How I got into Rakuten, Bangalore -Data Engineer II -Roadmap- Interview experience- Rounds -Preparation -Material -Sandy Inspires

Santhosh — Day 1 at Rakuten, Bangalore office

A bit about me!

I started work as a Data Engineer at Rakuten, Bangalore from December 2022; I’ve been actively participating in hackathons and building solution on top of Power Platform for the past two years. Won five hackathons (~$6500) in last two years, out of which three are hosted by Microsoft. I hold six Azure certifications (including DP-203 and DP-100) and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Almost all my weekends are dedicated to hackathons, open source, and building on Azure. Recently delivered a Speech at Azure Community Conference 2022 held at The Leela Palace, Chennai, India (Asia’s Largest Azure Community Conference). I’m also the Azure Developer Community Lead for Chennai region. All this in just two years of my software career. I’m damn lucky!! More on my LinkedIn and Instagram


1. How I got the Interview call? Did I apply?
2. Interview Process
3. Difficulty Level
4. Level of Data Structures and Algorithms asked
5. Level of System Design asked
6. Preparation Strategy
7. Benefits
8. Connect with me

How I got the Interview call?

It was a good Friday evening, was heading out for some snacks. My phone rang!! Call from Rakuten for Data Engineer II, it all started from there.

Interview Process

Round 1

Programming Knowledge —Easy to Medium — I was tested on my Python and SQL skills, mostly basics programming OOPs concepts and how I approach a problem — No DSA

Round 2

Database Design — Easy to Medium— Was asked to design a system — a database scheme design question.

Round 3

Behavioral questions and fitment round — Typical questions like why you want to switch, what’s your career aspirations, why do you want to join Rakuten, etc.

Difficulty Level

To be honest I didn’t feel any of the rounds where difficult, but it was tricky, you’ve to understand things clearly before answering, I mostly do trial and error, so I was hard to switch to a proper way of answering. Don’t lie in any step of the interview process, people can clearly see through you.

Level of Data Structures and Algorithms

I didn’t feel the need of learning data structures at least to solve something but I did learn it to understand how things work under the hood. I didn’t reverse a Linked List nor did write a piece of code to traverse a Binary Tree.

Level of System Design

As someone with two years of experience you won’t be allowed to do any system design work that’s what System Architect are for. But again for understand in a very high level of how these complex system works, I learnt few designs. I focused on Database designs and who to design schemas for large organizations.

Preparation Strategy

I used mostly official docs as reference and few medium blogs on best practices and implementations.
Skills needed — Python, Spark, Hive, Hadoop, SQL
Didn’t pay a single dime to learn things!!
Didn’t take up any mock interviews
Didn’t ask a senior for help with my preparation
Didn’t ask for advice on how to approach a problem
I do mostly Trial and Error — that’s part of my learning approach and process but it may not be good for you or don’t recommend to people


A plate with India food

Free Food — (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Free Gym Facility
Free Yoga
A complete floor dedicated to relaxing and playing games
A view of Cubbon Park
A view of UB City
Individual Building with great accessibility via Bus and Metro
Good work timings
Will add more in the future!!!

Connect with me

LinkedIn — Santhosh Kumar Dhanasekaran
Instagram — sandy_inspires
Twitter — sandy_inspires

Best wishes to all!

Good one



Santhosh Kumar Dhanasekaran ( Sandy Inspires )

Data Engineer II Rakuten | 6X Hackathon Wins (~$6500) | Microsoft Certified Trainer | Spark | Hive | Hadoop | Azure Conference Speaker | Tutorial Writer

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