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My First Job Interview


Cognizant Technology Solutions – Interview

My first job interview – Campus Placements – Sathyabama University (18th September, 2011)

[This is a Transcript of my Interview with CTS-HR representative]

Me:

Good Evening! (I standing in front of the CTS-HR)

CTS-HR:

Good Evening Silas! Please take your seat. (CTS-HR having a look at my Resume)

Me:

Thank you sir! (With a smile)

CTS-HR:

Well… Describe yourself, your background, strengths and weaknesses… (CTS-HR glancing at my Resume)

If you want, you can use this pen and paper.

Me:

Oh. No, thank you.

Well.. I’m the fifth born at home… (CT- HR looks into my face with astonishment)

And I have a younger brother too. (CTS-HR smiles with grace)

Let me be frank…

At first, it was not my decision to take up this course in Mechanical and Production Engineering. I was very much inclined in taking up Computer science Engineering or Information Technology. But by the time I completed my twelfth standard in school, there was a great recession in the IT industry. My dad was very concern about my future and wanted me to have a different base in Engineering. And He also mentioned that it was the IT giants who will hire the maximum number of Engineers during campus placements by the end of the course and I could easily at any time flourish in the IT industry. So, I took up this course and enjoyed pursuing it. And very well you can understand that this has been the most awaited day for me and my carrier. (CTS-HR keenly listening and watching me speak)

Mentioning my strengths…

  • I can very well make a layman understand a technical concept easily.
  • I am a very good team builder.

And to mention my weaknesses…

  • I have a very poor hand-writing.
  • And I’m workaholic! (Casually)

CTS-HR:

Isn’t being workaholic your strength? (Confused)

Me:

It might be. But I don’t consider it so. Because I don’t concentrate on anything else until the work is done. And most of the time I don’t have proper intake of food. So my mom is not happy about that. And that’s why I consider it my weakness.

CTS-HR:

What is that you have mentioned ‘Chief Editor of the University Magazine’?

Me:

Yes I’m the Chief Editor of the University Magazine ‘CAMPUS BLOG’, it’s an exclusive Newsletter. You can verify that on our University Website.

CTS-HR:

And you also are a web designer!

Me:

Yes. It’s more like a part time business to me. And I’m now working on a project for our central government technical NCC division. Very soon that website would be up.

CTS-HR:

What is ‘SEO and SEM’, you’ve mentioned in your skills?

Me:

That’s ‘Search Engine Optimization’ and ‘Search Engine Marketing’.

CTS-HR:

Oh.. Great!

Then, do you know the algorithm that Google search uses?

Me:

Ah no. I didn’t get a chance to know that. But I can tell you how it works. It searches for keywords, Meta tags, etc. on indexed pages and displays them in a form of lists based on the content searched for.

CTS-HR:

Can you tell me the steps you followed when designing websites… ?

Me:

Sure…

At first I jot down my clients requirements and expectations. Then I would create the logic for the site and split it into segments. Further I would work on each segment separately to complete the logic designed initially. After the logic is structured properly meeting all the requirements, I design or create the graphics required for the aesthetics of the website. Then give it a trial run for the client to test it. And if the client is happy, I would host it on the clients server or host it myself.

For example… The website I’m creating for the NCC…

That’s a dynamic website where all cadets/students and staff members have an option to log-in and get involved. I’m making it in such a way that cadets will be limited to their study materials and general information whereas the staff members are granted much more access as to even contribute to the site. And above all the future site admin will have all rights to the site based on the log-in details provided.

CTS-HR:

Good… And you even do graphic designing? You are an expert in working with Photoshop?

Me:

Yes, I do graphic designing. And I’m an expert in handling Photoshop and Illustrator. I learnt using them just because websites don’t look good without proper aesthetics. So, I create graphic designs to suite my clients’ requirements aesthetically.

This all started when I was in standard 7, when I learnt Visual Basic (VB) and was really thrilled to see a program that I wrote function as a real time application. I really appreciate my computer science teachers for teaching the basics of programming very patiently at that time.

And by the time I came to standard 10, I was even more excited to learn about and practically see the functioning of Hyperlinks on webpages. That even more thrilled me and I began to create webpages with crazy looks and hyperlinks which ended up as crappy websites of my own. Further I did a lot of study in web designing on the internet and gradually over a period of 3 years I became a pro in it. That’s all that drives me to work in this field.

CTS-HR:

Then can you tell me the difference between http and https?

