Exploring GAIL Prospects: Placement Diaries

Exploring GAIL Prospects: Placement Diaries

GAIL, also known as Gas Authority of India Ltd., is one of India’s leading natural gas companies and a Central Public Sector Undertaking that focuses on natural gas processing and distribution in India. GAIL is one of the top-priority recruiters that visit NIT Rourkela for on-campus placements annually and accepts graduates through competitive examinations. This academic year (2020-21), 7 students from different branches were placed in GAIL through on-campus placements.

RECRUITS SPEAK:

CIVIL ENGINEERING

MOHAMMED ANAS

PREPARATION STRATEGY

My preparations started in December when we knew that GAIL (India) Limited would visit the campus. I was delighted to know our branch was also eligible for this placement season. Like everybody else, I saw this as an opportunity that I must seize.

Hence, in line with my preparation for GATE, I started revising the major core subjects such as Fluid Mechanics, Soil Mechanics, RCC, and Environmental Engineering. These topics require in-depth clarity (not formulas or derivation but from a conceptual point of view) with insights into their practical applications in the industry.

Besides, I researched about GAIL, the current projects it is working on, and its different business segments.

Presentation plays a vital role during an interview. Being prepared for an interview by reviewing some FAQs and the experience of past recruits gives an upper edge. Mock interviews in front of a mirror or some friends also provide an idea of polish areas.

RESOURCES FOR PREPARATION

Some of the major books and self-made notes that I managed to bring back before lockdown proved beneficial in revising the concepts thoroughly. The material I preferred is the study package by Made Easy. The in-depth explanations and questions provided help me with conceptual clarity. Gate Academy video lectures on YouTube were also good sources. Further, one can look up almost all the concepts online that are readily available.

Our course curriculum aligns with the theoretical and practical aspects as seen from an industrial point of view.

INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

After the CG shortlist, we had one personal interview (PI) round, which comprised both the technical and the HR perspectives. The panel was learned and seemed very qualified but was humble.

The interview consisted of questions from different spheres, including my introduction, my past internship (which they were very convinced of by my answer to their cross-questions), some core questions, and their practical applications (they put me into situations and asked my point of view about the same), and questions on my project. There were some questions about the company, which was to know if the candidate has done some research.

PROJECTS AND INTERNSHIPS

The first question the panel asked me was regarding my past internship. Unfortunately, unlike others, my pre-final year internship at IIT Madras got called off due to the unavoidable Covid situation. So, I had to tell them about my 2nd-year internship at Rourkela Steel Plant.

Thereafter, I was told to brief about my final year project and was asked some questions regarding them. They just wanted to comprehend whether the work I did was legit or I was bluffing through the questioning.

WORDS OF ADVICE

Have your basics clear and have some practical insight into the concepts, as the panel will put you in tricky situations to test your conceptual clarity. Be honest with yourself about the work you put into something, even if it's small. Believe in yourself and give the best you can. And yes, do not panic. It's just an interview.

AYUSH PRASAD KASAR

PREPARATION STRATEGY

The company revealed its on-campus placement program near mid of December. Being on top of my category based on CGPA, I was confident of my shortlist, so I focused on the PI.

I opted for Ethnus Eguru mock interviews for the Technical and HR round, which was of substantial assistance. It is a person-to-person interaction, and the interviewers are quite professional. They made me aware of my strengths and weaknesses in the interview. I also conducted mock interviews with the help of two of my friends. One of my friends contacted a professional in GAIL via LinkedIn, which further boosted my confidence and prepared me well.

Two predetermined questions one needs to prepare for during the mock interview are:

Q. Why do you want to join GAIL? (any company)

The company's website, annual report, and its market details (stock and financial market) helped me build up my specific answer for this. I also referred to YouTube to get the company's job insights and its current projects.

Prepare this answer by company's and your career growth perspective. Avoid saying that it ensures job security; considering it to be a PSU, government job, Maharatna, Navratna, etc. because these are known facts.

