“Akhil Mittal” who was placed at “Zscaler” talks 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 UnsaidTalks Interviewer: “Sukruth G”
Profile offered: Associate software engineer, Core development
Branch and Graduation Year: CML 2019
Package Offered: 10 lpa
Cgpa Cutoff : 7.00
Interview Difficulty Level: 9/10 (1-very easy, 10-very difficult)
Here are the questions we asked from Akhil Mittal to know about his interview experience.
Question 1:Introduce yourself to our readers.
Answer: Passionate programmer, problem solver, and web developer
Question 2:Describe Your written test experience specifying number of rounds ,details of each round and type of test platform(online -amcat,hackerearth etc offline)
Answer: There was only one online test, conducted on hackerrank. The test consisted of multiple MCQs, and 4 coding questions. The MCQs covered operating systems, computer networks, C programming, and general aptitude. Contrary to the usual pattern, the company only allowed us to code in C. With much request, they allowed C++, but still didn’t allow Java. The coding questions were based on data structures, with one coming from graphs. I would rate the difficulty of test at 9/10.
Question 3:Describe your all technical interviews specifying number of rounds and details of each round (if any)(please share coding questions if possible)
Answer: The interviews were conducted in their office itself. There were 8 students who appeared for the interviews. There were 5 interviews in total, out of which 4 were purely technical. Note that all interviewers wanted proper C code, with syntax.
The first interview was focused more on my resume. There were questions regarding my projects, and follow up questions about the things used those projects. There was one coding question – “Remove M nodes, after Nth node in a linked list”.
The second interview went for a full 2 hour duration, and was focused on coding and concepts of C language. The only coding question I can remember is run length encoding, because of the 2 hour time, this alone was stretched for 1.5 hours.
The third was totally focused on coding. Questions:
-> For a continuous stream of names and corresponding marks, implement a program that’ll take a number K, and print the name and marks of the Kth highest scoring student, till that time – I first suggested an RB tree. But the interviewer wanted a solution with heap
-> Write a program to convert an IP address, into its 32 bit decimal number (e.g 220.127.116.11 to 10101100.10101000.00000000.00010000 to 10101100101010000000000000010000 to 2896691216)
-> For 10 GB of stream of lower case alphabets, and 240 MB RAM, write a program to find the first repeating 3 letter sequence (e.g. For “ghefmlenqlrefmslw……”, “efm” is the first repeating sequence)
The fourth interview had questions from networks, operating systems, and C programming. The networks part was like a rapid fire round, where he would name a network protocol, or a concept, and I had to tell him all about it immediately. The operating systems part consisted of usual in-depth questions. C programming part was mainly about finding outputs of programs with pointers (e.g. int x = 2; int *ptr = x; printf(“%d”, *((char*) ptr));), and strings (e.g. char str = “Hell”; str = ‘o’; printf(“%s”, str);). I had to observe the call stack and memory for finding the outputs.
Question 4:Describe your all HR interviews specifying number of rounds and details of each round
Answer: There wasn’t exactly an HR round, but a discussion with the engineering head of Zscaler, over a telephone. It began with him asking about me, and how my day went. He then asked me what all I knew about the company, and what it does. Then he proceeded with telling me about the company, and the profiles that are being offered, and the profile I’m interested in.
Question 5:Key factors for your selection
Answer: Knowledge about the things that the company requires (here it was networks, operating systems, and C programming), confidence in what you know, and maintaining calm, even when the interview isn’t going right.
Question 6:Advice to juniors for technical skills they should develop
Answer: Operating systems is one subject, that every company will want you to know.
Some companies demand C (WD, and Zscaler), some java (American Express, GE), others general coding (Microsoft, Sabre). You should be should be able to target at least two of these groups.
Some companies (Zscaler, VMWare, Arcesium) might go into Computer networks. Knowing this subject gives you an edge over other candidates.
Knowing DBMS and IMS is always a plus.
Question 7:Advice to juniors for cracking HR round
Answer: Have some knowledge about the company before entering the room. Keep your strengths and weaknesses in mind, and focus more on the former. Be truthful and confident in your responses. Keep calm.
Question 8:How important do you think are co-curricular activities (placement point-of-view) (1 – Very Low, 10 – Very High)
Question 9:Any co-curricular activities (that you were a part of) that you think are worth mentioning
Answer: I was part of a society, organizing and managing events (managerial skills). I also conducted technical workshops (spoken skills, and technical knowledge).
Question 10:Which are the subjects one should have a thorough knowledge about, to gain an edge over other students (specific to your branch)?
Answer: (In the order of importance)
Data structures and algorithms
Object oriented programming
Information management systems
Question 11:What are your plans for the future?
Answer: I like the company, and its product. So as of now, I’m only looking for vertical growth within this company.
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