Interview panels that examine candidates for bank clerical posts confront a number of hilarious situations.

For instance, a simple question such as, “Why did you apply to this bank?” They receive answers such as — “I had nothing else to do, so I applied.” Or “My father asked me to.” Or “I was studying and I had time to apply.”

Endearingly frank they may be, but these replies are definitely not recommended if candidates want to stand a ghost of a chance with the interview panel. A number of public sector banks will soon be announcing interview dates for their clerical recruitments. About 5.31 lakh candidates have cleared the written exams and are expecting calls for interviews.

We asked some experts about what they looked for in candidates. Here is their take:

Dr A. K. Konar, Professor – Psychometrics, Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), said candidates must be their natural self. He said, “They should be positive, focussed, honest and not try to be someone they aren't. Most panels will try to find out what the individual knows, in the limited time of 20 minutes available to them.”

The panel will see if the candidate knows about the bank to which he is applying. They will find out if he has read the papers and is familiar with current affairs.

Dr Konar offered a word of comfort, “They have got through the difficult part. They shouldn't get nervous or intimidated. They should be natural.”

Mr V. H. Ramakrishnan, former General Manager, Bank of India, who has interviewed candidates earlier, said that most candidates are ‘well coached' — thanks to a number of coaching institutes.

He said, “Candidates these days are even trained on how to enter the room, how to greet, how to sit and how to say bye at the end of interview. Very few candidates are frank and speak from the heart. They give the standard, well-rehearsed answers.”

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