How to Face Bank Interview

The book contains study material on all such aspect of banking, finance and economy, about which the interview boards normally ask questions. It can be used by the candidates appearing in interview in their respective banks at various levels, particularly the Senior level positions. The book is available with the publishers M/s Skylark Publications, 1/5, Bhagat Singh Lane, Gole Market, New Delhi Phone 011 23361 966. The broader contents of the opening chapter are summerised as under:

Interview is an opportunity for you to present your personality consisting of your attitude, views and awareness level before the Interview Board, so that the potential in `you' is appropriately judged by the members on the Interview Board, who are learned people in their own fields of specialisation. What is evaluated during the interview ? The interview board, in order to judge your POTENTIAL evaluates your Performance in the recent past, Operating style, Team building capabilities, Effectiveness, Neutral judgment level, Transparency in dealings, Initiatives, Attitude and Leadership qualities.

Though the interview is not a new process for many of you, being already in job, but you have no way of knowing exactly what is going to be asked and how that would be tackled. The following general tips can help a candidate appearing for an interview, to face the questions confidently. Should you prepare pre-scripted questions? It is important that you must not venture to go for an interview with a predetermined script of exactly what you are going to say. What is actually required, is the tactics that enable you to navigate successfully through the interview.

This author had the opportunity of being both, the interviewee and interviewer on several occasions during his banking career and was able to make use of the strategy suggested below. What you should prepare? You should spend enough time to make the choice of the contents relevant to your interview. These contents differ for interviews depending upon the level for which the interview is being held. Broadly these can be disintegrated into macro and micro aspects. At macro level you should have an understanding of: "Important events (economic and political) taking place globally and their bearing on the performance of your organisation.

" Status of Indian economy and its impact on the banking system in India in terms of growth of business, quality of assets and profits. " Vision and mission of the bank and its strengths and weaknesses (in terms of quality of manpower, geographical spread, level of use of information technology, introduction of new customer oriented products, pricing in terms of interest rates offered and the effectiveness in terms of delivery), market share of the bank, the D:\Prasadh\Promotion 2008\Banking Topics of interest. doc -2-

challenges, your bank and banking industry is facing and the priorities and policies laid down by the top management of your bank.. At micro level you should have appropriate information about: " Your professional achievements during the recent 3-4 years; " Strength of your family background (including dislocation on promotion, problems of growing children, serving wife, old parents) and educational and professional background; " Some information about the subjects you studied in your last academic examination; " All important happening around your work place (frauds, shift of big accounts from your bank etc);

" Your hobbies, leisure time activities; " Important development reported in the News-papers of recent weeks. Take full advantage of your speech and body language You should bear in mind that your employer or the members of the interview board want to get to know you and interview is a medium for interaction. Hence you should express yourself freely. Your expressions would flow through your speech, your gestures and your body language. Please remember that you would normally not get a 2nd chance, to improve your 1st impression.

Project the positive attitude and avoid the display of aggression In the interview, your attitude, the confidence with which you communicate and the depth you have about what you know, is generally given importance. Hence, care should be taken for not reflecting your negative frame of mind or negative attitude or shallow knowledge or aggressive postures. Aggressive positioning in the interviews, in particular, is generally not appreciated by the members of the interview board and is taken as offending. Must understand your strengths Before going for an interview, you should draw a list of all your strengths.

Your strengths should be projected whenever opportunity arises without making any member of the board to feel that it is self-appreciation. You should also have the clarity as to, in what way your strengths can be a source of gain to your organization. It is on the basis of your strengths alone that you can support your candidature for the promotion. Cover your weaknesses You must understand your weaknesses and prepare yourself to cover the weak points, particularly, by having ready answer regarding the steps initiated by you in the past to negate the impact of weaknesses.

If asked to explain your weakness, you should choose a weakness that is not critical to the success on the job or assignment. The weakness should preferably relate to the knowledge content in few areas as opposed to lack of personal effectiveness. For instance, a weakness relating to lack of knowledge of a particular skill, say foreign exchange, is preferable to stating that one finds it difficult to manage people. Further, the weakness to be discussed should be the one which the members of the Interview Board are either already aware of or they will discover through the interaction process.

While discussing the weakness, you should always concentrate on as to how you have been working on the problem, to find a solution. You must try to give a tangible account of the efforts you have D:\Prasadh\Promotion 2008\Banking Topics of interest. doc -3- been making, to convert the weakness into a strength. Focus on your professional achievement rather than personal performance In the interviews 'Tell us about yourself' is a generally inquired question which requires much more preparation than other questions of factual nature, since a candidate is generally not very certain, as to from where to begin and how to complete.

However, if a candidate structures the facts relating to himself carefully in advance, covering the highlights of one's current assignment, the past professional experience in brief and also the value you offer to the organization you serve, you can be comfortable with the Interview Board. It should be taken care that you focus on your professional achievements rather than personal performance. Do self evaluation as to how do you, deserve this promotion 'Why do you deserve this promotion' is a frequently asked question and is required to be handled carefully.

To answer this question well, you should be aware of the requirement of your Organization and should have clarity about what you can offer to satisfy such requirement. The answer, you provide, should reflect the distinction which you have, compared to others, based on which you deserve the promotion. Putting answers such as having a good job knowledge or being a hard worker, really does not help as every one else would similar claims, under such circumstances. Structure your reactions for adverse situations

On a number of occasions, the candidates are asked about `adverse happenings in the work place where he has been working till recently'. In such circumstances, you should reflect a positive attitude, be tactful and diplomatic in the way, you describe the situation. It is desirable that the problem is first defined to make sure that there was a breach of some system or some human failure. It may be concluded by stating as to what lesson did one learn from the incident. Hypothetical questions should be handled by reflecting positive attitude At times a hypothetical situation is given to the candidate for working out a strategy.

For instance, if the candidate is asked as to how he would increase the profits of a branch, he should not start directly with the strategy. The candidate, instead, should first talk about the SWOT analysis required to be under, with a view to understand the potential available to make a strategy work. The strategy should be based on the potential available in a particular situation. Your hobbies are the reflection of your overall personality You should also be very specific about your hobbies, extra curricular activities and other activities and also as to how and why you pursue those hobbies or activities.

How do you spend spare time and how do you manage your time. Additionally, you must be able to give proper account and thorough understanding of your recent assignment and your academic background. All questions are important In an interview, all the questions are important and no question is less difficult than the other. Even simple questions like which news-paper you read and which TV channel you watch and what is interesting about that could be important to understand your commitment and your interests. Hence, only few questions should D:\Prasadh\Promotion 2008\Banking Topics of interest. doc