INTERVIEW ZING FOR PO: Some Introductory And Commonly Asked Questions

Q1. Introduce yourself.

First impressions are important, so take some time to hone your introduction, and then tweak it depending upon the audience. This question is often asked in interviews, so prepare for it. 

Nailing the introduction will break the ice and improve your chances of moving to the next steps. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people over the years, and often I can tell in the first few minutes if I’m interested in hiring a person. 

Your main goals in the introduction are fairly simple. You need to show that you:
  • Have the ability and desire to do the job
  • Will fit into the company culture, and be good to work with
  • Won’t quit shortly after being hired
  • First off, you want to keep your introduction positive and simple. Don’t ramble on for too long. For instance, highlight aspects of your career, interests, accomplishments, education, and / or hobbies that match that of the company and interviewer. 
  • Focus on what is directly relevant to the job you are interviewing for and for the person interviewing you. Keep in mind an interview is generally not about how smart you are, or how great of a person you are. It is about your fit for a specific job. 
  • Most interviewers don’t have long attention spans, so use this time wisely. Don’t assume that your interviewer has read your resume. However, don’t simply recite your resume verbatim to your interviewer. Sadly many interviewers are not that well prepared, and don’t let that sidetrack you. 
  • You can answer this question by giving a brief introduction of yourself – including your name, how many family member are there in your family, family profession, about your education and professional qualification if any, brief work experience if any, and career interest.

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Q2. What is the meaning of your name?

This is a very common question that the candidates face at a bank interview. You must know the meaning of your name and mythological importance of your name. In fact, if the name of any of your family members has a special connection, you must know about that also.

Q3. What is the speciality of the place you belong to?
  • You must be aware of the good/ bad things related to their home town or the place they live. 
  • You must know the history of the place like – what is the meaning of the name of your city, what is the history behind it.
  • what was the old name of your place etc. or anything special that the city is/ was famous for like sarees, bangles, marbles etc.
  • If there’s nothing special about the city, try to explore famous places nearby. For example if a person belongs to any village in Rajasthan, then he/she can give a view of Jaipur or Jaisalmer or any other famous place near to his/her town or city or village. 
  • It can be the nature’s beauty, food, clothes, industries etc.

Q4. What are your hobbies?

Hobbies give an insight into your personality. So, mention them carefully and once you have mentioned them, you must know well about them. 
For example if the candidate says that playing cricket is his/her hobby, then the candidate must know about the number of players, rules and regulations, about the recent cricket match, a little about cricket players also and all current news related with it.
Mentioning a hobby just for the sake of doing it without a proper knowledge about it will be disastrous.
If you do have a hobby, but you are not very intense about it, then make it clear to them. 
Like you like playing cricket just for recreation, but do not like watching it , or a die hard fan of it, then make it clear to them very subtly. So that they do not question you further.

Q5. Tell us something about your self or narrate your CV.

Objective:These questions are most significant in an interview. These questions are posed right at the beginning of the interview and act as ice breakers. Among all questions put in the interview, these questions require the longest answer. The answer sets the stage for further questions, rather sets the agenda for the interview. Hence a smart interviewee will tactfully give a slant through his answer so as to steer the interview to a favorable direction.
The answer should be scripted before hand and practiced at home.
Your answer should be customized according to the situation.
Why this question?
The interviewer want to check your communication skills, confidence, self-view, recall, sequencing, choice of words, attitudes and your emotional mood. hence this question deserves a very structured and accurate treatment. Each word should be properly weighed and delivered with the right intonation(pitch) and modulation of voice. The order of information should be either logical or chronological or a proper mix of both.

Suggested guidelines:
  • Build your answer on four points, without repetition, in a logical, a sequential and chronological manner overplaying your high points.
  • family background
  • Schooling and academics
  • training / article-ship and skills development
  • Road map for future

-Try to give a particular flavor to your answer overplaying your high points of family, education, schooling, training and article-ship. You have a good opportunity to mention your strengths. But instead of mentioning your strengths directly, appreciate your parents, teachers, seniors ans principal by highlighting their qualities which you learned from them.

-Approximately you should have around 20 sentences of information. Low points of your candidature should be downplayed.

-Try to close your answer at a point where the interviewer is provoked to ask a question on the topic related to your closure point.(i.e you should be the driver of your interview, you should steer it in the direction you want the interviewers to go in) make sure you navigate the direction of your interview.
Will giving your introduction, you may be stopped by the interviewer in between, then be prepared to close at a high and a positive note like mentioning your road map for the future.
Basically be prepared for all kinds of situations and at all points you should be in control( does not mean that you become domination, it should be done so subtly that the interviewer does not get to know.

Remember it is not what you say that matters, but How you say matters. You are there to sell yourself, and make them like you and eventually choose you from the lot.

