1. Prologue
  2. Stress Interview in IBPS/Bank Recruitment
  3. How to reduce likelihood of Stress Interview?
  4. Stress Interview=Not always bad
  5. Case#1: BBA to BankPO
  6. Case#2: BE Mech vs Computer questions
  7. Case#3: BE Engineer vs. SARFAESI
  8. Case#4: IT Professional vs NPA Questions
  9. Case#5: Small Error in the Answer


This article is not meant for everyone.

MOST LIKELY victims of stress interview LEAST LIKELY Victims
(in decreasing order)

  1. BE, B.Tech and IT (most vulnerable)
  2. Biotech, B.Pharm, Physio and other science grads. (vulnerable depending on their bad luck)
  3. BA, B.Com, BBA (if they fumble in the first few basic questions).
  1. Female from any stream
  2. Person already working in a Private bank.
  3. Person already a clerk in any bank.
  4. Fashion technology, Hotel management etc. “minority” streams.
  5. Ex-serviceman from any stream
You may read this article, if you’ve time and mood. You need not read this article any further.

Stress Interview in IBPS/Bank Recruitment

As such bank interviews are done in formal-friendly-cordial tone. But sometimes those AGM, senior officials and Uncle-jis  have their own bias against a particular state, region, and graduation stream. And They don’t even care to hide it during the interview.

Some of the negative experience that you can face:

  1. One of the panel member doesn’t ask you any question and behaves as if you’re not in the room. (Important: Even if a member doesn’t ask question, you should maintain eye contact with all members in the entire panel. Don’t make it one-on-one conversation. keep looking and addressing everyone in the room.)
  2. He asks you question but he doesn’t look at you. He just keep looking in his file / mobile / tablet / laptop, as if you don’t exist in the room. (You still need to maintain eye contact with all.)
  3. Panel seems to more keen to drinking their tea, gossiping among each other etc. rather than conducting interview. (in this case, don’t worry.)
  4. One of the member even leaves the room during interview. (in this case, don’t worry.)

But above experiences don’t count under ‘stress’ interview.

Stress interview means following:

  1. He rudely keeps interrupting you “No No your answer is wrong. You know nothing. You’re not serious about this career….…..” and so on.
  2. He makes direct derogatory remarks about your home-state or graduation or both.
  3. He keeps asking tough followup questions, with obvious intent to confuse and ridicule you more.
  4. Even if you give a seemingly right answer, he says “you’re wrong, you know nothing.”

These things happen because:

  1. They want to test how you perform under stress. (Like in MBA/Sales-marketing job interviews.) OR
  2. They are just plain rude and bigots, they just hate you for no reason OR
  3. Your own fault: when you fail to answer some basic questions from your graduation / about banking sector. And he is really freaked out. OR
  4. You were simply unlucky that day.

How to reduce likelihood of Stress Interview?

(This advice is common for both IIM interviews and IBPS interviews)
As such stress interview doesn’t happen, not even with Engineer/IT. But with every answer that you fail to reply, the probability of stress interview increases like a geometric progression. So,

  1. You must stop feeling guilty. Else they’ll sense your weakness through your body language.
  2. Thoroughly prepare the sales pitch and all followup questions and counter question associated with it. (Why do you want to join PO?) Most importly: don’t contradict your original sales pitch, when he asks the same “why PO” question in a different tone at the end of the interview.
  3. Mugup all routine questions from Banking sector. If you fumble here, it’ll irritate the interviewer the most. Question List given in separate article click me.
  4. Religious mugup basic definitions and terms from Graduation subject-theory based questions. Better maintain a diary, so even if you fail here, you can use the diary for preparing next interview, rather than having to read through thousand pages college books again. This specially applies to science-engineering-pharma Candidates because lot of their questions have factual answers hence don’t stay in long term memory.

But just like lightening can strike on anyone, the stress interview can also happen to anyone despite his sincere preparation, honest intention and desperate desire to join banking sector.
In any case, during the stress interview:

  1. you must not let your body posture turn defensive- especially Your shoulder and back must remain firm and steady.
  2. Answers must remain calm and composed. Facial expression must remain humble and polite.
  3. Don’t snide, don’t make excuses for not knowing the answer. Ignore his personal insults. The rapidfire will cease soon anyways and most likely another panel member will start a new set of questions where you’ll have better luck.

