Mukta Gupta

 Arjun Singh from NSITonline interviews Mukta Gupta from class of 2010 on placement and recruitment procedure of CISCO


Arjun: How did you prepare for the placements?

Mukta Gupta: Placements; the much talked about topic from the first day you enter into NSIT and is at its peak when you are in your 3rd year. The preparation for it is very simple. The companies are broadly classified as tech and non-tech over here. If one is aiming for technical companies like Adobe, Google, Microsoft, Cisco etc. then I would suggest that you should have a strong base in algorithms, C/C++, etc.

  • For C – Do Denis Ritchie. Each and every word and line of this book should be done with great concentration. And yes, don’t forget to do its exercise questions (mainly bit manipulation ones). For C++ - Though you can skip it but if you are thorough with it then it can be an advantage in interviews. As far as written is concerned, it is not language specific, one can give codes in any language they prefer. Companies are just concerned with time and space complexities of codes; language is just immaterial for them.
  • For Algorithms – Do Cormen. Though I haven’t done this book completely, I preferred Tenenbaum and orkut communities. There are loads of good orkut communities like target placements etc. Do all the questions given on target placements. Go through the old posts as well. There are some very good questions and equally good solutions provided by various people. There is also one site (Berkeley something, I have lost its link) through which one can have ample amount of questions to practice.
  • For networking – Furouzon or Tenenbaum (It depends upon one’s personal choice). According to me, best way to learn networking is by doing projects in this field or learning through Google. There is a huge amount of tutorials available online. As a computer engineering student, one can always say “NO” to networking specific questions in interview as it is taught to us in 8th semester but if you are aiming for companies like Cisco then you must know this subject.

Note – Do Google out placement papers and interview questions of companies of your interest before starting your preparation because it gives an idea regarding the general trends and how to prepare for a particular company. For more details regarding the placement material you can download the placement manuals given in download section of the NSITOnline website.  


Arjun: Can you tell us about your recruitment procedure at Cisco?

Mukta Gupta: I am giving a brief overview of the recruitment procedure followed at Cisco 

Written Test – I have forgotten about the no. of questions and time allotted for it. But yes, I do remember the domain from which the questions were asked. It included almost all the subjects one studies in his/her engineering like Principles of communication engg, Electronics, Digital Circuits and Systems, Microprocessors etc (these are the subjects apart from your general placement stuff i.e. C, DS etc). So, for preparing for Cisco’s written test, there is only one advice - be attentive during the lectures and study for your semester exams properly because almost everything and anything can be asked.


Interview – After the written test, shortlisted candidates were interviewed by the two panels.

  • They began with my CV and focussed on my networking project. This was followed by a few basic questions about networking and my research papers on mobile adhoc networks (MANETs). Questions on operating systems literally covered entire Galvin and ended with they asking me to design a semaphore for the toll gate in Gurgaon. The interview ended with a few questions on C pointers, memory allocation etc.
  • A word of advice- say “NO” if you have no idea regarding a question instead of trying to fool the panel with some made up answers because saying “NO” for just 1-2 questions will not reduce your chances of selection. 

After the technical interview, there was HR interview – It was just a formality. She asked me whether it will be ok for me to shift my base from Delhi to Bangalore and other general questions like – Tell me about yourself? Why Cisco? Where do you see yourself five years down the line? Etc...


Arjun: What do you think made you stand out from your fellow classmates?

Mukta Gupta: I guess my good academic record and various projects in networking made me stand out from my fellow classmates. I had all my internships in networking only which all helped me in getting through Cisco and convincing the panel of my interest in this field.


Arjun: How did you get associated with NSITOnline? How was your experience there?

Mukta Gupta: I got associated with NSITOnline in my first year itself. I was idle in my summer break after the first semester exams and wanted to do some project or something when I came across this opportunity of working for NSITOnline. And this helped me a lot in gaining experience and knowledge of web designing and how to work in a team to achieve a common task in well defined schedule. Rest of the details regarding my experience with NSITOnline have already been published on the website.


Arjun: How have your four years in NSIT affected you overall? And any advice to juniors.

Mukta Gupta: My four years in NSIT were the most wonderful time of my life. This is the place where you make friends, learn new things and finally gain the knowledge and understanding of your own self and what you want out of your life. We all chose NSIT because our parents or our teachers from coaching centres told us to do so, but after completing our four years here we will be making our own decisions. So, I would like to suggest all my juniors to make proper use of your 4 years here and decide what you want to do after college.

  • Whatever you want to pursue whether it be MBA, MS, job, etc decide it beforehand and start working towards achieving your goals from the very beginning. One more advice – please don’t get influenced by the choices made by others as every individual is different and definition of happiness is different for each individual, so set your goal and ambitions as per your own self.
  • Please don’t just run after high pay packages, you may not understand it now but job satisfaction is far more important than money. So, select only those companies which match your interests and prepare for them properly.  If you have done the proper hard-work then you will surely get your reward in the end.
  • And never ever lose hope after rejections because you will surely get selected for the company meant for you. Rejection doesn’t mean that you are less capable or something, it’s just that, that wasn’t your day or that company was not meant for you. So, always keep your spirits high, be optimistic and keep working hard. 



Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology

Azad Hind Fauz Marg, Sector-3, Dwarka, New Delhi - 110078
(An Autonomous Institution of Govt.of NCT of Delhi)

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