My first interview for a job!

After failing few (will be disclosed later) written tests in a row, I got a call for an interview. I was pretty surprised as I never expected it to happen. Initially I was nervous because I don’t know c/c++/data structures/algorithms. All I know is Python, Computer Networks, a few Open Source technologies and how to use them to generate cash. Well, after waiting for four hours, I got a chance to meet the interviewers (two). I was nervous as it was my first interview. They asked me for the resume. Below is the conversation.

  1. Interview #1
  2. Interview #2

Note : Almost everything below is true and few sentences have been added to make it humorous.

  1. A : Interviewer 1
  2. B : Interviewer 2
  3. K : Me.

Interview #1

A : Tell us about yourself.

K : (I never expected this as its the most difficult question of all.) I am a simple guy interested in open source (Throwing random sentences). I believe in on the spot implementing/coding my ideas. Whenever I get a new idea I just code it without spending too much time on thinking about it.

A : What if you face some problem with your idea later?

K : (Suddenly Shiben’s this post popped up in my mind.) I try to fix it and if it doesn’t work in few tries, I just throw the code and recode it (Thanks Shiben for writing that wonderful post).

A : So you don’t do any research before implementing the idea. Do you like research?

K : Not really. A bit. (Lying) I don’t like research. It means a lot of time.

A : So, you participated in Google Summer of Code. What is this?

K : Its a Google funded project in which Google invites applications from several open source organizations and select almost 120+ organizations. Then candidates from all over the world proposes their ideas or picks up projects from organizations’ ideas.

B : You proposed your own idea?

K : Yes.

A : What was it?

K : IntelligentMirror. An intelligent caching system which caches RPM/DEB packages from several mirrors on the basis of package name and not the domain name or protocol. Its a squid plugin.

A : Tell us about this Intranet Chat Service (another project).

K : (Told everything I knew about it).

B : Tell us something about squid.

K : Squid is an open source proxy server used to hide thousands of machines behind a single public IP or to control what users browse in a shared network environment.

A : What is public IP?

K : (Answered)

B : What is difference between public and private IP?

K : (WTF?? I am not a kid. Answered.)

A : How do you hide a thousands of machine behind a single public IP?

K : NATing.

B : (Thinking that I just know fancy terms) What is NATing?

K : (Requesting a paper) Explained every single packet level details of NATing by drawing nice diagrams. (Interviewer tried to confuse at several stages but in vain).

A : (Feeling helpless, whispers to B) Lets ask standard questions 😉

K : (WTF??? Feeling doomed 😛 )

B : What is polymorphism?

K : (Abusing the interviewer at heart) It is some fu**ed up idea using which we can do few things which often confuse me and sometimes confuse the even compiler.

A : (Passing a sheet of paper to me) Write an example of polymorphism?

K : Wrote a function
int function(float a);
int function(char a);

B : Can I change return type of second declaration?

K : (Feeling awesomely confident 😀 ) No.

A : If I change char to double in second function will there be a compiler error?

K : Sorry sir. I am confused.

B : Define a class String and few functions on array of characters?

K : Wrote a class somehow with a few functions.

A : Write the copy constructor?

K : (You are torturing me. Don’t push it too much) Somehow managed to write a fu**ed up copy constructor
String(String & str) {
string = str;
(I know its wrong. Don’t point out.)

B : Why did you write this (the C++ this)?

K : To reference the member variable of current instance of the class.

A : You never declared it. How can you use it?

K : Its provided by C++. You know I used char, int also. (Dumb ass!!)

A : Ok. (Looking at my resume) You have interest in blogging.

K : (Feeling a bit relaxed) YES!!! I have three blogs. One technical, one about life and I bought a digikam a few months back and started a photoblog as well.

B : (Laughing) Interesting!!!

A : Why do you have some many blogs?

K : Because I love buying domains. Then I need to put up something on those domains. So, I write blogs :)

B : How many domains do you have?

K : Around 15.

A : Where do you host these??

K : I have my own VPS hosted in US.

B : How much does it cost?

K : $50/month.

A & B : (Looking at me as if I kicked them in balls) WTF!!!! Where do you get all this money???????????

K : [snip] secret 😀

A : Thank you. I think we have asked enough questions.

K : Thank you!

I left the room. After that I returned to OBH (Hostel). I was not hoping that they’ll call me again for another interview. But I did wait for the call till 9:30PM. After that I went to bed. I was about to fell asleep that Kapil Bajaj called and asked me to report in Main Building. I was sure that this will be either a light round in case they are sure to count me in or it’ll be a revenge round in which they’ll ask questions about things I don’t know.

Interview #2

I entered the room and the interviewers were different this time. A bit more nervous then the last time.

  1. C : Interviewer 3
  2. D : Interviewer 4

I grabbed the chair. C picked up a sheet of paper and started writing on it as if he is a BIG BOSS.

C : (Writing an expression on the paper) Remove the extra brackets from the expression.