Q. Introduction.

This has to be kept simple, specific, brief, and unique. Deliver with confidence and prepare for any cross question for any word which you have included. The questions are asked from what we say, and then the interview can be controlled by us. The proper choice of words matters.

RESOURCES FOR PREPARATION

I referred to MS Shetty for Concrete Technology and N Subramanian for RCC and dealt with Geotech, environment, and structural in brief. LinkedIn, mock interviews, YouTube, the company's website, its annual report, my final year project, internship were all of the great assistance.

For gate -

https://1drv.ms/u/s!BJkTzv7k_jlniVktJkqrJx60xEId?e=7yTUKc

https://1drv.ms/u/s!ApkTzv7k_jlnkj7l_U2RiRCnHMPO?e=bNLP0l

link for book list - Best Books for GATE Civil Engineering (CE) 2022 - Check Here! (careers360.com)

[PDF] Civil Engineering GATE Study Materials Collection Free Download – EasyEngineering

CIVIL ENGINEERING FOR ALL - Download Civil Engineering Notes and Materials PDF's For Free (civilenggforall.com) (password – civilenggforall)

[PDF] GATE Study Material for Civil Engineering (CE) (gate2016.info)

GATE Study Material for Civil Engineering | GATE Notes for Civil 2021 (gradeup.co)

INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

After the general greetings and discussion about college and a brief introduction, they started with the formal questioning. The two HR questions asked were my reason to join and if GAIL was a debt-free company. My determined answer was that with my deep technical knowledge, I would help GAIL realize the GOI initiative of increasing Natural Gas contribution from 6% to 15% by 2030 and GAIL having a PAT (Profit After deducting Tax) of 6621 crores as per 2019-20 annual report was definitely a debt-free company. The panel seemed impressed with my answers and moved to the technical questions.

They asked about my final year project and then went deeper into questioning my project topic's subject matter (Geopolymer Concrete using GGBS, fly ash, and metakaolin). Some of the questions include:

  1. What is Geopolymer Concrete?
  2. What is fly ash?
  3. What is the IS Code used for fly ash for concrete?
  4. What is the recommended composition (maximum replacement) of fly ash in concrete?
  5. Why is it used?
  6. What is the property for which it is used? (pozzolanic properties)
  7. What is pozzolana?
  8. What is meant by polymerization?
  9. Tell me, what will happen if I replace fly ash with soil? (In this case, he gave me a situation I needed to answer to, so I asked the question again for clarity)
  10. Can you brief me about two scenarios?
  11. What is the difference between rigid pavement and flexible pavement?
  12. What are the materials used for both rigid and flexible pavement?
  13. What is your favourite subject? (Concrete technology and reinforced cement concrete)
  14. What is meant by Under Reinforced beam and Over Reinforced beam?
  15. What is the difference between the Over Reinforced Section and the Doubly Reinforced Section?

They then enquired about the software I was familiar with. As I claimed that I knew AutoCAD, StaadPro, Primavera, MS Office, their cross-question to this was if I knew what CPM was. Further, they asked if I was placed in any company and will I join it. Apart from these, they asked about internship experience and a few questions on GAIL's Job roles. Overall the interview went smoothly, and I kept smiling and answering to the point with confidence.

PROJECTS AND INTERNSHIPS

Both projects and internships are beneficial for core companies. But what the recruiters look for in their candidates is the legitimacy of the work done. Hence, it's important to effectively express your contribution to the project and show that you have learned something.

Due to COVID– 19, our final year project changed from experimental to computational. So mine was related to the analysis of the torsional behaviour of an RCC beam using ABAQUS. At that time, I hardly knew anything about it. So I wrote my final year project topic as Geopolymer Concrete using GGBS, fly ash, and metakaolin. This topic was initially allotted to me, and I had studied some past papers on it.

I confidently answered the questions about my final year project and was ready for any cross-questions on results or progress. About the internship I did at Vizag Steel Plant, I was ready for the questions they could ask related to civil works in a steel plant, but they didn't ask about it.

