The Computer Based Test had 2 parts namely Aptitude Test ( 40 minutes ) and SQL Proficiency Test (15 minutes). The Aptitude Test was "Medium" in difficulty with time management playing an important part in the selection. The key to crack any such aptitude test is to make the best use of the given time and solve as many problems as possible. I started with all the English sections gradually moving my way to Quantitative Aptitude then Logical Reasoning and keeping Data Interpretation to last. The resources that can help are the usual "Indiabix", "PrepFace" and Arun Sharma books. Solving puzzles like Sudoku and Hidato can help with the Logical reasoning part. The questions in the section were navigable and MCQ in nature. The next section was SQL Proficiency Test of 15 minutes. We were given 10 questions to be solved. Each question was basically either " Predict the Output" or "Find the Incorrect Query" type. I would suggest a basic course from Youtube or Coursera (SQL Basics by UC Irvine) would suffice. The ideal topics to be done under SQL would ideally be till JOINS. This section was Medium in difficulty and again the questions were navigable and MCQ in nature.
This was one of the most interesting interview experiences I have had. My interviewer was a Senior Consultant at O9 Solutions. The interview started with the question about the skills that I had not written on my CV followed by the reason why I felt it was not necessary to display those points. Somewhere down the line, I feel that was a very good ice-breaking question, and my answer kind of decided the flow of the interview. After that, we had a discussion on the different types of market research namely Primary Research and Secondary Research in depth. This was followed by a question about how I have benefited from these experiences and the skills they would bring in me as a Functional Consultant at O9. After this, I was asked my place of residence and we had a discussion on the political environment of the same and the concepts of political forecasting and forecasting results. Then I was asked to imagine myself as a self-proclaimed political enthusiast and asked to come up with an approach to gauge the public sentiment of my city. I narrated a personal experience and my approach to the problem was appreciated by the interviewer. He then took the same problem a notch up by asking me to come up with a result using numbers and gave me just 60 seconds to do the same which I could just partially do owing to the time constraint. The interviewer was satisfied with the approach but asked me to always come up with an answer when working in a time-constrained setting. I was then asked about the projects I had done ( none of them being in IT/Coding). The main objective of this discussion was to gauge my knowledge of these projects and to understand my contributions regarding the same. I was asked about my proficiency in SQL but was not asked any technical questions. I would still suggest everyone to go through all the concepts as it was asked in some of my batchmate's interviews. In all, the interviewer seemed more like a free-flowing 2-way conversation. In the end, I asked two questions regarding the projects undertaken at O9 and the team dynamics at the organization.
The HR interview was unique in the sense as it did not seem like an HR interview at all. The interview started with a discussion on the Job Description and how I fit well in the profile. After this, the interviewer asked about my hobbies and passions and we had a very lively discussion on Formula 1 and a comparison between the yesteryear heroes with the current world champion. He then proceeded to ask me some technical questions about SQL to gauge my confidence. I was also asked about the toughest projects I had undertaken and the learnings I gained from them. We also had a discussion about my internships individually as I had written about them in detail in my CV. I was asked about my weaknesses and how people gauged me as a person. He also asked how in what way was that perception wrong and what I did to make people understand the real me. We then discussed Supply Chain Management and how SCM has evolved in the pandemic business. O9 solution's role in Supply Chain Optimization and the other projects undertaken by the firm. I was also asked about the way an organization should be structured, whether I preferred a "People-Centric" or a "Policy Centric" organization. Even though my answer was not entirely correct I did my best to keep my point of view forward and tried to explain my perspective. The interview ended with me asking a few questions about the work culture at O9 solutions and the ideal skills a Functional Consultant should have.
The placement season is the mother of uncertainties. Therefore it is but natural to be tensed at times when one sees people getting placed left and right. I would suggest everyone to have mental clarity about the roles they prefer to apply for and then work for the same. Asking for any senior's mentorship is the best way to understand how this actually works and I feel we are more than happy to help. Profile/Resume building is a gradual process and hence I would request everyone to pay attention to this. Upskilling never hurt anyone. Aptitude and Communication skills help in every exam so try to keep a regular touch with them. In the end, it is not a race but a marathon. Keep trying and you will succeed. Try and be the person who always has a story to tell, will always help in interviews, and never be afraid to ask for help. All the best.