From a journalist to a banker

My interview experience from Odisha

As I entered the interview room, I saw five persons including a lady sitting in a row. While I was supposed to greet the lady panelist first, I could not do so as she was at the extreme end (5th panelist from my side).

Me: May I come in.

All: Please, come in. Simultaneously, the chief panelist uttered my name in a loud voice.

I said: Yes sir. In the meantime, I greeted them: Good morning sirs, Good morning maam.

Chief panelist: Be seated.

Me: Thank you sir!

Chief panelist: Tell me something about yourself.

Me: Sir, as you said I am xxx. I come from xxx district.

He interrupted: Tell in detail about your nativity.

I continued: The name of my village is xxx (I should have furnished some more detail like the block name etc, but I don’t know why I stopped there)

The chief panelist looked bit dissatisfied and I became nervous 😞

I further continued: I passed from xxx college in xxx year with Economics Honours. So after my graduation, I started working as a journalist and then went on to pursue my higher studies in journalism. I returned to my job after studies. A few months back, I resigned from my assignment to prepare for bank jobs.

Chief panelist: Why did you wish to join banking sector?

Me: Sir, like any other profession, Journalism has its advantages and disadvantages. But, unfortunately, in my case things did not work my way. As my family conditions became tough, I decided to go for a secure and better-paid job.

As I was about to tell why I chose banking, the Chief panelist interrupted: You are a journalist. How can you fit in banks?

Me: Sir, being a graduate in Economics, I studied banking among other subjects that helped me understand the basics of the banking sector. Apart from that, during my stint as a journalist, banking had been one of my prime areas of work. I worked as a business correspondent for xxx newspaper.

Panelist 2: But how these things are going to help in bank? Ok, tell me, what all you did as a journalist?

Me: Sir, for instance, I was in regular touch with SLBC which is situated in this building only. I used to file reports based on the data released by SLBC. I interviewed RBI Deputy Governor Mr. H R Khan a couple of times…and…

Chief panelist interrupted: That is fine! You did these things as you were supposed to do as a journalist.

Lady panelist (while smiling): what is the good! You were interviewing, now you are being interviewed. (It was bit embarrassing I guess 😁 )

Me (politely): Actually, I don’t think that way. For me, it is not about what I do, it is about how I do. (Told a few other things, but it could have been better)

Chief Panelist: What is law of equi-marginal utility?

Me: Sorry sir.

Chief panelist: But, you must know. You are an Economics graduate.

Me: Yes sir, I should know. But I know about law of diminishing marginal utility, Sir! (I was like 😁 😁 😁 )

Chief Panelist (smilingly): No, I wanted to know about equi-marginal utility.

Panelist 2: You are a graduate in Economics. Tell how you will use Economics in Banking?

Me: As a banker, I would be accepting deposits, giving loans. As a student of Economics, I have studied the fundamentals of these concepts. I have studied different banking related things like repo rate, reverse repo rate…blah blah..

Panelist 2: What is inflation?

Me: Told

Panelist 2: What is done to decrease inflation?

Me: Sir, the Central Bank of India, that is RBI, takes several measures to rein in inflation.

Panelist 2: What are they?

Me: For instance, the RBI DECREASES repo rate to control inflation.

Chief panelist: what is the logic behind it?

Me: Sir, repo rate is the rate (Interrupted by chief panelist)

Chief panelist: Ok, I got it. Then?

Me: When RBI decreases repo rate, banks also tend to decrease their interest rates.

Chief panelist: Then?

Me: (I was like ohh..shit man!) Sorry sir, it is the opposite. RBI INCREASES repo rate to rein in inflation.

Chief panelist: Yes!
(During the whole interaction on repo rate, he was very cooperative. He probably realized I knew it correctly, but told the opposite out of nervousness)

Then starts interview for admission into schools!

Panelist 3: What is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh?

Me: Itanagar.

Panelist 3: What is the capital of Bhutan?

Me: Thimpu.

Now, the school-level interview turns out to be a nightmare!

Lady panelist: who is the vice-president of India?

I was clueless! (kuch paal ka sannata chhagaya πŸ˜ƒ )

Then, I said: Sorry, maam. I went blank.

She started laughing as Chief Panelist said: try..try (He is such a generous man πŸ˜ƒ )

Me: Mr. Hamid Ansari is the vice-president of India. (I could recollect the name thanks to his encouragement)

Chief panelist: Yes! (And it was probably the signature word of my whole interview 😁 )

Chief panelist: Thank you. You may go.

He extended his hand for a hand-shake and I obliged.

While I thanked them all before leaving the room, could not make eye contact with two panelists in my left hand side during that time.

Negatives:

1. I never feel nervous, but initially felt nervous during this interview.

2. Question on ‘Journalism-banking connection’ and ‘why banking’ could have been better answered.

3. Could have been better had I made eye contact with all while saying final thank you.

Positives:

1. Stayed true to myself, did not bluff.

2. Probably succeeded in conveying the interviews that I am genuine

3. I remained submissive and polite

My observation: Either I will score very good marks or the opposite!

Thanks!

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