Job Opportunities in Banks

Clerk-cum-Cashier/Office Assistant

Clerical jobs in banks are the starting point for a career in banking, especially for candidates with minimum qualification of 12th or equivalent.
The job profile of clerk is to take care of general banking(interacting with customers,maintaining account/create reports or any work specified by banks)

Probationary Officers(PO)

  • Candidate with a degree(any branch) are eligible to apply for PO position.
  • There are many people who joined as PO,have reached top position like MD,CEO of banks.
  • PO`s will be trained in all departments & will assist their managers in various activities.

Specialist Officers

The specialist officers will work in specific departments like
  • Engineering
  • Systems
  • Marketing
  • Logistics
  • Public relations etc.

Candidates from that specific area of study will be recruited.For example,a candidate with B.E in computers might be recruited into the computer department of a bank.

So,professional graduates/candidates with degree(in specific subject) would be preferred.

Agricultural Officers

  • Public sector banks lend loans to farmers for agri purposes.
  • Agricultural officers are recruited to assess,verify & provide better support for people in rural areas involved in farming activities.Although the openings are limited ,candidates with qualification in Agriculture/ Veterinary Science/Horticulture & other subjects related to agriculture are preferred.


This managerial position is mostly filled up through promotions held within the bank.But in some cases,candidates with minimum 3 or 5 yrs of experience are also recruited by banks.

The positions discussed above were for public sector banks only.

Selection procedure

For clerical exam

Generally the selection procedure of clerical exam includes written test and personal interview in almost all the public sector banks.

For PO and other exams

Depending on the no of applicants and the no of vacancies the selection procedure may vary from bank to bank .It is a two-stage process for most of the banks. The first stage is the written test, normally conducted in two parts – an objective-type followed by a descriptive test.

Candidates shortlisted in the written test are required to appear in group discussions and personal interview. Some banks do not have group discussion and use only Personal Interview for the final selection. Typically, the number of shortlisted students after the written test stage is about 5-7 times that of the number of vacancies.

Written exam pattern

Written exam pattern

For clerical exam

  • Test of Reasoning
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Clerrical aptitude/ Marketing and Computer Awareness
  • English Language

For PO and others

It consists of Objective test & Descriptive test.

Objective test

The objective-type part of the PO exam includes

  • Reasoning
  • Quantitative aptitude
  • Clerrical aptitude/ Marketing and Computer Awareness
  • English Language

Apart from these, a few banks also include questions on

  • computer awareness,
  • banking awareness
  • marketing aptitude

Most of the banks expect candidates to do well in each test area and have a ’sectional cut-off’ score in each section/area to qualify. Except for the English section, the question paper is bilingual, i.e., in English and in Hindi.

The test pattern may change depending upon the bank, but in general, the test has about 200-225 questions having five options with maximum marks ranging from 200 to 250. Duration of the objective-type part normally varies between two hours to two hours and 15 minutes. It has negative marking for incorrect answers with such answers attracting one-fourth or 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question.

Reasoning examines analytical and problem-solving skills. It includes

  • visual or non-verbal reasoning
  • Venn diagrams
  • Cubes
  • Letter and number series
  • Analogies
  • Coding-decoding
  • Strong and weak statements
  • Syllogisms etc.

Quantitative aptitude measures

The numerical ability and accuracy in mathematical calculations. The questions range from purely numeric calculations to problems from

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra and geometry
  • graph and table reading
  • percentage analysis
  • Categorization and quantitative analysis.

The level of test is broadly up to that of X class.

English language

It includes questions in the area of
  • grammar
  • vocabulary
  • synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Fill-in-the blanks etc.

A significant number of banks including IOB and Union Bank do not use score in this section for compiling the merit list and it is used only as a qualifying score. However, quite a few banks do not mention anything and are likely to include marks scored in this section in compiling the merit list. Some banks like SBI and PNB do include marks of this section.

General awareness

This section tests understanding of current environmental and social issues, people and events etc.

Descriptive test

The descriptive test will be different for po’s and other specialist officer exams. For po’s it will be essays on current issues and for specialist officers it will on their respective domain subjects.


The objective of this test is to test a candidate’s writing abilities. It is generally of qualifying nature i.e. the candidate must secure minimum prescribed marks (normally 40% for general and 35% for reserved category students) but it will not be considered while compiling the merit list.

The duration of descriptive part is normally one hour. It typically includes 4-5 questions in areas including essay on current topics, summary writing and reading comprehension.

