Sahil garg - My interview Experience SBI

My SBI Interview experience Sahil Garg.

Name: Sahil Garg
Post: Officer Trainee (Indian Post & Telecom Accounts and Finance Service)
Organisation: Ministry of Communication and IT
Government of India

So, the day was there. My interview was in the morning slot and I was asked to be there at 8 o’clock. The morning air was quite cold as it the month of October and sun has shifted its insolation to southern hemisphere. I reached LHO at Patel Chowk Metro station 15 minutes before the schedule. Only 1-2 guys were present. I sat down in the waiting hall and more candidates arrived in meantime. At around 8:15, we all started with document verification. It took them 2 hours to verify the documents of 13 candidates (3 candidates were verified separately at a time). I wondered with the range of paper work they do in any financial institution. I somehow feel that it is time for the much conceived idea of our PM to have our documents in a cloud which can be assessed. It will be more eco-friendly then the no. of pages we use and Photostat.

Around 10:30, the panel arrived with 5 members (4 men and 1 woman, all from SBI in different retired cadres). There were two parts: Group Discussion and Interview

Group Discussion Topic: Do you think that private colleges are mainly responsible for lower standards of Higher Education in India.

The topic was quite easy and there has been a lot of debate and discussion which was lively, vibrant and energetic with much enthusiasm in the candidates. Everyone put their viewpoints forward about lack of infrastructure, low teaching standards, less industry collaboration, profit maximization, capitation fees and all. Initially everyone was allowed to speak for 2 minutes and then there has to be a discussion. However, in discussion, most of the candidates were confined to technical education only rather than focussing on all-inclusiveness of Higher education. The GD went for about 45-50 minutes and then we were asked to get ready for the interview. I was on the second number and was asked to wait outside.

My number came at 11:20 and interview went till 11:40 (around 20 minutes). I was mainly based on what I mentioned in my Bio-data form as well as my work experience. Here I am putting my interview experience. I opened the door.

Me: May I Come in Sir. (Yes, Please). Good morning to all of you Mam and Sirs (With a broad smile.)

Chairman: Ah, Good morning Sahil. Take your seat.

Me: Thank You Sir. (Meanwhile he scanned through my form with curiosity).

Chairman: You have worked in LIC for 8 months. (Yes Sir). Then why did you left? You have written reason which is…..

Me: Sir, lack of diversity. Actually there were multiple reasons for that Sir. First of all, promotions were really slow. It takes around 7 years to go to next level. Then there was more monotonous job as I was feeling that it is confined to office and I cannot use my skills in other areas or learn from other areas.

Chairman: What kind of Job was that?

Me: Sir, I was still in the training. I was appointed Assistant Administrative Officer. He is the HOD of a particular department and looked after its modalities like policy underwriting, claim settlement, accounts etc. (Is this lack of diversity, asked Chairman). Sir actually, there was not much except this. I am not talking in departmental aspect but several other areas. For example, banking offers different aspects in later stages like credit, investment, as well as banc-assurance etc.

Chairman: ok, So Sahil, have you heard of this term, inflation?

Me: Yes, Sir. (What is it?). Sir, it is the general increase in the prices of goods and services over a period of time. It is of different types and measured in a two broad perspectives, WPI and CPI. Sir, …(Stopped, ok tell me what inflation signifies?)

Me: Sir, it means that the economy is undergoing growth mostly or we can say that there is demand. Further, inflation leads to growth (I was talking about inflation which is within the ambit of normal inflation and not concentrating on hyper or galloping inflation). This means that there is employment generation as well as increase in purchasing power of a person.Sahil garg - My interview Experience SBI

Chairman: Is there any condition when there is decrease in prices. I mean complete negative inflation?

Me: Yes Sir, it is called as deflation (He nodded and said very right). Sir, it happens mainly in period of slowdown, when there is no demand but excess supply.

Chairman: ok, right. If you have to choose between a -3% deflation, 0% inflation and 5% inflation, what will you choose?

Me: Sir, I will choose 5% inflation. (Why? When there is decrease in prices, people will have more purchasing power). Sir, because it provides an incentive to the producers as well. They will be encouraged to invest more due to the profit arising out of this. Further, deflation may increase the purchasing power of a person but in long term, it will decrease investment and thus decrease employment and consequences follows. (He understood that I knew the intricacies of economics).

Chairman: Ok, tell me something about Indian space program.

Me: Sir, Indian space programs are mainly conceived by ISRO in 1962. They are used for both civilian and military purposes. (Stopped. Ok, tell me the two types of satellites launched by India). Sir, Polar and Geo-synchronous. (No, they are payload, tell me that names. I was numb. Ok, like one is IRN types. What is the other one). I said communication satellites like 1A, 2A etc. (Tell me the specific name). I am sorry Sir. (He said, it is INSAT). I thought (What is difference between communication satellites and INSAT. Anyways I thanked him).

