Facing the Interview Board
How to crack the interview for Combined Civil Services
SYED SHAHNAWAZ BUKHARI
The Interview stage of state civil services examinations already on. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. Some of the qualities to be judged are your mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity. These traits cannot be acquired overnight, but are embedded in your personality developed over your age. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural and purposive conversation, which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate. You are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country. An ideal civil servant should be a gentleman. He should possess good character qualities. He should have intellectual and moral capabilities, leadership qualities and capable of taking the right decisions at the right time. He should have in-depth professional knowledge, self confidence, and good communication skills, analytical in his thinking, flexible and not rigid, must be able to inspire and motivate his colleagues and his sub-ordinates. There should be a balance of judgment in decision making.
Type of questions asked by the Interview Board:
A natural question must have emerged in your minds is, “What would be the nature of the interview questions?” The things that trigger a question in the mind of the Interview board depend on the first impression created by you in the mind of the members of the interview board, your background, and the mood of the members. Indeed, there are trigger areas in which you could focus during the preparation. Some of the possibilities are indicated below:
* Meaning of your name
* Questions on your village/ town/ college/university
* Sometimes questions on your hobby
* Family background, history of your clan/caste etc.
* Job experience (if any) and particularly, government job
* Extra curricular activities
If you are a professional like an engineer or a surgeon, an agriculturalist or a veterinarian, you may be asked how you would use your specialised skills you have gained through hard work.
* Questions based on situations, like what would be your priorities as a BDO, Tehsildar etc.
* Your preferences among the different services, KAS/KPS etc.
* Broad understanding of History, Geography and the political aspects of Jammu and Kashmir.
* Latest developments in the national/ international scene.
* Who's your role model?
* Hot topics of the day. (You have to update your knowledge on current affairs. If something significant happened a day or two before the interview, you should gather full details and be ready with our views and comments on it.)
By preparing well on these triggers, you can also work on their presentation as well so as to avoid giving unnecessary triggers through our answers or positively giving triggers that will lead the board to our familiar territory.
Although the interview is very unpredictable, there still are certain common questions, for which you should prepare well like why do you want to join the civil service? After your degree in engineering or medicine or other professional field, you are opting for the civil services. Why? Does it not amount to wasting your hard work in technical studies? Even though the question seems pretty straightforward, many candidates find it quite difficult to give a convincing reply to it. One of the reasons for this is that the interview board members do not want clichéd replies like “because I want to serve my people” and so on. Also, avoid coaching class answers. These board members can easily pick up a reply that is not genuine. In fact you can be chided for giving replies taught by people at coaching academies. At the same time you should also be prepared for some follow on questions for all the expected questions.
You can guide the interview course: You can nudge the board members into asking questions on your well-prepared topics by purposely mentioning these in their answers. For example, if a candidate is asked to list the steps required for boosting the economy, he or she may deliberately stress on banking services if it is related in some way to the candidate’s profile. And the next question could well be on the banking sector which the candidate will find easy to negotiate. There’s no need for guiding the interview if you are well prepared. And above all, the board members are quite experienced to know the strong and weak areas of any civil services aspirant. So it may not work even if you tried it.
Stick to your stand. Many times candidates are quizzed to ascertain their firmness in making decisions or statements. Once you take a stand and you believe you are correct, in spite of contrary claims by some members, stick to it. Don't try to be a 'yes sir' person. If you can convince the questioner regarding your stand, in a polite manner, then the other members will be greatly impressed. Even when consensus is not possible just say that you respect his or her view but do not agree with it. But in case you realize that the member was correct after all, then you should admit it and thank the person for shedding extra light on the topic, which you were unaware of.
Keep your presence of mind. Many candidates, especially those appearing for the first time, lose their composure the moment they are unable to answer a few questions. Relax. The board members aren't just testing your knowledge during the civil services interview. In fact, more than knowledge they want to assess your personality, your traits, and your ability to work under pressure, to handle a tricky situation. After all, this is precisely what you will be facing in an intensely politico-administrative environment once you enter the civil service.
If you don't know a particular answer, just say so politely. Do not try to bluff the members or hazard a guess. Most likely, they will feel insulted and that will be the end of your interview. These members have vast experience and knowledge and they can easily make out when a candidate is trying to fool them. They will in fact appreciate your honesty and courage in saying that you do not know the answer.
As with all formal interviews you are expected to dress formally. It gives you more confidence. Just ensure the colors of your clothes are sober to suit the occasion. Yes, keep your smile intact throughout the interview.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM GK MAGAZINE
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
Srinagar, June 5: Minister for Forests and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad Tuesday underscored the need for taking concrete measures for conservation of rich environs of Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing More
- Srinagar City
celebrations on June 9
Srinagar, June 5: The City has one more reason to rejoice summer this year. Jashn-e-Bahaar, a production of Time Code, is expected to give some food-for-thought in an entertaining way on June 9 at Kashmir More
JAMMU, JUNE 5: The Election Department in Jammu and Kashmir has finalized the electoral rolls for the ensuing elections to four seats of Member of Legislative Council (MLCs), reserved for Panchayats in More
People face hardships; seek CE’s intervention
Homshalibugh, June 5: Mocking at the tall claims of the state government about providing of better road connectivity to people in rural areas of Valley, majority of the main roads of this South Kashmir More