Interview with Ms. Rajyashree Mukherjee who got selected in IBPS PO exam. She shall be joining Bank of India as a Probationary officer soon. Read her journey from initial failures to success.
First of all many congratulations on your much deserving success in IBPS PO exam. What was the reaction of your family and friends?
Thanks a lot. My family and friends were overwhelmed. Especially my mother who has been my friend, philosopher and guide throughout my journey.
Can you share a brief profile of yours like your family background, School and College education? Any work experience?
My father was a civil servant and my mother is a homemaker. My actual home is in a semi-urban town of Murshidabad, a district of West Bengal. I have been through six districts and eight schools due to my father’s transferable job. I have completed my graduation(2015) and post-graduation (2017) in Zoology from Presidency University of Kolkata. Now I reside in Kolkata with my family. No, I do not have any work experience.
3. Attempts in IBPS Exam. How difficult it was for you?
Second attempt but a first serious attempt.
I want to say something extra in this straightforward question. Coming from a civil service household, I was preparing for state civil service after my post-graduation in 2017. But as we all know, it takes a lot of time to complete the process in state PSCs, I was stuck very badly. I have passed prelims of state civil service and other exams of public service commission but I did not pass the mains of 2017 and 2018 civil service. Many exams which were conducted in 2018 are yet to publish their mains results. Things were turning very bad after my father’s sudden death in 2018. I was in a dilemma, as I badly needed a job (Financial crisis was not the reason). Near the end of 2018, I thought about banking as I have heard about their fast and fair recruitment process along with good career prospect. So, I attempted 2018 IBPS PO and IBPS Clerk without any preparation and failed in prelims. In 2019, I buckled up and single-mindedly focus on banking.
Yes, it was difficult when I did not understand the crux of the exam but now it is not.
4. Any other exam you are preparing or waiting for results? Your career goals.
Yes, I am preparing for NABARD mains, SEBI Grade A, RBI Grade B 2020. I want to see myself as a central banker. So, I will try my best to crack RBI Grade B. I missed RBI 2019 mains for lack of revision.
5. Your strategy for success in this exam? (some details)
We need to understand the crux of any exam along with the strength and weakness of the individual who is attempting it. First, the aspirant needs to assess himself/herself.
In IBPS PO, the prelims are all about speed and accuracy. In my case, my quant is not that good but I managed to fetch 22-23 by attempting simplification, approximation, quadratic equation and DI which is a dreaded part but an easy part of prelims. I am average in reasoning, so I scored 25-26 here. But as I am good in English, I used to get full marks or near 30 in most of the exams.
IBPS Mains is something different. Here the depth of the knowledge of an aspirant is assessed. Here you do not have to race against time. Here, I just get near the pass mark in DI and Reasoning, but I get exceptionally good marks in English. You need to understand one thing, the level of DI and reasoning are getting difficult day by day, so you can not solely rely on these two subjects (even if you are a pro!) to get through this exam. You need to give extra efforts in GA which is not difficult, also in English and in descriptive.
Interview is mainly based on your personality. Brush up your communicating skills and read newspaper everyday.
6. Books and Sources you referred for this exam?
I used to practice daily quizzes from Adda247, Oliveboard. Then full-fledge mocks from these sites as well. First, give a free mock, see where you are lacking. Prepare your weakness from free youtube videos of adda247. I did this for quant and reasoning.
I did not prepare separately for the English section as it is already my strong point (Though I was a student of Bengali medium throughout my school life). I used to practice those quizzes for the English section. Read Newspaper, books to strengthen your comprehension skill as most of the questions of mains English paper are based on RC or reading comprehension.
I prepare GA from different sites as I was mainly preparing for NABARD and RBI. I used to read the 250 MCQs of GKTODAY, Affairs cloud weekly pdf and practice this gk from Affairs cloud weekly test,adda247 daily Hindu quiz. For GA, revision is the key along with practice. For banking awareness, I did not read separately as my study for RBI used to cover everything.
For descriptive, honestly, I did not prepare anything for IBPS PO. As I have attempted NABARD Grade A-mains 2019 and RBI Grade B mains 2019, I was well prepared in that process. But if you want to prepare descriptive, you should focus on grammar, good content and speed of your typing. To accelerate your speed, you need to practice at home in a separate keyboard. Most of the candidates can not complete the descriptive test due to lack of practice.
7. Which bank has been allotted to you?
BOI (Bank Of India, 2nd preference)
8.Your mark sheet?
9. Your hobbies?
My hobbies are reading books, singing songs, sketching.
10.Tips for the interview?
See! Interview is 50% about our attitude and personality and 50% about our knowledge.
Prepare the current affairs of one month before your interview date. They can read your confidence in your non-verbal communication. It is okay to be a little bit nervous. But do not fumble and if you do not know something, say confidently, ‘Mam/ Sir, I do not know.
You can practice for interview in front of the mirror. If you are not so confident communicating in the English language, try to call customer care and talk with them in English.
11.Your interview experience.
The panel of mine (UBI Kolkata, Panel 1, 5th February, 8.30 am) was very friendly. This was my first interview experience. They were very relaxed and cordial. First, they asked me about myself (Yes the cliché one, tell us about yourself). Then they proceeded to a simple questions like
- What is banking?
- What is pmjdy?
- What is mudra yojna?
- What are the functions of RBI? They asked me a few details about this question.
- What is negotiable instrument act?
- Also, glance over your graduation subject. They asked me two to three basic simple questions from my graduation subject.
12. Why Banking as a career choice?
I always wanted to pick public service as my career choice and in this corona crisis, I do not think that I need to elaborate why banking is not only an essential service but it is a very crucial public service too.
13. Your message to aspirants with a specific focus on women aspirants?
Never give up. If I can do it, you can do it too.
Do not get disheartened by taunting, mocking of others who say ‘Tum se na ho payega beta’or ‘Ab shadi karlo (special for women aspirants)’.These demotivators have not achieved anything in their life. I know that we can not avoid most of them but we can be selectively deaf. Mental sanity is very much important in this exam process as most of us start to question our self-esteem after repeated failure. Do not tag your self worth with any exam.
I want to say something to women aspirants. I was really lucky that I belong to an affluent family where I was supported by everyone even after my father’s untimely death. Now and then, I was also pressurized by not-so-relative people for marriage but my family, especially my mother stood beside me like a rock. But everyone is not lucky like me.
So, I wanted to tell them that if your family is pressurizing you to sacrifice your dream, stay steady as a rock. If you have an economic crisis in your home, try to teach children and use that pocket money very judiciously. Always remember if there is a will there is away. Stay true to your conscience and fight against the prejudices of society. Because, if you do not fight for your dream, who will?
14. Any other thing you like to mention.
I already mentioned about the mental sanity. Nobody talks about the mental state of an aspirant, the uncomfortable questions we have to face every time we fail.
I have also faced confusion, lack of self-esteem, even fear of not getting any job in this whole journey. The bomb of this total whirlpool of emotions exploded when I missed NABARD mains by 2.5 marks in 2019. Then I paused my preparation for seven days. I read books like ‘Man’s search for meaning’. I analysed myself very thoroughly in that period.
I have asked myself one thing ‘why I am attaching my self worth with a job?’. I can not lose my mental sanity in this process.
So, after that, I started preparing dispassionately but logically. I beefed up my confidence, work hard and start to invent new ways to study to keep myself motivated and creative. I started to enjoy the process by inventing new tricks to study.
So, moral of this last piece, do not attach your self worth with any job or anything in this world. You just do your work with utmost commitment and dedication. That is all! Best of luck.
Meanwhile, i will continue my work.