WORDS OF ADVICE

Prepare for competitive exams, placements, or startups right from starting depending upon your interest. Make a practically viable schedule for daily activities while allowing float time as well. Include everything, i.e. study, preparation, yoga/meditation/exercise, sports, fun entertainment, sleep, etc., depending upon your need. Always focus on concepts and remain consistent in life. It's you and your decisions that are responsible for your success. Do what you like and love with full dedication, and share your thoughts, knowledge with your friends and parents. Know your strength and weakness and prepare accordingly. Always find positivity in others and try to adopt it.

For competitive exams, knowledge, speed, accuracy, and focus also play a critical role. Try to incorporate mock tests at least twice or thrice a week. Revise regularly and always rectify your doubts and mistakes. For placements, try to give mock tests for OT. AMCAT, UPGRADE, BULLSEYE, INDIABIX are websites where one can access good resources for core Computer Adaptive Tests. For interviews, prepare accordingly based on companies. Clear basic concepts and think for practical approaches. Prepare using mock interviews with your friends or with any other application. Don't ever give a chance to leave anything unprepared from your side so that you can blame yourself for not doing so. Be healthy, drink adequate water and take 6-8 hrs of sleep. Success will be definitely assured.

PIYUSH KESHARWANI

PREPARATION STRATEGY

I was preparing for GATE when they informed us that the company was going to visit the campus. Preparing for GATE almost equalises with preparing for the technical part of the interview. After the GATE exam (6th February), I started studying about the company's profile. I familiarized myself with the company about their view, mission, origin and history, revenue and current projects. By the day, I started making notes of the company and revising it so that everything was on the tip of my tongue during the interview.

My focus was mostly on concrete mix design, building designing, and structural engineering because practical questions arise from these parts. Although GAIL is concerned with pipelines and soil excavations, their questions can be very random at times, and it doesn't matter the domain the company caters to. So, one needs to have a broader knowledge of all the spheres.

RESOURCES FOR PREPARATION

Our course curriculum aligns perfectly with the theoretical and technical part one needs expertise on. If one has good knowledge and grip over courses in Civil Engineering, they will answer the technical questions. I followed standard books and self-made notes of professors and the handbooks, which are easy to revise and memorize.

Postal coaching book packages offered by publications like Made Easy also come in handy while preparing for GATE, ESE, and PSUs.

INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE 

I prepared thoroughly for the HR round, but to my surprise, they asked me just a single question:

Q. Is this your first interview, or have you opted for some other company as well?

I told them that I had got placed in L&T, to which they asked the reason for me wanting to join GAIL. I replied that I intended to work with some PSU only, and the reason behind applying for L&T was to check my knowledge (L&T interviews are considered one of the toughest). They didn't seem convinced by my answer. Hence I topped it off because GAIL was the only company having a subsidiary in the USA, and they were working on Shale gas production. I talked about the future of GAIL if it acquires technology for the production of shale gas. They complimented me on this answer and didn't ask me any further HR questions.

Coming to the technical part, they put me into the practical type of situations and asked about my internship experience:

  1. What did you learn there?
  2. What were your projects?
  3. Which codes they have used?
  4. Being a site engineer, can you differentiate between a civil engineer and a mechanical engineer?
  5. Do you know about plasticizers?
  6. Tell us the names of two commercial plasticizers.
  7. Are there any limitations to using plasticizers?

They dug deeper into my experience and put cross-questions to build more pressure.

PROJECTS AND INTERNSHIPS

Since I was occupied with GATE preparation, I took advantage of the provision this time to opt for theory subjects over a project. Consequently, the panel started the questioning based on my 3rd-year internship at Meinhardt Singapore Pvt. Ltd., at Rourkela Wastewater Treatment Plant:

  1. Tell us about the work you did in the sewage treatment plant?
  2. Please mention any six sewage treatment units.
  3. What is the use of a sludge digestion tank?
  4. What is a sludge thickener?
  5. What are the design criteria for the sludge thickener?
  6. Which IS code we are using, and what is the serviceability requirement for that?
  7. What is the serviceability requirement for any liquid-containing structure?

