Interview: Sricharan Karthikeyan (Caterpillar Intern)

Please give us a brief description of your internship profile and the project you did.

The profile is core-technical. My project was based on developing a tool for segregating data obtained from test simulations and test rigs. This data would later be processed and stored for various engine models.

How was the selection process for Caterpillar Inc.?

The selection process included OT, GD and PI. They were mostly concerned about the content and your knowledge rather than how long you are speaking.

What role does pre-placement talk (PPT) play in the selection process? Are there some necessary points aspirants should note during PPT?

PPT informs about the company, its future and current projects. It basically gives an idea how the company functions and if it suits your expectations.

Please tell us about the pattern of OT. Do you have some tips that students should keep in mind while preparing for OT? 

OT primarily consists of topics from Thermodynamic cycles, IC Engines, Machine design elements, and Strength of materials. This constitutes the majority of the OT.

What are the minimum requirements in terms of technical skills that Caterpillar Inc. needs in the candidates? 

They require basic knowledge in some simulation softwares like MATLAB and Excel.

How are the answers for technical questions expected by them? What extent of guessing, reasoning and knowledge should be displayed? Please give an outline of how the answering should be.

Answer the question as short as possible. They need to be to the point. 

How did you prepare for the GD and interviews? What are the topics that students should focus while preparing for GD and interviews of Caterpillar Inc.?

GD topics are general topics and current scenarios. I looked up various topics and prepared short notes.

What are the personality traits that Caterpillar Inc. looks for in the candidates in HR round of personal interviews?

They require you to be hard working, knowledgeable and punctual.

Which stage of the selection process you found most challenging? Is there some advice you’d want to give to the students aspiring to apply for Caterpillar Inc.?

The most challenging one was the GD. Try not to talk just because it’s your turn. Tell valid points and give counters/agreement to previous points.

Please give us an insight into the work culture of Caterpillar Inc. What is a day like being an intern there? How was it varied due to the intern operation being made virtual? 

People there respect your contribution and have a strict time schedule. Seniors listen to your opinion and offer advice for the project. Due to the intern being made virtual, confidential documents couldn’t be transferred before setting the VPN access. So more work was done on Excel VBA.

How much do you think your previous internship/project experience helped you get through the selection process? 

I had done an internship at Renault Nissan, Chennai. I was already accustomed to the work environment in corporate companies. Being part of PSI, I had some experience in simulation and analysis of components. I think this helped boost my value and played a major role in the selection process.

How did you tailor your resume for Caterpillar Inc.? What are the points that they specifically look for in your opinion? 

The interviewers were looking for previous projects and the individual’s contribution in it. Be very thorough about your previous intern/college projects.

What are the major skills that you gained working as an intern at Caterpillar Inc.?

Transferring theoretical knowledge to experimental application, development process of a product and corporate culture.

How did your mentor help you sail through your internship? Is there something you’d want to suggest to the selects in this respect?

Your mentor is the point of contact between you and senior employees. He will be working alongside you on your project. It is helpful to maintain a good relationship with the mentor as it is difficult to work without him.

Sricharan can be reached at

Interview coordinated by Kratika Chaturvedi. 

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