My Most Unorthodox Interview Experience

In this log, I unfold my interview experience and describe how this was an eye-opening, unorthodox experience filled with insane amount of realizations that could potentially inspire you for your next interview.


I have had interesting encounters with Deutsche Bank.

In the summer of 2022, exactly one year ago, I interviewed for Deutsche Bank for their full-time engineering role.

At the time, I was interning at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. as a Software Engineering Intern. If you are curious, you should read how I tried to make the most out of my internship.


  • Programming Assessment (3 problems)
  • In-person Interviews (4 rounds)

Programming Assessment

The test consists of 3 DSA problems for full-time employees. The diffculty was increasing in nature — Easy, Medium, Hard. (Yes, this is subjective; but assume Leetcode Easy, Medium, Hard.)

I was able to solve one and the second one partially. Third one felt a little out of scope.

A good aim should be to solve the first two. Try everything, naïve approaches, brute-force. Partially solve it and try to maximize your score.

For Internship

The year before that when I applied for the internship at Deutsche Bank, there were 2 DSA problems and 10 multiple-choice questions around Core CS — Database Management System (DBMS), Operating System (OS), Computer Networking (CN).

Suggestions for DSA.

Interview Rounds

I was shortlisted for the in-person interviews.


I gave the test when I was half-way into my internship, however my interviews were scheduled in the last few weeks of my internship. At that point, I had certain confidence that JPMC will extend a full-time offer.

After I assembled a list of Pros and Cons, I realised that I would want to choose JPMC between the two organisations. Multiple factors taken into account here, and that could be yet another story. Broadly the factors were culture, my internship experience, and location. If you want to discuss more about this, let's talk.

Now that I know what I want, I could either choose to bomb the interviews and get out of these rounds. Or give my best, gain interviewing experience and have an option to take a call at the end, dicsussing with the recruiters.

I decided to give my best shot.

But the catch here was — There was nothing to lose. I wasn't worried about the end results. And the results were insane.

During the day of interviews, I was very relieved and did not feel butterflies in my gut. I could speak naturally.

I was confident and I could feel a fresh breeze in the body. Everything was different. I felt I was myself for the first time during the interviews — brutally honest.

Round One — Technical

  • Introduction
  • Around your Résumé
  • Basic DSA
  • Core CS
  • Puzzles
  • Guesstimates

Tell me about yourself.

This will be asked in almost every round. Super cliché question, but you answer need not be.

Structure your introduction before hand.

  1. List down broad points you want to mention to give an "holistic" profile.
  2. Filter it and connect the dots (for continuity between context switches).
  3. Make it crisp and under one minute.
  4. Give them clear threads of information.

Threads of information for the interviewer to hang on

built with

These threads have to be your strong points. Post which, the interviewer can climb on any one of them.

And it can be genralised for all answers and that is precisely how you drive the interview in your favour.


Here, I decided to experiment. Remember: I had nothing to lose. I made the most of this opportunity.

I always wanted to say — "You have my résumé infront of you. So, I will tell you something outside of this."

Of course, I chose gentler words but I did so.

I spoke about my community work, open-source, curiousity in UI/UX, experimentations with the Web. Then, I phased into projects and mentioned the spectrum — Web Apps, Scripts, Data Analysis Tools, Command-line utilities, Chrome extensions.

Observe here. Count the number of threads I am leaving for the interviewer to jump on.

Side thought: Imagine yourself as the interviewer. You would pick up the thread you know well or the one you are curious about. That makes it fun for the other side as well.

So, the interviewer asked me about one of my Data Analysis projects and what was I building for my final year project. Further, he asked me more about my internship work at JPMC and my Position of Responsibility in one of the college coding committees.

Basic DSA

First, I was asked about a simple LinkedList question, with additional variation of cyclic LinkedList with the solution being the two-pointer approach.

Next, I was asked a standard Dynamic Programming Problem of an n*m matrix around probability.

Core CS

I was asked if I knew Java. I wasn't very comfortable with Java. I could have said this, but I chose to speak strategically.

Do not use negative connotations.

I responded — I studied the language as a part of OOPS core subject in my third semester. I am well-versed with C++ as I prefer to leverage it in Competitive Programming and JavaScript as I have had experience building interfaces with React.

Observe here. I subtly implied that I was versed with it and I did not have a lot of experience around it, but without the negative tone. I also gave further threads to potentially ask questions about.

Give them an easy exit Call to Action.

Post this, I was just asked about OOPS, Classes and Objects. I elaborated with enough analogies and real-time examples.

Surprisingly, the interview took a turn here. I was being asked questions around React.js, the Virtual DOM and the Diffing Algorithm. I comfortably answered those, I turned the interview into my niché.


These were SO much fun. I never knew these were asked in interviews.

Apparently, my batchmates prepared for a bunch of these online and later I found mine as well.

I was asked the Two Dice and Fill the Vertices in the Graph. I was asked to write the psuedocode for the latter.

Find more puzzles. You do not need to prepare for them. They are fun and it's like solving together.

The interviewer is your friend, your colleague. What I believe they are looking for is clear communication of your logical thought process.

Be vocal.


This was another surprise, but I loved it. Hear me out.

"Tell me your favourite fast food joint"

I froze.