Chairman: Can you tell a recent telecom initiative launched to be achieved by 2015? (I read it while we were sitting in waiting hall).

Me: Sir, I think it is MNP. (Chairman: It is mobile number portability. I was about to say). Yes, Sir. He smiled and passed the baton to other member.

M1: Sahil, what is mis-selling in financial sector?

Me: Sir, mis-selling is selling a particular financial product to the prospective customer against his needs and using flawed means like extending some kind of monetary incentive to the customer to sell the product.

M1: Give me an example.

Me: Sir, like if I am an agent and I have to sell one of my insurance policies. Therefore, I may indulge in practices like giving a share of my incentive to customer to buy from me or charging amount without giving any slip for that. (Ok, but tell me an example which is not like duping the customer). Sir, for example I am giving the same kind of policy to all my customers in order to achieve target. This is not illegal but against the needs of the person like saving, investment, future education needs etc. (Satisfied)

M1: What are the steps to control this menace?

Me: Sir, it is an illegal activity under Section 41 of Insurance Act. (Who enforces it?). Sir, the regulator, IRDA etc.

M1: Ok, there has been decrease in the premium of various policies after liberalisation. Can you tell me the reasons?

Me: Sir, it is because of increase in the total life of a person. I mean life expectancy. This has made the “life fund” more competitive. (Tell me other reason) Sir, it may be because of better return from the investment of life fund in market due to capital market boom and later more competiveness by introduction of new players who are giving more choices to the customers and decrease in premium price.

M1: So, do you think that FDI shall be allowed in insurance sector? (Yes Sir).  Do you think that FDI will decrease the share of LIC?

Me: I think that LIC is here to stay sir. Various reasons are responsible for that. (Tell me the reasons) Sir, it is because it is having various products for rural population like micro-insurance which are sold through NGOs etc. Further, it is more magnanimous with regard to claim settlement etc.

M1: What about privatisation of LIC. Is it needed? Will it impact anything?

Me: Yes Sir, privatisation can be done but looking into the overall macro-economic situation as well as prudent decision making. More efficiency will be there and LIC large life fund will help but that must be supplemented by its inclusive programs like Micro-insurance which is not provided by private players to large extent.

Asked madam to question.

M2: You said that you did not find LIC that diversified. But in every job, in initial few years, the job is bound to be same. So, do you think that you had given LIC proper time? Have you discussed with any of colleagues?

Me: You are right mam. But in case of LIC, first promotion is after 7 years. And when I discussed with my seniors and managers, it is like a minimum period of 20-25 years that I would be able to rise to a managerial post.{I don’t want to spent by youthful years in the same cabin} (Ok, understood)

M2: You know LIC is the largest market investor in the country and has a large share in capital market. How do you take it? What people say about investment of LIC?

Me: Yes mam, LIC is one of largest investor in capital market. It is generally said that the prices of stock of a company increases if LIC invest in them. But when we see from a larger perspective, certain large investments have been diverted to disinvestment target achievement. So there is more government interference in LIC investment decisions.

M2: What is market to market share?

Me: I don’t know mam.

She called the other member to question.

M3: Sahil, You talked about micro-insurance for inclusion. Tell me about financial inclusion?

Me: Sir, it is the process of extending various kinds of products and services which are related to finance and saving as well as investment to cater to needs of the people and provide maximum return to them in order to empower them

M3: How micro-insurance works to empower people.

Sir, in rural areas, they may be prone to money-lenders or unscrupulous traders. Thus micro-insurance provides them the avenue to investment in a financial product according to their needs. They can have that money for their day to day needs as well. They can use that investment to start new setups like entrepreneurship etc.

Last member turn

M4: Sahil, you like basketball? (Yes, Sir). So in which field do you want me to question? Engineering or Basketball?

Me: Sir, it is up to you to decide (with a broad smiled, he smiled back).

M4: Ok, tell me a basketball player, who has made his own identity and changed his name as well for the given sport.

Me: (I thought for a while) Sir, I think it is Jordan (Guess). (And what was his school name?) (I thought again) I am sorry Sir, I don’t know.

M4: You are absolutely right that it is Jordan, (He smiled, and I nodded) He told some name, A. Jordan which I was not able to comprehend.

Chairman and Mam: Thank you Sahil.

Me: Thank you all of You mam and Sirs.(with a very smiling face). Then I turned back and came out of the room.

P.S.: The interview in indicative and only a personal experience. I am totally apologetic to candidates who want this job by hook or crook as I had no interest in joining the institution and still appearing for interview. There may be some questions that are not mentioned here. Thank you.