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The UHG Experience - From Assessment Test to Internship Offer - II

Recap: In my last post, I talked about how nervous I was when I realized UHG Optum was arriving at my institute for an on-campus internship interview, how I was selected in the preliminary assessment test, and the chaotic process of getting ready for the interview.

If you haven't read the first part of this blog, here's the link.

अब आगे...

I entered the Training & Placement Office with two of my friends who were selected along with me. We handed over our CVs to the people managing the interview process. The wait began. I quickly googled the common interview questions asked by UHG on the #2 site for developers, GeeksForGeeks, and started collecting all the new information haphazardly. Some OOPs concepts, Operating System questions, some C function specific questions, etc. Yes, we had all these subjects in the previous semesters but who remembers everything in such detail?! Anyway, the waiting time for my interview became my revision time, although it wouldn't have any point as such. 

The Technical Interview

Finally, I was called in. I entered a conference room with one seat occupied, the interviewer opening a file with my Resume in it. The man looked really calm, and stood up at my arrival for a handshake. This gesture signifies respect, even for your juniors, an appreciable quality in my opinion.

The first question was asked, in a very peaceful non-assertive voice, "Kindly introduce yourself." 

I began with my name, my place of origin, and what I like to call myself professionally - a Backend Developer. This paved the way to name my favourite tech stack.
Although most of these things were listed in my Resume, I said them in a casual yet formal manner which didn't make it seem like I was repeating things. 

Introducing the tech stack paved way for the next question. What have you done in Node.js? Any side projects?

Great! I spent 2 years in development and now someone has walked right into this one. I picked up one of my earliest full stack projects, ClubComing, and started narrating its need, its importance and the story of how I built it. While I shall be perpetually embarassed of the way I name my projects, the idea and the effort is what mattered here. Here's a description of what the project really is - ClubComing.

The interviewer seemed really interested in the code of this project. He kept on asking questions of as much detail as possible. They were mostly about the functionality of my code, why did I use a certain principle, and even about how a particular library works! To be honest, I was enjoying this discussion because I built this project from the ground, and knew every line of code and function. The discussion about this project went on for about 20 to 30 minutes, which included me writing codes for callback functions, promises, async/await, and MongoDB queries in Node. (Don't worry about these terms unless you are a JS Developer)

After this discussion, he asked me, "Have you ever worked with a team?"

Great, I had a positive answer for this one too! I told him about my club at NIT Hamirpur, App Team NITH, and the projects that we build along with the massive Hackathon that we conduct annually. 
The importance of App Team in my coding life is as important as the importance of the question asked. I got into Development when my seniors from this club recommended me a website called, to learn Front End, and thereafter my stream of projects began. As and when the need arose in our team, we learnt some newer technologies and worked with them, and that's how I made my progress.

Now it was time for some problem solving questions. I was asked just one question in this:

How would you swap 2 'strings' in C++, without using a third variable?

Now for the people who aren't familiar with this kind of question, we can easily swap 2 integers without using a third variable. For example,
If we were to swap 2 integers using a third variable, here's what we can do.
int t = a; a = b; b = t;
 Now without using a third variable, we can do the following:
a = a + b; b = a - b; a = a - b;
But I wasn't asked any of this. I was asked swapping for strings. 
If you think fundamentally, all characters in a string are basically ASCII numbers. So if I swap the integral values representing the characters, it would basically be integer swapping in a for loop. This would give me the desired output.

Although the interviewer was satisfied by my approach, he wasn't content with the answer.

Here's the answer he was looking for:
Append the second string to the first string, and note the length of the first string initially. Now run a for loop which overwrites the second string by the first string.
Implementing this solution would result in fewer conditional statements in the code, especially if the strings would be of different lengths. 

Moving on, he asked me of my career interests.
He asked me if in the future, I would like to go towards Management or be a senior in the Technical Department? 
I immediately answered Management, contradictory to everything that I was doing currently in my B. Tech. Nevertheless, I humbly explained him why I liked this field and how I plan to somehow be a maestro in both Technology and Management together. 

It's a personal opinion question, and I don't think any answer you give can be taken negatively, unless it sounds arrogant.

He appreciated my Resume, and asked me if I had any questions.
Now during the waiting time before my interview, I read an "interview tip" to this kind of question, which advised candidates to ask back, "Is there anything in my resume that concerns you?"
This signifies that you are concerned with any misinterpretation of your CV, and the interviewer would introspect if he/she may have presumed any raw conclusion out of something in your CV. 
Asking this question also throws the arrogance factor out of the park since you care about the company and the interviewer's opinion.

The interviewer looked back at my resume. He once again remarked the unique design of my resume, and asked me some short questions related to my Experience section. 

So that was it. I came out, and clearly my interview had gone for about more than 30/45 minutes! Anyway, I didn't feel that it went bad from my perspective. I had put all my cards on the table, and now if I was rejected, something really important must be lacking in my skills/experience.

Some time later, my name was announced again for the HR Interview! This was a good news, since everyone around me were of the opinion that HR Round is basically just a formality. That is a filter for people with extremely weird or rude behaviour. Although this was just speculation, no one really knew what could happen. 

The HR Interview

I entered in another room to find a lady opening my file, and asking me to sit down. This round would test my Communication Skills and Personality. I made sure that my body posture was perfect, and my body language and gestures weren't off-putting. 

She asked me the same question of introducing myself, and I answered the same answer except this time, I didn't mention the tech stack. I added my hobbies in the later part of my introduction, though. Yes, I know some tough interviewer might have rebuked me over mentioning hobbies in my introduction, (maybe,) but nothing of that sort happened here at least. 

She went on to ask me questions on my family members, their occupation, and their opinion about me working in a different city. 
As far as I know, these are questions asked just to understand how clearly someone can communicate and the clarity of thought and speech in someone. 

Now she moved on to ask me a question related to one of my hobbies, "What's the last book that I read?"
If you have read some of my previous blog posts, you might know how much I love talking about books! The book that I was reading then was Intuition - by Osho, and I had an amazing time explaining the gist of the book to her. By the response, I would say even the listener wasn't unimpressed!

Anyway, after asking me my preference of the city branch to work in, my interview was pretty much over.

I returned back to my room, and in the evening, with hopes even higher now, went back to the Office where interviews were conducted to hear out the results. As expected, everyone who had made it through the HR round was selected! There were 7 students selected from my class, and a total of 13 students were selected for the internship from the entire campus! 
We could be like the NDA of NIT Campus. :P

To conclude, giving the interview was an amazing experience. I'm looking forward to the Summer Internship coming May!

Hope you liked this 2 part series.



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