GATE Score: 779
All India Rank: 312
This year the interview process was online due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the cutoff for getting shortlisted for interview was 776 Score (AIR 335) for General category. I interviewed for CC sysadmin RA.
[A day before the interview they asked for our resume and any projects we would like to show to the interview committee]
There were 5-6 interviewers, they first asked about my favourite subject, I said 'Computer Networks'.
Then, they asked basic questions like difference between switch and router, IPv4 and IPv6, frequency band of WiFi, routing algorithms, What is Google OAuth?, etc.
I was able to answer them but 2 to 3 times they had gone too deep like security in IPv4 and IPv6, VLAN, which I wasn't able to answer satisfactorily.
Then, as I had done internship from IIT-B last year, they asked about my work and my experience.
The interviewer laughs and says, “Do you even know how IIT Bombay network works?”
I said, “Yes, I do.” and explained them how the hostels and departments are connected, the campus network forms a private network, and all the packets to the outside (global Internet) are routed through a NAT router.
The interviewer said, “Yes, good”
Now, comes the interesting part...
[I : Interviewer, M : Me]
I : Which operating system do you use?
M : Sir, I use Ubuntu as a dual boot.
I : Which is the other operating system?
M : Windows 10
I : Which OS did you install first?
M : Windows 10
I : Why?
M : Sir, because I wasn't aware of Linux in my first year
I : What will happen if I install Linux first and then Windows 10?
M : [...after thinking about 5 to 10 seconds...] Sir, I think we have to reconfigure the bootloader
I : Yes, correct
Personally, I think at this point the whole interview turned around in my favour.
Then, they asked whether I know Perl Scripting, Bash scripting, Python scripting, and Web development. I told them I know only the basics of bash scripting and basic python programming and I've done basic web development like HTML and ReactJS.
After this, they asked about my interests, I told blockchain and compilers. They asked if I'm interested in security, I said 'yes'.
Finally, they allowed me to ask any questions from them, I asked "Is there any scope of research in this position?", then they explained for 4-5 minutes that on some security related aspects it is possible, and in other fields it is always possible.
The interview lasted for 25-26 minutes.
Verdict: Selected 😊
I will be joining IIT-B RA as it seems to be the best option for me, feels like a dream come true! 😇
My tips to future aspirants about cracking RA interviews:
Personally, I feel that these interviews DO NOT require any preparation but reading interview experiences and asking the seniors helps a lot to get familiar with the process. They test how much you have played with computers, how much do you know practically. So, my advise to all the engineering students is that please utilize your 4 years, always keep experimenting and be aware of the practical things, that’s the only thing that matters (and yes luck is also a factor, but don’t worry about it as it’s not in your hands).
I would again like to thank @Arjun sir for providing this wonderful platform and for the Facebook group which gave me hope in February that it is still possible to get into your dream college through interviews 😀