V. H. Ramakrishnan’s experience of interviewing banking candidates

IBPS has declared the result of Common Written Exam(CWE) on February 29,2012 where 5.31 lakh candidates were successful. Many of these successful candidates who passed the CWE Clerical exams wanted tips on preparing for the interview. The former general manager of Bank of India Mr V. H. Ramakrishnan told Business Line about his experience being on the Interview Panel.  Mr Ramakrishnan provided a list of questions that are normally asked during the personal interviews for clerical posts. For the betterment of the candidate he has provided the common answers received (the wrong answers also). It is now up to the candidates themselves to pick up what is useful and avoid the common mistakes.

Here are the frequently asked questions and the usual responses:

1. Tell me about yourself and your family.
Normally candidates try to present a picture of a poor family to get sympathy of the interviewer. They should come out with correct information.
2. What do you know about the bank?
Well almost everyone gives correct answers. Thanks to Web sites, candidates usually have all the information.
3. Why do you want to join as a clerk when you have done engineering/ biotechnology/ computer science, etc?
For this, almost every one says that from childhood he/she wanted to join a bank. If you ask why they did a technical course, then they say that their parents forced them to go for engineering.
4. Why are you applying for clerical post when you are eligible to apply for an officer’s post?
While some say they have also applied for the same, the others say they would like to start from basics. But there is something missing.
5. What are the functions of a bank?
Almost all are able to answer the question correctly.
6. What are the various products offered by a bank?
Many people find this difficult to answer.
7. What is the difference between savings bank account and current account?
Maximum of the people are unable to answer the question.
8. Why a person should prefer a bank rather than a post-office for keeping deposits?
Most are unable to answer.
9. What are the activities of a bank other than taking deposits and lending money?
Many candidates struggle to answer.
10. Why are you applying only to nationalized banks?
Security of service.
11. Will you work anywhere in India?
The answer is, of course, yes. Married women claim they are willing to work in rural branches leaving behind their husband and child/children. They prefer to give the ‘correct’ answer rather than the ‘true’ answer.

As reported on the Business Line, Mr Ramakrishnan thinks “Very rarely do we ask questions on the subject they have studied. We try to find out if: a) the candidate is really interested in banking as a career; b) he will stick to the job; and c) ordinary graduates/undergraduates stand a better chance of getting selected rather than highly qualified technical persons. “Banks also look for people from a particular region.”

17 thoughts on “V. H. Ramakrishnan’s experience of interviewing banking candidates

  1. kumar purushottam says:

    respected sir/madam ,this is purushottam.i want to know whether a bank makes 10+2 scores a criteria in  recruitment of clerks.if they do so,what is the minimum percentage?please reply,thanks

  2. thank you for the valuable info.

  3. Below is the list of some of the most frequently asked interview questions. ALL THE BEST

    1. Tell me about yourself.

    2. What are your greatest strengths?

    3. What are your greatest weaknesses?

    5. Why are you leaving (or did you leave) this position?

    6. Why should I hire you?

    7. Aren’t you overqualified for this position?

    8. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

    9. Describe your ideal company, location and job.

    10. Why do you want to work at our company?

    11. What are your career options right now?

    12. Why have you been out of work so long?

    13. Tell me honestly about the strong points and weak points of your boss (company, management team,etc.)…

    14. What good books have you read lately?

    15. Tell me about a situation when your work was criticized.

    16. What are your outside interest?

    17. How do you feel about reporting to a younger person (minority, woman, etc)?

    18. Looking back, what would you do differently in your life?

    19. Could you have done better in your last job?

    20. Can you work under pressure?

    21. What makes you angry?

    22. Why aren’t you earning more money at this stage of your career?

    23. Who has inspired you in your life and why?

    24. What was the toughest decision you ever had to make?

    25. Tell me about the most boring job you’ve ever had.

    26. Have you been absent from work more than a few days in any previous position?

    27. What changes would you make if you came on board?

    28. How do you feel about working nights and weekends?

    29. Are you willing to relocate or travel?

    30. Why have you had so many jobs?

    31. What do you see as the proper role/mission of… …a good (job title you’re seeking); …a good manager;

    32. How could you have improved your career progress?

    33. You’ve been with your firm a long time. Won’t it be hard switching to a new company?

    34. What was the toughest challenge you’ve ever faced?

    35. Have you consider starting your own business?

    36. What are your goals?

    37. What do you for when you hire people?

    38. Sell me this stapler…(this pencil…this clock…or some other object on interviewer’s desk)

    39. What was the toughest part of your last job?

    40. How do you define success…and how do you measure up to your own definition?.

    41. “The Opinion Question” – What do you think about …Abortion…The President…The Death Penalty…(or any other controversial subject)?

    42. If you won $10 million lottery, would you still work?

    43. Looking back on your last position, have you done your best work?

    44. Why should I hire you from the outside when I could promote someone from within?

    45. Tell me something negative you’ve heard about our company…

    46. On a scale of one to ten, rate me as an interviewer.

  4. nagarjuna nallabotiula says:

    hai sir i have got 148score in ibps clerk  so i have any chance to get the any chance to bank job

  5. Hemanth_bambure says:

    hi thanks for providing valuable information.

    i 132 marks in IBPS. do i expect any hopes on fore coming interview calls??

  6. Anup kumar Naskar says:

    Its great . It will really help me in future.

  7. Puneet Nagar says:

    want some answers of some questions which are asked in an interview

  8. Sreeharposina says:

    Anyways based on the bank vision & mission recruitment happens i my view interview is based on the wave length of the candidate and the panel members if the rapo builts positively it will works and in few minutes how can panel members say weather he/she  will continue  his/her tenure for long lasting in the sector.   

  9. Navneetkumar says:

    sir,please suggest us what have to answer in typical type of question.

  10. sir, pleas tell about the interview for associate banks of sbi. it is going to start from jan. 30,2013

  11. Why a person should prefer a bank rather than a post office for keeping deposits?

    • post office charge high commision for sending money and also lots of bribes have to be given to post man. in short roughly a labourer to send money to hs home town needs to pay 10% in all these charges and bribes whereas in bank he can do this free of cost. banks give financial empowerment which post offices fail.
      And also banks provide atms which post offices don’t,

  12. please attached private bank interview exprince

  13. Regional rural bank interview notes please admin

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