31 March 2015


Posted by Vinoth Subramanian | Tuesday, March 31, 2015 Categories: , , , ,

It was 10-02-2015. I was called for a bank interview after clearing the written exam. Since I gave Indian overseas bank as my first preference in my application form, I was called by them I deem. I reached the main branch of Indian overseas bank with my father at 12:00 Pm and obeyed the order of registering our name in the entrance. While my father was completing the formalities,

“Is it your bike sir?” was the first question asked to me on my interview day by one of the securities stood over there. I turned back and replied, “No. Not mine.” My father returned to me and got to know the happenings. We both snickered.
We were too early to the venue we understood. But felt happy for that. The first batch was yet to turn up. We were asked to stay out since my interview timing is at 1:00 pm. We conversed with some candidates who finished their interview in the morning. They said the interview is in Tamil and disclosed some questions also. “It’s not tough sir.” Said one among them. It was around 12:50. We decided not to lunch and proceeded to the reception. The receptionist asked us to wait there till they announce. The interview was conducted in six various floors in the same building. They called it panels. Mine was in the sixth panel which was in the sixth floor.
I happened to meet another visually challenged in the hall. In other words my competitor! He came to us and introduced himself as Ezhumalai. We shook our hands with each other. He started probing my career and my father was doing the same at him. His exordium began there. 
“I also did my under graduation in Loyola but in Tamil.” He said and continued, “I did my B.ED followed by M.A. Tamil.”
I felt little upset and couldn’t control myself from asking him a question which was later asked in his interview.
“What is the need of coming to banks after finishing B.ED?” He retorted me back which I should not unveil here since it was his secret and personal. I wanted to remain an ascesis inside the hall which is my innate quality but he didn’t want me to be. He started prying and showering questions like an incessant rain fall. I was preparing myself for an important question at that time. He got my number too.
“If you go first you come and wait for me, if I go, I will do the same.” He said after noting down my number. My father found the other visually challenged candidate who also belonged to the same panel. All the differently able candidates would be interviewed in a separate panel is the usual phenomenon. Totally three so far. The time has invited us to the sixth panel. We didn’t forget to take Ezhumalai with us and entered in to the lift. The lift left us in the senary floor. I found them talking in English. Only in English.
“We were down in the reception ma’am and couldn’t hear the announcement.” Said my father. “No problem sir. We didn’t begin yet; please go sit there and we will call you for the certificate verification. Arrange your certificate properly we will call you.” The woman said it in English. My father is not good at English but he could grasp some words like sit-certificate verification-call you-no problem-after, and all those things. He took me inside and made me sit. Others were arraying their certificates which we didn’t do for we had already done at our home.
Two more visually challenged candidates were there one girl was a low vision and the other one was a totally blind who was also a female candidate and the rest of them were physically challenged. I asked my father to count the total number of visually challenged. He said there are 5 visually challenged 2 girls and 3 boys including me.

