Aspirants have numerous questions in their minds regarding the strategy to adopt, the sources to follow, does background matter or not, salary and perks associated with the job and so on.
EduTap (www.edutap.co.in) brings you an interview with Mr Dheeraj Ghakhar who is a SRCC graduate and cleared the RBI Grade B exam in his second attempt.
Here he has shared his experience of preparing for this exam and the various do’s and dont’s that an aspirant should keep in mind.
So here it goes!
Dheeraj, first we at Edutap would like to congratulate you for making it big. After All, RBI is one of the most prestigious jobs in India. How are you feeling these days? On Cloud 9?
Thank you. It feels great to be selected for RBI Gr. B position. Well, it’s been 6 months since I joined and it feels wonderful to be part of this organisation where greats have stepped before.
Recent events make you realise the importance of the organisation and one’s own role being a part of it.
Cloud 9/ Elated/satisfied? Yes, the job is related to my background( Finance) so that makes the job more interesting and satisfying.
How is the Job Profile and Work environment at RBI? What do you like the Most about this Job?
Once we complete our 15 weeks training at Reserve Bank Staff College, Chennai, we are allotted departments in RBI.
Various departments such as banking supervision, regulation, Issue and Banking, financial markets departments, public debt office, foreign exchange department are there. The work profile is then based on the respective departments.
The thing that I have liked most is that in future many opportunities are there for development and building one’s knowledge base. The seniors are also helpful so the work environment is good.
What are the perks and benefits provided by RBI?
As the notification mentions residential accommodation, conveyance, book grant, medical facilities for self and dependents, domestic help allowance, broadband facility and newspaper allowance, among others. Good opportunities are there for study leave with pay as well.
Many aspirants want to know the background of candidates selected in RBI. Are they only from certain background like IIT’s and IIM’s or is there a mix from different fields?
In my batch, majority of the people selected are engineers. A good number had prior experience in banking, some had experience in IT, other core areas also. A sizeable number had given Civil Services Exams also. There were few candidates from IIT’s and IIM’s also. (5-6 from IIM’s in a batch of 66). Then we had 2 Economics graduates, One CA, 2 Commerce graduates. So the ratio was skewed towards engineers.
That said, the nature of the exam is such that any graduate with focused study can crack it.
We will move on to exam strategy here?
Phase 1 though just qualifying but still important as one might be out of the race just because of not qualifying phase 1. On the other hand Phase 2 is very important because your selection is based upon it. How much time did you divide between Phase 1 and Phase 2 and did you study both in parallel or one by one?
Since I was preparing for UPSC and SBI, I had a fair idea of Phase 1. Since it is the first step, it is really important. So I made sure that I solved 5-6 papers before the Prelims. So practice the Quant and Reasoning Section (especially DI exercises) to have a fair idea of the pattern. For GA section, keep abreast of new developments in Finance and Banking. One can choose from the various test papers available online.
Regarding preparation, more time needs to be given to the Mains section because it has topics different to those of Phase1.
How did you prepare for the Phase 2 Exam? RBI has long list of books to be used for reference in its notification. Did you go all through those books? If no then how did you manage to cover the syllabus?
Since I am a Commerce Graduate, I had other books to refer to as well. So I didn’t choose from the RBI booklist.
These are the few I would suggest:
- Investment Management by RP Rustagi (University Of Delhi prescribes this. Might be available only in Delhi)
- Bank Financial Management for CAIIB
- Basic notes related to Indian Political System/ Constitution specially emphasising the provisions related to reservation for the underprivileged, women and children.
- Com Hons 1st year Business organisation and Mangement by CB Gupta/CAIIB HR Book/ 12th Class NCERT Business Studies/ IGNOU material on Mangement
- Economic Survey and Budget for the year
- Two Good newspapers especially for Interview preferably Indian Express and Mint.
- Also for interview, Go through RBI’s website. It has quite a lot of information on RBI Functions and is really helpful for candidates.
In finance section lot of aspirants had a tough time handling Numerical. Do you think its necessary that one prepares for the Numerical well or can one clear the exam without attempting Numerical part?
Since the cut-offs turn out to be high, it becomes necessary to prepare for numericals. The numericals are of basic nature for anyone who has read the relevant parts such as bond and share valuation (YTM and concepts related to coupon, yield etc), accounting ratios, Time value of Money.
ESI has a lot of questions from current affairs? So how should one prepare because even after reading plethora of books one may find himself/herself blank in the exam?
For factual questions on ESI
- Look for a monthly capsule from Bankers Adda or such other exam preparation sites
- Those in habit of reading newspapers can also compile notes of such important figures such as NPA ratio, restructured assets, etc. Reading relevant chapters of Economic Survey may also provide above data.
We have seen lot of aspirants just reading the content and not practicing enough MCQ’s. Do you think practicing Quality MCQ’s makes a difference in the exam?
Yes but that comes only after you have had a fair idea of the syllabus and have prepared the content thoroughly.
MCQs help because you can get an idea of various types of questions and how to approach them in exam situation.
According to you what is that one thing you did differently that makes you stand out?
There is nothing special that I did. After failing to clear Interview in the first attempt, I didn’t lose heart and tried again.
For Interview my friends helped me out right from the first attempt, they helped me identify mistakes which I think I was able to iron out in the second attempt. So please have a discussion based interview preparation if you can find like-minded friends. Be ready to help each other because we only gain from sharing.
What would be your advice to all of the RBI aspirants who want to follow your footsteps?
I remember a line stated by Matthew Hayden (Australian Cricketer) during an Interview. He was dropped from the team. Explaining that time he gave the mantra ”Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better”. So even if you have not cleared in the first attempt or feel that others are better than you, apply that line. That Matthew Hayden came back and became one of the best openers in Modern Test Cricket is a testament to his character.
Just try to pace your preparation, read newspaper regularly, follow a schedule and the rewards will follow.
All the Best!!!
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