SBI CBO : Our guide to Interview

State Bank of India, one of the most prestigious employers in the banking industry has come up with a new recruit policy- State Bank of India- Circle Based Officer, whereby a person who has an experience of 2 years or more as an officer in Scheduled Commercial Bank or Regional Rural Bank is eligible for appointment in the circle against whose vacancy they are selected. SBI already recruits by way of PO, JA, SO and has internal channels for promotion as well. However, CBO is a rather new prospect.

This vacancy is a pleasant opportunity for every candidate who wants to be a part of the State Bank of India but is unable to invest time and energy in preparation again. It is time to bank upon the knowledge and experience of practical aspects of banking. The recruitment consists of short listing and interviewing- doing away with preliminary and mains examination, making it a swift process. This vacancy is also a welcome step in the light of the news of privatization of various public sector banks by the government. Another important aspect is that the recruitment will help in attaining a job in the home state for 12 years or SMGS- IV Grade, making it easier to balance professional and family life.

Being a new and unique format, it is yet unknown how the exam will be conducted. However, the notification mentioned the selection will take place via interview and possibly a subjective or objective test as well. The main focus, though, is on the interview process. We are providing you with the key areas on which the interview proceed will be based. In case, an objective or subjective test is announced by the Bank, we will update you on that as well.

The major areas on which you need to focus while preparing for CBO are-

  1. Introduction about self- This is the stepping stone towards acing the interview. Prepare honest yet unique answers on questions relating to your name, city, background, state, recent news surrounding any of these etc.
  2. Academics – This ranges from your school education to your last academic examination like graduation, post graduation etc. Kindly, keep a thorough understanding of how to relate your expertise to banking sector and how will your education play a pivotal role in your banking profession. Various banking exams like banking diplomas, JAIIB, CAIIB- applying, clearing, not applying at all can be some expected questions.
  3. Place of work – As a banker, it will be expected that you are aware and knowledgeable about the organisation where you are currently working. Questions might be asked about your current place of posting, places where you have been posted before, your bank, your experience there, why you want to quit the bank, any schemes, apps, cross selling products of your bank etc. Kindly, refrain from bad mouthing your current place of work at all costs. Also, if you have worked at any other place before your current ones, please be up to date about it’s information as well.
  4. Position of work – The Bank has purposefully sought candidates who are acquainted with banking industry, hence, stress will be given on the position where you are working currently and have worked in the past. There is a need to be crystal clear about your area of work, no matter which. Update your knowledge, both theoretical and practical about the position where you are placed right now. The departmental questions, your role in it, how to improve it, the challenges you are facing and the vision you have in mind are some areas on which you should focus. This area is one that should be taken very seriously by you.
  5. State Bank of India- As an aspirant, it is expected from you to have basic knowledge about the organisation you are applying for. Take help from the official site of SBI and read about the inception of the bank, it’s subsidies, recent merger, it’s departments, it’s role in the overall banking industry, it’s vision and motto, it’s financial and economic performance etc. Being able to answer such questions will show how serious you are about the organization .
  6. SBI CBO- Being a part of banking industry, there will be a few questions relating to why you want to switch your job when you already have served an organization for two years or more. Also, questions will be raised about your loyalty towards the future workplace. The answers to such questions should be practical and honest. At times, aspirants give answers which seem too theoretical and unreal. Please refrain from such replies, keep them honest and as real as possible.
  7. Banking awareness – The area of focus here can be seen with the help of modules asked in JAIIB and CAIIB exams. All the three aspects of banking- banking principles, accountancy, legal studies should be taken into consideration by the aspirants. As you are experienced, questions will relate more towards the practical aspect of banking, but do not sideline the theoretical knowledge as well.
  8. Government schemes- Lately, financial and banking industry has been in news due to various reasons. Being aware of the government schemes, news, suggestions on banking industry, be it privatisation, disinvestment or giving maharatna or navratna status to few banks are some areas on which there is a need to focus upon. Other schemes pertaining to the same like Aatmanirbhar Bharat, PMJDY, PMJJBY, PMSBY, APY, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, etc should be known to you.
  9. Current Affairs – We would suggest that you maintain an authentic and unbiased stand on the current Affairs. A basic knowledge of international and national news especially relating to finance, economy, government and banking industry will give you an edge.
  10. Situation based questions – We can expect certain questions based on the situations that happen in banks and how will you handle it. Here, they might also ask you about some instances where you showed your managerial skills, where you solved a problem your office was facing, what would you have done had you been in position of power to help the banking industry etc. Your presence of mind and confidence will play a vital role here.
  11. Managerial questions – As the Bank is hiring you in the officer rank, it will expect you to be able to show your managerial skills and interests. Your demeanor and attitude should be positive, polite yet strong so that you shine in the interview room.
  12. Your vision – The Bank will surely be interested to see what your vision is, relating to your career, yourself, your organisation and how will it align to betterment of both – bank and you. Have a clarity of mind on such questions and try to stick to them in spite of cross questions, if any.

This was part one of our update on interview preparation of SBI CBO. Our team is working on preparing content for you and we will soon be back with another part on the same.
Till then we would ask you all to keep preparing for the upcoming exam.

🙋‍♀️Recommendations as for study material from our end are 👇

Reserve Bank of India act, 1934

Banking Regulation Act, 1949

State Bank of India Act, 1955

Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961


Banking Ombudsman Scheme

Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002

🙋‍♀️Books recommended by Seniors👇

We invite you all the help us make the content better. Please share your queries, feedback and suggestions with us in comment section and our telegram group – (Only for SBI CBO)

All the best!
Team TLB 😊