As the state public service commission last week declared the result of the combined civil service examination, successful candidates will now have to face another round of scrutiny that is the interview stage. Interview forms the essential part of the examination structured to recruit the suitable candidates for the state’s premier exams.
The interview test or the personality test constitutes the last stage of this cumbersome process which may turn out to be a special occasion for some while some others may get disappointed as well. The personality test carries 250 marks and on its basis, final selection list is prepared. However the nature of personality test for civil services is different from the other interviews. The prospective candidates will be interviewed by a board comprising of persons who have wide experience in administration. You will be quizzed on a range of issue. The interview panel will ask questions which will allow them to assess your mental caliber and gain access to you thought process. It’s your interview that will demonstrate your suitability for a career in public service.
In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only once’s intellectual qualities but also social traits and interests in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgments, variety and depth of interests, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity etc.
Aspirants must remember that the interview is not going to be a strict cross-examination but a natural, thought revealing and purposive 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.
So, one is required to be diplomatic while responding to the controversial issues during the interview process. Precise language, appropriate words and lot of patience in placing the views are the prerequisites. Remember! Your entire personality is going to be judged on every single word that you speak. Therefore, one needs to be extra careful about choosing the words during the process of personality test.
Abraham Lincon, one of the most influential presidents of USA, has said, “If I was given six hours to chop a tree, I would spend the first four sharpening the axe.” This saying suggests how good interview preparation for exams like KAS should be. Your interview session may last for twenty minutes, thirty minutes, or an hour, but you have to prepare yourself for much longer period.
Therefore, there is a need for specific preparation for an interview. One great army general has said, “If you shed more sweat in peace, you will have to shed less blood in a battle.” What is true for a battle is true for an interview too.
Some important things that one must remember while appearing before the board:
In an interview it’s of utmost importance that a person is fully versed and knowledgeable about himself. One Chinese philosopher has said long back, “the most crucial problem with us is that we don’t know ourselves fully. With the result, either we overestimate or underestimate ourselves.”
One must carry out his own SWOT analysis and then identify his strengths and improve his weaknesses.
When you do this exercise honestly, you become aware about your shortcomings and you can take necessary steps to overcome these shortcomings. Remember, various qualities are not in-born but can be acquired by taking relevant steps. When you are fully aware about your qualities, you can put your outstanding qualities as your strengths and which frequently asked in a KAS interview.
PREPARE SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
There are certain questions regarded as probables in an interview for civil services. In order to ensure that you are comfortably placed in your interview it’s often advised that the aspirant must prepare some answers in advance so that he sounds impressive before the interview board. This will boost your confidence and raise your morale.
Some probable questions that one must prepare:
Your Name, its meaning and any other famous person who has a similar name.
Career choice, services that you have opted and reasons justifying the same.
Your hobbies, reasons for adopting it. Here one must sound convincing and firm with his beliefs. Before you speak about your hobby, research it well.
Topics of current relevance, consequential happenings national as well as international. New happenings related to the state, change of regimes. Read any national newspaper and analyze the news therein. Try to develop you own thought on the issues in a balanced manner.
If you are from any particular professional background, try to regain important aspects of your profession especially those topics which bear current relevance.
Situational questions, like if you are placed as collector or the district police incharge, how would you tackle a communal riot?
Educational institutes where you have studied may also initiate a question during your interview question.
REGISTER FOR MOCK INTERVIEW SESSIONS.
Mock interview sessions lend a feel of how the interview is likely going to be. Before you enter into the real interview, it’s important that you must face few mock interviews because the mock interview is conducted on similar lines as is done by the PSC.
For a mock interview to be effective, it’s necessary that it approximates the real interview. Some reputed institutes in the valley offer such opportunities, but one must exercise caution while choosing the institute for mock interviews.
It’s essential that after you finish your mock interview you are provided with a feedback and counseled properly in order to eliminate discrepancies that the interview board administering the mocks notice during the interview session. This is the only purpose for which one should join a mock interview.
Some tips to convince the interview board:
FIRST GOOD IMPRESSION LASTS LONGER:
Remember that your first good impression will have a lasting effect on the interview board.
Never fail to do so and to avoid failure in this, you must overcome lack of confidence, lack of preparation. Ensure that you overcome your inhibitions before stepping into the interview room.
AVOID REPETITION OF CERTAIN WORDS:
Some aspirants are habitual of repeating certain words during conversation. This often happens during the stressful situations. However wisdom lies in avoiding such repetition like ‘it is nothing but…, ‘I mean that…, ‘I feel that……, ‘according to me……., etc.
BE CAREFUL ABOUT YOUR BODYLANGUAGE:
Wear a smile on your face when you appear before the interview board. Your confidence will reflect from your body language. Your hand movements, eye contact may appear incidentary but they play important role in your interview. Body language consists of facial expression, movements of various parts of the body, and physical posture during the interview process.