Stress Interview=Not always bad

As such, stress interview should be taken in a positive spirit because:

  1. Stress interview doesn’t mean automatic rejection. Final list made from written + interview.
  2. Sometimes a stranger may tell you a bitter-truth that your loved ones will not tell you.
  3. Sometimes it is God’s way of giving you a shock therapy so once you leave the room, you can think out of the box:
    1. That there is life, career, money and fame beyond sarkari naukris and stupid paper degrees.
    2. That a real man doesn’t need approvals and certificates from any random uncle-ji to succeed in life.
  4. Sometimes a rude-jolt is necessary to provoke you, it’ll make you work harder than ever before. And after 2-3 years you realize that you’re in a way better position in terms of career and emotion maturity than the crowd of facebook no0b,  dimwit batchmates and arrogant relatives.

Ofcourse, stress interview is no good way to assess a candidate’s potential. But since we don’t make the rules here, the only thing we can do is try to see the brighter side and move on in the life.

Let’s check some real examples when Bank interview doesn’t go as smooth as planned. It should give some food for thought.

These experiences are taken from past Bank interviews, posted on pagalguy.com forum. (Courtesy Mr.csl80 for compilation and sharing)

Case#1: BBA to BankPO

P1:  Tell me how to Market Banks for Profit?

Me: Started with flexible operations, quicker process timing to retail customers , term loans , call money to Industrial Customers.

P1:  Call Money? Banks don’t have call money Operations. From where have you got this wrong information? Which coaching walla has taught you this?

Me: No sir, I used to study myself, and I learnt these terms from Newspapers, Websites and NCFM bankers Module.

P1:  Now I find you had Marketing Management as your subject, so I am going to ask you question from this subject . Any Problem?

Me: No sir, I will try my best to answer those questions.

P1: ok then tell me, how will you market Bank products?

Me: I started with Segmentation of the market…

P2: He was talking about how to market Banking products not about targeting .

Me: Sir we have to have a complete knowledge of the market first before marketing our products.

P1: Kya yaar kya paka rahe ho! Do you know anything about the subject ? What is the first and basic step of Marketing ?

Me: I started with Surveys to identify the market and various products available , do a thorough analysis of the market , needs of the consumers , competitors etc , then segment the market

P1: You people from ___ state score 90% marks, yet you know nothing about fundamentals of marketing in BBA. This is the problem with you ___ state people, you don’t know anything!

Me kept quite

P1: Tell me how can you do the survey before launching new baking product?

Me: I said there are various Market research organisation , which conducts surveys on behalf of the organisation etc.

P1: Bakwaas kar rahe ho, do you have any sense what you are talking? Don’t you know anything about Sales Funnel, And myriads of other Marketing terms?

Me: I said sorry sir I am not aware of these terms (Didn’t try to justify the fact that I am hearing these terms for the first time in my life and was out of scope of our Syllabus).

P2 : (Came to rescue immediately and continues the final process without giving chance to others) How can this candidate know? He is just BBA, all these terms will come in MBA and practical knowledge. But he has got no opportunity to explore the marketing yet through work experiance.

Me: (relieved a bit)

P2: Are you appearing in any other government exams?

Me: yes sir , I am appearing for SSC , LIC , Other Bank Po’s …

P2 :What’s the result so far ?

Me: Sir this is my first Interview call ….

P2 : then Why didn’t you go for MBA ? This is the best opportunity you have at present! You look really young , you should be in a college!

Me: Sir I tried to do MBA , but due to financial problems and my Fathers retirement next year for me now a Job is very important.

P3: ( Now gave a very violent look – Something which is seen during a cricket match by cricketer Srishanth….)

P2: Thank you gentleman, You may leave now.

Case#2: BE Mech vs Computer questions

P2: Have you heard the name of Induction Motor?

Me : Yes Sir. (Told about the machine)

P2: Name the important components of Induction Motor.

