Candidates who clear the written examinations are called for interviews. The interview round is a very important part of any bank selection process. An interview with a candidate helps the bank officials understand what the candidates’ views and opinions are, check how good their communication skills are, and gauge whether the candidate will be a good fit for the job.
Many people find the interview process to be very challenging. Therefore it is important to be well prepared for the interview. A little bit of preparation and practice will go a long way in ensuring success.
Preparing for an Interview
How should you prepare for an interview? Here are six tips you can use.
Research! Learn more about the bank and the banking system
Learn as much as you can about the bank and the position you have applied for. Conduct a thorough and systematic search of the bank. For example, read up about the bank's history, services it has to offer, number of offices and branches, leadership profiles etc.
The Internet is a great tool to use for this purpose. Nowadays, a lot of information is available on the web. Banks have their own websites, on which they provide comprehensive information about themselves. Make sure to gather as much information you can, not just about the bank but also about the role you have applied for. Newspapers and magazines also are a good source of information. Make sure to read them as well.
Also research and learn about banking terminology: the various terms used in a banking system. For example, you should be aware of some basic terms such as NEFT, IMPS, Repro Rates, interest rates etc. While it maybe a little difficult to memorize the terms, it will go a long way in helping you ace the interview. If you are unsure of the term, try and find out the reason, history or concept of the term. This will help you understand it better.
Stay updated, read and then read some more!
Do you know what the current housing loan interest rates are? Or what the current repro rates are? Does the surge in oil prices have an impact on the banking system? Can a bad harvest impact the interest rates?
Be ready for some questions about current affairs, Indian Economy and general knowledge. You must be aware of what’s happing around you. Do not restrict yourself to just reading about banks or economics. Also read about sports, current affairs and more. Stay updated!
Make it a point to read the newspaper daily, preferably the English newspaper. This will also help you build your vocabulary. Banking officials would prefer someone with decent English speaking skills. You can also read some books on general knowledge or watch the news to stay updated.
Review your resume thoroughly
Most of the questions you get will probably revolve around your resume. To ensure that you know what you have written in your resume. Read it thoroughly and be ready for questions on your educational background, hobbies, activities that you have listed, awards you won and more. It would be extremely embarrassing to be caught unaware of what is written in your own resume.
Know your state
Interviewers may also ask you about your state and the happenings in your state. Ensure that you are aware of such detail. For example, you may be asked about the number of districts in your state. Be prepared with the answer.
And remember, banking officials also look for people with proficiency in the local language apart from English.
Prepare a list of frequently asked questions or potential questions Some commonly asked questions pertaining to what you have written in your resume. These questions can include:
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your strengths and your weakness?
- Why are you looking for a career in banking? Why not in IT? It is much more lucrative.
- What are your hobbies?
- Take me through your educational qualifications
- Where do you see yourself 5 years / 10 years from now?
- What is your biggest achievement/failure?
- Importance of native place
- For people who have worked earlier, more often than not, you will be asked, why you quit your previous job.
Think of all the possible questions that can be asked and prepare a list accordingly. Then think carefully of how you will answer each of these questions. This will ensure that you are not taken by surprise during your interview.
Practice, practice, and practice
It is normal for anyone to feel nervous about an upcoming interview. The best way to get over this is to practice.
As the saying goes, practice makes one perfect. Take the help of your friend and ask him or her to conduct mock interview sessions. You can also take the help of professionals. Check if there are any mock sessions being conducted in your neighborhood and attend them. This will not only boost your confidence but will also enable you to answer questions without faltering.
On the day of the interview
Pay importance to your physical appearance. First impressions are long lasting, so be sure to be formally dressed. Here are some tips:
- Men, wear a formal shirt and trousers. They should be nicely ironed and should fit well. Also, remember to polish your shoes
- Women chose to wear a formal salwar suit, a saree (preferably cotton) or a formal shirt and trousers that fit well. Wear minimal jewelry and makeup
- Do not wear flashy or very bright colors
- Do not use very strong perfume. Do smell clean, though ! Find the right balance
Keep your clothes and shoes ready the night before the interview.
- Be on time. Punctuality is a highly regarded trait. Make sure that you are at the venue at least half an hour before the start of the interview. If you are new to the place, visit the venue the previous day so that you don't spend time searching for it on the day.
- Carry a copy of your resume and all the documents that bank may have asked you to carry
- Relax and just be yourself
When called for the interview:
- Ask for permission to enter the room and to sit down
- Greet everyone with a smile
- Adopt a good posture, don’t slouch.
- Make eye contact and smile once in a while
- Speak in a clear and audible tone
- Don’t forget to thank the panel at the end of your interview
Author, Stephen Kague once said, “Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.” Spend time in planning and preparing for your interview in a systematic manner. Not only will this will help you attend the interview with self-confidence but will reflect in the way you answer your questions as well.
Plan, prepare, and give it your best shot!
Good luck and all the best.