How to Prepare for the Interview

How to Prepare for the Interview for Bank (IBPS,SBI,RBI) and SSC ,UPSC Interview :

The candidate is advised to read the letter of interview carefully and ensure that all the documents and certificates that have been asked for are duly collected, photocopies made and attested as prescribed by the recruiting organisation. You should bring certificates in support of the various medals, prizes and distinctions achieved by you in the fields of sports, games and other extra-curricular activities. It is important that these are brought along to the interview board since they act as evidence in support of the candidate’s achievement.

Candidates who are working in an organisation are called upon to bring a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from their employers. In case one is not able to obtain such a certificate he should accept it candidly. Suppression of facts is not desirable in such circumstances. Similarly, certificate in support of reserved category, ex-serviceman etc. should also be carried. In cases where supporting documents are not produced, the candidate should think out in advance the reasons to be given if called upon to do so at the time of interview.

While you apply for different jobs and in different organisations, try to be systematic in keeping records. In case your application was in response to a particular advertisement, go through the newspaper cuttings minutely.

 

About Yourself:

A candidate is judged on the basis of his worth and merit. In fact, a candidate who has done well in academics as well as in other areas despite constraint, is looked upon more kindly then one who has made good with family support. A person who has struggled his way in life is given credit for determination, self-reliance, patience and perseverance. The interviewers think that such a person would not be affected by adverse circumstances and would fight his way despite problems. So do not fight shy of telling the truth.

There are certain things in the academic background which catch the ‘interviewer’s attention’, quite often leading to questions. In cases where a candidate has changed his studies from Arts to Science or to Commerce or from Engineering to Humanities etc, the board tend to inquire into the reasons for the same. There is nothing wrong in changing track midway. The purpose of the question is to find out whether the matter was given adequate thought and how the candidate feels about it in retrospect. His analytical abilities and maturity are judged from his answer. So think about it carefully and do not hesitate to tell the reasons frankly and truthfully. Where you feel you have made a mistake, do not hesitate to accept it. Similarly, where there are gaps of a year due to failure or break in education, the candidates should tell the real reasons.

It is noteworthy that the board tries to find out why after having passed Engineering or CA or MBA etc, the candidate is opting for a career which does not belong to his specialization. Please note that many people do so and there is nothing wrong in doing so. The crux of the matter is that the real reasons behind it should be cited instead of high sounding ideas like serving the country, society or patriotism etc. It is recognized that most of us go for self-interest and big glamour of high status of being an administrator or high  perks. These are important factors and replies/admissions based on these are considered rational and acceptable. Any attempt to cover them up may be seen as such with a negative fallout.

The candidates may also be asked about their best subject. Which requires a deeper insight into that subject. The candidates may well be advised to refresh their knowledge of the subject. In cases where the career chosen is not in the direct line of his specialization, questions are asked as to what would be the benefits of his specialization in the chosen career. One should take into cognizance all these in advance so that one is positioned to give a well sounding reply.

There are some extra-curricular aspects of school or college like membership of societies or clubs in the college, participation in NCC, NSS, debates and extempore, etc. Questions are put on these activities to ascertain the specific role of the candidate, his leadership, organizing ability and inter-personal skills displayed by him. Candidates should prepare well on all these non-academic activities and be ready for the specific questions.

In case you have worked previously, you may be ready for questions on your previous job, your responsibility there and prominent achievements. If you have changed your job a few times, you must be ready with the reasons, particularly when it is from private sector to public sector or the other way round. You may be asked of the benefits of your earlier position/job and your specific reasons for preferring the new one. If it is for better remuneration or for greater security, there is nothing wrong in admitting the same.

Go for Interest:

To be successful one has to learn the art of concentration. An important fact is that the secret of concentration is interest. One has to create interest by seeing a good purpose for the work of the moment.

Believe in Yourself:

First of all convince yourself that you are the right person for the job with all the necessary qualities. This will give you self-confidence and courage to face the board. You should present yourself as a cool, composed and confident candidate.

Self-assessment :

So far as your self-assessment is concerned, following points are of utmost importance from the interview point of view:

  • Name of school/college where you studied
  • Examination passed, subjects offered and marks / divisions secured
  • Educational achievement/distinction attained
  • Your best subject/topics at school/college
  • Extra-curricular activities at school/college
  • Any part-time job/association you had after school/ college
  • Any skills learned through this job/association
  • Reason for opting the said job in question
  • Kinds of job/work you are interested in
  • Work which you find satisfying, easiest, difficult
  • How much is job security important to you
  • Newspapers/magazines you read, their unique features and editors
  • How you spend your leisure/spare time

Family and Social Background:

It is expected that a candidate is aware of his immediate environment: detail knowledge of one’s own place of birth or residence or education, its importance and historical, political, tourist interest etc; its industries, crops, minerals and any famous personality associated with it; mode of transport connecting it to the other parts of the country and information about surrounding areas.

Knowledge of the family background is equally important, particularly the vocation of parents and other members of the family.

Current Affairs:

An interview generally has a vast area which covers questions about matters of general interest, i.e. economic, political, social etc. For current affairs one should read daily newspapers with regularity, particularly the editorials, column-writing and special articles. In controversial matters the candidate’s views should be mild and modest with reasons in support thereof, leaving open a possibility for other points of view different from his own.

Dress:

It is common practice that people form of their opinion of a man within a minute and a half of meeting him.

As a practice the dresses which are normally worn in the office are suitable — like shirts and trousers, safaris or suits for the male candidates and saris, salwar-kamiz etc for ladies. If a suit is especially stitched for the occasion, it should be previously worn so that one should feel comfortable and not self-conscious while wearing it. Candidates should wear clothes according to the season and should not be sweating or shivering in the interview room. Ladies should wear dresses which are generally worn by working women.

On the question of personal appearance and dress, it is also important that the candidate’s hair, nails and shoes etc should also be properly looked after before presenting himself before the interview board.

Temperament and Attitude:

An intelligent person with a negative attitude is the last one an organisation is looking for to employ. The interviewers first look to the temperament and attitude an individual possesses to evaluate whether his knowledge and skills will benefit the organisation and the society as a whole.

The candidate should have a positive attitude and it should reflect in his appearance, speech and reflexes. He should not have a fear of looking imperfect. He should not be too eager to make the right impression or to over-state his achievements. While talking to the interviewer, he should not be too informal. Nor should he show off. The candidate must not exaggerate anything or be arrogant while talking. He should not ramble on or say anything more than what is needed.

Inferiority complex is as dangerous as superiority complex. Do not waver between these extremes. Just be a student willing to learn. Do not make a sweeping statement.

About the Job/Organisation:

As soon as you receive a call for an interview, collect background information relating to the job applied for and the people with whom you would be working. Take it for granted that a reasonable good information about the following will stand you in good stead at an interview:

  • A brief history of the organisation
  • Its main functions, products and services
  • Location of its headquarters, branches, units and divisions
  • Any significant issue of the organisation that is newsworthy
  • Details about the job applied for and the hierarchy in the organisation

Place of Interview:

Acquaintance with the location and settings of interview comes in handy for a candidate’s self-confidence. It is advisable that the candidates take pain to discover beforehand exactly where they have to go and how best to reach there

Rehearsal/Mock Practice :

A sizeable number of aspirants who have been successful lament that they could have done still better had they prepared well. This shows that preparations in right earnest lead to success. While preparing for mock-interviews the following questions may be of help.

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