Company: HCL Technologies
I am about to share my experience of the HCL technologies recruitment drive conducted in my college (Silicon institute of technology, Bhubaneswar) on 14th of April 2006. It was an off-campus drive with 9 participating college which made 1800 students. As far as my preparation was concerned, I had just given my semester exams and three other campuses and was too much tired to prepare anymore. So I went casually only taking a look at three previous papers, which were very easy on regular aptitude topics, programming skills and logical reasoning but no English.
The written test was in the morning and to my surprise, it consisted of only two sections
Aptitude(50) and Technical(25). The Aptitude part had all unexpected topics like Data interpretation (20), some puzzles, passages and conclusions, jumbled sentences and very few question on aptitude but tough. But the technical part was easy with questions covering on all topics like C (programs on pointers), C++, RDBMS, Oracle, Computer fundamentals. There were negative markings, +1 for every correct answer, -1 for incorrect and 0 for unanswered one with 1 hr 45 mints time. I was pretty confident of my technical paper. I completed it in 20 mints and diverted my rest time on Aptitude just to make it above cut off marks. But at the end I realized that I had not given a satisfactory paper. They did not even tell us the cut of marks. In the evening when the results were announced, only 299 could make it including me. Within an hour we were ready for the next round. The next round was the GD with 15 in each group. Some of the topics that I remember were Cubical egg, Green orange, Bitter ice-cream, Should there be reservations in IITs and IIMs, etc. Basically they were looking for someone who could speak. Even in some group the moderators could voluntarily ask anyone on the topic or any technical question. My moderator was a friendly HR guy and he gave a topic ‘Why
should not HCL hire you?’ He made it clear that he was very tired and in no mood to listen to our ‘dukhda’ as to why the previous companies did not hire us. In a way we were to make the discussion as humorous as it can be. My friends gave very serious reasons, so the moderator time and again said “Apna dukhda mat sunao”. I was the fourth one to speak. I said ” I have a tendency to put on weight, and every IT company like HCL have to make their employees work for 12-14 hrs at a stretch, and I can’t afford to do that” . As soon as I finished talking, he asked me to leave the room. When I was out my seniors told me that I was selected. They asked all of us to report next morning at 9 for our interviews. So I stayed back in the college hostel in the campus itself. I could only sleep for 3 hrs because I had too much to study. This was the biggest mistake that I did. You should never stay awake on the day before the interview.
I came to know that HCL recruitment drive was full of surprises and so was the next day.
When we reached next morning, we came to know that we would have group interviews i.e.
1 interviewer and 5 interviewees but later that day a panel of 6 from Calcutta reached the
college for technical interview. So there would be separate technical and HR interviews. My group was to report at 3 in the afternoon and because I was the last in my panel, my interview was taken at 5 o’clock. It was a 1 to 1 interview. I was pretty nervous and due to which I created some blunders but the only thing that worked for me was the ‘Smile’, that was constant in my face throughout the interview. He asked me fundamental questions like features of oops, various keys in RDBMS, TCP/IP protocol, how do you compile a C++ program?. He also asked me why I want to join HCL. I said ” “I feel that I am competent enough to enter the IT sector and HCL is giving me the that opportunity, moreover I share my surname with the co-founder”, to give it a humorous touch and it even made him smile. As I came out of the interview, I thought that I would
be rejected because he said that he would send me an offer in 3 days. I found it quite odd. I was surprised when my senior confirmed that I was selected for the next round.
The next round was the HR interview with a panel of 2:3 i.e. 2 interviewers and 5 interviewees. Initially technical questions were asked, like all about storage classes, why do you use friend function and what are its disadvantages. The HR questions they asked all of us were what’s your family background? What went wrong in your previous campuses? what are your career goals?
What do you know about HCL and who’s the president, the chairman and how many employees? Why HCL? One of the panelists asked my friend beside me,
“What are Soumya’s weaknesses?” My friend answered, “She is very short-tempered”.
Then the panelist asked me why. I said “Sir, I lose my temper only when I am with my friends because I trust them that they won’t mind me”. When we came out we were told that three of us were selected and were to report at the PPT hall for the next round.
The next round, as we were told would be the Managerial Round (MR). This was something new for us and it would be done after the PPT session. We met at around 11:30 PM. The PPT was very dynamic and all the time I kept thinking whether I am gonna make it or not. I was too much tired and frustrated after two sleepless nights and 4 rounds.
The climate was hot and humid and I wore a synthetic dress which I could not take it any more.
I even thought of quitting but later I realized that it had been so difficult to come up till here, I cannot give up now. It was my only chance and I should not lose it. Then I made up my mind to stay cool. When the PPT ended the HR guy asked us whether we should conduct our next round now or come up tomorrow morning. We all decided that we would finish it that day itself. Then he suddenly announced that they are offering all of us present there and there will be no MR round. It was just to test our patience and another style of HCL recruitment. It was so sudden that our happiness knew no bounds.
Its true that it is full of surprises.
My advice to all future aspirants is to never lose hope and wear dresses in which you can stay for long
hours. And above all ‘Expect the Unexpected’