PREPARATION FOR THE INTERVIEW: SOME USEFUL TIPS

F irst of all, revise thoroughly the study material of the Preliminary and main Examinations. These contain lot of background information on a variety of subjects which will stand you in good stead at the time of the interview.

A set of Forms is sent by the commission to the Candidates called for interview. These forms require details of their families, their native places, their occupation, hobby etc. with a view to eliciting complete information about their background. A copy of these Forms is furnished to each member of the Board. So it is reasonable to expect a few questions based on such information.

An analysis of several sample interviews reveals a preponderance of questions on current affairs both national and international. So we advise you to brush up your memory in this regard by referring to our study material.

Since the Board members may be specialists in different fields, you can expect questions of diverse nature. The best way to face up to this challenge is amass as much knowledge as possible and learn how to use the same in given situation rather than study thoroughly just a few things only and depend on luck.

Familiarize yourself with the happenings in your own state-political, social, economic, religious and cultural. Study well your bio-data. Read two National newspapers and magazines. Read one sports magazine. Acquaint yourself with the latest happenings through the radio and the T.V. Try to attend or participate in discussion classes or meetings wherever and whenever held. Try to know something about the service you are aspiring to enter. Be ready to answer questions on your academic career.

If you have any specific hobby as ordinarily understood, be ready to answer a few questions on it. If you have none, select one from your present activities, for example, reading novels, reading newspapers, learning scriptures etc. and are prepared to answer why you consider the same as a hobby.

If you aa re not sportsman and do not play games regularly, than you must be ready to answer how you keep fit for you know that games form an integral part of any sound education.

The Language: The interview board is fully aware that medium of instruction varies from state to State and one’s expression largely depends on the geographical area one comes form and the type of institutions he has studied in. Do not let lack of facility in talking in English fluently worry you too much. Be natural and talk as well as you can. The member of the interview board are bound to take into account the medium of instructions in the academic field.

Dress: The type of dress that one should wear at the interview is yet another anxiety that a lot of candidates suffer from. Constraint of monetary resources should not worry them unduly. What the Board would expect is that you should be neatly and elegantly dressed according to the season. The general rule should be that you should be wearing what officers generally wear when they go to work. No doubt, one’s dress and appearance is, like many other things, an indication of one’s personality, habits attitudes etc.

It is important to note that the actual length of the interview is no indicator of your performance. As a rule, a poor candidate will not be dismissed after a brief interview, nor a brilliant one kept too long. Neither will know how well he or she has done. It is only if the interviewers are in doubt about certain traits in you and would like to probe further that the interviews may get prolonged. So don’t come out beaming because your interview has taken longer than average, nor be depressed if the Board has not kept you long enough.

THE PROCEDURE OF THE INTERVIEW

The procedure generally followed in the interview has the following sequence:

  • The Chairman sets the ball rolling. The members-first, second, third and fourth if any-follow suit to draw out the best in you- your ability, manners, conversational skill, general intelligence, resourcefulness, self-confidence- in short, your personality – to find out your suitability for the high job at stake.
  • The whole interview may take some 20 to 35 minutes depending on your responses and the impression you create on the members of the Board.
  • You may then be directed to an adjoining room to write a resume of the interview in about 10 to 15 minutes to be handed over to the officer-in-charge.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE INTERVIEW

Having qualified at the written examination, the candidate has won more than half the battle. But the crucial Personality Test carrying 275 marks still remains as the final hurdle. The reason why sole reliance is not put on the written examination is, as is well known, that in the search for the right candidates for the higher Civil Services, intellectual quality and knowledge of particular subjects are not enough; a candidate’s personality and moral fiber are at least equally important, and that is where the interview comes in. Thus, the main purpose of the interview is to make a probe with a view to unveiling the personality traits that are critical for successful performance in a job.

NATURE AND SCOPE OF THE INTERVIEW

The rules for the examination, as notified by the UPSC, spell out very clearly the nature and scope of the interview, and candidates will do well to study these carefully. The rules provide:

“The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety, and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural though directed and purpose conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates 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 as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.

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