K : (Understanding that its a revenge. You employ people for software development or removing the brackets from an expression????) Having no clue of the solution to the problem tried writing something on the paper. (An image of “Ajay Somani” teaching removing redundant braces from an expression flashes in my mind. And I was like WOW!!). I gave the solution (I know there are two terms infix and postfix, but don’t have a clue about which one is infix :P) that we’ll start putting things in a stack and will throw away the opening and closing braces which doesn’t have a symbol or character in between them. And will pop them out to get an expression without extra braces. (What a guess?? 😀 and it worked).

D : Can you optimize it?

K : (baah!! I somehow managed to do it. Now what???) Having no clue about optimizing the above, I started throwing some random ideas. Devised one idea and showed to C but he caught it and proved me wrong. Took some more time and devised one more funny idea.
Expression : (((P+Q))*R)
Solution : We have two variable i and j with I pointing to first element and j pointing to last element. We enter a loop and start decreasing j and increasing i. When we see opening braces at expr[i] and expr[j], we throw them. And when there is no braces at either expr[i] or expr[j] or both we continue and jump over symbol and characters. While I explained the idea, it somehow worked for the expression. I badly confused the interviewer with my invention 😛 He was like WTF!!! How can this piece of crap work?? I was about to laugh. I enjoyed the moment. It was one of the best moments of the day. He spent almost 2-3 minutes figuring out my newly invented algorithm and finally managed to prove it wrong.

D : See, this doesn’t work.

K : (Thinking, “Why are you telling me?? I know it doesn’t work 😛 “) I am sorry sir :) (Controlling my laughter).

C : (Writing two numbers on the paper) This number ( character array 4568123) is rotated around some number and the original number is (character array 1234568). How would you get the original number from the rotated one?

K : (Having no clue about the domain of the problem) Thinking of swapping numbers here and there. Tried every possible combination but nothing seemed to work. What happened to my pool of ideas 😛 (An image of “Kapil Bajaj” teaching inorder, preorder, postorder traversal flashes in my mind. Kewl!! I don’t have a clue about trees and whatsoever things related to those creatures). Now the big task is to make a tree out of the character array. (While I was telling these to Sachin Goyal. He suggested that plant the first character and water it until it becomes a tree 😀 ) I drew the array in some random orders on the paper and made a tree of some sort with 4 as root and 568 on the left subtree and 123 on the right subtree. (Now, all those organic structures like methane, ethane started crawling in my mind. I somehow remembered the rotation thingy). I rotated the fu**ing thing around 4 and it worked. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. What a confidence I had at that time. I described the process to the interviewer as if solving tree problems is the easiest of all the problems.

C : What is order of problem?

K : (No clue about the problem itself. How do I know its order? ) Kept quite for sometime and kept myself busy with the problem itself ( I was so happy that I couldn’t get my eyes off the tree structure).

C : (Asking again) What is order of the problem?

K : (Thought about it for sometime) log(n). As the integers are in sorted order. Interviewer looked a bit convinced.

C : (Traping me) How will you make a tree out of that character array?

K : (OMG!! Not again! Tried to explain the impossible.) We’ll take the first character as root. Now we’ll build left subtree. We’ll go on putting the integers in the left subtree as long as they are in same order. In that way the order will break at 8 and after that we’ll start building right subtree (This somehow seemed to work).

C : (Totally frustrated by my guesses which were eventually working) Is this a BST?

K : (The only thing I know about a BST is that it is Binary Search Tree) Yes. (Confident as if I am the one who invented BST 😛 )

C : (Trying to trap me further) Wrote two string “ABCDE” and “CDEAB” and asked to write a function to detect if they are rotated version of each other or not?

K : (Thinking that these are not integers and my awesome ideas are not going to work here 😀 ) We’ll somehow make a tree of a string, then traverse it (Leaving the traversal type for interviewer. I said only traverse it, because I don’t have any idea about how do we traverse a tree in inorder, preorder or postorder. So didn’t want to invite more problems). And then we’ll compare the result.

C : Ok. Thank you. Lets go.

And that was it. My adventurous innovations about trees stopped there 😀

All in all it was total fun being interviewed. I enjoyed every single moment of both the interviews.

PS : I am not correcting any grammatical, spelling mistakes.


Quick updates

    1. Super busy with my VPS adventures. Updated VPS to 512MB RAM and 20GB HDD. Its super fast now at a cost of $50/month 😀 Learnt a heck of technology in past week.
    2. 76 downloads of my software videocache in last two days 😀
    3. Thinking thinking thinking and so on.
    4. Future still uncertain.
    5. Had a real tough time making the resume. Wasted others’ time as well while building it.
    6. Fooling Google is on my hobbies list now 😛
    7. Exams have started yet another time.
    8. Feeling discontent with whatever I know.
    9. Watched Dasvidaniya, Oye Lucky Luck Oye and Sorry Bhai. Watched sorry bhai thrice in three days. Something driving me nuts for the second time in life [snip..].
    10. Rest laterz.