Harsh Chaudhary

Harsh Chaudhary

Episode 1: The Tech Trailblazer's Handbook: A Journey into the Software Domain

Welcome everyone! I am Aviral, manager of the Career Development Wing of the Academics and Career Council. In the first episode of the 'More You Know' blog series, we have Mr. Harsh Chaudhary, who has successfully landed a software internship at Cisco.

In this interview, we'll explore the stages of his preparation for the software roles.


Questions for the software domain:

Q1. What driving factors motivated you to aim for software engineering profiles specifically? (Duration: 0:50-1:30)

Ans. I've been intrigued by the software engineering position since the beginning. I pursued computer science as one of my electives, even in grades Xth and XIIth. I studied C and C++ in my first year here and became familiar with programming fundamentals. This field feels closer to me than other fields available.

Q2. What was the typical structure for the interview procedure at the companies? How many rounds were there in the interview process and what was their format? (Duration: 1:37 - 3:15)

Ans. I am explaining the typical process for the interview. So, there would be 2 to 3 rounds for the interview, depending on the company. The 1st round would be technical. They will give you a problem statement and ask you to provide them with the code or procedure for approaching that problem. The technical round may also include some logical reasoning-type questions. That would sum up the first part of the interview in major companies.

The second part would be more of an HR round type. If they are not done with the technical part in the first round, they may ask for it in the second round and discuss your projects or something you have mentioned in your resume. They can discuss this in the first or second rounds, like how you did your project(s) and what libraries you used in your code. Then after the second round, if there is a third round, or in the second round, there will be HR questions like why you want to join this company, what things should be there in a candidate, your aspirations, or something like that. So that's the typical structure, but some companies may alter it.

Q3. How did you start your preparation? Could you elaborate on how a student can efficiently prepare for these roles? (Duration: 3:16-5:58)

Ans. The preparation for software roles initiates by starting to understand how you have to code in different languages.

Initially, students do programming in C language, but you have to switch to C++ or Python for competitive programming. Companies may allow you to use C, but moving to C++ as soon as possible is suggested.

Use platforms like InterviewBit or LeetCode, which offer topic-wise questions for practice.

I preferred InterviewBit as it has a very structured format, and the platform is very sorted. You have a set of questions there that companies previously asked. Do the questions from there and study the concepts from youtube or some other platform to which you have access, but I would strongly suggest sticking to youtube videos. Don't follow a particular content creator but follow the topics from InterviewBit and watch their videos on youtube.

I suggest you complete your first round of InterviewBit as quickly as possible because when you move to trees, graphs, etc., you will realise that it will require more time. So it would be better to reach these topics earlier to give these more challenging topics more time as you have limited time to prepare for your summer internships.

Q4. Would you like to share some mistakes that you committed and suggestions regarding the same? (Duration: 5:59 - 7:50)

Ans. One of the mistakes I made was that when you initially try to solve problems on InterviewBit, LeetCode, or some other platform, you have to invest a lot of time in solving a single problem. While you are solving, it is always recommended to give your best efforts to solve a problem, but if you are not able to solve it or you don't get the idea of how to solve it, I feel it is not worth investing more time in trying to solve that problem on your own. It is always better to look up the solution, learn how to solve it and move forward. Try to understand the solution, but never learn it by heart because coding is all about learning something, and this is the learning phase, so you have to invest in learning.

The second thing is when you get the hang of solving the questions, you will enjoy the easier topics more because you can solve 5-10 questions in a go but try to move on to different types of questions as your aim is learning. Doing ten types of similar questions will not help you. Try to do more questions of different types. That is another thing that can help.

Q5. How can an aspirant increase their chances of getting shortlisted (concerning the CV)? (Duration: 7:50-9:50)

Ans. To increase the chances of getting shortlisted for a software role, you should focus on performing well in the coding test, which was the primary shortlisting criterion. The coding test usually consists of two or three questions with test cases, so try to solve as many questions as possible and pass as many test cases as possible.

Also, software companies focus on your projects to see what you have done. So, make sure your resume highlights any relevant projects you've worked on, and also try to maintain a good CPI, as some companies might keep CPI criteria. If you don't have any relevant projects, you can work on some short self-projects towards the end of your preparation that might be relevant to the roles you aim for.

Lastly, invest significant time in making your resume and verifying it by seniors to ensure it looks good and is error-free before submission.

Q6. Any last-minute tips for the students? (Duration: 9:50-11:10)

Ans. Even if you are aiming for software roles, try to do some logical reasoning part, some probability stuff, and some riddles from YouTube or anywhere you can find. Because in interviews, they don't only ask about coding. They ask about other skills as well. Another tip would be that before giving the actual interview, having some mock interviews is always a good idea. Apart from that, mention only those things you are very confident about, as you may be asked questions about them.


Aviral: Thanks a lot for this interview, Harsh. Wishing you all the best with your internship.