It’s that time of the year — June/July. The rest of India calls it the rainy season, but for us, it’s the placement season. Farmers worry if they’ll get adequate rainfall for their crops and we worry about which company we can get into before the season ends. Both equally anxious.

It’s been a year for me(at the time of writing this) and looking back at it, phew!


Like everyone else, I had started preparing around April. As an EC student, I had to step up my coding skills to compete with my CS batchmates who had already mastered these in their coursework. Although I had some exposure to data structures, so it didn’t require me to start from scratch. I guess I solved two problems, one ‘easy’ and another ‘medium’ difficulty problem each day. Started with Hackerrank because I was terrified with Leetcode’s UI at the start. I did move to Leetcode eventually after exhausting problems on Hackerrank. I couldn’t solve the questions labeled ‘hard’, maybe even now 🙂 I was pretty good at computer networks and operating systems which were the most frequently asked about subjects by most companies.

Months went by with the same routine. Thanks to a pandemic, college exams got canceled which actually did us good. We could prepare uninterrupted without a pretty useless college exam (We all know it). And then, one fine day, our phones buzzed with a mail from the placement cell. Companies were about to visit. Our anxiety peaked.


The first company arrived. Around 500 optimistic students who wanted to make their career took the test. 50 made through the first round and I was one among them. I made it past two interview rounds but failed in the final round. Let me tell you, rejections aren’t a good feeling but there’s so much you’ll learn from it. There was another company after that and I did not make it past the first round itself. Although it didn’t feel that bad this time.


Company presentation

Sahaj was the third company to visit our college. I honestly hadn’t heard of them before but was curious to know more. They called themselves a software artisan company who were looking for highly qualified software engineers. I thought my chances ended there. :p

‘This is surely not practically possible’ was my first impression after the company presentation as the company claimed to have open salaries: where everyone’s salary in the company was accessible, unlimited leaves: this can’t be true, right? why are they going to pay me if I take a 6 month leave? , flat organization: where everyone is the CEO and can decide their own hikes. Uhmm suspicious. Even though I hadn’t believed them in the first go, I thought it’d be a really cool place to work in if all these were true. It was in complete contrast to how most of the corporate world works.

First-round and coding round

First-round was a test on their own tool called ‘Pravesh’. It was an MCQ round covering programming concepts, OS, networks, DBMS, and aptitude. It was a 30-minute 40-questions test if I remember correctly. That was a lot of questions to complete in such a short period. The next round was a 30-minute coding round with one question. I managed to somehow complete it and submitted it. As soon as I submitted it, I realized I had forgotten to cover an edge case. I had to mail my code in the end because I was around 3 minutes late and the upload link was disabled. I strongly believe that edge case took me to the next round. Only five people made it to the interview round.


I had one technical interview and a final round. The technical round started with a code pairing session. It was a modified version of the binary search problem. I proposed a circular queue solution at first and later somehow converged to use the binary search approach. Remember that they never expect you to get it right on the first attempt. Try to speak what’s going on in your head and they’ll help you along the right track by giving you subtle hints. I was later asked about my projects and some questions on networking. In the end, the interviewer asked me if I knew DBMS, I replied with a straight No! And guess what I still made it to the second round. This is another important tip — never lie in the interview, it will never increase your chances.

The next round with the partners of the company was the most fun I’ve had among all the interviews. It started off with my hobbies and later completely took a detour. I let them know about my interest in photography to which they asked me questions about the intricate working of a camera. Another interesting question I was asked was ‘Explain how computers work in 0’s and 1’s like I’m a five-year-old’ which was pretty fun answering. Things took a turn with me saying ‘Money is a man-made concept’. They asked me to explain — “ Earlier the government had to keep an equivalent amount of gold whenever they wanted to print money whereas now the gold isn’t kept anymore, so I feel money has lost its value“. This led to a financial discussion about inflation and many such repercussions of printing money without regulation. The interview ended with me getting suggested a few good books about finance. This 2-hour interview made me feel that there were some really ‘cool’ people here.

In the night around 9 pm, I got a call for another discussion. This time they had an offer for me!! I slept well that night! All the prep had finally paid off 😀 And it will for every one of you guys on the same boat as I was last year. Good luck xD

It’s been around 6 months for me at Sahaj and it has been such a steep enjoyable learning curve.

If I had to give you some tips in general:

  • Keep calm, don’t get worried. You will end up in a great company at the end of it and realize all that tension was not worth it.
  • Accept what you don’t know in the interview, you won’t be rejected for it.
  • Focus on the process, the results will appear by themselves (basically what Aamir Khan says in 3 idiots).
  • Confidence is the most important thing in an interview. Be ready to justify your answers.
  • Only apply to a company if you like the role. Do not let ‘money’ be the sole motive, you will suffer during the job.

Also, if I became a software engineer studying EC, all of you can.