Suyash Ratna is a final year student from IIT BHU, pursuing his B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering. Recently he got placed at PhonePe. He is sharing his interview experience and advice for future PhonePe Aspirants here.
Qns: What will be your position at PhonePe?
My position will be that of a Graduate Trainee. Although the name of the Profile isn’t Analyst, the Job description was almost for an Analyst role.
Qns: What were the eligibility criteria to sit for PhonePe written test and interview?
Eligibility criteria: CPI > 6.0
Qns: How many students sat for PhonePe written test and how many were selected at the end?
373 candidates took the written test.
14 students were shortlisted for the P.I.
4 or 5 Students had 2 Rounds of Interview.
3 students were offered the role. 2 of them Accepted the Offer.
Qns: Any specific requirements?
No specific requirements, Although, The interviewer asked me about my experience with Excel in my resume specifically.
Qns: What was the pattern of the Written test?
35 Minutes, Only 15 Questions, MCQs and Type your Answer type questions. No negative marking. The level of difficulty for me was slightly difficult compared to other placement tests. It was a mixture of Quant, LR questions, No Verbal or DI. The platform was DoSelect and each question had to be submitted to record the response.
Qns: What resources did you use for the written test preparation?
For the preparation of the tests for Analyst profiles, I used Takshzila books, TIME modules, Prepleaf, Pariksha. My main focus was on trying to solve the questions as fast as possible.
Qns: Describe your Interview experience.
ROUND 1: Mix of HR and Technical Questions, Duration: 45 Minutes
The interviewer started by stating that I was about 1.5 hours late. I apologized and said that I had an ongoing process elsewhere. He then asked me - Tell me about yourself, your College life, and walk me through your resume.
I had prepared for this and answered accordingly. I mentioned I was a football fan. He then asked me which club I supported. And, he too was a Liverpool fan. We then had a brief discussion about the injury crisis to the defense of the team. This made me very comfortable for the rest of the interview. He then asked if I had used PhonePe. I said yes and he asked me which feature of the App I liked the most (Important Question for PhonePe). Then, he asked me about my experience with projects in Excel. In my resume, I had one course on Excel, my Internship and project had some use of Excel. I was asked to explain them in detail. Then I was asked a guesstimate: Estimate the revenue of Dream11 from IPL 2020. I shared my overall approach and he suggested certain changes. Then, He asked me about some basic statistics questions on Hypothesis Testing. Then, He asked whether there was a certain feature of PhonePe that I felt was missing. I wasn’t prepared for this, I asked him to give me a minute to think and then I suggested a feature. He seemed satisfied. He then asked if I had a question, I had a few prepared. But he wasn’t aware of the domain I asked the question from. I asked 2 more questions and he wasn’t aware of those departments as well. At this moment, I thought I messed up. It isn’t advisable to ask such questions that the interviewer isn’t aware of.
After this, I had my Round 1 of Mastercard, which was a complete disaster and I was distraught and my confidence was completely shattered. I was somehow able to pick myself up and get ready for Round 2.
ROUND 2: Mostly Technical Questions, Duration: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
It started with Tell me about yourself, your family, your interests. The recruiter then asked some specific questions based on my resume projects and Internship. He then stated that my Resume was completely Analytics oriented while the Graduate Trainee Profile might not be completely Analytics based. So if I would be comfortable joining as a GT?
After this, he asked me some Puzzles all of which were from GfG. I was able to answer all of them. But the interviewer could clearly make out that I had seen those puzzles before. He asked me if I had seen those puzzles and I honestly said yes. He asked me around 5 puzzles and it looked like he would keep on asking until I could not answer. I intentionally gave up on the 5th puzzle and it was then when he stopped the puzzle rush.
After this, I was given 2 Guesstimates, To find the number of cars in Bangalore and the number of crows in Varanasi. I messed up the terms demand and supply for the Cars guesstimate. I was able to solve the second one easily.
I was then given a Market Entry and Market size estimation case for a Helicopter Taxi service in Bangalore from the city to the Airport. This case was divided into small sections and the interviewer asked several questions at each step to analyse how I was thinking. This round was extremely long and tiring.
ROUND 3: More HR Questions, Duration: 35 Minutes
Only I had this third Round while the other 2 selected candidates did not. Probably because they were skeptical of me after the second round. I was again asked to Tell them about myself. Then some follow-up questions about my experiences. Again, If I used PhonePe and which feature I found the best. Then I was asked miscellaneous case questions. “What would I do as CEO of PhonePe if the app was down for a day?”.
Then, A guesstimate to find the number of WhatsApp users in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Another Case question about What steps I would take and consider to build a start-up like Amazon or Flipkart.
After this, he said that he is writing something in the chat and wants me to decipher what that is. He went on to write - “11 P in CT.” and asked me what this could mean. I was thinking from P-Payments, T-Transactions point of view. He later told that it was actually 11 players in a Cricket Team. I was totally astonished by this question.
He then asked about my goals. After this, yet again I was asked whether I wanted to add a feature to PhonePe, I gave the same answer as my previous round. He told that this feature was present in PhonePe but scrapped off later.
Tips for future PhonePe Aspirants?
Read the Interview experiences of all the companies for the Profile you are targeting. For Analyst- Alphonso, Fractal, Sprinklr, Optum, MasterCard, Flipkart etc.
Do not lie on your Resume. Do not try to bite more than you can chew. Don’t write anything you aren’t confident of. In my opinion, there is no need of CNN/RNN/LSTM projects for analyst profile. Practice Case Studies with at least one Case Buddy. When practising Guesstimates, reach to the final number and practice calculations. I did not do this and I found the calculations a tough task in the actual interviews. Study Statistics and have at least one ML related project in your resume. Practise Group Discussions as well.