Interview appointment was scheduled for 9:30 AM. Visa class - H1B extension beyond 6 years with I-140 approval. Completed biometrics on Nov14th. Once fingerprinting is done, they apply a small sticker with barcode on your latest passport.
Arrived at the consulate at 8 am - Nov 15th. Queue was almost empty and walked straight up. First gentleman verified barcode sticker on the passport. Next up walked to the security check and then entered consulate. Stood in two different lines and entered the visa lobby around 8:30 am.
First step on entering the lobby wass to check-in with the second gentleman. They assist you with the counter and where you need to proceed. Finger printing was counter 17 and walked around a bit and stood in line. H1/L1 candidates were being directed to counters 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 31. They were sending candiadates with language restrictions to other counters. I was asked to stand in counter 23.
VO: Good morning.
Me: Good morning. How are you doing ?
VO: Doing good, please slide your passport.
Me: Here you go .. (handed over the passport to him)
VO: Who is your petitioner ?
Me: Qualcomm Inc.
VO: So you are gonna be working in San Diego ?
VO: What do you do ?
Me: I am embedded sw engineer and my main responsibility is to develop protocol software for LTE & WCDMA.
VO: This product you worked on, has it been sold to someone ?
Me: Yes, this chip can be found in Apple iPhone 7 models and Samsung S7 models.
VO: So the S7 note problem is your fault ? (Was smiling at this point)
Me: Fortunately it wasn't our fault. From newspaper reports it seems like battery produced in their factory had some quality control issues.
VO: Ok .. sounds good, btw what is your salary ?
Me: XXX,XXX. I have pay slips for your reference (just mentioned it didn't take it out).
VO: Not needed. Where did you go to school ?
Me: MS from Georgia Tech and Bachelors from Anna university.
VO: What is your duration of visit ?
Me: From X to Y, roughly 2.5 years.
VO: I meant your duration of India vacation ?
Me: Oh, i am here for 2 weeks and will be leaving on Nov 24th.
VO: Why Nov 24th ?
Me: 25th is black friday and i want to buy a new laptop (both of us were smiling at this point).
VO: Your visa has been approved. It warm and sunny outside, enjoy rest of your day.
Me: Thank you.
All through the interview, he wasn't looking at my face. He just kept on typing something on the screen. Only when he said my visa is approved, he looked at my face and smiled. Walked outside and it was drizzling at 9:15 AM. Basically interview was done and dusted even before my appointment specified time.
Important things to note ...
1. Be confident. Don't stutter or stammer when responding to questions.
2. Speak in the small mic attached to the left hand side of the glass window. Otherwise for every question they keep pointing you to go there.
3. Keep your answers to the point and precise. If your response is more than 10 seconds for one question they seem to get visibly irritated.
4. They usually don't ask documents but be prepared to show them in chronological order.
I will post the experience of some other people who interviewed on the same counter and what mistakes they made.