There was a male staff allotted for the attendance process. I found him as a stranger to Tamil for talking only in Hindi and English. He was taking attendance at 2:30. I was the penultimate candidate among 25. They called each and everyone by the order, verified their certificates, asked them to sign in the attendance register and sent to the interview room. Even though there were only 25 candidates, only ten of us can obtain the job under the reservation i think. Among five visually challenged, they may select either two or three. I kept myself aplomb and didn’t have the fear over the interview except for that one question which had been disturbing me for a month. “Why did you choose banking?”
When I told my exam results to my friend Anu, she told me that it would be a compulsory question. I had been locating the proper answer for that initial question. The answer should not be getting job rather doing after getting it I ensconced myself.
On the previous day of that interview day, I called my friend Mahesh and asked this. He said, “Vinoth, India, is a developing country.” I developed from there on. It is going to be a definite question I sullied and chewing answer inside the venue. When Ezhumalai was asking me several questions in the reception, I couldn’t answer him for I had been formulating the answer for that life deciding question. “Why did you choose banking? Or why did you choose bank?” I didn’t want the answer to gratify the interviewers alone but also me. I was just cogitating Mahesh’s answer to begin. I revised the answered “India, is a developing country,” my mobile vibrated. I answered to some messages. Again started from the beginning “India, is a developing country.” “Sir Biscuit. A man interrupted me with the tray. I said no and started again, “India,” “Sir, tea sir.” The  man again with a cup. My father asked me to drink for I didn’t have anything since afternoon. I got the cup and drank and started framing the answer once again. “AAP won in 67 constituencies!” somebody said while crossing me.  I was in an infernal glee. Their victory disturbed my mind again and it distracted me for a while. It was around 4:00 I was called for the certificate verification. We noticed that there was another candidate in my name. Fortunately his initial was L. I have to mention that there was a little chaos in the beginning while calling our names. L. Vinoth was the last candidate and I was the penultimate one to attend the interview. They were verifying mine, Ezhumalai’s also was verified at the same time. However, he was supposed to go before me to the interview room according to the order. We verified our certificates and he was called inside. I didn’t develop India properly hence I began.
Unfortunately, during that certificate verification, one of the candidates was deflected from attending the interview for he had mentioned his level of disability below forty percent. He tried convincing them at his best but nothing worked. Only forty and above forty is eligible they said. The candidate could do nothing except leaving the hall. Ezhumalai came out. My father stopped him and asked “how was the interview?”
“It was tough sir. They asked me difficult questions and I was unable to answer. They told me ‘if you go for teaching you’ll get good salary and more holidays. Then why did you choose banking?’ I couldn’t answer them well sir.” He said. My father consoled him. He came and told the conversation. “Will you be able to answer that question?” he asked. I was ready at that time and said yes to his interrogation. “What is the language?” I asked my father. “The interview is in Tamil.” My father replied. I had prepared in English. No matter what so ever but I should be conscious if it is Tamil for I may digress by taking the advantage of the language.
It was 4:38. “Mr. Vinoth s?” I was called inside. The attender took me inside.
“Come man.” the person called me in Tamil.
“He’s Vinoth S sir.” The attender said and left me before the chair.
“Vinoth? S… okay…” the interviewer who was right in front of me confirmed and asked me to sit.
“The other one is Vinoth L right?”
“Yes sir.” The attender replied and left the place.
“Sit man!” He said.
 I wished him first.
“Good evening!” the reply came, not only from him but from other two also. I lounged on the chair.
Totally four interviewers were there. One is on the left corner, second one was in the middle, (the person who welcomed me) then third one who was next to the second, finally a lady on the right corner whom I didn’t recognised in the beginning.
“Vinoth S, No 6, Dunlop nagar, Veppampattu, Tiruvallur. Right?” the second interviewer who was sitting opposite to me asked.
I felt relieved and said yes. They didn’t ask me to introduce myself rather they asked me what I am doing. I narrated my small history. After listening to that, he asked me “how did you commute from Adyar to Veppampattu daily?” I said I stayed in hostel.
I was expecting their next and ever perilous question.
“What is your future plan?” This time the third interviewer asked me. Conspicuously it was not the question I predicted.
“Banking sir!” I replied without any hesitation. Those who read my previous post
may fathom my answer. I will also let my readers know the reason behind the previous answer if I get the job. But I didn’t halt there in fact perpetuated my answer further.
“Banking is my future plan sir, and that is why I have written five consecutive  exams.”
