How To Prepare For Interviews Of IT Companies As A Non-CS Student?
Preparing for interviews at software giants with their high packages is hard, no doubt, but it is from impossible. Not even if you are from a non-CS background. Yes, this is not a joke. With the right knowledge and guidance, you can easily ace the IT company interviews. Read on to know how!
To begin with, these are the steps that you should take to get acquainted with the pattern of the interviews:
- Start with looking at common interview questions on the internet or scanning through the mock tests. This will give you an idea of the kind of questions to expect. Once you know that, you can figure out what topics you have some idea about and what topics you need to give more attention to. This will help you prepare in a strategized manner and save a lot of time.
- Coding is among the very basic things that IT companies expect the candidates to know. It is not necessary to go very deep into the subject or have extensive knowledge of tough algorithms unless you are preparing for companies like Amazon or Microsoft. Basic coding is enough. What is important is to be habitual to writing codes and to develop the ability to approach a code. So if you do not have much practice of coding, then start with it right away. You will surely get the hang of it by the time you go for your interview.
- Since you are not a Computer Science student, it is but obvious that you would have very less to no knowledge about the subjects of that stream. So it is imperative that you get acquainted with some of the most important subjects. While it is well and good if you know Computer Networks, it is more important to know some of the majorly important subjects like Operating System, Data Structures Concepts and DBMS.
- When you finally think you are done with all your preparation, start taking mock interviews. It will give you an idea of the level of your preparation. You will gain more confidence through the interviews and also learn where you are lacking. Accordingly, you can improve your preparation or go back to the concepts that you did not perform well in during the mock interview. This way, you can increase your chances of landing a good job multiple times.
Here is a summary of some technical points that are important for software company interviews:
- Common classes of data structures like arrays, strings, linked lists, stacks, queues, trees, graphs and hash maps among others.
- Breadth first search, depth first search, binary search, recursion, and other common classes of algorithms
- The ability to identify choices that will result in big performance gains/losses. That is, worry less or not at all about minor gains/losses, especially if that choice would mean the difference between a feasible solution and an infeasible solution.
- OOP and system design principles.
Needless to say, you cannot limit your preparation to these sub-topics only. They are extremely important no doubt, but there is no harm in increasing your horizon.
Some common mistakes that you can avoid committing while preparing for your interview in an IT company –
1. A lot of students have no clue about where to start coding. It happens very often that in their confusion they pick up difficult questions and eventually get frustrated. This leads to a loss of hope and interest among the students and they ultimately stop coding.
Make sure that you do not end up falling in thus trap. Start with BASIC coding. That is all you need to know for the job.
2. In order to get familiar with the subjects of Computer Science and to learn the concepts of Operating System, Data Structures Concepts and DBMS, it is important to take the right approach. Getting lost in thick books will make your life difficult because they are very detailed and let’s face it, all of it is not exactly necessary for the placement interview.
Instead of wasting time going through detailed concepts, take help from friends or even better, from the professors. It might be difficult to get hold of people to help you during the placement season because everyone is extremely busy with their own placements, but who knows you might find a good soul. And every college has some generous professors who are ready to help students in every which way possible, find one such in your college and voila! However, if neither of these two things happen, you can always fallback on the good old Google. You have already been through the common interview questions and mock tests and hence you already have an idea about what topics are recurring in interviews. So take up those particular topics, scan through the books and read up their basics on the internet.
Tips that you need keep in mind during the interview –
During the interview, candidates tend to jump to coding very soon. This gives out a negative impression and obviously, you also fail to solve the problem. So make sure that you do not start coding until and unless you are absolutely sure that the path that you are taking will solve the whole or at least most of the problem and not just one single line of code.
If you know of an obvious brute force solution and only have a hazy idea about a possibly better solution, start with the brute force solution and explain to the interviewer that you’re starting with a simple brute force approach and will see if you can improve it after you have something working. Something is better than nothing, and incrementally improving your code will suggest you have a clear, algorithmic thought process.
Try not to fumble if you get confused about something or if a difficult question is asked of you. Be calm and patient and articulately explain what you are thinking to the interviewer.
Several times, interviewers give you hints either directly or indirectly. Look out for such signs from the interviewer.