Accenture is one of the few non-Indian companies that give stiff competition to TCS and Infosys in software consulting and mass recruitment. It’s a great place to work. It gives its workers great autonomy. A few years at Accenture can make you a well-rounded software consultant with experience of working with the world’s biggest brands.
The first offer letter I ever got was from Accenture. I still remember the day. All other companies like asked for 60% minimum throughout and my academics were not so great so I was unable to appear and I was getting worried. Accenture only asked for 60% aggregate and I somehow managed that. Their recruitment process didn’t much differentiate between various branches so being a Mechanical Engineering student, I was overjoyed.
The first round was an aptitude test which I cleared without any problems whatsoever. 25 questions each from verbal, math and LR was quite manageable for even a laidback student like me. Next was the group discussion round which also I cleared without much problem. Our group of 11 got the topic “Will India continue to be a software superpower?” I got a distinct feeling in this round that communication skills are key to get a job at Accenture.
Note: GD may not be a part of the process at all centres.
Next, I was called for a technical round, which I was sure I would fail. Although we did have some coding in our syllabus I had not paid much attention and barely knew anything about programming, let alone Object Oriented Programming that Accenture recruiters clearly prefer over other languages. Some of my friends had guided me to learn some definitions but it was too late to learn anything new. Inside, my fears were proven true as the first question the interviewer asked me was about Polymorphism. Guess what. I had no idea. These days I’m extremely embarrassed that I didn’t know such a simple concept but that day I just told the interviewer the dictionary definition. I said “polymorphism is the ability to take many forms. C++, which is an object-oriented programming language, shows polymorphism by uh… like… doing many things”. The interviewer smiled knowingly. He had caught on. He figured I didn’t know the first thing about C++ or OOP.
To expose me, he asked, “give me an example of polymorphism”. I knew that was the end of the line for me and I was just about to say sorry and bow out when I suddenly went into flashback mode. I actually saw a day in the past clearly. It was the day of the third semester when my friends from Instrumentation had forced me to sit in their class as a prank. The professor thought I was a new student in IE so she took great care to explain stuff to me. She even told another girl in the class to give me her notes. That day, she was covering “Function Overloading”. I didn’t remember much from that lecture, but on that interview day in the 6th semester, in front of the Accenture interviewer, dangerously close to rejection I suddenly came out of the flashback and said “FUNCTION OVERLOADING”. He was now interested. He said, “explain function overloading to me”. I managed to repeat whatever two or three lines I remembered from that accidental prank lecture I attended in third semester and the interviewer was mostly convinced. He was also confused that a mechanical engineering student knew more than just definitions. After a couple more simple questions he let me go.
I was surprised to know that I had made it to the HR interview. It was a simple round with simple questions. They asked me why I wanted to join Accenture and whether I was willing to relocate. Of course, I was willing to relocate! The decision process went on for quite a long time and at around 8.30 pm, the results were announced. I had made it. I was one of the 32 people in the city of Indore to get an offer letter from Accenture.
As far as I’ve understood, Accenture places a lot of focus on the communication skills, the ability to articulate your views clearly and concisely. Remember, it’s a consulting company and you’ll be working directly with clients. Although coding knowledge in one language (usually C++) is a plus, they’re mainly looking for an articulate candidate with basic programming skills.
As I said I didn't prepare for it but my friends who did mainly referred to Yashwant Kanetkar’s “Let Us C++” and class notes.
Although I ended up not joining Accenture and taking up a different career, Accenture still remains one of the most fun interview experiences of my life.
An engineer by education, writer by profession and a stand-up comic by vocation. I'm only half joking though.