WORDS OF ADVICE

Firstly, study the company seriously and with genuine interest. Be aware of every aspect, i.e. why the company is in the news and its current position and projects. For the technical part, be precise and clear your concepts in the domain. Most importantly, try to know about the IS codes they are following. For PSUs, as far as civil engineering is considered, subjects like environmental Engineering, structural engineering, and geotechnical require thorough revision. Follow the syllabus provided in the NIT Rourkela curriculum as the revised syllabus (from 2017) complies with the GATE syllabus, which will suffice for the technical round.

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

MOHAMMAD SHAKIR KHAN

shakir

PREPARATION STRATEGY

I read on Glassdoor that in GAIL interviews, mostly the first question is "What are your favourite two subjects?”. So I picked two subjects, i.e. Machines and Power systems. These two were favourite subjects of most of the previously selected students, so I prepared in-depth in these two subjects. For the HR round, I used to talk to my friends in English because my speaking skills were not at all good when I joined the institute. Luckily my friends were supportive, and also, they were all very good at speaking, so eventually I improved a little.

RESOURCES FOR PREPARATION

I found that Unacademy was the best study resource. I was preparing for GATE because I was not placed for a very long time, so GATE was my only hope. Professors like Ankit Goyal, Vishal, Kamesh Shrivastava, Ajay Gupta, Prameet Lawas were my favourite

Unacademy has free videos as well as videos that can be watched after a subscription. If your economic condition is good, do take a subscription. Otherwise, they provide free lectures on the Kreatryx YouTube channel, and you must definitely go for it if you are preparing for GATE or technical rounds of interview. 

INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

If you choose Machines or Power Systems topic, you must be good at 

  • Power system protection, i.e. topics like circuit breakers, line isolators, Buchholz relay, vacuum circuit breakers, etc
  • Various methods to reduce transients in power systems, i.e. both during normal operation and faults.
  • How to improve running characteristics of various machines and braking mechanisms used in various machines.
  • What does ground mean, and how to do grounding practically. Also, the difference between ground and neutral.

Firstly, they start with some usual questions to lighten the mood. They asked me about my stay, family, and if anyone works in a PSU, hobbies, etc. 

Technical questions:

  1. What are the various components of a Power System?
  2. What is the difference between the line isolator and circuit breaker?
  3. What are the various protection systems in the transformer?
  4. Tell us about Vacuum Circuit Breakers.
  5. What is the resistance that should be added to remove transients during a fault?
  6. Why do we use neutral in our system?

All the questions can be easily answered if you are thorough with your concepts. I will personally suggest Ankit Goyal’s video lectures that are available on YouTube and Unacademy. 

HR questions:

  1. Do you get stressed? How do you relieve stress?
  2. What does GAIL produce and various CSR initiatives of GAIL?

PROJECTS AND INTERNSHIPS

I didn't do any internship, neither did my project help here. I did vocational training at Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which helped me answer questions related to transformer protection and speed control of motors. 

WORDS OF ADVICE

I would like to advise that if you are looking to get into a core company, you must be proficient in machines and power systems since most of the core companies ask questions only from these two areas. Join one technical club and work in it wholeheartedly; it will help you think more practically than theoretically. Do play sports every day and stay healthy. I played table tennis and badminton a lot during my four years at NIT Rourkela, especially after coming back from classes, which helped me stay away from stress.

DEBIDUTTA SAHOO

PREPARATION STRATEGY

I started late in my preparations for core companies. I had a few months to cover the syllabus, so instead of preparing all the topics, I chose to prepare only the important topics but with deep understanding. I used to make detailed notes daily. Clean and detailed notes helped me a lot to brush up on the topics at the last minute. Going through the lectures multiple times made me confident in my preparations.

