My First Job Interview Experience with Cognizant Technology Solutions.

Though It’s been a while for me in the Software Industry. My first job in the industry was always special for me. I moved out from Cognizant long back but whenever I see my offer letter mail randomly, it brings all those struggles and competition back then.

I attended 3 interviews before landing in Cognizant.

First one was Campus recruitment, there were 6 rounds and I could clear first 5 rounds just with my technical skills. Last round was GD (Group Discussion) and I was not a good communicator back then, so I lost that battle. – I did not regret it because later I learned that new joins has to sign a 3 year bond with the company.

Second was off-campus and the competition was like hell. There were 3 rounds I cleared written and technical round but I couldn’t clear the HR 🙁 – Again my communication was the culprit.

So I realized that it’s my communication skills that I need to work on immediately. As a month pass by I got another opportunity with cognizant through off campus. This time I concentrated on only HR round. I prepared almost all the general HR questions.

Here it goes…

I wrote aptitude test through amcat aspiring minds.

Round 1: Aptitude Round

Which consists 3 section.

  1. English (25 qsns and 25 min time). (comprehension passage 8M, it is easy and 6-8 on vocabulary, 3-4 on grammar, 1 jumbled sentence).
  2. Aptitude (16 qsns and 16min). Basic aptitude knowledge is enough.
  3. Reasoning (14 qsns and 14min) very easy (2-3 on directions).

Total given time is 55min for 55 questions. (1:1).

After that they mailed the interview date and location (mailed admit card). And interview has been scheduled.

Round 2: Technical Round

I reached venue by 10:50AM and my reporting time was 11AM. (There was two batches. first one @8AM).

Mine is 2nd batch.

They told us to wait in the conference hall and there were total 550 candidates attended on that day.

They are calling one by one candidate by the name and admit card number to register, they are taking 1 copy of resume and 2 photos and told us to wait for Tech round.

Finally after waiting 4 hrs (i.e around 3PM) they called me for Tech round.

My panel number is 2, and there are more than 15 panels I guess.

My Tech Interviewer was middle aged person. (I guess he would have 7+ years experience).

He interviewed me for 40min.

It went like this:

ME: May I come in sir. (with smile).

INTERVIEWER: yes, come in. Take the seat.
ME: Thank you sir.

INTERVIEWER: So Madhu you are from MCA.
ME: Yes sir.

INTERVIEWER: describe yourself and your project.
ME: done.

While I am explaining my project, he interrupted me and raised some questions, I explained him clearly.

And then.

INTERVIEWER: what is seed url here?
ME: I said. (it is from my main project).

INTERVIEWER: what is WSDL? (web services).
ME: explained.

INTERVIEWER: how can you differentiate WSDL file and HTML file.
ME: explained.

(above qsns are related to my project).

INTERVIEWER: what is webserver?
ME: told. (because it is my mini project).

INTERVIEWER: OK madhu why don’t you make it open source or sell it to others?
ME: (I laughed politely and said) sir no one will buy this project, because its not matured enough to run in production. I developed it for learning purpose.

INTERVIEWER: ok, can we add plugins to it to support server side programming?
ME: no sir, It only works for only static HTML files and text files. We cannot extend it.

INTERVIEWER: on which protocol you developed it TCP or UDP?
ME: TCP.

INTERVIEWER: what is the difference b/w TCP/IP, and UDP?
ME: TCP and UDP are networking protocols added (to datapacket) in transport layer. And TCP is connection oriented, where UDP is Not.

INTERVIEWER: what is connection oriented and connection less?
ME: explained it with example.

INTERVIEWER: are you sure?
ME: yes sir, I am 100% sure (confidently).

INTERVIEWER: what does a datapacket contain?
ME: header + data. (and some explanation).

INTERVIEWER: Ok, did you know about all these, C, java/j2ee, shell scripting, Linux ?
ME: yes sir. (because they all are in my resume).
(started from linux).

INTERVIEWER: which command is used to print top of a text file?
ME: Told (before he completed asking the question).

We both smiled (because it was a simple question).

INTERVIEWER: can we change the number of lines to be printed by this command?
ME: yes sir, we can give it as a parameter.

INTERVIEWER: which command is used to print bottom of a text file?
ME: same repeated again. (I gave answer before he completed asking).

INTERVIEWER: which command is used to print processes running on linux?
ME: told.

INTERVIEWER: how can you find whether a java process is running in your system or not?
ME: we can use ps command and to find all processes running on linux and we can pipe the data returned from it to a filter like grep or awk etc.

Like : $ ps -aux | grep -i “java”.

INTERVIEWER: what is awk, and what is difference between grep and awk.
ME: told.

(as am answering this questions, he keep going dept into Linux).

INTERVIEWER: when your linux system is booting, which commands will be executed.
ME: (I said) I don’t know sir. I know about the process which starts first while loading Linux but not command.

INTERVIEWER: Ok.

INTERVIEWER: when one logged into Linux, how Linux loads user data, because every user would have his own profile and his own processes right?
ME: told.

INTERVIEWER: good.
And he again checked my profile and asked.

INTERVIEWER: How can you validate a WSDL file?
ME: I said, first I’ll check the extension.

INTERVIEWER: thats ok, but there is another way?
ME: I said, we can validate it against its schema, as specified in w3c website.

INTERVIEWER: good.
Again checked my project and asked.

INTERVIEWER: what is a thread?
ME: explained.

INTERVIEWER: did you implemented threads in your application. (in my main project).
ME: yes (and explained).

INTERVIEWER: Ok, how did you overcome synchronization issue?
ME: explained, (locking technique).

And asked some questions APIs like Lucene and Jsoup, because I used them in my main project.

Finally, he asked me.

INTERVIEWER: madhu can give your project to me?
ME: oh sure sir, I will.

(we both exchanged a smile).

INTERVIEWER: ok, madhu I am done with you please wait outside.
ME: Thank you sir.

After 15 min, amcat co-originator called my name to HR round.

Round 3: HR Round

There are 5HR panels.

Again waited for 2hrs.

But my HR round was 2 min only. (you may not believe that).

ME: May I come in sir.

HR: yes, come in. Fast, fast.
(I think he was impatient by taking interviews since morning).

HR: Your are from which college?
(I didn’t even sat).

ME: from xxx college. (I said it while sitting on chair).

HR: what is your project?
ME: told, that I did two projects.

HR: explain them.
(His intention is to check my comm skills and confident).
ME: done.

HR: do you have any relocation constraints?
ME: No, I am ok with relocation.

HR: I am done with you. (and called “NEXT. ” loudly).
(He is repeating only these 3 questions for all candidates).

I got Offer letter within a week, When i saw it I was on cloud 9 😉

We have been through training for first 4 months, and there were 3 exist tests within that 4 months period, If we failed to clear those then we’ll be terminated.

After the training I’ve been relocated to Chennai. Then after 2 years in Cognizant I moved to CenturyLink Pvt ltd in Banglore, then later moved to ADP Pvt ltd, Hyderabad. and the journey continues…

Thanks for reading it, If you need any help on how to prepare for a technical interview I can help since technical skills are my forte. and as I sat both sides of interview table I know what a technical interview expects in a candidate and what the candidate has to answer.

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