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Friday, May 10, 2013

Face to Face Interview Pattern

Face to Face Interview Pattern

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This Post explain you
  • What's the pattern of Face to Face interview?
  • What type of question interviewers ask?
  • What they are expecting from you ?
  • What kind of details, you should provide?
  • What's the concept of those questions?

Face to face interview usually has different phases and there is no predefined process also. Few start in one way and other in other way. It depends on person to person Or Organization to Organization. But more or less, everyone is going to ask anyone (or all) of the below mentioned categories.

Category 1: Based on Previous Experience

Starts with the details of what you have done in your previous organization or during the college time. It will be good if you have mentioned almost all the projects in your profile, so that interviewer can pick any one of them directly and ask the details. Question will be like this.
  1. Tell me more about project X.
    • This is a very wide question but exactly the interviewer is going to ask, if you will ans as per that then it will be good, else they will ask you themselves.J
    • Expected area supposed to be cover :
      • Few more basic details about the project, so that interviewer can understand the project in broad sense.
        • Technology, Foundry, Tools used, team size, duration.
      • What were the initial parameters for the project and Final goal of that?
      • What was your role (major /minor /equal)?
      • Whether you were involved from the starting or you started in between?
      • What type of issues/challenges you have faced and any 1-2 examples of that?
      • How you have solved /rectify / workaround of those issues?
      • How did you know that your approach was sufficient and accurate?
      • How did you insure the final design was good quality?
      • How did you know that approach was sufficient?
      • How did you insure the final design was good quality?
      • How did you know that approach was sufficient?
      • Why did you choose to solve the problem one way instead of another way?
      • What would you change about the way your company approaches this problem? And if you are confident in your approach, why you haven’t use that one.
  2. During the time you are explaining, few interviewer goes into the details, just to know how good you are in the technical / professional/ behavioral side. They wanted to know…
    • How seriously you have taken that project?
    • Have you just completed that projected or you have learned something also?
    • Your horizontal knowledge level (knowledge about different aspect of Project) and your vertical knowledge level (expertize in any of the field).
    • If similar type of work they are doing in their company – how can they use your knowledge with less training?
    • How open minded are you? There might be several ways to solve a problem, have you tried /know about them or just did whatever your senior asked you to do.
    • You attitude toward your work and project.
  3. They can ask few cross question on technical side also. I will discuss those in the separate category.
  4. Why are you leaving the previous company?
    • I know most of the time the reason can be anyone or more then these.
      • You don’t like your manager.
      • You don’t like work.
      • Work is good but now there is no growth.
      • No work life balance in company.
      • Financial issues.
      • If you are changing the city – might be personal issues (like health / family)
      • Company is not doing well and you are worried about your future.
      • You want to change your profile.
    • Expected Ans:
      • As such everyone expected the real ans, but this is also correct that sometime they can’t digest the reality. So My suggestion is always say true but if in case the truth is very harsh/ugly (like you don’t like your manager), you have to be little diplomatic.
      • Like in the above case – if you are leaving because of your manager then best ans is – “I am leaving my current company because somehow I am not able to match my frequency with my manager. I have tried a lot – even he also did. But my priorities are different (like I want some work-life balance) and he has different priorities (he is expecting me to work 16Hr average). So in short, just because of family pressure, I have to take this decision.”
      • Now- this is just one example (work-life balance), you can specify your mismatching point between your manager here. Point is – if you will say directly that I am leaving because of your manager- it’s not the exact reason. You reason is you both are not compatible with each other because of several reasons. This type of ans shows that you made effort to fix these issues but finally it looks to you that it’s not possible.
    • Reason of such type of question –
      • Interviewer wants make sure that your interest is not conflicting with the requirement.
      • Like- you have mentioned that you can’t work in night and the requirement is to work with US people.
      • Your reason was salary and they don’t have that much of budget for that position.
      • Your reason is too much of travelling – and their job is a marketing job with lot of client visit.
      • You are looking for some development work and they don’t have any such work.

Category 2: Based on Job profile for which they are interviewing

This is the category where interviewer will check your expertize about a particular type of work (as per the company requirement). It depends how’s the interviewer and how’s the process supposed to followed by the company but I can divide the whole process in following subcategories.

  1. Short Q&A –
    • Here interviewer will ask you such questions which can be answered in just 1-2 lines.
    • Just to check whether you know the subject or not.
    • Sometime these questions are for like starters of the main Lunch. J
    • These questions are similar to telephonic interview.
    • E.g – What is setup and hold? (I will list down a lot of such question later in this post)
  2. Concept based theoretical Q&A-
    • There is no direct ANS for such questions. If you have knowledge, then only you can ans this.
    • Just to check your understanding the subject or say to figure out how good you are and what’s the depth of your knowledge.
    • Most of the time, interviewer is going to ask you cross-questions. Means he/she will ask the questions based on your ANS. They will show you that they don’t know anything, and they want to understand that concept from you. J
    • E.g – what’s the need of STA in design, Please explain? (I will list down a lot of such question later in this post)
  3. Concept based Practical Q&A-
    • They will provide you a circuit and will ask you to solve that circuit for some parameters. (like setup / hold / delay/ clock frequency)
    • They want to understand how good you are in applying the theoretical knowledge into the real world (in practical).
    • This is again to know your expertize and in-depth knowledge for any topic.
    • Sometime these questions are runtime generated. And Interviewer can change the value of any parameter at any point of time (just to make the situation worst for you).
    • Sometime they will miss some parameter intentionally, just to see whether you will ask for that parameter or not.
  4. Case study or Experienced based Q&A
    • Here they will share few of the real design issues in the form of case study, and need your suggestions to fix those issues.
    • They knew how they have or someone else fixed those issues but they just wanted to know how many solutions you can suggest/proposed. Basic intension of such question is to figure out how wide you can think to solve a problem. It’s like- you know theory/concepts/practical concept but they want to check.
      • Whether you know what can be implementing at what places and why?
      • During the implementation, which solution is going to solve which problem?
      • What are the different solutions of a single problem?
      • Do you know any work around of that specific problem?
    • Testing your thinking and imagination power also. How open minded you are and how fast you can start to fix a problem.
    • E.g- in a 2million gate design, which 20 blocks, where most of the logic are implemented inside the blocks only, using 50% HVT cells , 30% SVT and 20% RVT. - We are getting a power number 40Watt but the requirement is 30W. if we are making any changes in the type of the vt cells then we are not able to close the setup in one of the corner out of 7 corners. So, what are the things we can do to reduce this number?

Now face to face technical questions with respect to different topics, we will discuss one by one as per the above subcategory in the next few post.


  1. Anyone interested in this topic should be sure to consider how to make their resume good quality so they can actually get to the technical interview stage. As a hiring manager, I am frequently surprised at the poor quality of resumes that I see in response to our job postings. Do a spell and grammar check and have someone knowledgeable you trust read your resume and see if the information described above comes through in the relevant sections.

    1. thanks Tom for valuable feedback

    2. I would say - there is one more post on the topic For Good Resume.

      Good Resume

  2. thanks tom .....good work keep doing

  3. Your post contains a lot of useful information for me. Thank you very much for that.

  4. Thank you sir for sharing the valuable information

  5. I havent done the final year project seriously and it wasnt even related to vlsi. I was not even aware how to go about choosing the topic and was randomly assigned some topic by the faculty. in addition, i have done my Btech degree in span of 7 years. How do I go about dealing with these two setbacks?


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