Probationary Officer (PO)

Probationary Officer (PO)

Probationary Officer (PO) is one post that is regularly advertised for bank recruitments, but many candidates who are new to banking exams don’t seem to know the work involved or the exact meaning of PO.One of our readers had also asked a question regarding the job profile of PO in banks.

Hence we felt it would be better to analyze the job profile in detail, enabling freshers to understand the position better.

Probationary Officer


So what is the regular work of a PO in banks? Read below to find out:

Why is it called PO?

A person who is newly recruited as an officer will be under probation period for atleast 2 years.During this phase, he/ she undergoes training & performs the allotted work.

Since candidates join the bank at a junior level, they are being called Probationary Officer (PO) but the actual designation could be assistant manager.

Graduates fresh out of college & those without any experience in banking field who wish for a career in govt. banks have to either join as Clerk or PO (scale I) only.


Job Profile of Bank PO

While on job, here are some of the important responsibilities of probationary officer in banks.


Service Customers: All banks rely on customers for their business.So servicing the customer is the foremost necessity for an officer by giving them the information they asked.

In many branches, the junior officer (PO) will be asked to look into customers coming for opening new accounts, ATM cards, deposits, receipts, loans, cheque books etc.,


Bring New Business: Since you are dealing with customers directly, it is naturally expected of you to promote various products of the bank & its partners to them.It may include fixed deposits, insurance policies, mutual funds, credit cards etc.,

You may be required to travel to their place if required as public sector banks don’t employ marketing/ sales executives separately.

Although there wont be any pressure on you to sell these stuff initially, you will have targets & deadlines for each as months pass.


Handle Cash: Cash disbursal & collection from cashiers are normally done through the counters manned by clerks.

Incase of heavy crowding, a parallel counter will be opened & you may be required to perform the clerical activities as well.Such a situation may arise if the cashier post is vacant or he/ she has gone on leave.

For this purpose, PO`s will also be trained on the transaction software too.Many officers have also reported of loading the ATM machines with cash every morning.So you would also need to keep track of the ATM activity, if the branch has one attached to it.


Payment Clearances: Although a clerk performs most cash transactions, some payments by way of cheque, DD, NEFT/ RTGS beyond a certain amount need to be authorized & cleared only by a person of officer cadre.

At times, the clerical may find some discrepancies related to a customers account which would also be referred to a PO for further scrutiny.


Report Verification: With the introduction of core banking solutions, all the work done in a day should be properly closed to avoid any mismatch.While every employee has some day-end work, PO`s would be assigned to generate reports which may include the deposits, withdrawals, ledger balances etc.,

You would login to the system using your details, take prints of statement, manually verify each transaction & record the changes found.If you overlook any one entry, it will create a problem the next day with mails from regional or zonal officers.


Official Communication: Just like in any MNC or IT company, all employees receive numerous emails which could be related to new rules or schemes or products.A probationary officer may be asked to keep a track of these latest developments to improve their product knowledge as they will be interacting with customers more.

The manager could also ask you to send official replies or letters to other departments for want of information or provide them with required info.As you can see from the above functions, there is no specific job description for a probationary officer.

So PO`s are required to be well versed in all the branch activities because on promotion, they will be elevated to the cadre of ‘Branch Manager’.


What is the Salary of Bank PO?

Having read about the work of probationary officer, you will be curious to know the bank PO salary.

While the payscale for PO (scale I) ranges between Rs.14500 – 25700, the actual salary could be approx. Rs. 31,000 – 32,000 / month (including allowances)depending on your location.Your actual take home salary shall be Rs.4000-5000 lower.


                      Bank of Probationary Officers



Phase-I : Preliminary Examination: Preliminary Examination consisting of Objective Tests for 100 marks will be conducted online. This test would be of 1 hour duration consisting of 3 Sections as follows:



Name of test No. of Questions Marks Duration
1. English Language 30 30

Composite Time of 1 hour


Quantitative Aptitude 35 35


Reasoning Ability 35


Total 100



Candidates have to qualify in each of the three tests by securing passing marks to be decided by the Bank. Adequate number of candidates in each category as decided by the Bank (approximately 20 times the numbers
of vacancies subject to availability) will be short listed for the Main Examination.

Phase – II: Main Examination: Main Examination will consist of Objective Tests for 200 marks and Descriptive Test for 50 marks. Both the Objective and Descriptive Tests will be online. Candidates will have to answer Descriptive test by typing on the computer. Immediately after completion of Objective Test, Descriptive Test will be administered.


(i) Objective Test:

The Objective Test of 2 hour duration consists of 4 Sections with 50 marks each (Total 200 marks) as follows:

  1. a) Test of English Language (Grammar, Vocabulary, Comprehension etc.)
    b) Test of General Awareness, Marketing &Computers
    c) Test of Data Analysis & Interpretation
    d) Test of Reasoning (High Level)

The candidates are required to qualify in each of the Tests by securing passing marks, to be decided by the Bank.

(ii) Descriptive Test:

The Descriptive Test of 1 hour duration with 50 marks will be a Test of English Language (Letter Writing & Essay).

The candidates are required to qualify in the Descriptive Test by securing passing marks, to be decided by the Bank.

Descriptive Test paper of only those candidates will be evaluated who have scored qualifying marks in the Objective Tests and are placed adequately high as per total marks in objective test.

Phase – III: Group Discussion (20 marks) & Interview (30 marks)

The aggregate marks of candidates qualifying in both the Objective Tests and Descriptive Test will be arranged in  descending order in each category. Adequate number of candidates in each category, as decided by the Bank will be called for Group Discussion and Interview. The qualifying marks in Group Discussion &Interview will be as decided by the Bank.

Candidates qualifying for GD & Interview under ‘OBC’ category would be required to submit OBC certificate containing the ‘Non Creamy layer’ clause. Candidates not submitting the OBC certificate containing the ‘Non Creamy layer’ clause and requesting to be interviewed under General category will not be entertained.

Final Selection

The marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination (Phase-I) will not be added for the selection and only the marks obtained in Main Examination (Phase-II) will be added to the marks obtained in GD & Interview (Phase-III) for preparation of the final merit list.

The candidates will have to qualify both in Phase-II and Phase-III separately. Marks secured by the candidates in  the Written Test (out of 250 marks) are converted to out of 75 and marks secured in Group Discussion & Interview (out of 50 marks) are converted to out of 25. The final merit list is arrived at after aggregating converted marks of Written Test and Group Discussion &Interview out of 100 for each category. The selection will be made from the top merit ranked candidates in each category.

Results of the candidates who have qualified for GD & Interview and the list of candidates finally selected will be made available on the Bank’s website. Final select list will be published in Employment News/ Rozgar Samachar.