and very soon I replaced him.

I knocked the door. “May I come in, Sir?” with the noblest sound possible on earth. As I entered there was a dynamic personality sitting. AC was running. But I was still feeling the heat. He bolstered himself comfortably on a chair.
The battle has begun.

Vipul Navandar Sir being a good TCSian is also a great person. He took my technical interview for TCS 2014 batch.

With a grin on his face, he welcomed me saying, “Hello Sanket, watching your photo you see me a bit older.” I smiled and replied, “Sir, I was in hurry while taking the photo and in preparation of TCS placement drive I missed to groom.”

The first question came lashing towards me, “As I can see you have mentioned something on about international blogger. What is it?”
Bingo! The best opportunity I was given to confirm my entry to the next round. The only easier question than this could have been – Sanket, what is your name?
It was like asking a kinder garden – Do you know ABCD? With a big smile I replied, “Sir, I am an international blogger. By the time I last checked my blog was read by 5100 readers. And of which most readers are international, like Canada, China, UK, Germany, and France and most of America. Only 40% of them are from India. I am very passionate about writing.”

(He tried searching my blog on the net, but due to spelling mistake it didn’t show up! Then I asked him if I can type address for him. It was my heroic entry and I typed my blog address in the address bar. My heart pounded with the proud. Then I explained him everything related to blogging. What kind of scripts I used. How I connect it to all social network platforms and stuff.  Thank you very much Google for providing a service like Blogger.)

Next question came in no time, “Do you only follow your blogs? You like reading other technical blogs?” Over this I reverted him, saying, “I do follow other bloggers as well. A few days ago I checked the Gartner’s report on next big technologies that will drive world in 21St Century. They mentioned Mobility, cloud, touch-less commanding and many more. Cloud is part of this list from last four years.”

I guess he was impressed and then next question fired, “Very good! Why you went to Pune? You have mentioned here.”
Interview cannot get better than this; I turned more confident with this question, “Sir, it was a two day training workshop held under many big institutions and universities, like IUCAA (Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics), TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), Vigyan Prasar. It is a national level campaign, named ‘Eyes on ISON’, under which we were trained with many different activities related to astronomical phenomena. And then all those who attended the training were supposed to train and take a workshop in our respective districts. So, when I came back to Amravati I presented a presentation at the Shivaji Science College on topic ‘Solar System and Beyond’. Dignitaries from five districts came there and attended the workshop. I worked as a resource person for them in this division.”

More impressed, “Appreciative! Who are your partners in your project?” asking this he shifted his glance from resume to me.
I had a big grin on my face, “Coincidently Sir, my project members Pratik Malviya and Ghanshyam Kalmegh were interviewed by you already. And they both are my project member. We are currently working on SMS Notifier project. And as they have already cleared our whole project. You have a clear idea of our project. Pratik is working on the database and Ghanshyam will take care of code behind. I am developing interface.”

Leaning himself on back of chair he asked, “Who decided their roles?”
With a smirk I answered, “Sir, in our college first 15 topper students are nominated as project leader and they choose their members for final year project. Thus, I became leader. So, I appointed Pratik as a database manager and Ghanshyam as a programmer. We even have one more member; sorrowfully she couldn’t make it to technical.”

With plain face, he asked, “Why Ghanshyam is a programmer? He is also good in database.”
It was a surprise question, after thinking an arcsecond I replied, “Sir, Ghanshyam is good in database as well. But Pratik on the contrary is weak in programming; same as I am. But I am also fine in the database. So, combining with Pratik, I can compensate the lack in the database together.”

(Always remember try to praise as many and as much classmate as possible in the interview. Take their name. This shows you are person with team spirit and you want the right person to promote. This also shows that you do not judge a person blindly. You observe them and deploy).

Again impressed, “Very good! Will you work if you are deployed in testing?”
This question means I am selected for technical, now I would be giving straight answers only.
With hesitation, I replied, “I always wanted to be a part of enterprise level development project Sir. That would be fine.”
In anguish voice he asked, “But if we did not appoint you there. Then? And why development?” his voice tensed.
I composed myself, “Sir, I have a nature embedded in me to take new challenges in daily life and accomplish it. And I think being part of development thing can endow me with those challenges. But if I am appointed as tester then maybe I might get subjected to routine work with no new challenges to accomplish. I will not mind at all, even if I am deployed in testing. I will happily accept your offer for testing.” A completely diplomatic and safe answer. God knows how I gave it.