I did not know what the follow-up would be. I was silent and took my own sweet time to understand. I subtly started smiling as he waited for the answer.

I said — The Serial Griller. I went there last month.

"What is the yearly turnover for this restaurant?"

My smile widened as the confusion peaked. I did not understand the motive.

I took a step back, gulped and started from scratch.

I started explaining my thought process. Range of burger costs. Average Cost per burger. Seating area. Average customers per day. Competitive food joints in the same line. Average orders on a weekday and weekend. Average turnover for a week.

As I was going to mutliply to find the yearly turnover, I remembered I forgot to take into account online orders. I told this out loud. And as I remembered this fact, I realized why this question was asked —

To see how broadly we can think. The goal was to see how far we could think and what kind of factors we take into account, with the fact that we were communicating coherently.

I narrated this observation to him as well — "Oh, now it all makes sense". He smirked.

We had a good time. Both of us. I could feel it.


The interview was concluded by asking the controversial question — If I get the offer from JPMC, and we give you the offer too; what would you choose?

I knew this was coming, I had my answer ready. I gave my logic behind choosing JPMC.

Now, as I waited for my rejection from further rounds and my day to get over — I was called in for the further rounds.

Round Two — Technical

I was surprised to make it through. Why did they take me when I specifically told them that I would choose the other?

Was it the reasoning I gave why I am choosing JPMC in the dilemma or were they admiring the loyalty? I was puzzled.

  • Introduction
  • Around your Résumé
  • DSA
  • Design Patterns

The same introduction. I would introduce myself and my domains broadly. And then outside my résumé — Communities, Open Source, Web, Design, UI/UX, GDSC, Competitive Programming.

After these, she asked me more about my experience as the GDSC Lead. My role, events, leading a team, tech/non-tech events. Also stated that I delivered a talk on Fundamental Design Principles.

Further, she asked about two of my major projects. We spoke and discussed at length about it.

She looked complacent. I was composed.

Basic DSA

Now that I mentioned a lot about development, she asked me the most interesting or challenging problem I faced with Data Structures while building.

A very good question.

I thought about it and gave a very small yet impactful example.

The winter prior to this, I worked on an open-source social media application like Instagram. We had to implement the "Comments" functionality. We were storing the strings (comments) in an array.

While displaying, we offered options to sort the comments chronologically, in both ascending or descending order. The implementation could have been reversing the list, or traversing it in a reverse order to display it.

However, I told this was not a Data Structure problem, it required a UI fix.

We just reversed the comment list on the fly, without manipulating the data.

A list of comments in ascending and descending order

Sometimes, we could handle data on the frontend, without any major computations on the server.

There was a sense of intrigue in her eyes as she listened to my explanation.

Core CS and DSA

Furthermore, she asked about Hashmaps. I started my detailed answer.

At the end, I said: The Time Complexity to insert an element — It is O(1) Amortized, if we take into collisions.

I fell into that one. The last line was a thread to ask more questions.

She asked me about collisions, and then about collision handling algorithms.

I did not remember any names. Although, I remembered a vague approach we were taught in one of the Algorithms lecture in my curriculum.

As I explained, she connected the dots for me and told me the algorithm's name is — Linear Probing. I low-key sighed because I created this scope of follow-up.

Read more about Hashing and Collisions.

Next, she asked me if I knew Java. And I gave the same answer as before. She asked me if knew about any of the Java Design Patterns (since I gave a talk on "Design Principles" cries). I gently denied and we concluded.

Read more about Java Design Patterns.


I was again put in the dilemma and asked to choose between the two organisations. I gave the same answers and reasoning. She nodded.

I ended by asking her a rhetoric about what she would have done if she were in my place. She smiled and said she was not allowed to answer that.

I confidently smiled and concluded: I think you would have done the same. She smirked.

Round Three — HR

I was surprised. Again?

What aspects of my decision to select the other organisation was appealing?

I went inside the room. It was the head HR, apparently. Very mature, looked advanced in years. He warm-smiled and asked me to sit.

It was dead-silent.

He handed over two sheets of paper on the desk infront of me. There were multiple criteria and numeric scores written. He told me that those were my evaluation sheets from the first two interviews.

"You are one of the best candidates we interviewed till date."

My vision blurred. I couldn't feel my legs.

I smiled. He asked me the location I'd like to choose. I said I would like Bangalore and provided my reasoning behind it. He agreed.

He had one last concern — JPMC. I shrugged.

The same question. The same answer.

He asked me to confirm my decision and I agreed. I was also surprised that all the interviewers took my reasoning in good sprit and they respected the decision.

My rounds concluded.

Note: There was one last round HR plus behavioural round after this.

Few more suggestions

  • The interviewer is your friend, they are there to help you.
  • Articulate your logical thought-process, transparently and clearly.
  • Think enough and take sufficient pauses to answer.
  • Ask questions at the end. Reverse Interview.
  • Roll back your shoulders and keep your back upright.
  • Smile. It goes a long way.


This was till date one of the most impactful and insightful experiences I have had.

It made me realise that we get insane amount of confidence, once we know there is nothing to lose. There is just so much to gain from everywhere.

It instilled me confidence and helped me recognize my worth. It gave me self-trust and inner-confidence.

Feel free to shoot your queries and thoughts. I would like to help to the best of my capability.