It was an out-campus placement at Sree Sakthi College in Karamadai, Tamil Nadu.
Round 1: Written Programming ( C/C++/Java/PHP)
3500 Students came from different colleges for the first round.
My program was:
“To design an ATM system” with the following requirements:
- Denominations should be in Rs 100 notes, Rs 500 notes and Rs 1000 notes.
- A general person would prefer having more 100 rupee notes over 500 or 1000. Second priority was over 500 rupee notes.
- Remaining amount should be in 1000.
- Case 1: If entered amount is less than 500 (remember, it’s less than! Not less than or equal to). So I printed “Amount/100” for this case. (Answer would be 1 or 2 or 3 or 4)
- Case 2: If amount is more than 40000 I should display “Insufficient Balance” and ask customer to enter lesser amount.
- Case 3 : Entered amount should always be more than 4000.
- Case 4: There should be a minimum of six 100-rupee notes.
- Case 5: Minimum of three 500-rupee notes.
- Case 6: Rest using 1000 notes.
- Case 6: Suppose extra amount is left after satisfying above three cases. Fill them up using 500 rupees. And after that if more amount is left (eg. 300 rupees ) use 100 rupee notes.
I used float variables in every area.
I set three variables to zero value to represent denominations: hundredcount, fivehuncount, thoucount.
And I repeatedly used / and % operators to find quotient (denominations) and remainder (remaining amount after a certain note is used).
I used functions because the same dividing step would occur time and again and did many function calls and obviously some if-else statements.
Finally I gave the output as the individual counts of three separate variables: hundredcount, fivehuncount, thoucount.
Time limit was 45 minutes, and I rechecked the program repeatedly even if I finished early.
Out of 3500 students from different districts of Tamil Nadu state, 80 got selected for this round, and I was the only one from my college to get through.
While I was waiting for my interview, a placement director from KPR College gave me a mock-interview after making me introduce myself.
- Why do you think you deserve RetailOn company?
- My Answer: Sir, I have strong skills in both programming field and web-designing so E-commerce is my best suit.
- (He saw me teaching students from other colleges ( Adithya College) earlier in the waiting room, so he asked this – ) Why are you teaching other college students? Don’t you feel they are your rivals?
- My Answer: Sir, I have no issues sharing knowledge with people. All i want is a fair fight. If they deserve, they’ll win. I believe in growing together.
He asked me many other good questions and saw my certificates as well. In the end, he told me that my confidence was visible and he loved it. He ended by telling me, “Today’s your day! You’re gonna rock it!”
It boosted me up and I was very happy. He shared me his contacts and mail even as I’m a student from another college and that he is a placement staff from another college (Kind people do exist).
Round 2: Technical HR
- So, you’re from Manipur. Why did you choose South India for your studies? I answered that I love being within the IT-sectors of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore.
- When asked whether I am strong in Java, I told him honestly that I don’t know in detail. Holding my resume in his hands, he asked me if I’m strong in Data Structures which I’ve included as my area of interest. I said I am and he nodded.
- After going through my activities he asked about my Big Data workshop. And I mentioned about Datameer, Hadoop, MapReduce concepts which I used in my hands-on sessions. He made me explain about Big Data in detail. To which I pointed out that Hadoop is more of an Apache project, rather than an open-source tool. And I gave him a real time example of a situation which differentiates Big Data from ordinary databases. It was a rail-way system one which was about trains going in and out of stations. “When data is too big to be handled by traditional data management, Big data comes into play.”
- He started his questions on C soonafter. He asked me what primitive and non-primitive data-types are. And I gave definitions along with categorizations. Int, Float, Double, Char v/s Linked List, Array, Structures etc.
- In the middle, he asked me to explain about my trainings and internships. He was interested in my IIT trainings and that at Amphisoft Technologies (E-Box). Both had DATA STRUCTURES and Algorithms in it. And he spent more than a minute reading them, so I brought us back into our conversation by saying, “Picking up to my answers…” and continued with my answers.
- He asked me which one I would prefer: Arrays vs Structures and why? I explained clearly with real-time examples. Structures! There’s this good example taught to me by Collin Bro from Amphisoft Technologies. A hamburger is like a structures with different items (bun, cheese, veggies, cream, etc) included in a single stuff which is a representation of the “grouping up of different data-types.”
