The SBI Job Application Process Hasn’t Changed In Decades

The State Bank of India is the biggest bank in India. Established all the way back in 1806, it has now expanded internationally, and continues to be grow rapidly within the country. A job at SBI is highly coveted, and thousands of people apply to join. However, when it comes to the job application process, SBI is very different from what we come to expect these days.



We happened to come across multiple job openings for positions which are open at SBI on IIMjobs. And while a government bank like SBI might have stuck out alongside the job listings of some of the hottest startups and aspirational tech companies in India, one click inside confirmed its government-job roots. We break down some of the requirements to apply for the open roles at SBI to get a glimpse into how jobs in government organizations work.

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“Application fees and Intimation Charges (Non-refundable) Rs.600/-.”

While expenses on job hunting are a known occupational hazard what with commute expenses and job portal premium fees, paying a fees to apply for a specific opening, that too at a national bank,  is unheard of.  Worse still, application fees for jobs are usually associated with amateur consultants or outright scams.

“A candidate can apply for only one post under this project”

These days most companies allow you to apply for multiple openings as long as they’re relevant to one’s skills and interests. Not SBI. The job opening clearly stipulates applying to only one opening. (Which might as well be a good thing, given the associated application fees.)

“Age: Minimum – 21 years, Max – 32 years.”

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While companies do have a rough mental checklist for the ideal age of a candidate, SBI strictly mandates the applicant to be within a certain age group and caps the “maximum” age at a rather low end, considering the experience requirements. Child prodigies with potential, or late bloomers with a wealth of experience, not welcome.

“Candidates should first scan their latest photograph and signature. Online application will not be registered unless candidate uploads his/her photo and signature as specified.”

We’re not sure if a candidate’s photo in an application for a non showbiz role is really called for. But unless SBI cares a great deal about how its junior accounting associates look like while their heads are buried in Tally and Excel, we’re hoping this is just a security procedure. Though, as a bank looking to go big on digital, SBI would do well to not be fixated on “scanned photos” and allow for digital photos and signs. 

“E-Receipt for fee payment, should be sent to…by post. “

Once an applicant has filled in an application form, and paid the fees, they are required to print the confirmation, and send it by a post to a physical address.  We are not sure how efficient it is to first fill an application online, upload a scanned photo and signature online and make a payment online, only to print it all and send all physically. Beats the purpose of an online application, doesn’t it? Even the Income Tax department of India has gone digital with an option to send in your returns online.

SBI may not be winning any brownie points for being a diversity encouraging, tech savvy and efficient employer any time soon, but we’re sure that thousands of job hopefuls will continue to apply. India is a huge country, jobs are hard to come by, and no matter how archaic the job application process is, a government bank will always find takers. While the government seems to tout Digital India at every opportunity, we’d take it a lot more seriously if it started with digitizing its own processes and institutions.

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