Bank PO Interview: Preparation Guide 2017

Everyone is always so engrossed into preparing for the written/online exams of different banks, that they either neglect the interview preparation aspect or they simply don't understand the importance of the interview process unless they finally get a call for one!

While the preparation of the interview can be put on a back seat till a candidate passes all the exams that precede the interview, it is of utmost importance to understand; how crucial the interview is?
First of all, if we have to define the term "interview" in a rudimentary way then we can say that:
An interview is a process conducted by an employer or representative/s of the employer, to make sure that a candidate applying for that job is fit to impart his/her duties as per the roles and responsibilities that the job requires.

Common Types of Interviews:
  • Face to Face
  • Telephonic
  • Over a Video Call

Here, in the banking sector, the interviews always face to face.
The interview for all Officer Grade banking recruitment processes whether it is SBI PO, IBPS PO or IBPS RRB Officer, are all the same in a general sense.
The candidates are evaluated on a number of defined and or undefined parameters that crop up during the course of the interview. We will discuss them in a bit.
By now since we all know that interview for a bank job is a pretty serious matter, so lets start decoding the whole process step by step.

So how does it all finally pan out?
After passing all the required exams for getting an interview call, when a candidate finally gets the call, the first thing that the candidate must do is: read the instructions mentioned in the call letter.

Note all the crucial aspects such as:
Date of the interview
Timings of the interview
Venue of the interview

List of documents that a candidate has to bring to the interview
MAKE NO MISTAKE IF YOU GOOF UP ON ANY OF THE ABOVE, THEN YOUR DREAM OF GETTING SELECTED FOR A BANK JOB: IS TOAST!

What To Do On The Interview Day?

  • First of all, you MUST reach the interview venue well before the time of reporting mentioned on the call letter.
  • Then you will be required to undergo a bio-metric test and submit all your educational documents for verification. Do remember to carry all your original mark sheets and certificates from class 10th to you latest/highest education such as graduation or post graduation.
  • Make sure to carry at least 2 to 3 sets of photocopies of all the documents along with multiple passport-sized photographs of yours.
  • Do bring different Identity Proof documents such as Aadhar Card/Driving License/Voter's Registration Card as coming prepared is always a good thing.
  • Once your document's verification is done, you will be asked to be seated in a waiting room. Be relaxed all that while and don't feel jittery about what's going to happen in the interview, just be in the current moment.

When The Final Moment Arrives!!

  • Once you are asked to go inside the interview room, gently open the door, you will see 4 to 6 interviewers sitting; ask for their permission to come inside the room. (Don't forget to switch off your mobile phone as you can easily manage to live without it for a brief yet perhaps the most important time of your life) 
  • Once you enter the room, greet every one of them as per the time of the day i.e. Good Morning/Good Afternoon/Good Evening but don't go for a casual approach of saying Hello/Hi.
  • Wait for them to tell you to sit (don't worry they will but don't forget to say thank you).

Body Language

  • Body language is very important as it plays a very pivotal role in imparting the essence of your answers to the interviewers, so be attentive while listening to the interviewers, as a good listener is always perceived as someone humble and he/she always leaves a good impression.
  • Sit with your spine erect and don't loom on the chair as it will send a message that you are not serious about the interview and you lack professionalism.
  • Maintain eye contact while talking to them and address them as Sir/Mam.
  • If you feel nervous then don't worry as it perfectly normal to be a little nervous in situations like this but don't let this become visible in your body language by fidgeting with your fingers, biting your nails, repeatedly adjusting your eye glasses, touching your nose etc.

The Questions and Answers

  • In all the probability the interview will begin by the interviewers asking you: "Tell us something about yourself?"
  • Start by stating your name as: "My name is ...."
  • Tell them about your place of birth (city), your schooling, your educational background, a little introduction about your family members such as your father's occupation, number of siblings you have and your hobbies.
  • But there is a catch in all this!! You won't be allowed to give a non-stop speech on your introduction. They will stop you multiple times in between and derive & pose counter questions from those statements e.g 

There are a plethora of questions that they can throw at you from your introduction alone and answers to all of them cannot be made up before hand as you just don't know what they would ask such as:

  • Tell us something special that your school had?
  • Why did you choose Science/Commerce/Humanities?
  • What was the reason for doing graduation in engineering?
  • Why a banking job after B-Tech?
  • Why a banking job after an MBA?
  • Why not apply for a private sector job?
  • Why not an MNC as they pay much more than PSU Banks?
  • Why not IAS?
  • Why do you have this/these particular hobbies? Kindly tell us what drew you towards them.
  • Why do you have gap years?

When you would mention something as simple as your place of birth, they might ask you about a famous cuisine or a place/monument of public attraction from that city. They just want to check your awareness and your skills to answer out of the box questions.
All your answers should appear to be genuine and not scripted.

Answers to some of the expected ones are:

  • While I agree with you that initially, MNC's pay more than PSU Banks, the kind of job security and respect in society that is provided by PSU Banks is second to none!
  • Honestly speaking, I didn't choose my hobbies, I just found happiness and joy in them hence I made them my hobbies.
  • No doubt a job in the Civil Services is a prestigious job but I have zeroed in on the banking sector and don't change my focus from my goal as consistency is the key to success.
  • Since the recession, there has been a scarcity of good jobs in the engineering field and a job in a bank provides equal growth opportunities like any engineering job, so I aspire for a banking career after my B-Tech.
  • I studied science in school but graduated in B.Com as I feel knowledge of diversified fields makes one ready for challenges from multiple domains.

Then after your introduction part, they will on with asking banking sector related questions. Such as:
  • What do you think about the global economy as of now?
  • Do you think a recession is coming?
  • What do you think about RBI's recent Credit Policy?
  • Do you think the RBI should cut repo rates and if yes then by how much?
  • Do you think Demonetisation was a failure?
  • Do you think tax evasion will be stopped by GST?

And again the list can be endless. So just focus on keeping yourself up to date with current affairs and the news and concepts related to banking and economy and answer them in the best way you can.
Typically an interview for a bank job goes on from 10 to 12 minutes but they can go on even longer if wish to.
After they conclude the interview, thank them with a smile and gently get up without making much noise by moving your chair, and tuck the chair back in where it originally was and leave the room.

Your Appearance and Dress Code

  • Take care of the length and cleanliness of your nails
  • Your clothes should be pressed/ironed
  • Wear soothing and professional colour combinations. Remember you are not going for a party.
  • Girls should keep the ornamental accessories to a minimum if not none.
  • Boys should polish their shoes and Girls should also take care of the neatness of their footwear.
  • For both boys and girls: Hair should be well managed.
  • Boys can wear a formal suit with a tie, however, they can just opt for a plain shirt and a trouser with an optional tie.
  • Girls can opt for a formal looking simple saree or a salwar kameez of soothing/formal colour combinations.
  • Just remember to wear that which is both formal and easy for you to carry with your personality without being too much bothered about it.

Smart Prep Kit for Banking Exams by Ramandeep Singh - Download here


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