Abhishek Bawa’s ION Interview Experience

Abhishek Bawa who was placed at “IONtalks about his interview experience and some other tips to prepare for placement season. Check out what he says about the placement season.

His Interview was taken by Unsaid Talks Interviewer: “Hardik Garg

Profile offered: Software Developer

Job Location: Noida

Branch and Graduation Year: COE- 2023

Interview Difficulty Level:  Interview difficulty can’t be rated like this. It all depends on your knowledge. If you have studied all the core subjects and DSA in-depth, the interview will be easy for you. But yes, there are some advanced questions on OOPS and DSA in my interview, so if you have studied only the basics, it will be tough.

Here are the questions we asked Abhishek Bawa to know about his interview experience.

Question 1: Introduce yourself to our readers.

Answer:   I am Abhishek Bawa from Bhawanigarh, Punjab. I am pursuing my UG in Computer Engineering at TIET, Patiala. I have maintained an overall 9.5+ CGPA and received three scholarships worth Rs. 5.6 lacs and if you are thinking of me as a bookworm, then you are wrong, You need to manage your time wisely and work smartly and consistently. I am a tech enthusiast who loves to learn about new technologies.

Question 2: Was there any internal CGPA cutoff? If yes, then how much ?

Answer: All students above 6 CGPA can apply to ION.

Question 3: What was the procedure of the placement that took place? (Shortlisting criteria/ coding or aptitude test/ number of interviews)

Answer: When ION group came for campus placement for a developer role, it conducted 5 rounds of interviews including the written test. First of all, they conducted an online test containing 15 MCQ’s and 2 programming questions which was conducted on Hacker Earth. 161 candidates were selected for further rounds. 2nd round was having core computer subjects. 55 candidates were selected for 3rd round which was a case study round. Then, the 4th one was total resume based round in which they asked me everything which I mentioned in my resume. In round 5, we were asked to introduce ourselves in front of all the country heads of the company. Lastly, Out of that,10 candidates were finalized & fortunately I was one of them.

Question 4: Tell us about the written/online test. (Aptitude, Coding, Test Platform, etc)

Answer:  It was conducted on the HackerEarth platform consisting of 15 MCQs and 2 Programming Questions which were:-
1. https://www.codechef.com/problems/TWONMS
2. Goto Prime
After this test, around 161 students were shortlisted for the interview process.

Question 5: Tell us about Interview Round 1 including the questions that were asked.

Answer: It was a puzzle and coding-based interview, including core computer subjects.
The interviewer started with a project discussion, and he asked me about my favorite subjects. Afterwards, he started asking me about types of data structures. Some questions are:
1. What is a dynamic array, and how is it different from a static array?
2. Code to allocate memory on the heap?
3. What do you understand by STL? He asked some advanced ques about STL.
4. Asked ques about Tries and Maps
5. Some time complexities.
6. Hashing concepts.
7. Different codes to detect and remove loops in the linked list.
8. Implementation of Vector class and all the functionalities.
9. Different approaches to finding the third largest number in a large dataset.
10. Some advanced OOPs concepts.
11. Some basic OS questions.
Only 55 students were shortlisted for the second round.

Question 6: Tell us about Interview Round 2.(if any)

Answer: It was a case study round, where the interviewer gave me a case study of Big Bazaar and asked me to help the company to increase its profit during COVID time.

Question 7: Tell us about Interview Round 3.(if any)

Answer: It was completely a resume-based round. We discussed my projects in detail and my College Club activities, and some HR questions. (Not an HR Round). Also, the interviewer asked me about advanced C++ concepts like lambda function and some indirect ques about Smart Pointers.

Question 8: What were the key factors of your selection?

Answer: Be confident in all the interviews, and don’t get nervous. Study well in depth about all the concepts and try to learn new concepts every day. Work consistently and with complete dedication. Start preparing as soon as you can. Don’t wait for the second year or third year.

Question 9: What are the things students should focus on in order of priority?

Answer: Learn any language, I would prefer C++ or Java. Learn DSA basics and advanced. Try to understand OOPs concepts thoroughly. Then move towards theory subjects in order – OS, DBMS, SQL, CN. Networking subjects are not asked in all companies, only a few, like Cisco and Juniper focus on CN, so you can skip it. Theory subjects can be done in a week or two as you are also studying them in your curriculum.

Question 10: According to you, what role do extracurricular activities as well as participation in societies play?

Answer: Extracurricular activities help you develop as a person and will improve your communication skills too. These can majorly help you in non-tech roles. Tech companies don’t mind if you don’t have experience with society.

Question 11: Were there any companies you got rejected from after appearing for their interview? If yes, then tell us about your rejection story and what do you think were the reasons for your rejection?

Answer: I got rejections from three company interviews. The first one was Byjus because I wasn’t prepared for the interview. It was a situation like I gave the written test, and just after 10 mins, I got the interview call. It was also one of the very first companies that came to our college. However, I was happy after the rejection as Byjus laid off its employees after one week. Everything happens for good.
The second one was Juniper Networks. Its interview was on the next day of Byjus interview. Of course, I wasn’t prepared for that too. From this, I have learned that I need to focus on theoretical subjects too in advance and I should not wait for the interview. Then the third interview was with ION, and I got selected for that.
However, the third rejection which I was talking about is from Amazon. I was shortlisted for the Amazon SDE role Full-time test. I have cleared the test and virtual SDE test also. Then I have also cleared two interviews. I got the third interview call, and due to some silly mistakes in coding questions, I got rejected in the final interview even if both the questions were working fine and had cleared all the test cases. What I have learnt from this is – Don’t get nervous in your final interview.

Question 12: What message would you like to give to your juniors regarding the stress they go through during placement season?

Answer: Taking stress doesn’t gives you a job offer. A pro tip is to prepare well before placement season starts and be confident in your interviews. Never get nervous. Accept rejections, they are an important part of your life. Learn from them and try not to make the same mistake again.

Question 13: Any other advice you would like to give to your juniors?

Answer: Don’t get stressed. Rejections are also a part of the journey. Talk to your friends and be supportive of each other.

Question 14: How can we contact you? (LinkedIn Profile Link/Contact No./etc.)

Answer: Linktree: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abhishek-bawa-6977a4190/

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