Me:

Sure! HTTP is Hypertext Transfer Protocol and HTTPS is Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTP is commonly used over the internet whereas HTTPS is used to provide confidentiality and authentication. It is widely used by Banks and even Google and many other sites provide it.

CTS-HR:

Then you must be a blogger. Aren’t you?

Me:

Yes… I am.

CTS-HR:

What was your latest blog post?

Me:

Well, I blog anything I feel would encourage anybody…

CTS-HR:

Well you are more into designing as I can see. How well would you be able to work with mainframes?

Me:

So far I didn’t have the chance to work with mainframes. But I always like to work with raw coding rather than the aesthetic s of an application, because that is what makes the application run. Isn’t it?

CTS-HR:

Oh yes. That’s good.

Can you mention your favourite subject?

Me:

Err… Anything related to Information Technology and Computer Science Engineering.

CTS-HR:

No, no… I want to know your favourite subject from your Engineering curriculum.

Me:

Oh. That’s a tough one. (Me thinking for a few seconds) Well Mechanics!

CTS-HR:

Mechanics! Ok, tell me a difference between a 2-stroke engine and a 4-stroke engine.

Me:

Yes.  The main difference is that,…[blabbering confidently]…

CTS-HR:

Ok. Can you name the strokes followed in these engines?

Me:

Yes sure.

  1. Intake stroke
  2. Compression stroke
  3. Power stroke
  4. Exhaust stroke

CTS-HR:

Ok. What are your other fields of interest?

Me:

Gardening!..

CTS-HR:

Gardening? Where do you do gardening?

Me:

At home!

CTS-HR:

At home? Where do you stay?

Me:

Ah. We are almost in the northern limits of Chennai at Kodungaiyur. It’s actually a farm house environment at home. I always liked to spend time with nature and get involved with it. We have a lot of pets including poultry. It has always been our childhood passion to have a lot of pets. And now we are enjoying them. (CTS-HR looked down into my resume to post another question but I continued) Most of our friends come home just to visit a mini-zoo at our place. (CTS-HR looked up and smiled)

CTS-HR:

Well I see your history of arrears is a bit high. Why is that so?

Me:

Yes. As I told you earlier, I’m workaholic. And at that time I was a part of the NCC and was very much involved with all the activities there. And I even took up a lot of responsibilities and completed as a Leading Cadet… (CTS-HR interrupts)

CTS-HR:

Isn’t this a priority issue?

Me:

Yes I know. Since I always loved nature, social service and moral values such as Unity and Discipline, I was taken up with it. At that time we were off the University Campus on duty for about 3 months regarding a number of camps and social activities that created a miscommunication within the department and resulted in very less internal assessment marks in that semester. And that is the reason for me having them trailing so long.

CTS-HR:

Will you be able to clear those subjects now?

Me:

Why not? Now I’m free at home just working on my project and have a lot of time to spare for concentrating on them. That’s never going to be a problem for me!

CTS-HR:

Ok then.

Are you interested or heard of the Android platforms?

Me:

Yes! I’m even trying to bring it into my project also.

CTS-HR:

You haven’t mentioned about your project anywhere. Why is it so?

Me:

Ya. Since I have plans of patenting it, I didn’t want to mention it in my resume.

CTS-HR:

Well what is your project about?

Me:

(*Information not revealed due to security reasons – This will be revealed after the completion of my project*) and I’m doing a research on trying to create an Android interface for it to make it much more convenient to use.

CTS-HR:

Oh. Good! (In awe)

Well Silas… I see that all you have accomplished and mastered are only based on your field of interest.

Isn’t it?

Me:

Absolutely, Yes! (Cheerfully)

CTS-HR:

Very Good!

Thank you Silas. (With a cheerful smile)

Me:

Thank You sir!

If you won’t mind, may I know your name sir? (Politely)

CTS-HR:

Arul…! (With a smile)

[*End of the Interview*]

Appointed as ‘Programmer Analyst Trainee’ in Cognizant Technology Solutions India Private Limited.

Joined the organization on the 27th of September, 2012.
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9 thoughts on “My First Job Interview

  1. oh!it was a nice conversation!!

    now,i’ve got some idea about an interview!!

    how do u remember all these Q’s and replies??

    Like

  2. hey…that hr asked about my history of arrears, i said her 5,after that she dint give a chance fr me to explain and rejected me. is that possible

    Like

  3. wow.. great interview.. superb! u didnt made him feel even in a single attempt tat u had a negative thing.. gud speaker !! God bless you..

    Like

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