Q6. Tell us something that is not given in your CV.

This question is different from the above question. The question is intended to check your articulation, value system, analytical power and discriminating abilities.

Suggested Guidelines: 
  • Tell briefly 1 or 2 things you learned from your teachers, seniors and parents.
  • Mention the assignments you enjoyed most during your studies / training / article-ship suiting the job profile.
  • Tell something related to your hobbies, extracurricular activities or special interests. But the answer should be in conformity to the requirements of the job. Avoid giving any negative traces in your answer like your disliking, failures or events which show you in a negative light.

Q7. Tell us some joke or a humorous incident from your life.

They usually ask this question to check your sense of humor, communication skills, narration and spontaneity.

Suggested Guidelines:
  • Do not push or narrate something in an unnatural manner. In case you are comfortable, share the incident. Be careful that you do not lose your dignity. Otherwise politely with a smile, brush off the question by saying, “Sir, many amusing things happen but I cannot recall anything right now”.
  • It will be desirable to avoid the answer to this question politely and smilingly because even if you have a good sense of humor, interview is not the right platform to narrate a joke. In all likelihood you will not be able to present the joke and after the poor narration your confidence will dip down.

Q8. How was your experience at the last job?

The purpose of this question is to check your relationship and attitude with others. What in specific de-motivated you?

Suggested guidelines:
Never speak anything negative or derogatory for your past employers or past superiors.

Q9. Tell us 3 news of today.

This question is asked to check your general / current awareness, communication skills, narration and spontaneity.

Suggested Guidelines:
  • Make sure that you have a good glance on the today’s newspaper. briefly narrate all three, otherwise one or two will also do. the kind of news you read first gives an idea about your lickings and your personality orientation.
  • Try to cover the current issue, political, sports, and business news thus giving the impression of a balanced person.
  • Avoid giving frivolous, provocative and disgusting happenings in the society.

10)Where do you see yourself after 5 / 10 years?
11)Why do you want to work in the banking industry?
12) What is more important to you, money or work or family?
13) What drives you in life?
14) What are your career goals?

Answers to questions 10- 14

The aim of such questions is to take out your focus, vision, motivation, objectivity and desires for the future. A person who has no focus for himself will not be able to create a focus for the organization. Today the ability to foresee your own future and the forecast for the organization is considered to be a skill of high order.

Suggested guidelines:
Question number 6 is an extremely relevant question in the interview. The interviewer wants to find out whether you have a road map for your future or not. the answer will reveal that whether your personal goals are in alignment( in sync) with the organizational objectives.
Your answer should comprise the following steps:
Looking forward to a position of responsibility in the functional area of banking / audit / accounts / HR etc, and prove my credential as a professional.

My contribution to the organizational objective should increase year after year.

I look forward to lead larger teams which are multi functional, multi business and multi-location.( As per your comfort)

I look forward for a greater responsibility and accountability of key result areas and resources.

I look forward to a participation in strategic planning and decision making of the organization.

These 6 steps should be remembered and customizes by each participant and can be appropriately used in copy / paste manner for various question / occasions.

Suggested Guidelines for question 10:
State only step number 1 and any other from step no. 2-6.

Step number 1 & 2: Short term goals
Step number 3 & 4: medium term goals
Step number 5 & 6: Long term goals

Suggested guidelines for question 11:
7)Why do you want to work in the banking industry?
State step number 1, add further with an optimistic tone and emotion that you see a good future of the banking industry or organization and your role as a significant contributer, hence you seea long term relationship with the organization.

Suggested guidelines for question 12:
8) What is more important to you, money or work or family?

  • In such questions never take an extreme stand, you cannot justify. taking a position in favor of one will put you into trouble, hence take a conciliatory / balanced view.
  • Money and work will go together. Without good work one cannot make good money. your preference has to be work first and money second as you feel that a good work always attracts more money while more money with less work is neither in your interest nor in the interest of your employer.
  • Family and career are complimentary to each other. you need a good family to support you in your career and you need a good career to have a happy family.
Suggested guidelines for question 13:
9) What drives you in life?

  • A professional organization will prefer a self driven employee. An externally driven employee only performs in response to carrots and sticks offered by the organization.
  • Hence your driving force should be internal like achieving higher standards for understanding the growing and changing needs of the organization and result orientation.
  • Use step number 2 with suitable expansion and modification, say that you need to understand the growing and changing needs of your organization and keep contribution to the organizational objective as you consider your growth to be a part of organizational growth.
Suggested guidelines for question 14:
14) What are your career goals?
Step number 5 & 6 are useful with suitable expansion. Emphasize the team playing at the top. Do not insist that you are keen to become the CEO / CFO. This is a common mistake made by many.

Make sure you use these points to make your own answers, and not use them exactly. they should be modified to suit your personality.


Good luck