I never had any idea about campus interview and the placement. Off campus and On campus became a familiar term when I was at final year. When I was at hostel my senior Bharath anna use to advice me what I need to do to get ready for the placements and how I should prepare me for the interview.
Leave the technical part aside, I was preparing the first question in interview ‘Tell me about yourself” a long time than preparing the subject part. Somewhere during the final year we were announced that Cognizant is coming to our campus for placement. Just like the exam nervousness for SSLC and +2 (HSS) final exams I was little scared about the campus interview. I got some aptitude books from my senior Mahesh anna and started taking a glance at that. And “Let’s C” book authored by Balagurusamy. The next day was my first campus interview and I’d not prepared as I didn’t know what questions I will be asked.
I got ready and rehearsed ‘tell me about yourself’ 😀 It was in first floor above our prayer hall we all were asked to gather and some associates from Cognizant presented some video and spoke for few minutes but nothing reached my mind, everything that was going on in my mind was what questions I’ll be asked? Will I be selected? After the presentation we were given a OMR sheet and a two different set of question papers. It was good and I’d casually answered those questions. After the aptitude round there was 30 minutes break and we were asked to wait outside. Just like the election results announcement someone use to come down and increase our BP by keeping suspense and use to say another few minutes.
After an 45 minutes someone stood in my prayer hall entrance and started reading out the names of those who got shortlisted in the aptitude round. My name was called too. I was so happy and went to the first floor again. Now there was difference in the bench arrangement as the second round was directly a technical round where I was expecting second round to be a group discussion. I was sitting in a bench waiting for my name to be called just like how I use to wait in a clinic at my hometown, Hosur. My name was called. I showed up at a desk. I greeted him and didn’t shake hand as someone had told me that time I should’t shake hand unless the interviewer does. Also I was told to give a firm shake hand if I was offered to shake hand. But those tips had no work there as he just asked me to sit.
The interviewer asked me to write four C programs in a paper, As he said the questions I wrote the programs one by one and didn’t write one. For whatever I’d written he asked me if that was correct and I said ‘no’, ‘yes’, hmmm…. ‘yes’ 😀 he asked me to explain and I did it to an extent. Then another 1 hour wait to know the results of the technical round but my name was not called this time 😦 Hmm… Ok, ‘It’s just a beginning and I can do better in next interview’ I said to myself and went to hostel room. As soon as I entered I’d noticed the Let’s C book. I just took the book… turned to the appendix page. It was appendix D and the exact first four questions of what I was looking at in that book was asked by the interviewer! Lord!! Why you no tell me the day before? 😀 (But Mahesh anna had told me to go through appendix, but I didn’t 😀 )
It was around this interview season my college Secretary and care taker of hostel, Swami Atmagananandha Ji who use to read one chapter a day during our morning prayer in Hostel, asked us to buy that book if we needed. It was first published in January 5th 1972. I must tell you this book made some alterations or any other word you call it… Because when I was about to get a negative thought whether I’ll be get placement or not, as I’d attended Patni computers interview in my campus in which the aptitude test was like one chapter of some maths book and SAP Solutions aptitude which we were asked to take it online and that I wrote it from a browsing center near opposite to bata showroom in Luz signal, Mylapore; which I didn’t get shortlisted.
Then an off campus interview at Anna University with atleast 1000-1500 students who were standing in queue and entered various class rooms for tests batch by batch, meanwhile standing in queue I tried to taste a juice as one of my friends had told me that canteen at Anna university will be good 😀 (Food is important you see 😀 ) Yes.. It was good juice, nothing different from outside 😀 yeah, back to topic… I got my turn to enter exam hall for aptitude round and I didn’t get through there as well.
So it was at this time I read the book with open mind and enjoyed the content as I generally do while reading. I read everything with an imagination and visualized it’s content. I think this woke up my morale which I think was sleeping until then 😀 But by this time companies have stopped coming in for campus and more off campus was listed in our notice board. I remember after I didn’t get placement in one of the companies KK (Krishna Kumar) told me not to worry and said something good would be waiting for me. Yes! Withing next few weeks our notice board has listed Accenture in it.
I however didn’t prepare any technical questions as I’d prepared enough when I was attending previous companies, so I was involved in aptitude books as I liked it a lot in the short span of time. So I’d spent time solving the puzzles and questions and didn’t looked at those books from interview point of view. Then the day came to attend interview for Accenture. It was held at Obul Reddy auditorium, as I was staying at hostel I’d reached the auditorium on time and every others too, that’s special about my college. Unlike other colleges my college doesn’t only teaches subjects but discipline too.
I sat at first row and third seat, as usual presentation happened but it was very professional than any other companies presentation. Jyothika and Srinivas was the interviewer. Before the presentation I stood up, walked to Srinivas and whispered something in his ears. Asked Praveen before I went to Srinivas, What did I say? (Asked him to check his pant). I’d a small doubt whether it was appropriate to say, but never-mind, I’d said it already. Post presentation aptitude test, which I’d cleared this time. Then group discussion, Jyothika asked us to choose our own topic, I was little scared about what if someone choose topic about Cricket, as I had no idea about cricket (and yeah, even now!). But then she said a topic on her own, it was about co-education. Yeah, this kind of debate is always my favorite. 🙂 Yes… Shortlisted in GD as well.
Now technical round… Just diagonally opposite to where I’d appeared technical round for Cognizant. I was given three C programs and hehe yeah I was able to clear this round as well. Though I was appearing for all these rounds, I’d a watch around the hall to check if my besties are still there. Then came the HR round and it was with Jyothika, I spoke casually and within no time it got over too. We were 10/55 who were waiting to hear the final list, we were asked to wait in same hall, I couldn’t able to speak with my friends though we were sitting next to each other as the hall was so calm. In our presence the two HR people were writing names in the offer letter which they had with them handy. Now Jyothika started reading out names of those who got selected…
She read names one by one and I was happy for my friends and nervous for me… and yes… by god’s grace my name was shortlisted for the offer for first time 🙂 And the best part was my besties too were shortlisted for the offer 🙂 I was so happy and had rushed to hostel to call my parents who will be more happy than me, my hostel mate Praveen, Kamaraj, Srikanth & Thamu had wished me with much happiness…
The next thing I did after smiling was a kiss… a kiss to my book… Ennangal (Thoughts) which gave me the optimism.