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My placement saga-2 @Goldman Sachs

The next company for which i got qualified to the interview round was Goldman Sachs. There was a long between DirectI and GoldmanSachs during which I appeared for few companies which i couldn’t clear the apti- I was not very good in C as I had stopped using it in the 3rd year itself cause of which I used to do real bad in C-Aptis.Goldman Sachs recruitment procedure included- Apti, Group Activity, Technical Interview. Goldman Sachs(GS) increased their cut-off from 7.5 to 8 which gave me a real good chance to clear the apti. And their apti was not that difficult either. There were few simple C based questions and few quant questions and few question on Data Interpretation (which i did not attempt). This time I started off with the Technical Section as it takes less time to complete Technical than the Quant. I had lot of time to attempt the Quant section. GS also had coding test followed by an essay writing 😛 We were asked to write efficient code/algo for 2 questions they had given. One was- Deleting the characters from the source string based on the input for the characters to be deleted and the other was some crazy game which i did not even attempt. Then in the essay we were asked to write our 3 qualities and support them with certain examples. Actually we were given 7 minutes to write the essay but I wrote the essay when we were asked to write the code 😉 I had lots of time left during the coding session so instead of wasting it I wrote the essay as well 😀

I was pretty confident of clearing the Apti and by 8 in the night our class Placement Coordinator called me up and told me that I was thru to Group Activity and asked me to come immediately to the Placement Department for the Group Activity. At the department I found that they had shortlisted some 20 ppl for the Group Activity. In the group activity we were divided in to 10 ppl in a group and were asked to analyse a certain situation. The situation was- There’s a ship in the midst of the sea and it is damaged. They had given us the map of the location- How far the coast was from the point where the ship is located and the direction of the current. From among the people in the ship we were given profiles of some 8-10 ppl. Our task was to choose the Captain and Vice Captain of the ship. We were asked to read the profiles of all of them and then we had to discuss to a conclusion. Everyone was engrossed in reading them, few were continuously writing, filling pages. Everyone was reluctant to start off which is where I initiated the discussion with 2 ppl whom i chose as the Capt and V.Capt and listed the reasons why they should be. This sparked off the josh with in all of them and then the discussion started. There were few who weren’t allowing others to speak- Not even me. There were few MCA ppl who were reluctant to speak but then I was playing the role of moderator and encouraging others to speak out. The discussion went on well and we were able to reach to a conclusion in the time provided and the profiles chosen were the ones which I had initially suggested. In the other panel they were not able to come to a conclusion. We all came out and were anxiously waiting for the results. It’s obvious that no one wants to go back after coming so far. After sometime the GS team came out and announced tat- “All of them are through to the interview round” 😀 After hearing to this everyone was so excited as if they had got placed 😛

My interview was at 8:30AM. I got up pretty early completed my prayers :), had bath 😛 and then was in the department by 8:00. This was my second interview and everyone was expecting me to get placed easily looking at my developer profile 😀 They told that we had to go to each of the panel and all of them would together decide the candidates. I told to myself pukka 4-5 rounds of interview. Was a bit nervous- and went in for the first round- this was my first experience of F2F interview. In the interview the Interviewer asked me my fav topics and I ****blatantly* told him- OOPS, Java, Data Structures, Web Technologies. He asked me series of Java questions which I easily answered- He asked me wat’s Immutability, then showed me a code snippet having “final” reference variable and asked me few questions on tat, asked about HTTP State maintenance, then asked about Servlets, asked which DS is used for evaluation of expressions and asked me to show it. Then he asked me to design the classes for a certain situation. The interview went on really really well. After each round all of them got together to decide the selected students for next round. And then they got a print out and put it up. We used to go to the list after each round and look if our name was present or not. 🙂

I was selected for 2nd Round and this was a horrible round- fulltoo HR questions and questions about my projects. At the end he asked me to write a algo, though i could explain the process to solve it I wasn’t able to write down the code properly. After this round I thought I was out 🙁 but then I got thru that round as well. 3rd Round was the best of all the rounds. I was interviewed by an Architect and he was like aware of all the latest developments in terms of technology. We discussed about issues like “Composition over Inheritance” then he gave me puzzles to solve which i did not. But he gave me certain problems and I had to explain him how I would solve- I answered all of them in no time. He was like really happy 🙂 so was I :). So u would have got to know by now that I was selected to the 4th round which was the last round. Out of the 20 ppl we started with 4 ppl survived till the last round and I was one among them 😀 This was the worst ever interview for me- They drilled down to each and every aspect of my resume, my strengths, interests, behavior and all. I had a terrible time. This round they wanted to chk if I really can work at GS. They kept on telling that I could apply elsewhere and get a better development or research oriented job. They were like concerned if I would be happy working at GS. They had told in the presentation that it’s a development profile but in the interview they told me that Its little of development but more of a maintenance job 🙁 The mistake I did was I spoke a lot- This was my first experience and did not know how to face such kind of Behavioural Interviews. So after a gruelling 30 minutes I finally came out guaranteed that I would not be selected. And to my shock these juniors were sitting outside for their Intern interviews. So finally after a long wait they called 4 of us inside. I thought that they would tell all 4 are selected. I still remember the words he told- “You all have come so far which means u are all really good. But we have rules to follow and so we cannot take all of them”. After this I immediately got to know that I am gone :(. And he looked at me and said “Sorry Mohamed, we cannot take u in”. Suddenly I could hear “Yes!”, “Yes!”, “Ah!” … I silently congratulated 3 of them and went out. I was so terribly upset tat day. But then told to myself that I can get a much better job than this. They kept telling through out the 4th round that I am not suitable for the job and i think they asked me for some 10 times why i want to join GS. And all the times I did not have an answer to impress them.

Few take aways from the interview

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