- He asked me about malloc, and how I should distinguish from calloc.
- Then came, realloc. And I explained in depth using the “memory management” concept and pointed out why it is different from free(). I told him that the aim of relloc is to RECLAIM the original memory used up in a program execution and included ‘heap’ concept too.
- He gave me a program on pointers and dynamic memory allocation which I wrote down in less time and he corrected me in parts.
- Afterwards, he asked more concepts of structures vs unions, and how-to-do-this-without-using-this questions.
- Since my area of interest is data structures, he asked me an application question on linked list which is my second program for the day. I clearly emphasized the three add positions: beginning, end and at any position and elaborated them.
- After that, he gave me a good hand-shake with a nice smile and told me his interview with me ended there.
Immediately after second round, I was being told I got through the second, without any ‘waiting/undecided status’ and I was very happy. Afterall, I loved the first interview. I felt so comfortable in it and he was very nice to me.
Out of 80, around 8 were selected for attending final round.
Round 3: Personal HR
The next HR seemed to have gone through my details in depth. She was very friendly and made me feel relaxed.
After I gave a self-introduction in an aspiring e-commerce lover way , she asked about my family and when I mentioned about my two little brothers, she guessed if we fight with each others at times and I smiled saying that the smallest one is a Xerox copy of me, while the middle one’s a little reserved. With that followed my mentioning of my father as a retired Geography lectures and that of my Mom being a teacher.
- “What are your other interests besides technology?” I told her that I love writing songs and novels. When asked on what type of songs I write, I replied in a candid way: “Romantic songs, happy songs, sad ones – well, every songwriters write those, and my favorite complicated songs. I’ll be giving them away to friends who believe in creating true music.”
- “What do you know about my company?” Having gone though RatilOn.net site several times and having put a screenshot of the homepage as my mobile wallpaper to remind myself of the logo, I explained about the client and service stuffs in depth all the while mentioning some of RetailOn’s top clients. She praised me and told me she liked my approach. She revealed that I wasn’t among those who blurt out “This is your CEO. That is your location. This is your logo.” type of mugged up answers.
- “Do you have any business plan in your mind?” I loved this questioned and shared my interests regarding a special E-Commerce idea (which I always had in my mind and which is a top secret) and she told me how it can even be possible and I gave my reasons, the need for it and the possibilities of people loving it.
- (One tip: Be business-like, especially with E-Commerce stuffs.)
- About my web projects: I told her about my technical blog Next Generation of Computer Engineers ( nextgencse.wordpress.com ) . And I specified that I am the sole content creator and admin of this blog.
- FYI: You are inside the blog right now 🙂
- “You are more of a client side programmer than a server side?” My answer: “I feel that I should be well-versed on the client side before I proceed into the server’s and as a student I’m stepping foot into MySQL.”
- “So you’re a state-topper in Class 12 Exams?” Yes, Ma’am. I secured 8th rank in Manipur state, Science stream in year-2011.
- After going through my IIT Delhi and IIT Varanasi trainings stuffs, she told me she was very impressed and that she liked my involvement.
- (From my mentioning in the resume in activities:) “So you’re the event coordinator in your college?” I told her that I love being the playmaker, the fully-involved question setter, instead of handling post of President or Secretary. And she liked how I loved conducting technical quiz events. (I told her G.K. is not my stuff, and technical is my interest. Too blunt.)
- I have also mentioned a workshop in Ethical Hacking (I almost removed it from the resume earlier but kept it anyway) and when asked, I told her that it’s not my domain but I’m intrigued by phishing.
- The rest of the long interview was about what I can expect when I’m in the company and an in-depth exploration of the work-ethics and expectations and promotions to higher posts. Big big stuffs which can’t be elaborated here.
- At last she asked me if I’d have coffee (when the student coordinator brought in a tray of cups) and I happily said yes and took two sips. After going though my resume again and giving me the chance to ask her a question (I asked about how being an HR in RetailOn has brought her good changes and she told me passionately about the work ethics and experience she got), she smiled and told me I can wait for the final result. After a hand-shake, I thanked her and found my way out.
It was a very overwhelming interview for me and I loved the business-vibe during the entire process.
Out of final round candidates, only two were selected, one of them being me. Results were announced through a phone-call to me and through mails to me and my placement director.