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IBM Interview Process Guide 2021

Posted on 
March 25, 2021
|
by 
Ashmita Roy

A leading name in the information technology industry is IBM or International Business Machines Corporation. Also known as the Big Blue, it is one of the most reputed tech companies in the world. The company offers services that range across various industries, including healthcare, finance, education, telecommunication, etc. This multinational tech company is one of the most innovative places to work. This makes the IBM interview process extremely selective and competitive.

With more than 380,000 employees, this consulting and business service is one of the most rewarding employers. IBM is known for its excellent employment practices. The salary and employee benefits and the work-life balance that IBM offers to its employees make it a highly competitive company to get into. Only with the right preparation strategy and perseverance can you get through the interview process. The interview process for a software developer at IBM has several rounds that test the technical and behavioral skills of the candidate. 

About IBM:

With its headquarters located in Armonk, New York, International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is one of the world's leading multinational technology companies. The company started in 1911 now has operations spread across 170 countries. It began as a Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company.

This computer manufacturer is one of the largest employers in the world. Their services range from software development, system hardware manufacturing to infrastructure, hosting, cloud, and business consulting services. The company is known for its employee benefits and access to great opportunities for growth. 

Academic criteria for IBM:

Freshers who wish to begin their career at IBM should have completed their bachelor's degree from a recognized university. Their academic performance should be consistent, and they should possess the right skillset required for the job. 

Candidates who want to apply for the IBM interview need to meet the following criteria:

  • They should have scored more than 65% in B.Tech, Class XII, and X.
  • They should not have a backlog at the time of the interview.
  • There should not be an educational gap of more than one year.
  • Branch:CS/IT/Robotics/ISE/EE/ECE/EIE/AEIE

Where to apply:

If you meet the criteria mentioned, you can apply for the IBM interview on the company's career portal. 

Fresher vs. experienced candidates IBM Interview Process:

For freshers interviewing at IBM, the following aspects are tested in the online round:

  • Cognitive ability
  • English language
  • Learning agility
  • Coding knowledge

The IBM interview process for experienced candidates is much more specialized and related to their field of expertise. The process involves a telephonic interview, objective test of programming language, logical reasoning, technical interview, and behavioral interview. It also has a shorter timeline as compared to freshers.

The IBM) interview process:

If you wish to work as a software developer at IBM, you need to possess the right skill set and the technical expertise required for the job. The ideal candidate has the required knowledge, competency, skill, and experience required for working at a place like IBM. Before you start preparing for these aspects, you need to familiarize yourself with the steps of the interview to draft an effective preparation strategy. The process of IBM interview involves the following steps:

  1. Application- In the first step, you are required to fill out the application for the position on the company's official website. You can also join their talent network to stay updated with the latest opportunities and stay connected with the company. 
  2. Screening of the application- Your application is then screened by experts who decide if you should move on to the next round.
  3. Online assessment- The next step involves an online assessment of the candidate. This is split into two rounds which test the aptitude and the English language skills of the candidate.
  4. Interview/assessment center- If you qualify for both the tests, you will be called for a personal interview which is further split into two rounds- technical and HR. 

Please note: Due to the ongoing pandemic, all rounds of interviews are conducted online. 

IBM interview process timeline:

The timeline of the process varies for every individual and position. The onboarding can be extremely quick if the company is in urgent need of software engineers. The interview process can extend for two weeks up to more than a month. There is no standardized timeline for receiving the offer letter from the company. 

What to expect at IBM interview:

Before heading for your IBM interview, you need to have knowledge of the process. This will help you be more confident on the final day. The process is split into two parts. The first one involves a written test that is conducted online. The second part of the interview consists of a technical and an HR round. 

1. Written Round- The IBM written test is conducted online and covers topics like Quantitative Aptitude, Number Series, and English language. There are 72 questions, and the duration of this test is 100 minutes. The English language test contains questions related to vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension. If you have a basic understanding of high school concepts, you can get through this round easily. The questions are multiple-choice and do not have any negative marking. A detailed description of the weightage of each section is provided in the table below-


Students who qualify for this round are called for an interview at IBM. This round can only be cracked if you have enough practice. Take up mock aptitude tests online to make sure that you are able to get through this round. Also, prepare puzzles and other reasoning questions for this round. With a basic understanding of the concepts and time management skills, you can easily pass the aptitude test. 

2. Technical Round: Candidates who make the cut in the written test are invited for a technical interview. The Technical round at IBM is identical to FAANG companies. You must have an understanding of the basics of your subjects in order to clear this round. The interview panel asks questions from data structure and algorithm, DBMS, OOPs, networking, system design, etc. Be prepared with topics like sorting programs, the distinction between different OS, linked lists, etc. CS students are also asked to code during the interview.