The merit list is made on the basis of marks secured in objective test and group discussion and interview alone.


If you are preparing for PO/clerical or any other exam, the first thing you need to know the pattern of the exam. and know how to attempt a standard bank exam which has 225 questions in total with 135 minutes time i.e., 2 hrs and 15 minutes. It comes out to be 36 seconds per question.

It may seem daunting but it’s not the end of the world since we aren’t attempting every question. If you can attempt 175-185 questions (> 190 is excellent) with 90 percent accuracy, you’ve done a good job.

While you start answering, start with the General awareness/ Marketing aptitude section and there won’t be much to think or solve in it. Just see the question and mark the answer. Attempt as many questions as you can in this section (only if you’re sure of the answer) but you should be able to complete the section in 25 minutes (20 minutes would be excellent).

The next section to go for would be English and generally the first 9-10 questions in it will be that of comprehensive passage. So I would recommend leaving that part of the questions as the rest of the section is pretty Basic English which is very easy. Again you should be able to complete this section in 20-25 minutes.

Depending upon your interest, go for either Reasoning or Quant but remember to solve the easiest questions first (this will be the deciding factor). Any thing that requires serious calculation in Quant or serious thinking in Reasoning should be left behind at first and come back to it if time permits at the end.For example questions on circular arrangement in Reasoning and compound interest calculations in Quant could be avoided.

The DI part in Quant will be an important part in the test which is also very easiest part. Most of the questions in it could be solved without even using your pen. So work hard on DI. Coming to the time for these 2 sections, 50 questions in Quant (or all that you could solve) should be completed in 40 minutes which leaves out 45-55 minutes to solve 75 questions in Reasoning. Don’t neglect the non-verbal part in Reasoning as there would be atleast 15 questions from it. If you are accustomed with any procedure from the beginning, I would recommend following that so that you dont mess up completely. If this is your first attempt for PO/ clerical exam, then this method would work well.

Tips to clear group discussion

Group Discussion(GD) is not a common process for all banks, but most private banks and some public sector banks, civil services exams & other competitive examinations have GD as an important parameter., so it is essential to know how, what to speak in Group discussions as it can help you in future jobs too.

  • GD is mainly conducted to study the candidate’s communication, team management, listening & analytical skills.
  • A team is formed with 4 - 8 candidates by the panelists & a general topic is given for a discussion.
  • Given below are some tips to follow & clear the GD session successfully.

Starting the discussion

There is a strong feeling in GD that, the person who starts first has better chances for getting selected. It is true to some extent,since you will have more points to say & you have the option of directing the discussion to other area.So,even if you don't speak thereafter,a good introduction can help you fetch more marks. BUT ,if you don't know anything on the topic,stay away from introduction.


You need not be a master in English to communicate. Use simple, easy to understand words without any grammar mistakes while forming sentences. Speak slowly & softly, since speaking fast can make you commit mistakes. Although topic knowledge is important, the way you speak also matters.


Nobody knows what topic would be given but be prepared with knowledge about current events. You can include whatever you know about the given subject with the news you have read/prepared. Read various magazines, articles in newspapers & GK books to have a good knowledge in all subjects.


Most candidates fail to listen what others say & end up repeating the same point. This can be avoided by listening carefully to other members. It will give you more points to speak & you can also voice your opinion on their speech, showing you are attentive, active & will gel with the team.

Books for Group Discussion

You can purchase books online about preparing for Group Discussions, which you can read & practice during free time.

How to behave inside the interview hall?
  1. Remember to wish the interviewer/panel ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ once you enter the room. Once you are offered a seat, sit down calmly.
  2. Sit straight with your back against the chair & arms on the armrest. Leaning on the table or pushing yourself forward are not good signs.
  3. Wait until the interviewer goes through your profile. Don’t start talking before you are asked anything – it shows you are nervous.
  4. Answer the questions in a clear & bold manner, once your turn comes.
  5. While answering any question ,do not look at the ceiling or around the room. Look at the interviewer, it shows that you are interested in the conversation.
  6. If you don't know the answer, say it to the panel. Do not try to fill the gap by giving unwanted or wrong answers. Incase of such situations, don’t scratch your head, bite your nails, close your eyes or put your fingers on your face.
  7. Do not repeat the same answers again. It clearly shows that you are unprepared & have no proper understanding of the subject.
  8. Remember to start answering after the question has been asked. Rushing to answer shows that you want to complete the interview process as soon as possible.