“Five times! This exam?” The second interviewer was shocked and mistook me completely as if I have attempted five times for this particular exam.
“No sir! Five different exams!” I continued, “SBI PO, SBI Clerk, RRB, IBPS PO and now IBPS Clerk.”
“Okay being a literature student, who is your favorite author?” asked the other man who sat on his left. Yes, the first interviewer exactly.
“My favorite author is Mich Albom sir for his Tuesday with Morrie.”
“Why?” this time the second one again. The person who was right in front of me.
“Such a fantastic book sir. I used to say other ‘read before die’.”
“What?” now from his left which is that first interviewer with the tone of bafflement. Again a misunderstanding I felt. He might not have heeded my first sentence and heard only second part of it ‘Before you die’
I explained him but this time in Tamil.
“Oh! That’s great!” He praised.
“How do you read?” the second interviewer now. I explained about the computer and the screen reading software.
“What is so special about this book?” he depicted the most essential curiosity.
“I have come across many books from many authors sir. But this is something special. The hero of this book is going to die. But how he takes the life? Such a fabulous book sir! A wonderful book of motivation.” He lost his patience and took the pen.
“Okay spell out the name of the book. Let me write and read later.”
I said and he took it down.
“Are you prepared something related to banks?” he put down the pen and asked.
“Yeah sir! I have prepared. But I may not be as great as a commerce student but certainly one percent better than a literature student.” Yes readers, I seriously prepared some important banking terms certainly not for the interview but for the job.
“What is banking?” the first interviewer asked me. When I was about to say the answer the third interviewer dispatched the other question.
“Tell us about foreign exchange.” I answered him but he shot out another question like where does it take place? And does it hap in all the banks? I said I am new to the system sir and I will know it soon. I also add by saying that it is not possible in all the banks but I don’t wist where it exactly takes place.
“Okay. What is the difference between Salman Khurshid and Salman Rushdie?” I was startled not by the question but by the person. She was the fourth person on the right corner. There only I recognized the woman.
“First one is a politician ma’am and the second one belongs to literature.” I steadied myself and retorted. She continued where I left
“First one in the sense? Salman Khurshid?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“So the second one Salman Rushdie?”
“Yeah literature ma’am.”
“Do you remember any of his books?”
I said I forgot. I really forgot at that time for his work Midnight Children didn’t occur.
“I forgot ma’am. I really don’t remember now. But I’ve studied when I was preparing for my NET exam.” I said.
“What kind of a work can we give you?” now question was from the left of that lady that is third interviewer according to me.
“Anything related to computer sir. Like account verification, complaint receiving, online communication, mails, letters, data entries, and other possible work connected with computers sir. Moreover,” I added, “It will be fine if I get the job in regional office so that I can serve better. Some of my seniors are working in regional office sir. To be frank, I preferred this job because it is computer oriented. I can work without much dependency.” Service is a big word for me I know  I used it still.
“So you cannot do any job with visual ability right?” The third interviewer asked.
“Yes sir.”
“What do you know about bank? Do you have account in any bank?” now it was from the first one.
“Yeah sir! I have! And having ATM card also!”
“You have ATM card? In which bank?”
“State bank of India sir.”
“How can you use that?”
“Yeah! That’s not a problem sir! There is a talking system in some automated teller machines. I utilize that!”
“Oh! Is it? Do SBI have that facility?” he didn’t come out of that shock. But I didn’t expect that reaction from a bank employee. He still continued.
“Have you taken money on your own from ATM! Where is it?”
“Yeah sir! It’s near to my college.” I said.
It seemed like he didn’t want to leave me with that. Once again the same person decided to shoot out  another question.
“Who has won the Nobel prise for literature?” I thought of saying Soyinka brought back my words and said, “Rabindranath Tagore sir. From India. I admire his prolific work Gitanjali.” Sometimes, it is better to say what they know than what we know.
“Very good.” He replied and said to the second, “Okay sir.”
“Mmm.” Was the second interviewer’s reaction.
They asked me to sit there and called somebody to take me out. He was the next candidate. He came and took me out. But throughout the interview they didn’t ask me why I chose banking. Mayhap, it isn’t the answer to utter in the interview but to carry in the job if I get. I thanked all and quitted the room.
Eventually I managed to finish my interview. While I was coming out, my mind was thanking her. It was possible because of her. As long as this post remains, as long as this Blog survives the following statement will also last.
My father was waiting outside. I reached him. He held my hand and asked,
“How was the interview?”


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