“Aastha Mahendru “ who was placed at “EXL Analytics” talks about her interview experience and some other tips to prepare for placement season. Check out what she says about placement season.
Profile Offered: Business Analyst
Cgpa cutoff: No cgpa criteria
Interview difficulty level: 7/10 (1-very easy, 10-very Difficult)
Here are the questions we asked from Aastha to know about her interview experience.
Question 1: Introduce yourself to our readers like you introduced yourself to the panellist.
Answer 1: I am Aastha and I belong to the holy city of Amritsar. I am born to a doctor father and a teacher mother. The reason I chose Electronics 3 years ago is because that sounded like the best option on the basis of whatever we had studied till class XII. Thapar gave me many opportunities to showcase my skills. I was a part of the dancing society NOX. I have made a few projects here out of which one is currently in progress which is a weather station using Rpi and Arduino. I was also the year representative in the literary fest Elixir. Also, I was an intern under ‘Scholars for Change’ campaign at IIM Ahmedabad. I am a firm believer of hard work. I believe in always improvising myself. Whatever I am today, I’ll be a better person tomorrow.
Question 2: Describe Your written test experience specifying the number of rounds, details of each round and type of test platform ( If online mention the type of test platform eg. Hackereart, CoCubes, Amcat etc).
Answer: 400-500 students had applied for EXL out of which around 200 students were shortlisted for appearing in the test. It was an online test (Duration: 60 minutes) conducted a day before the interviews. The test consisted of three sections: Quantitative(20), Logical Reasoning(10), Verbal(10). So there were 40 questions with negative marking involved along with sectional cutoff. So accuracy and time management were a must. One could not just desultorily click on options. I attempted 35 questions which I was 100% confident about. 50 students were shortlisted after the online test. Out of these, 11 from B.E. and 6 from MCA were finally selected. (Euphoria couldn’t be explained better.)
Question 3: Describe your all technical interviews specifying number of rounds and details of each round.
Answer: There wasn’t any technical round as such. It’s an analytics profile and all three rounds consisted of puzzles and guesstimates along with a general discussion.
Question 4: Describe your all HR interviews specifying number of rounds and details of each round.
Answer: ROUND 1: It started with the general introduction. He further asked me to throw some light on my internship with IIMA that I had mentioned in my introduction. Then it led to further discussion on the same. He asked me a few questions in the same context. He asked me about the discussion going on outside regarding the number of students they will take today and also my opinion on the difficulty level of the test held the day before. He asked me to explain any of the projects mentioned on my bio-data. After this, he asked me a technical question. I politely told him that I am unable to recall the answer right now. And he showed me an “it’s-completely-okay” look. Then he asked me a puzzle which I solved in a minute or two. Further, he asked me a guesstimate on the number of tabs which will be sold in the year 2017. I also cross-questioned him on this regarding some information. After I solved he was satisfied and I was good-to-go. He asked me if I had any queries. And I asked him 5-6 questions regarding the company because I wanted him to know that I am interested in the company. And that was it.
ROUND 2: In this round, I was asked only and only puzzles. He asked me around 5 mathematical puzzles(one by one). I took my time and solved all of them.
ROUND 3: With the atmosphere inside I could establish the fact that he will be asking me puzzles and guesstimates only and no general discussion (which I was hoping for now). But to my surprise, after seeing my bio-data, he asked me the dance form that I perform. I started off and I went on speaking for like 6-7 minutes regarding whatever experience I have had. I mentioned an incident in there which made us both laugh. I just wanted to delineate the fact that I am a convivial person who has already worked in a team of 15 people so I have that team spirit in me.
He then asked me a guesstimate about the washing powder used in Delhi in a month. After this, he asked me a mathematical puzzle which I tried solving using conventional mathematical techniques but couldn’t reach a solution. After this, he asked me to solve some other mathematical puzzle which I solved under a minute. So that was it.
After this started the longest three hours when I had to wait for the results being out. The feeling after the results can not be explained in words.
Question 5: What do you think were key factors for your selection?
1. Hard work
2. Faith in myself
1. Hard work
2. Faith in myself
4. Good Communication skills
5. Karma (Believe me, if it’s your day, it’s your day. If it is supposed to happen, the dots will join themselves.)
Question 6: What would you like to advise juniors for technical skills they should develop for this company?
Regarding aptitude test: Prepare QA and LR wholeheartedly. The test consisted of 40 questions. There was negative marking and the test duration was 60 minutes. I attempted 35 questions. I only attempted questions that I was sure of. There was 10 questions in LR, 20 in QA and 10 in verbal.
I prepared my QA from RS Aggarwal and study material from Bulls Eye. I used to practice a lot of timed tests on the official Bulls Eye website.
As far as interviews are concerned, read a lot of puzzles, as many as you can. Refer the following links for puzzles:
There are a lot of Android apps for preparing placement puzzles. I referred them too.
For guesstimates, you should be very well aware of demographics of India, Delhi, your hometown and the place where your college is (that’s what I believe). For guesstimates, I referred the following link:
Prepare puzzles from sources mentioned in the answer above and from some good quality Android apps.
Question 6: What would you like to advise juniors for cracking HR round of this company?
Answer: BE REAL. Just don’t concoct stories. They can very well judge if you are being genuine or not. They are there in the chair opposite to you for a reason. If you don’t know something, politely refuse. Just don’t blabber around.
Speak enthusiastically and speak slowly. Sometimes, if you try to speak very fast, the processing speed of your brain becomes less than the speed at which you are talking. That’s when you stammer. Avoid it.
Have confidence in yourself. You can do it.
Do your SWOT analysis. Jot down the general outline of your introduction and general questions like strengths and weaknesses. DON’T CRAM anything. You should just know what you have to speak. Once you start speaking in an interview, you will just go with the flow.
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