Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Facing the (On/Off) Campus Recruitment Interview (part 1)

I wrote this post on 10th November 2010. A lot has happened since then. Now I am on the other side of the table. I am the interviewer - no longer any interviewee. I have interviewed so many people and I have seen many students cheating, guessing, and trying all kinds of unethical practices to obtain job. And sometimes, you're recruited solely for your smartness to see through that kinds of things. I realized that - "fooling the recruiter" its a myth. They are well aware but then you never know which of your qualities may come into play to impress them. But also note, sometimes they disqualify such unethical people publicly and other times they just don't evaluate the test paper!

The Original Post:
It’s been long since I wrote a post; longer for a tech-post. Today I am posting about my Interview Experiences and Observations of Recruitment Procedure of various organizations including the Biggies – Microsoft, Google, GSachs,Yahoo, Directi and others like Deloitte, Samsung, Aricent, Accenture etc etc.

Every organization follows a different kind of procedure. Most of them, first go with a written test followed by Interviews, a few include HR interview rounds too. Written test may include Aptitude, Logical Reasoning, C/C++/DS Questions, Technical Questions on User Interface Desings, RDBMS, Operating Systems. Every organization has its own way of shortlisting the candidates.

Amazingly few reputed Organizations shortlist on the basis of CGPA first – Google, Microsoft, Yahoo; while others like Amazon, Directi, Samsung give everyone a fair chance. They shortlist them directly by the Written Tests.

Today this is how a student prepares for the interview-
  1. Call the senior already placed in the Organization. Ask him about the questions asked and specific tips. Ask him about which book to use!
  2. Call their friends in other colleges where the Recruitment team recently visited and find out the questions asked.
  3. Surf the net for placement questions of the recruiting organization
  4. Use some resources like ‘300 Most asked Questions by Microsoft’ or ‘Cracking the Interview’.
I find it real surprising that student today has got better off the interviewers. They already know the questions that the interviewer’s gonna ask them! I am surprised by the fact that Interviewers all over are following the same trend, they usually go for specific questions. If one has gone through the proper resource one is bound to succeed! Mostly they ask the same questions asked the previous year or in the previous college or they use the same paper for written test used in the previous college! I don’t understand why can’t they get innovative?

On a personal note, I am very much disappointed with the recruitment process of 70% Organizations. They are encouraging students to mug-up resources and specific books. A few statements by Interviewers from Reputed Organizations are:
  1. Which book do you use for C/DS/OS?
  2. We don't use this book! You should use ‘this’ book.
  3. I need the solution given in ‘this’ chapter of ‘this’ book!
I wonder what the hell is going wrong with the recruitment teams! They aren’t going for creativity… don’t they need people who can apply concepts rather than reproducing text books and other placement resources! If one has studied the ‘300 Most Asked Questions’ it becomes a cake-walk in certain cases. But why don’t they understand that the students are mugging the strategies and solutions? Asking the same questions won’t help.

Unfortunately, this is how it’s happening and this is how students are coping up with the requirements. On a personal note I really enjoyed the Interview by Samsung Team, real good people, no repeated questions! No CGPA criteria at all. Innovative Questions. Just loved it! Can’t say same about Microsoft & Google. In my 6 different Interviews(not 6 interview rounds!) at Microsoft (4 different divisions) and 2 different Interviews at Google(all of them OffCampus), I would say it was a mix. 60% trademark questions and 40% new/innovative ones. Unfortunately I did not know then about the ‘300 Most Asked Questions’ and ‘Cracking the Coding Interview’. I think that’s a good thing coz today I know, all I did was on my own and not by some mugged up source.

As for the interviewers I guess they need to change their strategies. 

And for the students following the current pattern – We need to remember that- 

“Bullshit may take us to the top; but it requires real talent & hard-work to stay there!”

Note: This post is regarding the current scenario of the recruitment process, the next post will contain the tips for the recruitment process.

You can read Facing the (On/Off) Campus Recruitment Interview (part 2) Here.


  1. Hi

    I like this post:

    You create good material for community.

    Please keep posting.

    Let me introduce other material that may be good for net community.

    Source: Recruitment interview questions

    Best rgs

  2. Hi
    Good post. But I dont agree to many parts in this post. I havent heard an interviewer asking abt any particular book. Or if they did, it'll be to check how well do you respond to unusual conditions.


  3. @Aksjo
    1. The above post is a result of my and my friends' personal experiences.
    2. You might not have heard about Interviewer asking for the book, but they did and it was by Tejas Networks.
    3. It wasn't to ask unusual questions but it included a series of questions on the book in a TECHNICAL INTERVIEW.
    4. One student told he uses 'Yashwant Kanetkar' for Data Structures to which the interviewer said - 'We don't even read C from Kanetkar. You should use Tanenbaum!'
    5. I am pretty sure, there are many like you, who won't agree to the post, but that is something I believe in, what you want to believe is of-course your choice1!
    6. All the best for your interviews(if you are not placed) and for your Job and your career(if you have been placed.)
    7. Happy New Year in advance! :)