Since we weren't informed about the interviews beforehand and got to know about it on the day itself, I would say daily consistency in my preparations and not waiting for an interview date to start revision helped me crack this kind of surprise interview.

I feel the best way for preparing for a company's Interview is to get an idea about the skills and topics most required in the job and cover them thoroughly.

In this case, I would say a good grip on the topics like AC machines part of the Electrical Machines and Power System Stability & Protection along with some basics of Power Electronics are the most important topics one needs to be prepared for. Also, one needs to be ready for practical, real-life based questions. For example- Tell us about the equipment used in an Electrical Substation.

RESOURCES FOR PREPARATION

Ankit Goyal's Lectures on Electrical Machines and Power Systems & Protection on YouTube helped me a lot to crack this interview. It covered almost all of the topics and was my primary source of study material. I also referred to my class notes for some topics.

INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

There was only one interview round in the process. My interview went on for around 30 -35 mins. In the starting, I was asked about my co-curricular activities, followed by some basic general knowledge questions on the foods of my home state. It was then followed by a few easy questions on my internship from my second year. Then I was asked to name the topics I was confident with. I chose the topics 'Synchronous Machines and Inductions Motors'.

I was asked to explain the constructions and working principle of both the machines, followed by explaining the starting methods and, lastly, harmonics in the machines and their cause, effects, and solutions to reduce them. I was asked around 12 -14 questions, and I answered almost all of them except two questions. There were both theoretical and practical questions, with the practical ones more on the difficult side. Overall, my interview went well, and I was quite satisfied with my performance.

PROJECTS AND INTERNSHIP

Due to the chaotic scene in this pandemic, I was clueless about the final year project and hadn't started working on it, honestly, so I didn't mention it.

I did my internship in my second year in the steel industry. The first few questions of the interview were regarding the internship and required pure practical knowledge, which my internship experience helped me answer.

WORDS OF ADVICE

Focus on covering the syllabus efficiently; instead of covering the whole syllabus entirely without in-depth understanding. Choose the crucial topics and cover them thoroughly.

Make detailed notes of subjects that will help you in last-minute preparations. Try to devote some time to your preparation daily. Daily consistency yields more than last-minute all-nighter study.

In the case of projects and internships, ensure that you have a proper understanding of anything you've mentioned. Questions from projects and internships do come up most of the time, and answering them leaves a positive remark, whereas not answering them forms a negative impression.

In my opinion, even though the CGPA is a criterion for the placement drive of core companies, the chances of getting selected largely depend on how well you perform in your interviews. So, try to give your best in the interviews.

BISWAJEET SINGH

Biswajeet

PREPARATION STRATEGY

I brushed up on all my important topics of my core subjects as I was also preparing for GATE. I haven't applied to any software companies as I aimed to go to core companies only. I went through the company website and looked for the projects they are working on because I expected them to ask questions related to them. 

RESOURCES FOR PREPARATION

I had left most of my books and notes in the hostel, so I watched Ankit Goyal’s video lectures of machines from the Kreatryx YouTube channel for preparation. For Power System and Control System, I went through class notes and the GATE Academy YouTube channel. For Power System Protection, I went through a book called “Fundamentals of Power System Protection” from Paithankar (recommended in academic courses). 

INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

The interview went on for around 30-40 minutes. It happened over a video call and had a panel of about 5-6 members. They’ll start with some stress-buster questions and then technical questions:

HR questions:

  1. Tell us about yourself, your hobbies, etc.
  2. Have you ever heard of GAIL?

It is better to choose two of your favourite subjects before the interview itself because the panel will target all the questions on them or related to GAIL’s functioning. Most PSUs deal with Power Systems and Machines, so if you focus on these two subjects, you can do very well in the interview. I had done my internship at NTPC, and hence there were questions related to it as well. My advice here will be not to bluff the answers if you have absolutely no clue about the question. They generally don’t ask the typical HR questions, so you needn’t panic if your interview is purely technical. 

