I was interviewed on-campus
at IIT Kharagpur for
Resume Shortlist Test Technical Interview Puzzle Interview
My resume had a couple of projects and a paper publication added to it, which was a part of my second year intern at TCS Innovation Labs.
I believe that the resume shortlist to appear for the test is just a formality and not a big deal to get through. Most of the students are allowed to appear for the test which is where, the main shortlisting occurs.
Although, the company does cut off people from certain departments. For example, none of the Agriculture and food engineering students were shortlisted for appearing for the test.
Also, from what I have heard, the company runs resumes through a program to take out the shortlist. Hence, certain key words such as "Scholar" or "Conference" may get you a good chance to get through the shortlisting.
The test is mainly quant based and how fast you can think and rationalize. They expect excellent speed; they ask you 20 questions to be answered in 30 minutes.
Normally, if a student is asked to appear for this right after his JEE examination, he would be able to get through it easily. But since our analytical thinking goes way down once we actually get in, it has to be worked upon again. I'd suggest you to solve all the quant questions of any CAT preparatory book for the American Express test. The test questions are quite similar to those that the CAT students prepare for.
In general, the American Express interviews are considered to be pretty peaceful compared to the interviews of other companies. I was just asked about my work at TCS Innovation Labs and the paper I would be publishing based on that work and the courses I have done in Data Analytics and what all do I know in it. They do not test the knowledge you say you possess.
While I was preparing for my interview, I was told to read about Amex and its products. Secondly, and most importantly, I was aksed to read a lot about credit card frauds and suggest ways of preventing that. Even during my time, a lot of people were asked about this and judged severely on that. This is a must must if you would be appearing for its interview.
Also, you would do well if you are able to connect with the interviewer. For instance, if both of you have been a part of the same inter IIT or have the same tastes, etc.
Also, the interviews are that peaceful that you are able to direct the interview in your favour. There are certain parts of your CV that you can easily talk about and certain parts that you would want to avoid. If you are able to think on your feet, it is easy to re direct the interview in your favour and the things that you would like to talk about; in my case, it was my work at TCS.
The main decision whether you have to be taken in or not is decided in your first round of interview after which, the puzzle interview is just a formality and to find out whether you are able to think on your feet or not. Not a big deal, pretty easy.
Nothing to be worried about, the puzzles asked are pretty easy and most probably, you would have already heard them if you have a nag of solving puzzles.
You should be able to code efficiently. Knowledge in Python and SQL is a big plus.<br />
Also, I had done a course on Coursera called "Machine Learning" of Stanford University. Today, the company does not expect a lot of knowledge in Data Analytics from students which is why this course gave me the edge I needed to get through the interview. It's a pretty easy course and not very demanding. I would recommend this if you want to find out even whether you'd be interested in Data Analytics or not.<br />
I was asked about the things I know and whether I have ever implemented them.
- CAT Data Interpretation By Arun Sharma,
- Data Interpretation And Logical Reasoning By Arun Sharm,
- Machine Learning - Coursera Course,
Do not worry or stress yourself much. The interview is pretty easy if you have an edge in the skills that the company wants. I had started studying Data Analytics in my second year summer vacations, just 1 hour a day for hardly about a month. Which gave me enough of an edge. The main hurdle lies in getting through the test round where about 300 people are simply cut off.
Motivation for applying
American Express is known to have a good working culture and is currently the third best company to work for in India. The internship stipend is largest compared to any other company in India along with accommodation and travel. The company has a well structured internship program and also has good challenging work to offer.
After the test, I was not shortlisted for the interview round.. Which broke my heart.
Just after the presentation, I walked up to the person presenting and handed him a hard copy of my resume asking him to at least give me a shot at the interview if they think my profile is good enough.
I believe that this was a turning point of this entire experience. I believe, at that moment itself, I gained their favour to take me in. Which is probably why my interview was peaceful, which is probably why I could get through even though my interview was the last among a bunch of 25 students..
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