Me: (I could not answer this as it has been more than 8 years since I have read about it.) Sorry Sir I do not remember.

P1: You people from ____ state…..You just run behind every sarkari naukri from clerk to IAS. Now you’ve come even to Banking sector. If all of you come here, then where will others go?

Me: (I was shocked to hear his view but keep mum and tried not to answer by keeping quiet).

P2: What course have done in Computer?

Me: C concepts and C Programming.

(Then he asked two terms that I have never ever heard in C.)

Me : Sir this is the first time I am hearing this term.

P2: What is the difference between Querry, Pointer and Array?

Me: I told that I do not know.

P2: Named two loops name and asked what is the difference among them and how will they be used while writing the Programme?

Me: Kept Quite.

P2: Atleast tell me what’s the difference between C and C++??

Me (Quiet) as I do not know. (Seemed as if they are going to put me in their Software Development Center to develop Software for Bank.)

P2: Yaar tell me one thing how did you become an Engineer? You don’t even know a single thing about Engineering!

Me: Kept Quite.

P2: (Looking at my degree and 12th certificate.) You’ve finished 12th standard in 1999 and degree in 2007. Right, since you took 7 years to finish graduation, that explains why you don’t know anything about engineering.

Me: Sir I took admission in the year 2001 and completed my 8th Sem in July 2005. The final degree was awarded in the month of Feb 2006 as University takes a time of 6 months.

P2: Aise thore hi na hota hai (it doesn’t happen like that). Degree is given simultaneously. Which university do you belong to?

Me: Told about University and its full form.


P1: Thank you, you may leave now.

Case#3: BE Engineer vs. SARFAESI

P1: ok you want to become a Banker. Meaning you have interest in Banking sector right?

Me: Yes Sir.

P1: Then tell me a topic from banking sector that you’ve knowledge about.

Me: I had no command on any topic so told him that I do not have much command on any topic and I am still in the processes of learning.

P1: There must be some topic you’ve prepared?

Me : (To be safe told him about Key rate of RBI.)

P1: Every Tom, Dick and Harry knows about Repo rate and Reverse repo rate. What do you know beyond that?

(I kept quite).

P1: If you’re a branch manager and a customer doesn’t repay his loan installment. What will you do?

Me: Will hand over the case to Legal Department.

P1: But you don’t have legal department. Ab kaya karoge. (what will you do)?

Me: Will inform the headquarter and seek their advice.

P1: If you’re going to handover everything to legal department and Headquarter, then why should bank pay you salary for free?

Me (Quiet)

P1: ok tell me from legal point of view, which law applies for such loan default matter?

Me (Quiet)

P1: (to another panel member P2: Do you want to ask something to him, or should I ask him to go, so we can go for lunch?)

P2: Have you heard the name RBI?

Me: told full form and that it the central bank of India.

P2: Hmm.. finally you know the answer of something. Ok tell me the functions of RBI ?

Me: Told that it looks after the monetary policy of India.

P2: Meaning?

Me: Told her about money supply and liquidity control.

P2: If RBI is supposed to do all money related matters, then what is the use of Finance ministry?

Me: Told her about the Fisacal Policy, Budget, Income Tax Department, Revenue Department.

P2: Yaar tum logon ko kuch pata nahi hota hai, pata nahi kaise chale aate ho. (You people know nothing. Why do you come here to show your face?)

P2 (to another panel member: Sir I’m done..)

P3: Ok its over from our end.

Me: Thank you so much for your time. It was nice talking to all of you. Have a great day ahead. Bye.

Case#4: IT Professional vs NPA Questions

Panel:  Accenture is a very very good company, what were you doing there?

Me:  I was a programmer there.

Panel:  why did you leave that job?

Me:  I wanted to move up in professional life, so I left it to prepare for competitive exams. if I join as a PO, I would become a manager.

Panel:  who told you that you will become a manager?

Me:  sorry sir, I did not meant to say Branch Manager, but Junior Manager.

Panel:  WRONG, you will be joining as a assistant manager.

Me:  yes sir, Junior Manager, Assistant Manager.

Panel:  what was your salary?