Technical questions:

  1. Have you studied Power Systems (and other questions related to Power System Analysis and Machines)?
  2. Describe the components of Power System.
  3. What are the faults that occur in Power Systems? (Symmetrical and Unsymmetrical faults)
  4. Why is neutral grounding necessary in zero-sequence?
  5. What is the difference between a potential transformer and a current transformer; circuit breaker, and relays?
  6. What are the types of protections used?
  7. What is the substation equipment present in NTPC? How and what are they used for? Which fault can occur?

PROJECTS AND INTERNSHIPS

My final year project was on Quadcopter (control system). They didn’t ask me anything related to it. I had done my internship at NTPC Khalgaon. There I witnessed many things in practice – like how corona discharge happens, how faults occurred, etc. They asked me few questions about them. It would be great and beneficial to you if you do an internship in any power generation units like NTPCs or transmission units like PGCIL.

WORDS OF ADVICE

My interview was almost entirely inclined towards the technical side. Many questions were asked from Power System Analysis and Machines, so brush up your basics on these two subjects at least. Be thorough and have clarity on your internship and final year project. Have a slight smile on your face while answering the questions. Try to grab the whole panel’s attention while you are answering them and maintain eye contact. Don’t try to bluff. 

MANISH KUMAR NAYAK

PREPARATION STRATEGY

The good thing about PSUs is that they ask about your favourite subjects, and the questions are related to those subjects only. I studied Electrical Machines and Power Systems thoroughly. I also went on to know about the company's products and their future projects. The profile I was offered was Marketing. Luckily, I had some experience in this field during my work in the tech-fest, and that knowledge helped me.

Most of the core companies prefer to ask questions on Electrical Machines, Power Systems, and Power Electronics. For PSUs, I believe Machines and Power Systems are enough for cracking the technical interview. However, to play safe, you can get thorough in at least three core subjects. The Power System’s syllabus is vast, but one can focus more on transmission, distribution, and the protection part. In Electrical Machines more importance should be given to Induction machines and Synchronous machines.

RESOURCES FOR PREPARATION

I followed  Ankit Goyal’s video lectures on Electrical Machines and Power Systems, which are available on YouTube. They are very informative, and in my opinion, quite adequate to crack the technical interview. I had also taken training from OPTCL, which also proved to be quite beneficial.

INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE

The interview was conducted in virtual mode. Initially, I was asked to introduce myself, and then they explained the job role they are going to offer me, which was not technical, rather related to the Marketing field. Then they asked me whether I was okay with that and wanted to move on with the interview or not. They even wanted to know if I had any prior experience in that field. As I was part of the Logistics team of Innovision for the past three years, I shared all my experiences with them.

Next, they asked me to name the technical subjects I was comfortable with, to which I replied Electrical Machines and Power Systems. They asked me questions on speed control of the Induction Machine. I had to completely explain the v/f method and few other methods of speed control. I also had to explain the difference between the Slip Ring and Squirrel Cage Induction Machine in terms of their practical applications. Also, there was a question on how a Diesel Generator works in the electrical aspect, and there were few more questions from Power System Protection.

For HR questions, they asked me about the products the company deals with and current projects of GAIL in my state.

PROJECTS AND INTERNSHIP

There were no questions asked on the final year project in the interview, but my internship did help me to give certain technical answers related to Power Systems.

WORDS OF ADVICE

Trust your ability and be focused on your preparations. I know this pandemic has created a very bad situation, but it comes with its windfalls. You can utilize this time at home and learn a lot of things, which will help you in both online tests and interviews. There would be times when no companies would be coming for months, and then suddenly you have to attend the process of 2-3 companies within a week. Don't panic, be patient, and choose your companies wisely as the core companies visit the campus late. Always be informed about the timeline of your dream companies to visit our campus.

Team Monday Morning congratulates all the recruits for their success and wishes them good luck for all the future endeavours. 

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