Kaushal Kishore graduating from IIT Kanpur, Branch- Che-Ee Double Major department as a Graduate (B.Tech) in 2020 has been placed as Graduate Software Engineer Trainee in Jaguar Land Rover.
a) Other companies that I was shortlisted for Accenture Japan, Ally.io, Qure.ai b) Analysis of available options (based on profile, growth, compensation, Brand Name, etc) Accenture Japan was an attractive option because of its location and the brand name, but on the downside, it is a service-based company while the general advice for software engineering aspirants is to prefer product-based companies. Secondly, I was interested in a tech-intensive profile but Accenture had a mix of consulting and finance as well. After adjusting for the location, the salary too was not that high. Ally and Qure.ai are startups so they had the attraction of a great amount of ownership of work and learning in very market-relevant fields but Jaguar was a more established brand with a stable reputation.
I was solely targeting software firms. Since I had done ESO207 at IITK, I started practicing coding on InterviewBit and Leetcode directly. The initial stretch is tough when you are not able to solve questions in the beginning but it’s important to somehow maintain motivation and start really slow if you have to. In the beginning, I solved only 1-2 questions everyday. I resisted the temptation to look at the solutions and referred only after giving a good amount of thought. Even then, I would analyse where I went astray in my approach and try to figure out how I could have shaped my thought in the first place to arrive at the solution myself. I practiced a lot on InterviewBit and Leetcode, about 100 questions on each platform before I started reading solutions to some popular questions on GFG.
I interviewed with Accenture Japan and Jaguar Land Rover. Accenture’s test had one trivial coding question and lots of MCQs on IT, Databases etc. Accenture conducted two rounds of interview, both of which were largely HR-ish. We talked about the non-technical aspects of my projects and achievements like what I enjoyed about them most, and what changes would I make if I were to do them again. There were questions like what I hope to achieve in the next 5 years and what I expect to gain from and contribute to Accenture. The first round also had a guesstimate. For the software profile, Jaguar’s test had three coding questions and a lot of aptitude questions. Next, there were three technical rounds of interviews. The first round involved basic questions on OOP and one coding question. The second round had one medium-hard and one hard coding question, and one guesstimate. The last round was a mix of technical and HR. I was asked two coding questions, one easy and the other medium-hard. Jaguar has an Android team, so they were very interested in one of my Android Development projects. They asked a lot of questions on this project. Then there were some behavioural questions.
Don’t underestimate yourself. There will be times during your preparation when you won’t be able to solve questions for days on a stretch. Honestly, in no way does that mean you won’t get a good placement. Just continue practising and take a small break if needed. Hold your wits when shortlists are announced. It’s alright if you aren’t getting shortlisted. Many companies release extended shortlists and take walk-in interviews later on. It’s easier said than done, but don’t let rejections affect your subsequent interviews. While one company may reject you, another may be very eager to take you. This was the case with me.
Final Tips :
While this is strongly discouraged for the majority of questions, it’s advisable to memorize solutions to some standard but hard questions if you have to. Look up solutions to questions that you are not able to solve during the tests, they can be asked in future tests. Regarding the behavioural questions, I think one should be well-versed with what a standard response might be like. Mix them up with some of your original thought to make them look genuine. You can ask your interviewers for help if you feel stuck on a question. Finally, there will be moments when you will feel absolutely hopeless. In those times, it may help to keep in mind that all your batchmates will be going through it too, that you are not alone. It’s important to keep in touch with your friends and talk to them, especially when you feel demotivated. Remember, you don’t need to burn yourself out with preparations and can take a few days’ break if needed.