ZS Associates Interview Experience for BTSA | On-Campus 2021
ZS Associates came for on-campus placements near the end of August. They were hiring for 2 roles-
- BTSA (Business Technology Solutions Associate) – For Circuit Branches only.
- BOA (Business Operations Associate) – For all branches
As I was from CS, I applied for the BTSA role.
- 10th – 70% and above
- 12th – 70% and above
- UG – 6.5 CGPA and above
There were 3 rounds-
- Online Assessment
- Case Study & Debriefing Round
- EBI(Evidence Based Interview) +Fit Round
Online Assessment(23/8/2021): The online assessment round was held on Talview Platform, It consisted of 3 rounds, each of these rounds were elimination rounds with some pre-determined cutoff, if you clear the cutoff you will be taken to the next round.
MCQ Round: It had 50 questions to be answered in 45 minutes. No negative marking. It consisted of mainly CS and CAT style aptitude questions.
- CS – 10-15 Questions – DSA, DBMS, SQL: DBMS questions were pretty straightforward, for DSA you might be given C/C++ style pseudo-code of a function, and for a given input you need to predict the output or what the function does.
Aptitude Section – It had questions from-
- Logical reasoning & Quant
- Data Interpretation questions like simple line charts and bar diagrams etc.
- Verbal Ability questions(English) like filling in blanks with appropriate words, find the correct alternative for the underlined phrase and 2 passages for comprehension.
- For the CS section practice DSA and DBMS questions from GfG, as they are quite similar in nature, and for the aptitude section, I did not really need to do much as I was already preparing for CAT on the other hand and following Arun Sharma’s books. For the folks who are not doing so, you can practice from GFG Aptitude Section and IndiaBix.
- Also, CS and Verbal Ability(English) were relatively easy and took less time in my perspective, so look for these problems and solve them first instead of just solving whatever comes your way. The Logical reasoning section might be time-consuming so order accordingly.
Problem Solving Deep Dive: It had 8 MCQ questions to be answered in 30 minutes. A short case study was given on a Perfume Company XYZ along with info like major factors in production, new markets they are trying to enter and so on. Some sample questions were like these-
- XYZ is trying to launch its products in a new country abc, what is the main factor that should be considered?
- Given a bar chart of revenue, profit, cost etc. Contribution of different businesses to turnover.
- XYZ wants to delve into a new field, which of the following would be most appropriate?
- You won’t be able to change the answer or go back to a previous question once answer to a question is submitted, so keep that in mind along with time.
- Read the passage carefully, remember/note down the important factors, it is largely common sense in accordance to business, so don’t worry.
AI-based Video Interview: This round consisted of 2 questions. For each question, you were given 10 seconds to read and think about, 3 minutes to record a video where you give your answer. The recording will start automatically after 10 seconds, so be prepared. The questions are asked from HR and Guess estimates.
- Describe a time when you disregarded the formal structure. What were the circumstances? How did it turn out?
- You are working on client-side sales process management system, how would you convert business requirements to functional requirements?
- Wear a light colored shirt as you would do in a normal interview, sit straight, try to maintain eye contact with the camera.
- The audio testing that happens at the beginning of this section can give a real headache, if the sound recorded by your headphones are not being accepted, just go ahead with the system microphone itself, as was suggested by the support in my case.
- Stay prepared just like HR round as you won’t get any time to think.
After this round, 47 students(around 20 for BTSA) were shortlisted for the next round.
Case Study & Debriefing Interview(1/09/2021): The day kicked off with a meet around 8 AM, where the HR person showed us a video describing the case study that we were about to solve along with Q&A.
- Around 9:30-10:30, there was the case study round hosted on Talview platform. There were mainly 3 sections for which we had to either type our answers or add an attachment within 1 hr.
- A sample case study would look like – XYZ group of companies own a multinational food chain, they have provided their last year sales data to rearrange in the form of a report along with easier to pick up business insights.
- Given a set of 5 tables and an output table arranged by ZS associates, write SQL queries/ER Diagram/Procedure/Algorithm to accomplish the same outcome.
