Banking jobs: Interview with BSC Academy Director Javed R Siddique
Why Banking sector is being seen as a lucrative career option by not only simple graduates but also candidates with diverse professional backgrounds ranging from Engineering to Management? What are the factors behind the Banking jobs becoming one of the first most sought after job choices?
In this interview with Careers360, Mr. Javed R Siddique, director at BSC Academy shares in-depth insight on widening opportunities in banking industry. He, however, advises candidates to analyze their expectation and assess their ability before starting preparations for Banking exams. Mr. Siddique, who has over 20 years of experience in education sector, also talks on key prep elements for bank job aspirants to crack exams announced by State Bank of India (SBI) Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).
“Candidates have to change with the technology and be tech-savvy as they have to take online papers. Every year we see some changes in paper pattern. If concept is clear, a candidate will easily adapt the changes.”
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Careers360: What is the scope of seeking a career in Banking sector in the current job scenario?
Mr. Javed R Siddique: Banking sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of Indian economy. For a growing economy like India, which is based on the concept of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization (LPG), need for sturdy banking system becomes paramount. So, our banks are coming up with lots of new services – Internet Banking and Mobile Money Transfer, etc. – to cope up with the growing need. Secondly, government’s financial inclusion policy mandate to make banking accessible to every village in the country is giving further push for expansion in the sector.
The best part of this expansion story is that with corporatization of banks, public sector undertaking banks cannot leg behind in offering the best facilities to their employees. So, there are enormous opportunities for young graduates in banking sector jobs.
Careers360: Graduates from diverse set of academic background are aspiring to day for banking sector jobs. What is the key attraction which draws applicants from all backgrounds?
Mr. Javed R Siddique: Yes, this is true.Now, not only simple graduates but also students with engineering and management background are inclining towards banking jobs.
This sector offers you some of the best facilities – job security, social status and career growth – which you cannot find collectively in many other sectors. Along with the scheduled promotions, banks also offer follow merit based promotion system.
Careers360: How should candidates evaluate their suitability for a job in the Banking Sector?
Mr. Javed R Siddique: First of all, a candidate who wishes to apply for banking jobs must have an interest in finance and banking area. He must be good at public dealing as banks don’t work in isolation. It is consumer centric operation.
Further, it is not a 10 am to 5 pm kind of job. You have to have a positive attitude towards work for long hours. Managers have to set goals and targets, and work towards achievements. You should also bear in mind that the average basic salary in the sector is around Rs 25,000/- per month which goes up to around Rs 50,000 when allowances are added.
Careers360: What are the key testing areas for banking job exams?
Mr. Javed R Siddique: Apart from written exams, rigorous interviews are conducted for different kind of profiles. Now a day, banks examine candidates in different test areas including Computer Knowledge and Marketing Aptitude. Questions are also asked from General Awareness, Current Affairs apart from high level Reasoning, Mathematical Aptitude and even Data Interpretation questions.
Careers360: How should a candidate mentally prepare himself/herself for a career in the Banking sector?
Mr. Javed R Siddique: The candidates, who want to join public sector banks, should conduct a self assessment before starting their preparations. Candidates should go through previous years’ papers and solve 4-5 papers for their self-assessment. Out of those papers, 2-3 papers can be solved without considering the time limit and 2-3 with time limit.
There are two types of problems candidates may face – conceptual and time management. They will understand that what they have to learn and where they have to practice more. They will also ascertain what to attempt first and what to attempt last. For example, they will know where they lack in Mathematics – basic calculation or concept. What is minus point in Reasoning – analytical reasoning or common sense reasoning. What is weak point in English – grammar or comprehension. They will know where they stand in General Awareness and Computer Knowledge.
Careers360: What are the challenges that a student might face while entering this competitive space of Banking job seekers?
Mr. Javed R Siddique: There are many challenges. Candidates have to change with the technology and be tech-savvy as they have to take online papers. Every year we see some changes in paper pattern. If concept is clear, a candidate will easily adapt the changes. But if concept is not clear, he/she will not be able to crack the exam even in many attempts. In fact, clear concept is the key to success in any banking job exam.
The candidates should read newspapers regularly. An English newspaper reading can help improve their problems with GS, Marketing and English language. The idea behind setting a question paper is that the candidates are Graduate and they must know some basic points. Difficulty level in a bank exam varies from candidate to candidate. Though generally, 50 percent of questions are average at difficulty level, 25 percent are above average and others 25 percent are tough. In my opinion, decent score to clear this round is around 60 percent.
Banking job is more of a public dealing kind of job. Ability of a candidate is assessed accordingly in interview round, including how good he/she is at communicating with people.
Careers360: What is your suggestions and advice to those candidates who are looking to prepare for banking jobs and wish to build a career in the banking sector?
Mr. Javed R Siddique: I will advice them to not join a public bank just because it is a government job. You should have interest in whatever you are studying during preparation and also in what you have to do after joining. Be ready for a great exposure, dealing with public and facing different challenges.
The candidates have to be prepared to be posted anywhere in the country or abroad. They should bear in mind that there is enough scope to learn and improve in this sector. There is a lot of competition ahead and you have to do extremely well in the sector. With these positive thoughts and passion, you can enter the field and excel.
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