SEBI Grade A Interview

SEBI Grade A Interview is the last obstacle between a candidate and highly reputed government job SEBI Grade A Officer. Cracking SEBI Grade A Interview is a tough task itself but securing AIR 1 in final results is a remarkable feat in itself.

Rajendran Sundar Raj, who topped the final merit list and secured All India Rank 1 in SEBI Grade A results declared in Feb 2019 shared his interview experience and the cracking tricks which helped him to become a winner.

How you prepared for SEBI Grade A written exam ?

Mains (Phase-II) is the crucial part of this examination. If one can score 25-30 marks more than the cut-off in Mains, he/she can easily make it to the final list even if the interview doesn’t go on well. The important thing to remember in this exam is that the number of questions asked in Economics and Social issues (ESI), Finance and Management (FM) and Securities markets is very less (only 100 questions in total) when compared to the syllabus and the list of books. So, its important to go through the previous year question papers, analyze them and pick out the important topics and finish them first. Revision and Practice are the key to success and enroll in as many test series as possible for Mains.

How much time you spend for preparing for written exam on a daily basis?

Since I was working, I used to spend 3-4 hours per day for preparation (Including prelims and mains). On weekdays, I do not read new topics but keep revising the topics already covered. I used Saturdays and Sundays to learn new topics and tried to revise them the following week.

Share at least 3 Questions asked during SEBI Grade A Interview

My interview questions

Panel : 3M + 1F

Tell me about yourself

Tell about your current role 

Tell about skill India mission

Why employment is such an issue ?

Why no jobs in India?

What is SEBI, Role of SEBI. 

ILFS crisis.

I told my hometown as Pondicherry in intro instead of Puducherry. Asked about it, history etc.

Why engg, Civils and then SEBI?

Some latest capital market developments( I told corporate governance)

Explain Kotak committee report

Do you invest in stock market

How do you invest?

What’s your strategy of investing?

What is Mutual fund? Why MF? How does it reduces risk ?

One strength and weakness


Share your Answers for those Interview questions

Generally, these Govt. examination interviews go on for a couple of months and the panel will be tired of hearing the same answer again and again. Therefore,its better to have your own unique answer to the expected questions rather than copying someone else answer. Also, your next question will depend on the technical words/jargons or examples you have used in your previous answer. So along with the answers, be prepared to answer the counter questions that will be thrown at you.

Few of my answers:

Tell me why Engg., and then SEBI? How will your Engg. Knowledge help you in this job?

Engineering is a professional degree and generally those who complete it are expected to choose a job in that stream itself. However, there are jobs like SEBI Grade ‘A’ (Asst. Manager) which are Generalist in nature and anyone with the right knowledge, skill and attitude can take up. Since it is a decision-making job, the skills which I acquired in Engg viz., Analytical thinking, Problem solving etc. will also be useful along with my knowledge of Finance and Stock market.

Why did you get interested in civil services?

                Every job has two parts: i) What one can bring onto that job and ii) What can the job bring out of a person. I think Civil Services is strong in both the aspects. It helps a person to contribute immensely to the society while at the same time it constantly challenges a person and brings the best out of him.

Your strengths and weakness

Strengths: Adaptability is my biggest strength and I have overseen three projects in my current posting within a span of two and half years. I’m a quick learner and that has helped me in adapting to the different roles quite easily.

Weakness: Effective time management was my weakness initially. I used to be very productive closer to the deadline but tend to be laid back when the deadline is far away. So, to overcome this, I started using timers (say 15 min) to divide my time into smaller blocks with closer deadlines. This has helped me in managing time effectively and has also increased my efficiency.

What is the most important factor to Ace an Interview ?

If I have to pick two, it would be confidence and communication skill. Unless one puts across what he/she has in the mind properly, the panel will not be impressed. Hence communication skill is vital to crack an interview. Communication skill doesn’t mean being a master of English grammar or vocabulary. It means the ability to impress the panel with your clarity of thought and expression. A simple answer without any grammatical mistake will do.

How should a person prepare for the Interviews ?

It is important to be aware of yourself – what your goal is, what have you done to achieve it, your interests, your strengths and weaknesses etc. I think these are part of the HR questions which every interviewer asks an interviewee. Unless you have a satisfactory answer for these questions, your knowledge or your confidence or anything else doesn’t matter.

Its better to be ready with answers for your profile as soon as you graduate out of the college and start practising them. Preparation, practice and guidance from experts are the key things to excel in an interview.

Practice answers to the questions in front of the mirror and give at least 2-3 quality mock interviews before the actual interview. It helps in fine tuning your answers and gives you the confidence before the real interview. I gave 3 mock interviews with PInterview and the team is really really good.  Thank you PInterview team.


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Do you think Interview preparation matters?

100% Yes. I know a candidate who has scored 225 marks in Mains (32 more than the cut-off) and yet missed the final cut-off by just 0.75 marks. He didn’t have a great interview and so he couldn’t make it to the final list. There is another candidate who scored just 203 in mains (10 more than the cut-off) but made it to the final list by scoring 12.5/15 in the interview. So as you can see, Interview is vital and can be a deciding factor. Ignore it at your own peril.

What Interviewers look for in a Candidate ?

Self-awareness, Confidence, Clarity in thought and expression. The way you answer a question matters more than what you answer. Be confident while answering but at the same time avoid arrogance. Be humble in accepting your mistakes and show inclination to learn new things and to adapt to new environment, roles etc. Most importantly, be honest with your answers and the interviewers will generally like you.

Please provide marks out of 100 on below skills to ace an interview

In SEBI, the split-up of marks out of 15 was Subject Knowledge – 6, Communication skills – 6, Other skills – 3

Skills Marks
Confidence  20
Communication Skills  25
Body Language  15
Attitude  20
Subject Knowledge  20

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