Questions that are asked in the technical interview include:

  • What is the distinction between abstract class and interface?
  • What is the difference between RDBMS and DBMS?
  • What are the advantages of object oriented programming?
  • What is the difference between Java and C++?
  • What is a pointer?
  • What is an attribute?
  • Sort a stack.
  • Write a program to find the HCF of two numbers without using recursion?
  • Write a program to calculate the standard deviation.
  • What does 3NF in DBMS mean?

Tips to crack IBM technical round

  • Have a thorough knowledge of any one programming language of your choice. 
  • Practice enough coding questions so that you are able to perform well on the day of the interview.
  • Make sure that you know your final year project (if any) in detail. 
  • Go through previous years' questions and prepare them well.
  • If you are from any branch other than CS, prepare two of your subjects really well for the technical round. 
  • Participate in mock interviews so that you learn how to answer technical questions quickly.

5. HR Round: After the Technical round, you will have an interview with HR. This round will entail questions about your career aspirations and goals and test your communication skills. The interviewer might also talk about your achievements and other details from your resume. You would be asked to introduce yourself and talk about your strengths and weaknesses. Your personality will be put to the test for this round. Make sure that you are well-prepared for any curveball that the interviewer throws at you. The aim of this round is to see if you would make a good fit for the company's culture. 

Be prepared to answer questions like:

  • Why did you choose IBM? 
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Would you want to work for any other company?
  • What do you know about IBM?
  • Tell me about your future plans and dreams.
  • Why did you choose this particular degree?
  • What was the largest obstacle that you overcame in your life, and how?
  • Which subject is your favorite and why?

Tips to crack IBM HR round

The key to a successful HR round is confidence. 

  • Make sure to answer all the questions honestly and with full sincerity.
  • Show interest in working for IBM and how you would contribute to its betterment.
  • Elaborate on your strengths and previous experience.
  • Have a well-prepared resume.
  • Do research about the company before heading for the interview. Your knowledge of the company's services and its achievements will come in handy during the interview process.
  • Ask relevant questions that would show your interest and expertise in the industry.

Feedback from candidates about the IBM interview process:

Most candidates who have appeared for the IBM interview for the role of a coding engineer report that the process is extremely thorough and tests various attributes of your personality. You need to have a deep knowledge of the company and its services if you wish to ace the interview. 

It is critical to have a knowledge of the fundamentals of your industry if you wish to get a job at IBM. The difficulty level of the IBM interview process 2020 was reported to be moderate. The interview process is extremely well-organized and coordinated. You need to practice in order to ace it. Refer to previous year's questions to prepare for the interview.

IBM interview mock tests with Interview Kickstart:

To be proficient in giving computerized tests, you need to have adequate practice. Interview Kickstart can help you in your interview prep for IBM by providing access to mock tests and mock interviews with hiring managers. We offer interview preparation tips and help you develop a strategy to improve your performance. 

Interview Kickstart provides learning resources, access to interview questions, and expert instructors that can help with the following aspects of your preparation.  

  • The mock test provides you the practice and ability to manage your time better. 
  • You get honest feedback about your performance from experienced professionals. This way, you can learn about your shortcomings and work on them.
  • You can estimate the level of your preparation for the interview. It is important to know how far along you have come in your preparation and what are the key areas that you still lack in. 
  • Practicing will help develop confidence. The most important thing during the interview is to keep your cool and not let the stress affect your performance.
  • You will gather an idea about how to appear for online tests. A lot of stress can be relieved if you are already familiar with the methodology of the test. 
  • Relieve the interview anxiety by getting insights into how the hiring manager is thinking. Our expert instructors guide you through the process and prepare you for any possible way the interview could go.

Preparing for IBM technical interview: 

The IBM technical interview can only be cracked with an effective and smart preparation strategy. You need to have a thorough understanding of the concepts of data structure, algorithm, OOPs, networking, operating system, and programming languages. You can get help from expert instructors in the industry who have years of experience in teaching these concepts.

Interview Kickstart offers complete guidance to candidates preparing for IBM interviews. We offer interview preparation for software engineers who wish to work at the world's largest tech companies. The learning resources that we provide have been crafted with the help of industry experts who have worked at the leading tech companies in the world. This can help you study the most important topics with ease. The quizzes, workshops, seminars, and mock interviews will help you perfect every aspect of your interview preparation. Choose Interview Kickstart to accelerate the growth of your career and secure a job at the finest technology company of your choice.

Attend our Free Webinar on How to Nail Your Next Technical Interview

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