Basics of Career

Guidelines For Fresh Computer Science Engineers


Here we have tried to put together a complete information of how to prepare yourself for a company and what you need to focus and how to make it happen. This Guidelines are being prepared by Ms. Komal Shinde a Software Engineer, she works in an IT Firm.
This information which broadly covers the interview process followed by most companies. These days most firms, especially startups which has a very specific requirements, option for unconventional ways to shortlist candidates but still the process is more or less the same at most workplaces.

Step 1: Testing for basic skill

In most scenarios, as a first step, companies want to first make sure that you have the most basic of the skills required for the job. The most common way to test that is to have the candidate take an exam which tests them on these skills. Since we are focusing on freshers here, let’s understand what skills recruiters look for when hiring freshers.
One thing, that most freshers fail to understand is that however much they know, there are exceptions of course, but still some process will be the same.
The first step to any type of placement is aptitude test. There are mainly 2 sections in aptitude test.

  • One is to test your english skills which includes paragraph apprehension, your grammar and it may include writing of your opinion on some type of situation. For example, If you are being informed by some stranger personnel in your office that all the data in your computer is going to be hacked in next one hour what you would do? The options you have are
  1. Inform higher authorities about this and wait for their orders.
  2. Verify the trueness of the personnel’s words and then only take some actions.
  3. Start taking backup of all the confidential data on your computer.

Many of you would say no. (1). Few of you would say no. (2). But in corporate world you have to act on your instinct. If you choose option one it may happen that the time passes by and by the time you take any action your data is already partially hacked. The second option again the time problem. With third option you can at least save 75% or more than that data and side by side you can also inform higher authorities and verify the trueness of situation.

  • The second type is mathematical, quantitative aptitude. The most common questions in this part are related to speed, distance and time of train or boat, probability, factors.
  • Some tests also include technical part which are the most basic question of any particular language. For this you have to study the company technology. Which coding language is being used by that company, is the only language that will be asked in technical aptitude.

The second step is technical interview which is again based on the language used by that company. If you have knowledge of java and C but the company uses java they will ask questions related to java. The most important thing in this step is the way you code.

Coding standards: Every company follows coding standards

  • Even if you are asked to write any code, give proper indentations.
  • If you are using for loop, write the comment above it for what purpose it is used.
  • Always use the optimized way.
  • The only program they ask on fresher level are fibonacci series, pattern programs, factorial program,etc. The technique is to not write the functional code in main method. Like you can write a separate function for factorial and call that function from main method. Here, the concept of coupling and cohesion applies.
  • Remember, the company follows smart work. If you write a two liner code and someone else writes 10 lines both having same purpose, the number of lines doesn’t matter. The time to execute two liner code and a ten liner code matters. The one to be executed in less amount of time along with the quality of output is the best code.
  • The quality of output is in what all situations your code can give correct output. The base test condition to check any code are positive input, negative input and zero value. For example, if you are asked to write fibonacci code, and you are asking input for the number of terms upto which you have to generate the fibonacci series. Then obviously a negative input is wrong type of input and your code should ask the user to enter proper input.Same is the case for zero.The next base test your code should pass is the boundary edge condition.

Interview Preparation

  • The interviewer is always happy to know that you have knowledge of the company. Appearing for an interview, just google about the company. Basic information like establishment, CEO, the main branch, technologies used,etc. Don’t ever leave the opportunity, if interviewer asks you whether you have any question. Start by giving reference like i read this about your company but can you give me brief about it. Again, don’t ask too obvious questions like when your company was established. Guys, this information is already available. Don’t ask more than two questions. Asking questions shows your interest in the company and then by starting with reference shows you know about company.
  • Always keep your resume updated. The order in which you write languages in your skills should change as per company preferences.
  • Emphasize on your achievements till date. Don’t brag. They know when you are lying.
  • If they ask you how you are better than any other candidate don’t ever talk about them. At least not in negative way. You can always tell their plus point. This shows you can always be a better leader and are a good team player. The another way to tackle this is to say i can talk about my abilities, I don’t know about them.
  • If they ask you about weaknesses, change the word as area of improvement. This shows you are willing to work on your weaknesses.
  • Don’t talk much about your academics if you are an average student. Rather talk about your other interests which are related to coding. If you want to impress them just talk how you always implement coding and innovation in your daily life. For example, how the raspberry pie can be used for gaming. The simple python program developed snake games,etc. This way you can integrate your hobbies with the coding.
  • If given the opportunity to talk about yourself always, start by saying thank you for the opportunity and time given to given to you.
  • Reach the interview place at least 15 minutes earlier. Always keep your phone on silent mode (not even vibration). Maintain eye contact.
  • If you are feeling really very nervous, just ask for water. It will give you 2 – 3 minutes to adjust yourself. Don’t drink water hastily. Take small gulps.
  • If you don’t know the answer do not take up the time. Tell directly to the interviewer that you don’t know the answer. This shows that you know the value of time. Interviewer specifically doesn’t give preference to the candidates who takes up the time even if they don’t know the answer.

Group Discussion

  • The first one to talk always gets the benefit points. This gives the impression that you are willing to take up the responsibility. You have the courage to drive the group.
  • The one to conclude the GD also has benefit over the others.
  • For concluding the GD, you should include summary of all the effective points discussed in the GD. this shows your attentiveness.
  • If you are diving in the middle, try picking up the point of previous person. If you have strong point well n good.
  • Always be polite while presenting your opinion.
  • Don’t keep on talking for much time. Try giving time to the person who hasn’t yet talked anything by asking what he thinks about the point you put forward. This displays how you can move forward by taking everyone with you, how you are focused on progress not only yours but others too.
  • While getting into conversation do not cut anybody.
  • You have to stay updated for this type of scenarios. The topic can be related to anything. For this, read newspaper daily. Take the mail headline. Read for half an hour and give short summary for the same in 10 minutes. No written summary. Proper english formatted sentences in English communicated orally

Latest updates of Technology

  • Stay updated about what technology has been currently released in the market.
  • If new version of java comes, check what are the new provisions, how it can be used, how it has helped in reducing coding efforts. All this information is available on internet. At least be theoretically updated
  • Be familiar with basic terms like database, data warehouses, data mining, natural language processing, etc.

I think this above information is enough for self improvement before you start working in any company.

Satish Gupta
Done bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in 2018. #LEARNER #BLOGGER

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