Me:  Rs 3,00,000

Panel:  why did you leave the job, IT is driving the country forward, India is world leader in IT, why did you leave that job?

Me:  sir, I wanted to move up in professional ladder, plus, I can get a similar job, like that of Accenture, whenever I want. And this was my one and only shot at Manager Level. It would have been my last attempt. If I was not able to clear bank PO, I would never ever give the same exam again, and I did not want any distractions while preparing, hence I left. PLUS, Bank PO is a very professional job, with Social Respect and. (Interrupted again)

Panel:  (getting agitated, and speaking a little bit loudly) You mean to say IT engineers have NO social respect?

Me:  no sir, I meant to say both enjoy social respect, but Bank PO being government job, it enjoys more Social Respect.

Panel:  BankPO is not a government officer, my dear. And IT engineers have a lot of social respect, they drive the country forward, everything is computerized nowadays, and you are saying IT people have NO social respect?

Me:  SIR, I meant to say that PO have more social respect, plus, I am inclined towards Bank PO job, because…(interrupted)

Panel:  what did you study for the interview?

Me:  sir, I studied general banking terms

Panel:  what do you know about NPA?

Me:  non-performing Asset, and it is that that asset on which the bank has stopped getting money, for more than 90 days.

Panel:  money?

Me:  money as in interest. sorry sir, I forgot the exact name of the classifications, but I know NPA’s are of 3 types:-

  1. which has stopped generating income, for more than 90 days.
  2. in which their still are chances of recovering money.
  3. there is NO chances of recovering money.

(Although I studied about them last night only, but I am sorry, I forgot the exact name of these classifications.)

Panel:  what do you mean by 90 days?

Me:  sir, when the money stops getting interest 90 days after the due date.

Panel:  are you sure its the due date?

Me:  sir, I am not exactly sure, but the website I referred to, did not say anything more than due date.

(then he tried to give an example of NPA, which I did not understand)

Panel:  how many marks did you get?

Me:  159, although I could have gotten more marks, as I got 48 marks in English, which got halved to 24. I had gotten emotional while attempting English section, I kept on solving questions, as I found them easy. and I ended up attempting every question..

Panel:  you had prior knowledge that English marks would be halved,so why did you keep on solving them?

Me:  sir, I said I got emotional, I should have attempted other sections.

Panel:  that means you have no time-management skills?

Me:  sir, I do have time management skills, as I had attempted English section the last, and I thought I would complete this section, and go back to attempt more question in previous sections, but… (Interrupted)

Panel:  how did you prepare for IBPS?

Me:  I was preparing for CAT side by side, so I covered most of the syllabus, and about Banking GK, I bought Banking Magazines, and covered the banking GK from that.

Panel:  gentleman, you are contradicting yourself.

Me:  no sir, I am not contradicting myself. I know I want to join Bank, as it is government job, very professional.

Panel: you took up Science in 11th and 12th, not commerce and arts, then you did engineering, not BA, BCOM, then you joined a company which is an IT company, WHY did you join Accenture, and prepare for exams after graduation?

Me:  sir, I wanted to see the professional life, how life is in private sector, that is why I joined IT company.

Panel:  Are you willing to serve anywhere in India?

Me:  thought for 4-5 seconds, yes sir, I am willing to go anywhere, (then, I said hesitating) but I should not be saying this, but I would prefer if I am posted in rural areas, becau…(interruped)

Panel:  RURAL areas!! you know there is a problem of NPA’s in rural areas?

Me:  yes sir, I know NPA’s problem is more prevalent in Rural branches than in urban branches, but still I want to serve there because…(interrupted)

Panel:  you don’t know anything about NPA, but still you want to serve in Rural Areas!?

Panel: You can go now.

(Me: I wanted to tell them that I want to serve in rural areas because cost of living is less, and I would save lots of money. but alas, they were not willing to listen.)

Case#5: Small Error in answer

P1 : Tell about RBI act ?

ME : Started very well , then gave wrong passing year of the act. It was 1934. I said 1932.

P1 : What ridiculous answer is this ? Do you know anything about banking ?

P1 told me to stop.

P1 looks towards P2, but P2 & P3 kept drinking tea.

P1 : You may go now.