My Interview Experience at Innovaccer (SDE backend summer intern 2021)!
I recently received a summer internship offer from Innovaccer as an SDE backend. It was a really fun and learning experience for me to interview with this newly born unicorn. So today, in this blog, I will take you through my interview experience and a few tips that can be useful for you!
How I applied?
One day, while scrolling through LinkedIn, I saw a post on summer geeks by Innovaccer. This was posted by the University recruiter at Innovaccer. There was a google form that was supposed to be filled by the ones interested. So, without waiting for a second, I filled that form and uploaded my resume. After a few days, a mail from my college’s Training and Placement cell gave us the same information about summer geeks. But I had already filled up the form :P
The Online Assessment
So, here, a funny thing happened to me. Since I had more projects on frontend technologies, I had decided to apply for frontend. However, I wasn’t confident enough because my proficiency lies in data structures and algorithms. But fortunately a technical glitch turned into my favour. So, just when I tried opening the assessment, an unexpected problem occurred and it didn’t open. I called my friends and they complained about the same. After a couple of minutes we received a mail from Innovaccer that they are facing some technical issues and asked us to kindly wait. But, my friends suggested, why not to explore the backend assessment for the time being. And that was a reallyyyy good idea (because that got me the offer xD)!
I opened the backend assessment and the questions quite aligned with my proficiency because mostly were based on DS Algo. So, as far as I remember, there were 4 DS Algo questions ranging from easy to medium in difficulty.
- Simple implementation-based question
- Again an easy one where you needed to keep a track of the maximum element while traversing the array
- A medium DP question similar to: https://leetcode.com/problems/best-time-to-buy-and-sell-stock-with-cooldown/
- Finally there was a question on area of the largest rectangle inside a grid every time a horizontal or a vertical rod was removed similar to: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/largest-area-possible-after-removal-of-a-series-of-horizontal-vertical-bars/
There were 3 SQL questions again ranging from easy to medium. But I don’t remember the exact questions. The rest were MCQs on CS fundamentals. The MCQs were basic questions related to data structures, algorithms, OS and DBMS.
The Interview Call
Unlike most of the companies, instead of a mail, Innovaccer called all those who have been selected for the interview. Though, I had a feeling that I may receive a call, I thought I won’t because the summer geeks’ website’s timeline showed that the final shortlisting and announcement of the interns will be done till 10th of March (the last time I checked) and it was already 16th of March. However, I had been receiving a call from an unknown number from the last 1–2 days. But, out of whatsoever reason, I was missing the calls and thanks to my procrastination that I wasn’t even calling back!
Then, on 18th of March, as I was reading something in the afternoon, I received the same call again. And guess what: I didn’t miss it this time and finally picked up the call! It was from Innovaccer’s university hiring recruiter. She informed me about my interview that was scheduled on 22nd of March (just after 4 days!) and I couldn’t even extend it because I was already late in responding to her calls (yes, I cursed my laziness). And at the end of the call, just like you must have guessed, she asked the reason about my late response and I told her the reason (not the real one, duh!)
The Interview Day
Now, if you guys are thinking that I prepared the whole thing in just 4 days, don’t be under this myth because all you can do in 4 days is revision and grabbing no new thing. That’s what I did.
So, my interview was scheduled at 3.30 pm on google meet. I was sitting ready in front of my laptop about 15 minutes prior. The interviewer joined in at 3.32 pm. The interviewer introduced himself and he is an SDE-2 at Innovaccer. He was very calm and polite. I introduced myself and then he started grinding me on my resume.
I had 4–5 projects on my resume and his questions revolved around the technologies I used in them.
I had an ML project based on supervised learning models. So, I explained him the complete project and then he started asking about the various models I used and also about some other famous classification models like, KNN, decision tree, random forest, etc. He then tried getting a bit into Deep learning (like the neural networks stuff) but since I had no experience in it, he moved on to other projects.
Then based on my other projects, he asked me questions on Node.js, Socket.io, and React.js. He tried to twist the questions a bit but I connected the dots and managed answering his questions.
At couple of instances, he even tried digging deeper into the technologies I had used, but I politely refused to know the answer in case, I wasn’t aware. And he was kind enough to change the topic immediately and not grind any further.
Finally, he came out of my resume and started asking me questions on DBMS. First he asked me to rate my DBMS, and I rated myself 7. He appreciated and asked me about a term, I hadn’t even heard of before. I told him that it’s the first time I heard this term. So, he brought his level one scale down and started asking me questions related to Transactions. He even gave me a situation and we had a good discussion on that. I again tried connecting the dots and gave him appropriate reasons for the success or failure of the system he proposed. He was quite satisfied and impressed with my answer. We also discussed about the concurrency related problems and the concurrency control protocols. Then he asked me some general questions on indexing and B,B+trees.
As the interview was supposed to be for 30 minutes only, he concluded the interview and as customary, asked me if I had any questions. I asked him, “What are the major technologies Innovaccer is working with and what are the preparations, I as an intern (incase, I get selected) should do?” This was the end!
Also, I forgot to mention: even if the interview was good it wasn’t as smooth. There were network issues so, at times, he sounded like a robot. And not just that, since I live in Air Force area, it was the time for ground running the fighter jets and so, at multiple occasions I wasn’t even able to hear my own voice, let alone his, because of the obvious background noise. But interviewers are quite understanding. All you have to do is just inform them about the actual scenario and politely pardon for the inconvenience!
After my interview on 22nd, I was a bit confused about the results’ date. Because they had updated the timeline on summer geeks’ website from 10th to 22nd March (yes, the day of my interview). However, I didn’t receive any update that day (because how was that even possible?). After 2–3 days, they again changed the dates and updated it to 5th April. So, this time I knew, I will receive the results on 5th of April for sure. I waited for 2 weeks but again on 5th, there was no update. I literally was continuously checking the website the whole day to see if there’s anything related to results in there.
When I didn’t get any update on 5th and 6th, I had completely assumed that I haven’t been selected. But still, I wanted to call the university hiring recruiter (the one who called me for the interview) and ask her about the results. Finally I decided to call her on 8th of April and she informed me that I have been selected. That’s when she started sending mails to other selected interns as well. I was really happy and this news made my day!
Things to keep in mind!
- Innovaccer focuses more on your projects and the related technologies. So, 2–3 good projects on ML, frontend and backend technologies will really be helpful while applying for internships. Also, be thorough with your resume and take care of every single word you’ve written because you simply can’t back off saying you don’t know about it as it’s on your resume after all.
- They focused a lot upon DBMS. So, be sure, you’ve prepared the whole theory well. You can go through GeeksforGeeks articles and watch knowledge gate’s playlist. I personally prepared the transactions’ part from this playlist.
- For the assessment, have a decent grip on the CS fundamentals. You can refer to GfG for that. Also, don’t forget to go through SQL once. W3Schools is a good deal. And then, for practising, you can solve HackerRank or top sql interview questions.
- Practise DS Algo from Leetcode and GfG. I have solved 500+ questions on Leetcode and 250+ questions on GfG. This knowledge helped me a lot even though, around the time of the recruitment process, I wasn’t coding actively.
Wanna know anything else related to this? I’m happy to help. If you have any questions or just want to connect, reach out on LinkedIn.
Hope you enjoyed reading my experience and learned about the process! So, keep learning, stay happy and stay fit!