Friday, September 17, 2010

Job Interview Questions in Sri Lanka - 1

Actual Job interview questions

(Picture credit -

Many people prefer to find, what sort of questions employers ask in job interviews. Therefore I decided to put up an article on how to face a job interview and what sort of questions would they ask.

I have received many letters from our readers requesting an article on how to prepare them selves for a job interview. They have sent me some of the details about the interviews they faced which I found so hilarious. This is one such article sent by a young reader who do not want to disclose his name.

Author - Anonymous !

Just to give some back ground on the author, he is a graduate on Electronics currently engaged in a job in the electronics field.

Difference between the advertisements and the reality

He applied for a management trainee job in one of the top banks in Sri Lanka. Job advertisement has specifically mentioned that anyone with a bachelor’s degree from any field can apply for that. Therefore he also sent an application.

These are the questions they asked him in the interview and I published it as it is. (I only removed some specific details such as university name and other personal details mentioned in it). After reading this I hope you can get some idea on the difference between what they advertise and what the reality is.

Management Trainee job interview questions in a Sri Lankan Bank

This is how the interview took place. These are the lines from Interview Board.

(Interview begins)


• Good morning…Please take a seat….

• How are you today?

• So... you…are from University of......................? (Removed the name for privacy purposes)ahha……

• Tell us about you which are not included in your CV.

• Why do you want a banking job when you have an electronics degree?

• This job requires you to learn from school leavers who don’t have qualifications as you and might be junior to you. Your seniors can be school leavers. Is this OK with you?

• Why do you want to quit from your current job? Is it the salary?

• You have done Electronics, now you are coming to the banking field. You will work in this bank for five years and then again you will jump to a different field right?

• How much are you getting paid now?

• What are your salary expectations?

----- Some kind of alarm went off. Interview board jumped out to look what it is telling me to sit and wait............ :D

----- After couple of minutes. . . . . . The alarm stopped and they returned ---

• OK. If we’re to match your current salary is it enough for you?

• Now, earlier you said salary is not the issue; you’re contradicting yourself here right?

Again asks…

• How much do you expect as the salary?

• We can pay only Rs.27500/-. Is it acceptable to you?

• Then (when the applicant did not agree) we have a problem.

Thank you for coming.


(End of interview)


I know for a fact that this bank recruits Management Trainees only through internal recommendations. So I do not know for what purpose they put up paper advertisements.

I have many other letters from female applicants whose application got rejected just because they are female. For a fact they've being told that they can't be transferred to rural areas, they cannot be employed in the night shifts and if they get pregnant have to give them long leave etc excuses. I will publish those as well in the future.
Hope you can get something out of these real experience articles. Next time you go to an interview you can be read for these then.


Anonymous said...

Whats a graduate in Electronics doing applying for a bank??

Nishadee said...

My general answer - Exactly.Thats the problem we have. There are so many people who have studied in one field, but working in another field due to many reasons. On the other hand, companies also do the wrong thing by mentioning in their advertisements that they prefer to recruite graduates from any field. If they simply mention that they only recruite finance or accounting or banking graduates, it won't give the wrong signal to the applicants. I will write a separate article on why people want to switch fields. o.k :)

My alternative answer - Banks and other commercial sector companies do need graduates from all the fields. Thats why they advertise as such. When you say management trainees,it covers all the areas. Not only finance. For example, if they need a manager to handle divisions such as the electricity, ATMs, Computer, air conditioning etc finance graduates won't fit it. Most of the treasury guys and analysts also comes from mathematical back grounds rather than finance or accoutning backgrounds.Hope I made it clear atleast to some extent. :)

Anonymous said...

What is the usual salary an applicant should quote for a management trainee job in a bank?

Nishadee said...

Apologies for the delay to reply.Its a quarter end and I dont have much free time. My answer is that depend on the bank. I will try to get some details from a salary survey. o.k. I will publish it if I manage to get the details officially. If you are going to an interview, best thing is to check with someone who work there. As per my knowledge during the year 2010 Management traiee salaries were varied from about Rs 25,000 to Rs60,000.

Anonymous said...

This is so true.... I have experienced many situations like this...I think as a company it is a must to advertise so they do it although 8 out of 10 people they hire through internal recommendations.. of course the sad part is seeing idiots getting hired.

Unknown said...

Mrs.Surangi,i'm a A/L candidate on bio stream. I'm really interested in chemistry and i wanna study further on that. If i got selected to university of colombo,faculty of sciene i wanna do a spe.digree on chemistry. I also have a dream of working at "SLINTEC" as a scientist.all i wanna know is that does only che. spe. is fair enough to be a scientist at research institutes like "SLINTEC"

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