Intensity of voice raising, “We do not want any person who is not flexible and not willing to go in a technology because he does not want to.” (Here his sound pitch increased. Even in small 6x6 rooms his sound echoed. This was a direct question to me.)
My action to stimuli, “I am flexible. I will work under any condition that the company wants me to.”
Then he backfired, “We do not want anyone who will not respect our decision.”
I replied instantaneously, “I will follow all your instructions Sir.”One more from his warhead, “We want someone who will give his 120%.”I resisted saying, “I will give my 150% Sir.” "You must me aware of how the market is." by action to stimuli, "I am very much aware of it Sir."

(This was the stress interview that I just underwent. Rapid fire questions. One after another. You always need to take care of it. One wrong answer and you are flunking. The every question he asks you needs to interpret it as ‘DO YOU WANT A JOB?’ and you turn out as a bull. Your neck must be locked to move only in a vertical direction – YES!)

A surprised compliment came from Vipul Sir, "You have so many good qualities. We can put you anywhere. Why only programming?" This was more like we are travelling in a general compartment of Howrah-Mumbai train and someone by himself offer his seat. My reply, "Thank you Sir for the compliment. I will be more than happy to work in more challenging domain."

He seems satisfied now. I do not want to face further questions. So before he asks I asked him one question, “Sir, I want to show you one of the studies that I conducted for a Facebook competition. May I?"In affirmation he said, “Go on!”

Very happily I opened my file and showed him the report on ‘A comprehensive guide to planning a website’s structure and information architecture’ and continued, “Sir, a few months ago I participated in a FB competition on the subject ‘A comprehensive guide to planning a website’s structure and information architecture’ organized by EnablingBiz, Delhi a work from home job.”

(Use proper words. Mention that it was a work from home job. I am showing him my study and whole 4 pages print out which I took prior night.)

I continued, “I was shortlisted till the interview stage for this competition, but as I was not from Delhi; I was not shortlisted for the job. I perform some study on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In this we try to bring our webpage up in results which are shown in search engines.”

(Always be relevant to the topic and precise. Don’t puke everything out unless and until he asks.)

Yuppie one more question, “Tell me about SEO?”
(Another BINGO!)
My straight vertebral column a.k.a. backbone got more aligned to a chair and I said, “Sir, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engine like Google have very complex algorithms. But even they can be fooled. Most of the search engines try to browse the keywords that are typed by the user to search. If a user wants to search ‘xyz’ then a search engine browses whole internet and count number of times ‘xyz’ appears on a webpage. The one with highest numbers is shown first. But it doesn’t mean that you type ‘xyz’,’xyz’ repeatedly. Type this keyword in the title of webpage, then in starting of content and then somewhere in the middle and then at the end. I have used this technique for my blog. I also used labels at the end of every blog.”

Here comes the last question of my technical interview, “Very nice. Now this is all about your extracurricular. Write a swap function without using third variable.”
Triple BINGO! I realized that my interview is finally over. I wrote the program and he not even saw it.“Show the same in your HR-MR interview.”

Did I really hear the right words? He straightaway told me that I am selected for HR-MR. Woohoo!! I was not even supposed to wait for the shortlisted names list. I said him Thank You and open door for him while he was going outside.Oh My Goodness! He just directly approved me from TR and now I will be heading directly to MR-HR. Amazing. Beatified! Felicitous!

If someone would have asked me for my interview experience I would have remembered just one dialogue of Aamir Khan from Andaj Apna Apna - Hona kya tha? Unka ek ek sawal humare do do jawab, sawal ek, jawab do, sawal ek jawab do, sawal jawab, sawal jawab, sawal jawab...chup lambi khamoshi.

Few students were kept on hold after TR. Then we had a small pre-placement talk. Here the company told us about them. How they work? Their values. Ethics. And a bit about our post and pay scale. Initial Learning Program and stuff!! All things were happening so casually. The location pre placement talk was holding was the same place where I won three different competitions during my school days and use the same platform to give speeches in school functions. It was more like a nostalgic visit to old times. And this whole time I was carrying my Happydent smile.

Remaining interview, my resume and all other advices in my next blog.
Stay tuned!! Subscribe via email. Like FB page.
Second part - http://sanketthodge.blogspot.com/2014/02/tcs-interview-experience-with-solutions.html

If you have any query then don't hesitate to mail me - sanketthodge@gmail.com
Will be happy to help!! :)

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Keywords: amravati, shegaon, PRMIT and R, ssgmce, TCS, interview experience, technical interview, hr interview, mr interview, tcs aptitude test, passout batch 2014, 2014 batch, tata consultancy services