November 22, 2022
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How to Switch From Service-based to Product-based Companies

Know what it takes to switch your career from service-based companies to product-based companies | Insights into the interviews at product-based companies.

It’s frustrating, isn’t it

Low annual salary hikes and no work-life balance.

You might have seen your friends working in product-based companies in India or abroad, enjoying a life that is way better than yours.

Even though they joined their respective companies as software engineers at the same time as you after graduation.

So, what did they do differently?

The answer - they already made the switch from a service-based company to a product-based company, earning more while you are still stuck in a dead-end job.

Are you too aspiring to change the course of your career?

Are you willing to join a company with better perks?

Are you willing to put in the hard work required to make the switch?

If the answer is yes, then you are at the right place.

In this article, we will be guiding you on what kind of preparation you will need to make the switch to product-based companies.

But before that let us understand the inherent differences between both product and service-based companies and why the former is deemed better.

Your role as a software engineer in service-based companies and product-based companies 🔍

Before switching your job or learning the requirements to join a product-based company, you must know some basics.

This is to understand why a service-based company pays you less.

A simple example would be that freshers still get 3-5 lakh when joining a service-based company. While product-based companies pay almost 3 to 5 times more than that.

What is different in product-based companies? How it earns more and what work you will need to do there?

Read on to find the answers.

What is a service-based company?

Service-based companies create software for those companies that lack expertise in the IT domain.

For example, banks.

Service-based companies in India or anywhere in the world focus on providing specialized services to their clients through applying skills, expertise, and resources.

Here the customer is the king because these companies create or render services when the need arises.

The price of their services depends on their expertise, skills, and the strength of their work.

The money they make lies in their great innovative ideas, customer service, quick deliveries, and accuracy.

In this way these companies make their customers value the price.

While the startup cost of these companies is low, they have to strive to not only be better but unique in the market.

And due to this, they often challenge themselves with new requirements and deadlines.

Service-based companies can’t put a direct price on their service, like how product-based companies like Apple or Microsoft can do.

Infosys, Wipro, TCS, HCL, and Cognizant are a few well-known service-based IT companies.

Some of the services provided by service-based companies are as follows:

  • Web development
  • Consulting services
  • Maintenance of software
  • Business Performance Management
  • Strategic solutions, etc.

What is a product-based Company?

Product-based companies construct and enhance their products for their own customers.  

These businesses seek out hot market issues and address them with their expertise in the IT domain to provide value and generate profits.

For instance, Google is a product-based company focused on IT computing and networking. Google uncluttered the data over the internet and provided its users with “Google search”.

Google didn't stop here.

It kept on improving its products on market demand.

Bringing in new features that enhanced its customers' experiences, like Google Chrome, Voice Search, Google Lens, and the list goes on and on.

Adobe, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are some of the best examples in the top product-based companies list.

Software engineers, switching from service-based companies to product-based companies see some significant changes.

These changes are both in the scope of work and work culture.

Differences between work life at Service-based companies and Product-based Companies

Without a doubt, both service-based and product-based companies give their employees a number of chances to succeed in the workplace and advance in their careers.

But, software engineers all over the world have found that product-based businesses generally present better opportunities.  

Below listed are some of the main differences between the two.

Service-Based companies

Below listed are some of the main differences between them.

Differences between work life at Service-based companies and Product-based Companies
Differences between work life at Service-based companies and Product-based Companies

Switching from service-based companies to product-based companies 🔃

We know that having seen and heard of a life that is way better than the one you currently have, you may have already set your heart on a career in a product-based company.

Well, rightly so with the added benefits one enjoys in those.

But is it really all glitters and golds?

How hard is it to switch from a Service-based company to a Product-based Company?

Freshers and software engineers working in service-based companies see the glamour in product-based companies and jump on the bandwagon to make a fresh start in a career that sounds like a money-making machine.

However, getting into these companies is challenging due to their limited staff requirements and the speciality they demand from a candidate.

When hiring individuals, service-based companies go through rounds that involve aptitude, basic coding, and an interview.

Whereas product-based companies adopt a more competitive recruitment process focused on the coding skills of the aspirants.

A product-based company includes the following recruitment stages:

✪ Telephonic interviews

✪ Coding assessments

✪ Technical interviews

✪ Behavioural interviews

These are more focused on a candidate’s problem-solving abilities.

Clearing these rounds is tougher than competing for service-based companies' basic coding and interview rounds.

But by no means this is out of your reach.

By following the right process, anything is possible. You need a good preparation plan, consistency and a correct mindset.

So let’s get the ball rolling and dive into the requirements of these companies.

5 Requirements to get into product-based companies

Being in a service-based company, you might already be familiar with some of these requirements but it won't be enough.

So let’s see the skills you need to have in order to get into a product-based company.

🟢 Select a language and get proficient in it

C++, Java, and Python are some of the most popular coding languages used by employees working in product-based companies.

You can pick anyone to get started with your preparation.

However, we suggest going for java or C++ as their syntaxes are self-explanatory.

