Cognizant Interview – Tips and Tricks on how to Stand Out!

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Interview Process

Starting your career at Cognizant offers numerous benefits, from an excellent company culture to ample opportunities for growth. Cognizant fosters a workplace that encourages skill development and continuous improvement, ensuring both individual and company progress.

In this article, we provide a detailed overview of the Cognizant interview process, including a shared preparation method to help you ace the interview. This guide is based on extensive online research and interviews with recent candidates.

Cognizant recruits both freshers and experienced professionals for various roles and departments. The company frequently visits college campuses for final placements and conducts walk-ins and mega placement drives for fresher hiring. Experienced professionals are primarily hired through Cognizant’s career website, HR consulting firms, and employee referral programs.

This season, Cognizant is recruiting for four distinct positions:

  1. GENC

Interview Rounds

Round 1: Aptitude Test/Skill-Based Assessment Test

The initial round involves an online test conducted on platforms like AMCAT.

For the GENC profile, candidates must take an aptitude test covering:

  • Quantitative Ability: Topics include Basic Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Engineering Mathematics.
  • Logical Reasoning: Topics include Coding Deductive Logic, Data Sufficiency, Objective Reasoning, Data Arrangement, Coding Pattern Recognition, and Number Series Pattern Recognition.
  • English Comprehension: Topics include Vocabulary (Synonyms, Antonyms, Contextual Vocabulary), Grammar (Error Identification, Sentence Improvement, Construction), and Reading Comprehension.

Candidates applying for GENC NEXT, GENC PRO, and GENC ELEVATE profiles must take a skill-based assessment test, which includes:

  • MCQ: Conceptual and Code Analysis
  • Coding Challenge: Coding Questions on Programming Constructs, Data Structures, Algorithms, Database/SQL, and Web UI

Performance in these tests and subsequent interviews determines selection for GENC NEXT, GENC ELEVATE, or GENC PRO profiles. Basic programming skills are essential for the GenC Elevate assessment, with proof required during the self-profiling procedure.

Passing the aptitude/skill-based assessment test leads to the technical interview round.

Round 2: Technical Interview

The technical face-to-face interview is crucial. Candidates should be well-versed in computer science fundamentals such as OOPS, DBMS, CN, OS, and proficient in at least one programming language (e.g., C++, Java, Python). Writing code on paper may be required, and problem-solving skills will be tested.

Awareness of the latest technological developments (e.g., AI, Big Data) is advantageous. Candidates will discuss past projects and work experiences, detailing technologies used and outcomes achieved. Questions related to the CV and the company may also be asked.

Successful candidates in the technical round proceed to the HR interview round.

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Possible Technical Interview questions that can be asked in your interview:

Programming Concepts and Memory Management

  1. Explain the concept of pointers in C.
  2. What is a dangling pointer?
  3. Can you explain memory leaks?
  4. How does garbage collection work?
  5. What algorithm is used in garbage collection as a memory management mechanism?
  6. Explain the mark and sweep algorithm.

C++ Programming

  1. What are character constants in C++?
  2. What are streams in C++?
  3. What are predefined streams in C++?
  4. Write a program to add two strings without utilizing the “+” operator.
  5. What are reference variables and how are they defined in C++?
  6. What are derived data types?
  7. Name the user-defined data types in C++.
  8. Explain tokens in C++ and their role and importance.
  9. What are the similarities and differences between a class and a structure in C++?
  10. Can you tell us something about scope rules in C++?
  11. What is the difference between rand() and srand()?
  12. How would you input data to your code?
  13. Define the significance of constant arguments.

Data Structures and Algorithms

  1. Explain the concept of a Linked List, Stack, and Queue.
  2. Write a function to take an integer argument and return 0 if the given number is prime; otherwise, return -1.
  3. Give me a program to reverse a Linked List.
  4. Briefly explain the method you will use to execute an array linked list.
  5. What is the implementation of merge?

Operating Systems

  1. What is an Operating System?
  2. What conditions lead to a deadlock situation?
  3. Explain the concept of flagging a semaphore.
  4. What is the difference between a semaphore and a monitor?
  5. Define the terms OSI, TCP, and IP.

Database Management

  1. Define RDBMS.
  2. What is object-oriented model?
  3. Define RDBMS KERNEL.
  4. What is the role undertaken by a DBA in databases?
  5. Can a database table exist without a primary key?
  6. Write the connection code to a database.
  7. How did you create it in your project?
  8. Where do we generally create an INDEX?
  9. What are triggers and their applications?
  10. Define a subquery.
  11. What is BCNF?
  12. Do you think BCNF is better than 2NF & 3NF? Why?
  13. Give pros and cons of DBMS.
  14. Differentiate RDBMS and DBMS.
  15. Give me a SQL Query to find out the second largest compensation in an organization.
  16. What is the “top-n analysis” in DBMS?
  17. Why is DML provided?
  18. What is the difference between a primary key, foreign key, candidate key, and super key?
  19. Differentiate exclusive lock and shared lock.
  20. What is the reason behind using “Inner Join” and “Outer Join”? Suggest a method of joining two tables.
  21. Discuss transparent DBMS.

Data Normalization

  1. What do you mean by “normalization”?
  2. What are the various forms of normalization?
  3. Whether higher normal forms are better than lower forms as far as redundancy is concerned?


  1. Define double linked lists.
  2. Explain the role of DSA (Data Structures and Algorithms) in programming.

Round 3: HR Interview

The HR interview is pivotal, and many candidates are eliminated at this stage. Maintain a pleasant and confident demeanor, as interviews can be long and tedious.

During the HR phase, the panel will ask about personality, family background, education, interests, internships, work experience (if applicable), and more. Prepare to discuss internships, projects, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities mentioned in your CV. Questions about the company’s products, services, core values, formation, and organizational structure are common.

To excel, practice answers to common HR interview questions, maintain excellent body language, and ensure honesty and confidence.

Cognizant HR Interview Questions for Freshers and Experienced Professionals

  1. Tell me something about yourself. (Include academics, projects, achievements, extracurricular activities, strengths, hobbies, and background. For experienced professionals, start with your current position, achievements, previous work history, and then academic and personal details.)
  2. Are you willing to relocate to different parts of India?
  3. What are your strengths?
  4. Why should we hire you?
  5. What are some of the characteristics of this profession that you enjoy?
  6. Describe your Final Year Project. What new ideas did you bring to the table for this project?
  7. Why are you looking for a job change? (For experienced professionals, focus on career advancement without criticizing your current employer.)
  8. What is your expected salary? (A challenging question typically for experienced employees. Inquire about the company’s standard raise for employees.)

By following this comprehensive guide, you can prepare effectively for Cognizant’s recruitment process and increase your chances of securing a position with this prestigious company.

If you are also looking for jobs, join our Placement Guaranteed Course designed by top IITians and Senior developers & get a Job guarantee of CTC upto 25 LPA – /placement-guarantee-program/

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