Myths and realities about SBI clerk

When you visit your State Bank of India (SBI) bank branch for financial queries and assistance, 8/10 times you end up consulting an SBI clerk. Now, this is someone who handles day to day activities of opening bank accounts, clearing cheques, overseeing NEFT and RTGS transactions. The onus of being a cashier lies on the clerk in the branch.


Clerks inevitably breathe life into the branch. They assist station managers and assistant managers for the smooth functioning of the bank. There’s so much data input involved that any mistake is never just small in nature. For many, it could be of catastrophic proportions. No wonder that the job of an SBI clerk is such a coveted position in the banking sector.


The 2019 SBI notification declared vacancies for 8653 employees this year. As more and more candidates are starting to appear for the banking exam annually, we take a look at and explore some of the myths and realities surrounding an SBI clerk.


Myth: The SBI clerk exam is easy and does not require much practise.
Reality: Absolutely untrue! Many spend years preparing for and attempting the SBI clerk exam. The fact that the recruitment process is composed of two testing segments: prelims and mains, makes the selection process long-winded.


Candidates who get through the exams have to put themselves in a space of discipline. When preparing, always focus on sections which are your weaker points and when giving the exams, always attempt the ones that are your strongest. Remember, time management is key but is also being selective with what you expend your energies on.


Myth: Coaching classes are important for cracking the exam.

Reality: Untrue. Coaching classes do have the benefits of tabulating a time for you where you can devote time for studies and get instructions on what the banking test holds. However, a strategy for studies and a stipulated time table to follow can do wonders for candidates. Keeping a check on the given syllabus and attempting mock tests every day is a good practice for anyone who wants to ace the exam. Key traits while attempting any exam: speed, accuracy and staying fit. So drink lots of water, do exercises, make time for yourselves and read whenever you have the time. Stick to your time table and you should definitely crack the exam with flying colours.


Myth: Sbi clerks have it easier because they have fixed timings.



This is partially true. Compared to banking officers, this much is accepted. However, most personal experiences will tell you that this differs from branch to branch. While most clerical staff can leave after 5 pm, many have reported staying late owing to the workload and incoming customers.  A good plus definitely is that holidays are fixed and you will not be summoned on days when the branch is meant to be closed. As always, it is important to maintain a careful balance between work life and personal time and this set up definitely is an added advantage. To juggle this, however, is never easy!


Myth: There is not much that an SBI clerk has to do

Reality: This is a false notion. Not many realise that while signing up for the banking recruitment process they’d be tested on seemingly unrelated topics. But it also comes together at points when the script of the day changes and new policies are brought in.


For example, whenever there is an RBI audit or SBI notification about making systemic changes as well as something as extensive as demonetisation, it was the team of SBI clerks who took the bulk of the growing crowd with stride. They sit for hours and interact with customers to ensure not just customer satisfaction but also contribute to the growth of the bank.


Many have also talked about how their work requires intense focus and patience. As was mentioned before, no mistake is small when it comes to the banking sector. To be precise and careful is something that the clerks have to be by default.


Myth: There’s not many monetary challenges and work-related challenges to a clerk’s life

Reality: Untrue. Even as Sbi boasts a good promotion rate and career growth, the emoluments that accompany it don’t say much. Many have complained about how the salary they earn is limited to just 21,000 rupees per month. Considering today’s spending power that may not be much. However, the work profile also does accord you the benefits of dearness allowances, health covers and house rental allowances. Workwise, as mentioned before, an Sbi clerk does have to do work related to claims, underwriting and fund transfers, however, the allotment of branches in areas that may not be of your choice is a certified challenge. Adjustment to a new lifestyle and a new city is a definite challenge. However, where there is a will, there is a way. And as most interviewed sbi clerks have claimed, the benefits and growth in the institution definitely make up for the profession’s shortcomings.