NSITOnline interviews RASHI SHEKHAR who was one of the first people to be placed in her batch. She talks about her recruitment procedure at IOCL and gives tips regarding preparing for tech. and non-tech. companies.
NSITOnline: What was the recruitment procedure for IOCL?
Rashi: Indian Oil was the first company that came on campus and for the first time with a job profile for COE students apart from ICE students. The procedure consisted of CV short-listing and a session of interview. The CV was shortlisted on the basis of percentage over the past five semester and around thirteen students from COE and thirteen students from ICE were selected for the interview session. The panel consisted of four to five interviewers.
- It began with “Tell me about yourself” and inquired if I had given any interview before. I told them about my experience at St. Stephens. They asked me why I chose NSIT over Stephens or why I didn’t try to get through IIT again. I think they wanted to judge whether I chose NSIT because of lack of options or because I seriously liked the college. You just need to convince the panel how NSIT is a better college as it not only provides a good infrastructure for studies but also has great opportunity as far as extracurricular is concerned. You can talk about other achievements which would have been possible only while studying in NSIT and not anywhere else.
- The panel continued with the projects that I had been involved in. They cross questioned me the most on my projects. After this they asked whether I read newspaper following which there were two or three questions related to current affairs. They inquired if I knew networking to which I replied that it hadn’t been a part of my curriculum yet. They asked about my favorite subjects and then questioned me on data structures. After answering this they inquired about my family and then asked why I wanted to join IOCL and how was I different from other students applying for the same.
- IOCL wants all the students to continue with them for a long period before they leave for higher studies. So questions like “When are you planning for GRE/CAT?” should be dealt properly. In the end they gave me a chance to ask about the job profile that I would get and any other doubts if I had in mind.
My interview lasted for fifteen to twenty minutes.
NSITOnline: How did you prepared for the placements?
Rashi: I had prepared for both Technical and Non technical companies. For the technical companies you should follow the basic curriculum taught to you in college. Though we all study just the basic and the most condensed syllabus for our semester examination, the same cannot be followed for the campus placements. You don’t have to study all the subjects but a few necessary ones are a must. There is a pdf present on nsitonline.in which will guide you for your preparation for technical companies.
For Technical Companies I followed the following books:
- C: Follow Kerninghan & Ritchie. This is considering that you have basic knowledge in C else you can start off with Let us C. I had done C++ during my school so I brushed up with the basics of OOPs using Robert Lafore.
- Data Structure: The bible of DS is Tannenbaum. It is a very lengthy book and for beginners it may be difficult to grasp but keep on doing it and you will get the hang of it. For all the aspirants who are not too keen on technical profile but are still studying for it can skip the lengthy codes and try and focus more on the algorithm.
- Operating System: I followed Galvin because things were given in a precise manner. There were few who studied from Tannenbaum as well. There is a specific course to follow in OS. This is mentioned in the pdf.
- Linux/Unix: I followed some document on Linux from NIIT and also did the UNIX Shell Programming by Yashwant Kanetkar.
Study database as it is an equally important subject. Also have a good hang of a few subjects. Because even if you are preparing for non tech, there is a good chance that they might question you on your core subjects.
For the Non Technical Companies the following is a must
- The written of non tech majorly consists of CAT based questions and also self evaluative questions. If you haven’t joined a coaching institute for CAT, then start solving few questions on the same pattern.
- Prepare for the basic questions like, “Why this company?” “What is your biggest strength/ weakness?” “What has been your biggest achievement till date?” The ideal answer to all such questions is to site an example from your life and justify how it has affected you.
- You should prepare for guess estimates. The following link will give you a decent idea about it and will also help in company specific preparation, link.
- Go through a book called Vault Guide to Case Studies. It is a beginner’s manual for Case Studies. It will help you tackle basic case studies.
- Prepare for puzzles and brain teasers.
- Try and be acquainted with the latest topics for Group Discussions. In a GD never directly cut out anyone’s point. Be a little more careful how you put your point across. Saying things like “No you are wrong…” is not appreciated but if you want to put in your point then you can say “I agree with what you say but I think …” Also by the end of a GD the room becomes a fish market but remember what you are saying and try and point it out without being rude. Never contradict yourself in a GD. Do not regress. Try and make new points and put them across well.
- Make a CV specifically for Non tech and put in achievements which you think will count. And prepare for every question that could be asked to you related to the CV.
NSITOnline: What was the recruitment procedure?
Rashi: The recruitment procedure this year was very different than the past few years. The so called C grade companies (mass recruiters) did not come till the end of the year. A lot went into deciding which company to sit for and which one to skip. It is very important that you don’t sit in any company that comes your way but also calculate the risk of skipping a company.
NSITOnline: What do you think made you stand out from your fellow classmates?
Rashi: There are different qualities that make everyone distinct in their own ways. I had an advantage of having a lot of extracurricular on my CV but a disadvantage of having just two projects. But I was well prepared to deal with questions about my projects and my IOCL interview revolved more or less around the same. It is very important to know what you write on your CV and if you are writing something very elaborate then have a good knowledge about the same. Do not boast about things that you haven’t done because you might just get caught!
NSITOnline: Your active contribution in the fest has been valued a lot by your juniors, what was the biggest challenge you ever faced while working in these fests be it as the PR head of INNOVISION or any other position?
Rashi: The fests are a great way to know people from all batches. So if any of the 1st or 2nd years are reading this, then don’t hesitate to be a part of it. The fest is the only time when the students are responsible for making the three/four days a success. A lot of students back out thinking that it will affect their studies. But I don’t understand how can 15-20 days make so much of a difference anyway?
I have been a part of the fest from a volunteer level to a convener. And though responsibilities increase the experience is still the same. For me fest was all about dealing with different people. Some were a little stubborn, some were very nervous, some who would just lose their temper and resort to screaming, and some who didn’t care about anything at all. It helped me understand what team work is all about.
NSITOnline: What made you join CROSSLINKS and what did you learn while you worked for CROSSLINKS?
Rashi: CROSSLINKS is the media management society of NSIT. CROSSLINKS created a platform for students to directly communicate with the top most media houses and tell them about the achievements of NSIT. We come to a college after passing out of school which nurtures us in a very secure and protective environment. Such experience helps you get out of the shell and discover more about yourself. Maybe one is good at writing or one is good at talking or one is great at convincing. Such facets about oneself are discovered by venturing into the unknown. My only advice is to try out everything. I auditioned for every possible society from choreography society to Consulting Club. I got rejected in some places and selected in some. However, it is a great way to discover what you are and what all you can do.
NSITOnline: What advice would you like to give your juniors?
Rashi: Enjoy the four years of college life but don’t lose focus on what you came here for. It is very easy to completely sidetrack your main goal. Don’t lose faith in yourself and remember that if you could make it to one of the best colleges in India then you definitely have it in you to crack your goal as well. And also don’t rely on just one thing, always have a plan B. If you are aiming for CAT or GRE then give your all in its pursuit but at the same time concentrate on the placements to get one decent job offer. Best of luck and hope you do well in all your endeavors!