🟢 Learn Data Structures and Algorithms (DSA)

DSA plays a very crucial role in problem-solving.

You might not be aware of the fact that DSA can help solve real-world problems.

Real-world problems that require months to solve can be solved in minutes using DSA expertise. For instance, solving a Rubik's cube.

👉 DSA for Mid-sized companies:

Learn the fundamentals of data structures and algorithms.

These include array, linked list, stack, queue, binary tree, hash maps, searching, sorting, and two pointers.

👉 DSA for top-tech companies:

If your aim is to target prominent tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft only preparing the basics of DSA won’t be enough.

You need to prepare DSA up to the intermediate level. (Concepts like backtracking, greedy approach, try, bit manipulation, dynamic programming, etc.)

🟢 Learn theoretical concepts

You have to get your hands on core computer science subjects like Operating systems, Computer Networks, OOPs concepts, SQL, DBMS, etc.

🟢 Work on projects that stand out

It would be perfect if you have a working project.

Create your own unique projects or contribute to open source.

It is preferable to prepare full-stack projects rather than focusing solely on the front end or back end.

It will improve your chances of being hired because full-stack developers are in high demand.

🟢 Prepare for technical and behavioural interviews

You can get the list of technical and behavioural questions from websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, GeeksforGeeks, etc. that are asked in these interviews and prepare accordingly.

Consider writing codes on a whiteboard, and paper while preparing and taking timed tests to crack the coding interviews.

You can also appear for mock interviews to practice the questions asked.

This will help you to understand how to frame answers both for coding and behavioural rounds.

You can apply at Preplaced, an interview preparation platform for one-on-one mock interviews with mentors who are already placed at the companies you are aspiring to join.

Book a Mock Interview Session with an Interviewer from your target companies

Interview process for product-based companies and how you can prepare for the job

Now that we have talked about the skill requirements, let’s talk about the the interview process for product-based companies.

The process depends on the company you are working at and the experience you have in the field of software development.

They may vary from company to company.

If you are lost and confused about your target company’s interview process, consider choosing a mentor who will guide you throughout the preparation journey.

☑️ Resume shortlisting

This is the first round for many big tech companies. A resume is very important in getting an interview.

Because of the high competition, you must have something in your resume that makes you stand out.

Let's look at what are the things to keep in mind while preparing your resume to increase the chances of you getting shortlisted for the interview.

👉Pick the Right Resume Format and Layout

A neat and well-written resume will capture more attention of the interviewer.

Make sure that you divide your resume into 5 sections with highlighted section names.

Resume sections can be skills, education, experience, achievements, projects, etc.

👉Resume Content

Having covered the fundamentals, let's understand how to construct a resume.

A typical resume includes the following sections:

  • Contact Information
  • Professional Resume Summary or Objective
  • Work Experience (and Achievements)
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Optional Sections - Languages, Publications, Hobbies, etc.

👉Resume Summary or Objective

It's no secret that first impressions matter, whether it is your personal or professional life. The HR manager spends approximately 6 seconds scanning each resume.

Yes, your perfectly prepared, hand-written resume gets barely 6 seconds of attention.

Unless you succeed to stand out in your first impression.

You can stand out by exhibiting an extraordinary working experience in your company, previous projects, or a high rank on coding platforms.

☑️Coding Round

It is organised either in online mode or offline mode, with questions about fundamental ability, technical subjects, and coding.

This phase may or may not be a part of the interview process for experienced professionals.

To clear the questions of these companies, you can practise on websites like GeeksforGeeks, HackerRank, CodeChef, Leetcode etc.

☑️Technical Interviews

The questions asked in this round are purely from data structure and algorithm. Good command over DSA is required to make it possible for you to clear it.

There are mainly 2-3 DSA questions asked in the interview with a few questions based on Computer networks, Operating systems, OOPs, DBMS, etc.

☑️Behavioural Round/ HR Round

In this round, behavioural questions are asked during an interview.

It is conducted to understand how you handle work situations, obstacles, or circumstances.

These questions provide insight into your abilities, skills, and personality traits.

These assist interviewers to get an idea of your performance in the company in the future.

Behavioural questions are sometimes referred to as situational interview questions since they request particular work examples with full descriptions of the environment, action, and outcome and go beyond explaining the duties and responsibilities of previous employment.

Generally, these recruitment rounds are common in all product companies. It’s the questions and selection process where the difference lies.

Final words

Preparing for a top product-based company while already working in a service-based company becomes a double challenge.

Here you need to manage your tight schedule deadlines along with taking out time for preparing for your dream job.

In this case, you need a proper roadmap to switch from a service-based company to a product-based company.

You need to set your daily, weekly and monthly targets to complete the preparation.

To achieve this you need a mentor who can provide you with that roadmap and offer you hand-holding support until you make the switch.

What if you can connect with mentors who are already working in the company you aspire to join? 😉

Won't it make your work super easy?

Preplaced offers you exactly that.

Choose the mentor working in your dream company and make your journey as smooth as humanly possible.

Be the part of Interview Preparation Program now