- Suggest ways to improvise the schema of the tables (ex- Normalization etc.)
- How would you improve the data quality? ( Add/Remove variables, find data discrepancies and put checks to handle them and so on)
Section 3: The food chain has a loyalty tier system(say Gold, Silver, Platinum), where regular customers are provided certain privileges.
- Which criterions would you use to separate the tiers?
- Device a condition to upgrade a customer from silver to Gold.
Debriefing & Technical Interview: After the case study, you will be called for an interview, where you will have to explain what you have done. Along with that some questions will be asked. It was hosted on zoom.
In my case, the interviewer started off with a really friendly chat before moving into the interview, most of the questions asked were-
- How do you set your goals?
- Have you ever failed? How did you cope up with it?
- Since C++ was my most used language, he asked me to write a python and C code to find if a number is prime or not? and optimize the process in any way possible.
- You are given a 5 liter jug and a 3 liter jug, can you store 4 liter water using them if you are only allowed to fill or empty them entirely in a single operation ? a) Start with filling with 5 liter one first, b) Start by filing the 3 liter one first.
- Tell me something that is not on the resume
- Discussions on the case study.
- Presented the case study and asked me to check for data discrepancies and inefficiencies.
- Types of joins and when is inner or left join used?
- How would you extract the month and day from date using SQL?
- Would you prefer to work silo or in a team?
- Do you have any questions? I asked “tell me about your experience in ZS in brief”
- He questioned back, what do you know about ZS? What did you know before the PPT?
Then he went on to give me a brief overview of his journey and we had discussion over it. The Interview lasted about 1 hour and I got an mail for the next round within 30 minutes.
For Q4 you can check a similar question Measuring 6L water from 4L and 9L buckets
EBI + Fit Interview Round: In this round, you get the opportunity to meet one of the ZS leaders, it is pretty much like the HR round, where you will asked brain-teasers, HR questions and Guess estimates. This was also hosted on Zoom.
The questions I was asked were-
- Introduce yourself.
- The right thing may not be the most desirable to a person, describe a situation where you did what was right even though it wasn’t desirable?
- Describe a time when you came as a role model to people?
- Tell me an instance where you went overboard and went beyond expectations, or went out to help someone.
- There are 6 bottles of tablets, each having 100 of them, 5 of the bottles have tablets weighting 1g, one of them has tablets weighing 1.1g. With just one weighting detect which bottle is defective?
- There are 2 doors, one door has death after it and one has freedom after it, they are being defended by two guards one who always lies, one who always tells the truth, find out with one question which door leads to freedom.
- There is a Project to be done in 4 weeks and 3 weeks have passed, the client comes up to you today and asks that he wants to present to his/her manager tomorrow regarding the progress. What would you do in this situation?
- Tell me an instance when you have done an end to end planning.
- Describe an instance when you have managed a team for proper planning.
Do you have any questions? I asked –
- Why does ZS dominate the consulting with pharmaceutical companies?
- Any Tech stack used for the given role, that I might be expected to learn.
Fortunately, I wasn’t asked any guess estimates much to my surprise, nevertheless I had prepared for it. The interview went on about an 1 hour.
For Q5 you can find a similar one here Find the defective stack , Q6 is pretty popular, search it up online.
Next day, the shortlist came and 11 people were selected, 4 for BTSA and 7 for BOA role, and I was one of them.
- This year everything went online, so check the lighting in the room, and in case you wear glasses, adjust the lighting or add anti-glare coating to your glasses to make sure they don’t flash like tube lights while talking to the interviewer.
- Keep the phone number in your resume, in case you run into network issues in between an interview, it might still continue on-phone.
- For Puzzles, check out the puzzles section in GFG.
- For Guess estimates, look up Aditya Agarwal’s videos(https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIO8daZRc7DecpoYI5T8ChbtWItgTW6m8)
- Prepare a good intro that focuses on your experience and projects.
- Stay Positive, stay prepared, be patient and have faith.
- If you have any more queries, send a quick connection request on LinkedIn(Sohom Majumdar)
All the best!