Thursday, 21 August 2008

Tech interview at TM

The technical interview, for those concerned went on like this:

THR: Please sit down
(I sat down)



The fellow, went out and disappeared for 15 mins.

When he finally returned, he asked no common questions, he went straight to pointing out I am a loser..

THR: So Ice, Why are your marks so bad?

Me( A bit taken aback): Ummm, I didn't study?

THR: But yours marks are great in 10th. Quite good in PU and uptil 2nd sem. What happened after that?

Me(Now smiling): I didn't study....sir.

THR: Why?

Me: I don't have the best memory around here...and I was...

THR(Interrupts): No no, you don't need any memory to write exam, its all conceptual.

Me: No sir, I have really poor memory, as long as its got theory, I can't reproduce what I studied. I had difficulties in some particular subjects too, which obviously did great damage to my aggregates and...

THR(Interrupts..again): Which subject?

Me: Like, AMP...

THR: Whats AMP?

Me: Advanced Micro Processors

THR(Eyes wide open): That was tough for you?

Me: Yes sir, I couldn't remember anything for too long and...

THR(Eyes wider): AMP?

Me: Yeah?

THR(Eyes now so wide open that he reminded me of Ursula Andress): Whats there to study in AMP???????????? (Probably swearing in his mind, as it was now clear that this was his subject)
There is nothing to understand in AMP, that was tough for you????????

(I decided to name his Interrupt as the THR Interrupt, since we were talking about AMP anyway!)

Me: YES! Thats why I found it tough. There is nothing to understand. Everything to mug up....SIR! (With a sarcastic smile I think)

Well, we pretty much just argued for the next 5 minutes and the end, I decided to give up and we both agreed that I was a pathetic student. Hope you got the gist of the beginning.

As I was about to wonder whether he would ask me a single technical question...

(The following conversation is only for those who want to know in detail as to what went on during technical interview, you may skip this till the next set of red asterices cause there is nothing important in between)

THR: Can I ask you some questions on C?

Me: Sure sir, go ahead! (Finally)

THR: Write a program, to check for a palindrome.

I kept waiting for him to complete his question, when I realised, that , that was the question!Right-O!

I wrote a program using Stack.

THR: Write it without using any data structure.

Me: No data structure? Not even arrays?

THR: Oh! hehe, You can use arrays.

(He was probably playing- Not sure...point to be noted)

I wrote a different program with arrays.

THR: Now write one with improved efficiency.

I just modified it to scan only till the middle element.


(after 2 minutes of starting)

THR: Write a program to convert this string (And he wrote some string aabbakkdl sort of gibberrish ) into this ( And he wrote another, removing a wherever it had come twice consequitively)

Me: The program will be quite long

THR: Yeah, just explain your concept with some notations, Ill check.

I gave him an explaination that I thought was right.

THR(After scrutinizing my explaination): hmmm...ok. Write a program to remove all vowels from a string.

I had been asked this program before, and I had managed it quite easily after 2 tries, so this time I got it in the first shot.

THR:Write a program to find the second highest element in a set of elements.

Me: I sort the elements and...

THR(with the THR Interrupt): No sorting business. One scan.

For this I used two variables one for the highest element scanned so far (max1) and another for the next highest (max2). Piece of cake. This is an insane blog, not a geek blog, so I wont go in detail about a program that a high school student could crack.

He just argued about my program for a loooooooooooooooooooooong time about time complexity. Finally he accepted that I was right.

THR: Write a program to check for LCM.

Me(Straight away): I don't know.

(I had forgotten everything about LCM, I didnt want to look like a fool)

THR(Almost insulting): You don't know this simple program?

Me(Sheepish smile): Hehe, I forgot the formula...and...stuff...

THR(Now laughing): Formula? What Formula??? You answered all these and you don't know LCM?

I decided to smile silently.


THR: Your Technical is solid, but aggre...

(Sorry, I couldn't leave that out. This is a compliment I won't forget for a long time! )

THR: The H.R will throw you out for sure.

Me: If my technical is good, whats the problem...Sir? You can mention to him that I am good.
(Desperate times call for unexpected dialogues)

THR: How are you technically good?

This question kind of startled me, he was asking me to prove a statement he had made!

Me: Well, I am good at coding. I am sure you will agree, sir.

Statement1: I am good at coding.

statement2: My strength is coding

Statement1 will cause many people to feel their butts were blown up with Napalm. Only

Statement 2 is true. Yes I lied to the HR. I am not a good coder, my strength is coding.

THR: Ok! But after the training, we may put you anywhere, Networks , developer etc,...

(Now MY eyes were reminding him of people)

THR...You must not say "I want programming" and all

Me(Almost Jumping): Sure Sir. No problem. Definitely Sir. Ofcourse Sir...

He was getting up when

Me: I can give that LCM program a shot?

THR: No thanks, that will be all. You can leave.

Me: Thank you sir.

As I walk out, a million ghazillion people wanna know what went on inside, and this detailed conversation was obviously for them.

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