Nikhil Yadav

Name: Nikhil Yadav
Course: B.Tech CSE
College: IIIT –Hyderabad
Year: 2011
Company: Capital IQ
Package Offered (for Internship):: Rs. 20,000/- pm
Preparations: The selections for internships are not that arduous as they are for placements, and also there is not much of a time to prepare for these as they generally take place without much of a prior notice. The interviewers know this, so they don’t expect a great performance out of you. They look for your approach and attitude towards problem-solving and confidence.

Keeping these things in mind, I personally didn’t prepare much for the selections academically (like I am doing it these days 😛 ) , which generally includes going through course topics like Data Structures, Algorithms , Operating Systems , Databases , Networks etc. in detail. Rather, I was concerned about building up a nice resume (highlighting projects done: D), and brushing up my coding skills with frequently asked interview questions from different sources. A very important tip in giving interview for internships is that , one should always know what “kind of” questions a particular company asks, which concept they generally stress upon more and usual trend of their procedures. This helps a lot in last night study scenario 😉

Though, I would like to add that people who target companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft for internships (and PPO in future!), and are not great coders/toppers of their batch, they “should” devote much more time for preparation.

Books Reffered: Introduction to Algorithms: – Cormen , Leiserson.

Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in C: – Weiss

Operating System Concepts: – Selberschatz

(Basically my course books on the topics I have listed above!)

Websites Reffered: http://www.geeksforgeeks.org/

http://www.cracktheinterview.org/

http://technical-interview.com/default.aspx

+ random sites which have collection of previous interview questions/puzzles.
Programming sites:-

http://www.topcoder.com/

http://www.spoj.pl/

http://www.codechef.com/

The Written round: It included programming problems, more or less typical only. Mixed bag questions, some aptitude / logical reasoning, mathematical questions. As a whole, if you do well in coding questions you are good to go to the next level.
The Interview: I don’t think there are any group discussion rounds for selection as an intern (it’s not much of a big deal :P) in any company.

But yeah, the personal interview rounds are at par with interviews for placements, as the recruiters are generally the same. In my case, as I had learned a few things from my first failed attempt of getting selected for intern in Qualcomm (reasons: 1: was my first interview, and 2) interviewer was a lady), I was more confident and focused during my interview for Capital IQ. I concentrated more on my body language, and kept talking to the interviewer during a problem I was solving and updating about my approach towards the question.

The interviewer was slightly impressed with my record in cultural activities in college
(I guess he found this different from other candidates), apart from a decent academic record.

There was some discussion about hobbies and experiences in college. And I learnt a very important lesson that one should try to have unique and interesting hobbies to get attention of the interviewer, and make him/her think of you as someone separate from the herd of students who came and solved similar questions before and after you.

Fortunately, all this clicked and I was chosen

Role of Internships and extracurricular activities: Significant role. Companies know that if they are visiting a reputed college, then students will all be somewhat of the same caliber in terms of knowledge and skill. So a good internship experience can add to your resume a difference that gives you an edge up and above other students. The fact that you have had a working experience in a company earlier helps you to prepare better for interviews in future and gives an assurance to the recruiter that you are a worthy employee.

Extra co-curricular activities are those sides of your personality that make you interesting as a person and help the recruiter to relate to you, or to streamline an ongoing interview. So, a set of some good hobbies always pays off.

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