Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Interview Experience - 2

This time the interview was for an Institute located in the 'Silicon Valley of India'. There were 8 people in each panel and there were 2 panelists.
P1: Dr. Rahul De.
P2: Dr. Damodaran.

P1 called us inside and made us sit around a table. The interviews were to be held in the same order. An interesting thing was that there were two 'Abhinav Jain' and a total of four 'Abhinav' which really made the whole situation funny.

The case was about six institutes out of which A, B & C belonged to tier-1 and had very little difference between them. D, E & F belonged to tier-2 and had come up much after A, B & C. Now D, E and F had to interview a huge number of candidates because the shortlists for all the institutes had considerable overlap and the top candidates chose ABC over DEF. Now D, E & F institutes were the ones with the least resources. So what should be done to improve the situation.

Quite a real life scenario - makes me believe that case method of discussion is the best one. As for the actual Group Discussion, it was a fish market set up by people in suits. Could have had a much better discussion given that we had 20 minutes if people would have spoken in order and would have wanted the discussion to proceed.
Personally, I made 3 - 4 entries that I believe were all solid ones. At one point, I could see one of the profs nodding his head. I also contributed in the conclusion. After the discussion we were supposed to write a summary of the discussion on a single sheet of paper.

Finally it was the turn of the interviews and I was the first one to go in. I had an interview of about 30 minutes plus and all the others were shown the door in close to 10 - 12 minutes. Don't really know why they liked my ass to kick.

P2: CSE - Dual Degree.. Internship..
Me: Yes sir.

P1: What do you know about the cloud?
Me: Cloud - as the internet?

P1: No, no. Cloud as in Cloud computing.
Me: Blah blah.

P1: But when should we decide to use the cloud and when should we not use it.
Me: Blah blah.

P1: What is the difference between email and Youtube video?
Me: Blah blah.

P1: Have you heard about protocols?
Me: Yes, sir.

P1: Then let me ask you about difference between TCP and UDP.
Me: Reliability blah blah.

P1: Which would you use for email and which for Youtube?
Me: Blah blah.

P1: Why?
Me: Blah blah.

P1: Your answer was correct was reasoning was wrong. Think about it.
Me: (Silent)

P1: Okay. Change of topic.

P1: (Looking at my grade sheet) Software engg - A. What is the Software life cycle?
Me: Sorry.

P1: Waterfall model? Agile programming?
Me: Sorry.

P1: This was in 2007 - 08 and you don't remember even though you have an 'A'. You must be bluffing.
Me: (smile - no other option)

P1: Okay. Compiler Design - A. What are the four parts of a compiler?
Me: Blah blah.

P1: What do you feel about Open Source?
Me: Oh! We were discussing this outside.

P2: (jumping in) You were discussing what questions would be asked inside?
Me: No, no. We were having a general discussion. Kanwal Rekhi, Bill Gates, Open Source. (Tell him a few stories.)

P2: Okay. But what is your take on Open Source?
Me: (Take a negative stand)

P1: Is Richard Stallman a fool?
Me: Blah blah.

(P1 and P2 joke amongst themselves.)

P2: So how do they protect the software?
Me: IPR, licenses, copyright, creative commons.. Blah blah..

P2: What about GPL?
Me: Sorry. Don't know the exact thing.

P2: (Looking at the SOP) Innovation at school. What was that?
Me: Blah blah.

P1: (Looking at the SOP) You want to open up a venture. Give me 3 ideas and I will decide if I want to fund them or not. I am a big venture capitalist.
Me: I have the zeal but not ideas.

P1: Okay. I give you an idea. Why don't you make viruses and then sell anti-viruses. This is a multi-million dollar industry.
Me: There is no challenge.. blah.. blah..

P1 & P2: That is it?
Me: Yes ethically also there is a problem.

P1: What else do you find challenging? Or what do you do in your free time?
Me: Contemporary fiction. Chetan Bhagat, Maanvi Ahuja, Tushar Raheja.. blah.. blah..

P1: Is this literature?
Me: Blah blah

P2: Is this like movies?
Me: Blah blah.

P2: Heard about 'Orhan Pamuk'?
Me: No

P2: You talk about a big person like Chetan Bhagat but have not heard about a small guy who won a small prize called the Nobel Prize.
Me: (Talk about entertainment and easy to read fiction)

P1: This is what we call trash.
Me: Blah blah. Life of Pi.

P1: That won the Booker - another shady award.

P1 and P2: Thank you.

That was it and I was done within 90 minutes.

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