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Thursday, July 12, 2007

IBM Internship: Part I: The Interview

This is the second post regarding my internship at IBM. Since the prologue did not contain any information about my interview here is a bit about it. It was my first corporate interview and I guess I did fairly well. Before the interview I went out with a buddy to get print outs of my resume. He was one of the volunteers coordinating the selection procedure. He revealed to me that the IBM folks were selecting just about 3 or 4 students. This was certainly not welcoming information and it brought some concerns.

I did not top the written test and hence I was later in the list. So I watched people go in and come out at an interval close to 20 minutes. Pals like SI shared questions and even suggested answers. A couple of those finished their interview came out jumping, literally, and were totally sure that they were in. This raised certain doubts in my mind. I started imagining scenes where I and a few others would be just sent back without even being interviewed. Luckily IBMers were pretty patient and nothing like that happened. And then came my turn. I went into that same interview hall, which our senior Harish Bhai had shown as a place where he got his job.

A person named Suresh interviewed me. He started with typical questions which SI had told us earlier outside. The first one was the television and the remote control question, where in I was asked to design a system which will enable interaction between the two devices, just the object oriented (OO) software (no hardware details). My design was a little ok I guess. Then he went on to as me about some other design questions closely related to OO. Then it was my college and CSI senior Gautham Pai, who in a way is one of my gurus, who interviewed me. He looked at my CV and started asking me about the paper that I and my friend Ashwin had presented. We divulged into several discussions regarding authentication and authorization and how they differ and all that. It was all good and smooth. Then finally I was asked about the UNIX style access control system.

With this came an end to my first interview and nearly a 45 minutes wait to the next candidate. It was a good experience for me as my performance was satisfactory to me. This was confirmed when the list of selected students was announced and my name was the first. The first thing I did was, obviously, to run to the phone booth and inform my parents. Well I had officially started earning and 12K per month was a good enough deal to be happy. :-) After that I called Doddappa and a few others to inform them about the beginning of this success.

After this followed verbatim recitation of my interview and casual talks and finally the PARTY. More about the party and other happenings in another post. After all, Success Story has just started. ;-)


  1. Hey. One of my friends is applying in IBM internship this year and she has her written test tomorrow. Could you please help me with the details of what is the format of the test etc. I would be really grateful.

  2. I appeared for this test and interview in 2006 and I do not really remember things from the written. But I am guessing they will be asking questions on C/C++ programming, a bit on Algorithms and Data Structures. That's about it, just technical, no puzzles or quantitative aptitude based questions. Sorry, couldn't be of much help here. Good luck.

  3. Tks very much for your post.

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