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How I Cracked IBPS PO Interview - Shared by a Topper

Published on Friday, January 16, 2015
This experience is being shared by a banker who was one of the toppers of IBPS PO III. I can't reveal her name here as she requested me to do so.

I belong to a family of bankers. After two days I was going to appear for IBPS PO interview. It was very important for me as all my relatives started as a Clerk and I scored really well in PO exam. Now I need to passing marks, 40% marks required to pass the interview.

I started looking for tips from relatives.

And de-stress a little – is what seems to be the only advice anyone and everyone is willing to share with me.

I call up my uncle (BOI) – and he says, “Kiddo, watch a movie.” I then call up my dad (SBT), saying uncle’s being of no help, and he tells me, “Quit giving tension to people – go buy something!”

Since bankers in my family are being so helpful – I call up a distant aunt who’s a counselor – wanting her to get my bankers to get more involved in getting me into a bank! She tells me, “Relax – how long since you watched a movie?”

Movie really? Not now!

I quit on the so called intellectuals and professionals of my family and decide to go to the real deal – my mother – I was sure she’d get at least my dad to care about my interview.

She thought I needed to get out of the house and breathe in the fresh air and air my mind out a bit – her precise words were – “Beta, you need to let some fresh air inside your mind – it’s starting to smell musty – like something died in there…”

Yes mum, my brain cells!

On my way out of the kitchen, I found my sister studying at the dinner table – and she, without even looking up from her books – shook her head with assured intolerance – signaling I should carry on walking without disturbing her.

So much for family support!

Dejected and forlorn I went – dragged my depressed self to the open terrace and plunked onto a mattress kept there for soaking in the sun.

The winter sky was blue, cloudless and the sun was trying its best to warm the air – I decided to pour out all my feelings to the endless sky.

I talked and talked for 30 minutes – sky is a very good listener, trust me. And then I roped in ‘sky’ as my mock interviewer – I like to give myself war like mock interviews!

The interview lasted 10 minutes and had only one question. And I realised everyone was right I desperately needed to de-stress.

And when did I realize this? Well, when ‘sky’ asked what is the difference between CRR and SLR? – I said – “CRR is yeh wala rate and SLR is who wala rate … … …” and I was blank – I completely blanked out and kept blinking like a fool at the beautiful sky for minutes before I realized what I’d just done.

From a confident commerce student who knew all the CRRs and SLRs – I’d managed to turn myself into a pathetic mess of nerves who couldn’t even remember her own pin code!

Friends, ‘distress’ and ‘de-stress’ are very different words and one desperately needs to de-stress when one is in such exam/interview related distress. I did some research and here is why -

A. You DO NOT want your hands or legs to shake on their own in front of the interviewers!

B. You DO NOT want your sweat glands to go into hyper-active mode!

C. You DO NOT want your face to look like you put on a scary mask – or like you’re having lose motions.

E. You DO NOT want to mess up your answers only because you are way too nervous!

Nervousness and extreme nervousness can make you make very costly mistakes.

You might know all the answers, and you abviously do since you’ve been preparing for ages!

But your numb mind make not be able to send the right signals to your mouth at the right time – or may instead send a distress message to your bladder and all you’d like to do during answering what CRR is – is to run out to a washroom. Not cool.

What I am basically trying to say is – they know you’ve got brains – you passed their written exam for heaven’s sake! In Interview they just wanna ‘look’ at you to see how you are as a person.

And no employer would want an employee who forgets how to talk in stress situations!

Download Interview Preparation Guide

All they want to see is in an interview is:

1. Your face. J They want to give a face to the name on the list!

Imagine the interviewers seeing Mr. James Roderick, who’s got 131 in written and his forehead is sweating so much he’s become an alternative water resource!

2. Hear your voice.

What if the same James Roderick, squeaked while saying his name!

3. See your confidence level – your personality and your maturity.

Normally, James Roderick is the man – he’s the problem solver, resource-r, counselor of his group of friends who are some 40 odd people. He’s smart, smooth, determined, career oriented and also pretty intellectual.

But when asked, ‘Where do you want to be in 5 years?’ – He says, “I want to give a shot at IAS – it has always been my most cherished ambition.”

No, no, no James Roderick! This actually happened to one of my friends – and no he, wasn’t named James Roderick – but the person was up for a job in Oracle and this question sunk his boat for good!

4. Test some basic banking/industry knowledge

Well, they want to know if you really want a banking job – if you are then you’d know something about this sector!

You are not expected to know everything! So don’t pretend to know all – don’t look crestfallen when you don’t answer a question – move on!

In school/college days did you feel dejected when asked a question and you couldn’t answer?

No! Because you knew you can always go back and see/ read and know what the answer was – this is what you need to show them – life and work is not about knowing all – it’s all about willingness to learn and keep learning at every stage.

“I’m sorry Sir, I do not know the answer to that question, but I will certainly look that up as soon as possible.”

Easy and simple – you won’t lose points for that – they may ask you even harder questions – this they are doing only to check you patience and how your face muscles look after each question!

If after the grilling you are still smiling – chances are you got average to good marks. But if you look constipated – you’re getting bad marks for sure!

Final selection depends on many factors which are out of your hand – like others may have better marks – age preference etc. So DO NOT worry about final selection – that is not our job.

Our one and only job is to not murder our own interviews by being a nervous mess.

Go do yoga, watch a movie, get a decent haircut, new dress, hang out with friends, cook, teach or stare at the sky – whatever works – but with very few days left it is important to do just that – relax a little and breathe.

All the very best and take it easy. You got this.

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ramandeep singh

Hey I am Ramandeep Singh. I am determined to help students preparing for RBI, SEBI, NABARD and IBPS exams. Do you want me to help you ?

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