How to Crack the IBPS SO Interview

The IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) recruits SO (Specialist Officers) for different posts like Agriculture Field Officer (Scale I), HR/Personnel Officer (Scale I), Marketing Officer (Scale I), Rajbhasha Adhikari (Scale I) and Law Officer (Scale I) for banks. The recruitment process consists of 3 rounds. The first 2 round are written i.e. Mains and Prelims. After clearing them, candidates are shortlisted for the Personal Interview and Group Discussion round. At this stage, the interview can be a make or break ground for Bank SO aspirants.
Following are some tips that can help you put efforts in the right direction. These tips and strategies on how to prepare for IBPS SO interview are all that you need to crack the interview!
Know what they are looking for
Before we go on to preparation tips, let’s first understand what an interviewer is looking for in a candidate. Knowing what qualities are being judged can help you prepare well. Some of the characteristics that are assessed include your attitude, mindset, and confidence. Interviewers also assess your clarity of mind and general knowledge of the candidates.
How to drive an Interview?
In an interview, you simply need to show that you are the best fit for the job. In order to do so, the best strategy is to drive the interview. You need to be at the steering wheel that guides the whole conversation. You need to decide and start the discussion on topics that you are comfortable with. So be sure to mention those words and domains that you are comfortable with. Interviewers generally tend to ask questions from topics that you talk about.
For instance, if you feel that Accounting is your strong subject, mention this in your introduction, or when interviewers ask your strengths, why you want to join the banking industry, etc.
What to Expect in an Interview?
Personal Questions: To start with, apart from the usual Personal HR Questions about your hobbies, strengths, weakness, career goals, and achievements and so on, you need to be thoroughly prepared with your CV. Not only CV, but also questions based on your value system can also be asked. Sometimes, the interviewer might ask you to tell something that is not mentioned in your CV. In such cases, what they are primarily checking is your articulation and discriminating abilities.
Profile-based Questions: Based on your graduation discipline you can expect basic level questions on the same. In case you have work experience, then expect questions like reasons for leaving your previous job and interest in the current industry. So what is needed here is a logical answer convincing enough to justify your shift.
Knowledge-based Questions: In the IBPS SO interview, expect a majority of questions which test your areas of specialization you are appearing for. These areas can be broadly divided as follows:
  • Professional Knowledge: If the interview is for IT Officer then do expect questions on Computer basics, security and hardware. If it is for Agricultural Field Officer expect questions on Farming, Cattle and Fisheries. If it is a marketing officer interview then you must be prepared to answer questions on marketing conditions, promotions and strategies. For an HR interview you must be thorough with Performance Appraisal Methods and Employee Relations. Lastly, for a Law interview you need to know is financial sector rules.
  • Banking and Finance: Questions on banking and finance test your basic knowledge about key concepts, historical evolution and the working of important institutions like RBI, NABARD and SEBI.
  • Current Affairs: The interview panel expects the candidates to have fair knowledge of recent developments in fields affecting the banking industry.
Apart from above mentioned categories, there might be questions to see if you understand the kind of work expected from you as a SO and if you’ve applied for jobs elsewhere.
IBPS SO Interview Preparation
As far as profile based questions are concerned, prepare your job description well consisting of how it impacted the business and connected with other business functions or departments. You must also read up on the industry/ sector you were working in and know the recent changes and trends that it is witnessing.
Moving on to knowledge based questions; you must be thoroughly updated with the organization you are applying for. The best source of information is the bank’s website. Furthermore, fair knowledge of banking terminology is also necessary.
In order to stay updated with current affairs, you must read English newspapers like Economic Times and The Hindu with more focus on business and banking sector can do the needful. You can also watch English news channel in order to improve your command over the English language.
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