Many aspirants sound ignorant about the utility of body language in an interview. With the result, whatever they communicate does not become effective. Therefore, it is essential that you synchronize your body language with your spoken language during mock interviews.
Don’t allow your nervousness to become palpable on your face.
DEVELOP A KNACK TO FACE INTERVIEW SUCCESSFULLY
To ensure ones success in the interview, follow the guidelines listed below:
Usually in any kind of interview, an interviewer frames his opinion within first few minutes of an interview about the personality of interviewee and remaining time is used to reinforce this opinion.
An old adage about the first impressions goes, “first impression is the last impression.”
This leaves no scope for an aspirant to compromise on his first impression. An aspirant should strike his impression via his etiquettes.
Attentively listen to the questions that are put to you. This will help you to understand the question and then answer it appropriately. So be a good listener. Another benefit it serves you is that the interviewer will feel that you are keenly interested in the interview.
Remember that while responding to a question you make appropriate use of the words besides technical jargons should be used sparsely only when the subject demands so, otherwise avoid.
ASK FOR CLARIFICATION:
Don’t feel shy to ask for clarification in case you fail to understand the question asked.
However don’t give the impression that you are inattentive.
DISCUSS DON’T ARGUE:
Consider your interview as a discussion forum and not an argument forum. Discussion involves deliberating on issues that may emerge from a question. In case any board member expresses his opinion on which you disagree submit your disagreement humbly before the board member.
You must exhibit flexible and accommodative nature, for civil servants should be good at negotiation and diplomacy.
DON’T HESISTATE TO ACCEPT YOUR MISTAKE:
Committing mistakes is normal, but avoiding its rectification is unacceptable. In case you make a mistake during an interview and any board member points it out accept it with humility and apologise.
AVOID AGRESSION, BE POLITE:
It is of utmost importance that you remain polite throughout your interview. At times any unpleasant situation may be deliberately created to test your patience. Ensure that you do not lose your temper. Career civil servants have to interact with several persons having varied temperament and to tackle them successfully; he should not lose his temperament. An aspirant during his interview must demonstrate his politeness convincingly.
APPEAR AS CULTURED:
Sometimes during an interview, interviewers may appear informal. This is done deliberately to create uneasiness, but the interviewee should not forget to exhibit his etiquettes.
PARTHIAN SHOT SHOULD BE IMPRESSIVE:
When your interview is about to end ensure that it ends on a good note. Usually the Chairman of the interview panel closes the interview by saying, “thank you” and wishing “good luck”.
A well dressed person feels comfortable and confident. Appearance is the visible aspect of every aspirant. Interview attire attains importance because it reflects the total personality of a person, his way of thinking and doing and his approach in life. Dignified attire helps in creating good first impression in the mind of the interviewers. Therefore, your attire should match the occasion.
Both Men and women should prefer formal dress.
SOME QUESTIONS THAT WERE ASKED IN PREVIOUS KAS INTERVIEWS:
- Bio-data including family background and hobby.
- Relevance of academic subjects to administration, especially if an aspirant is a PHD holder.
- Climate change
- Nuclear liability bill
- Kashmir imbroglio
- FDI in retail and inflation
- Famous hill resorts of India
- IBSA…..India, Brazil, South Africa
- Land reforms in Kashmir
- Roshini scheme
- Zero base budgeting
- Article 370, area of J&K, autonomy and self rule, highest motorable pass in Kashmir
- Graphene…created from carbon nano-tubes
- Noble prize
- Archeological sites in Kashmir
- Indo- Afghan relations, Gas pipeline connecting India, Pakistan, and Iran.
- India’s role in UN
- GDP of J&K
- Right to information and whistle blowing
- International organizations like ASEAN, SAARC.
- Chinese incursions in J&K
- Mughal era in Kashmir
- Wiki leaks
- Founder of Jammu city
- Nuclear deal, NPT, CTBT and NSG
- GM foods
- Vedic names of Jhelum and Indus
- Horticulture of J&K
- JKPSC, its establishment and role.
- Main agriculture and produce of Kashmir valley
- Role of interlocutors in Kashmir
- Centre state relations with regard to Kashmir
- PIL and Judicial activism
- LPG reforms- liberalization, privatization and globalization
- Disaster management
- Water disputes surrounding Kishanganga, Baglihar project
- Police reforms
- E-governance and Good Governance
- Questions related to districts to which you belong
- Navratna and Maharatna
- What is a public policy
- Government of India, 1935
- What is a PSU? How is it different from Corporation?
- Changing Indian political scenario at the Central level.
- Suggest ways to tackle corruption
- Faults plaguing the administration in Kashmir
- What is PSGA?
- Revise some portions of your optional subjects which concerns ordinary lives especially the aspirants with literature background e.g relevance of Ghalib in modern political world. How can Azad’s Gubaar-e-Khaatir facilitate the improvement of our administrative system. Some famous couplets of Ghalib and Iqbal.