How and what to Prepare for the Interview
The process of the personality test
The evaluation of the personality is done through an interview process, by a Board usually comprising four to five members, who are persons of eminence and experience from various walks of life. One of the member (generally a member of the public service commission) is designated the chairman of the Board. The Chairman regulates the conduct of the interview and also awards marks to the candidate, which is usually by consensus.
The Boards conduct the interview by posing questions, seeking views asking for objective appreciation and analyses of matters relating to the
- Personal profile of candidates– as disclosed in Mains examination form or the commission handed over a form to be filled by the candidates containing their personal details. As per the information you provide (for Example on Graduation subject related, Optional subject, Home district, Hobby etc) you may be asked questions
- Issues pertinent, to the society, state and country
- About current affairs of Karnataka, national and international significance.
- Example: Demonetisation, Inflation, Coalition government etc
The tenor of the interview is that of a purposeful conversation. The objective is the assessment of the overall personality of the candidate and not merely bookish knowledge or concepts, which in any case have already been evaluated in the preliminary and the Main examination.
“What is of utmost importance is the ability to think, coupled with an honest approach, sincerity of purpose and willingness to toil hard”
How and what to Prepare for the Interview
What does KPSC syllabus say?
- The candidate will be interviewed by a board who will have before them a record of his or her career except marks secured in their main examination.
- He/ she 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 services by a board of competent and unbiased observers.
- The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only his/her intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs.
- Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilations, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, 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 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 candidate which has been already tested through 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 or outside their own state or country as well as in modern current of thoughts and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.
- Personality Test shall carry a maximum of 200 marks.
Note from the Editor:
Having faced interview at both UPSC and KPSC board, I can tell you… this is the most accurate description. Let’s break it down in to simpler points-
Candidate should show general interest in what is happening around them (know the recent developments of state, national and international issues)
Not just be a bookworm… But know the art of living (Know your hobbies and interests)
Should show a personality of a leader and a good public servant. (honesty, integrity etc)
It is not:
Strict cross examination
Not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge
Ask yourself these questions??? What are the qualities of a leader? How to handle work pressure? What are the qualities of being honest? Etc… this is what the interviewer is looking for.
Pre Interview Preparations
- As soon as the mains results are out, start preparing (or revising) for current affairs. This should include important state, National and International issues.
What should you focus on:
- Important supreme court verdicts (Section 377, Triple talaque issue, Aadhar verdict, Reservation in promotions, Ayodhay issues etc)
- Economic issues (Economic slowdown, rising fuel prices, depreciation of currency)
- Flagship programmes recently in news (like Ayushman Bharat, COVID management, )
- Any developments between India and its neighbouring country or other important country ( Afghan crisis, India Pakistan, US, Iran, Russia etc)
- State issues (New policy and schemes announced etc)
- Read our Mahithi monthly current affairs Magazine (at least 6months prior to the interview)
- Read editorials from The Hindu and other important newspaper and start developing opinions on issues.
- Have points in favour and against any issues. i.e, know both sides of the argument.
- Know about your home town: what are the important tourist spots, historical significant, economic significance, Its population, education/health status, problems, MLAs, MPs and anything else recently in news etc
- IF you are employed: know about your company, the job profile, any development in the area of your job. Past employed candidates (exMP) can also expect questions on their past job also!
- Learn about yourself starting with your name. Example any famous personality who shares your name, the date of birth etc. Study about your hobby and interests. Example: if your hobby is reading- Question can be- tell me something about the recent book you read?
- Go through your graduation subject. Any new development in that field? How it will help you in your administration? etc
- Questions can be also asked from optional subject. Non technical like- why did you choose this optional. Or even technical questions as asked in your mains. (especially those who have taken sociology or public administration or political science or history or anthropology)
- Prepare for personal questions:
- Why you want to join civil services?
- Why should we select you?
- What have you been doing for these many years?
- Conversate with other aspirants (even an intelligent friend or family member)and discuss/or ask each other questions randomly.
- Keep a book where you can note down expected questions and personal information. (Prepare for this question- WHY DO YOU WANT TO JOIN CIVIL SERVICES? )
- Go through past interview questions and try to answer those questions. (refer the last module of this book)
- Look in the mirror. See how you look while talking. Look at your personal expressions. Smile more often. You have a beautiful smile. Please remember You Don’t change anything! JUST BE YOURSLEF
- Give mock tests and get feedback from experts. (give us a call/ mail us. We shall arrange 1 for you for free! J )
How to answer
- Listen Carefully: Concentrate on what is being said and to comprehend fully, the importance of the question.
- Pause before Answering
- Reply Calmly: You will face 3 kinds of situations
- Those you are Prepared for: you must avoid getting excited or hurrying up with your reply. It makes good sense to convey the impression that the question was understood and the answer paraphrased then and there only. The reply should appear to be spontaneous and not a prepared answer to an anticipated question.
Those you are just familiar with: Do not get flustered or panic. Maintain your calm; you may request the Member to further elaborate.
- Those you do not know: However, if you do not know the answer at all, then it is better to say politely, I do not know. In no situation must you panic or lose your composure. ( here I DO NOT KNOW will be your best friend)
- Answer Appropriately: The answer has to be to the point and as per the question asked.
- Most Important Points First
- Any answer should be to the point, crisp and concise.
- You must have that ability to see things from the perspective of others as well as in entirety, minutely as well as wholly, Thus while expressing one’s views, various facets of the issue, and the pros and cons must also be specified.
- Where to Express views and Where to have an Opinion: In case your opinion has been sought, then it is pertinent to specify your stand at the very outset and then the reasons for it.
- No stage you should be critical of the point of view of the interviewer or be argumentative while expressing your own opinion. Even if you are not in agreement with the Members view point, respect it and express your own dissenting opinion humbly.
- Honesty is the Best policy: This dilemma arises in the following three situations:
- When you have not properly heard or understood the question,
- When you have understood the question but are unsure/not fully confident about the answer.
- When you are sure that you do not know the answer
Remember your answer should have
- Modern and Balanced Views
- Ideological Outlook
- Truthfulness, Frankness, and Smartness
- Not Self Deprecating Replies
Answers Based on Personal Profile:
However, there can be questions which are to your core competence (such as those related your job/profession, optional, hobbies, home state, city, etc), which you ought to know. These questions carry substantial weightage in the interview and the Board expects a positive reply and application of mind from the candidate.
- Your Name
- Know in Brief about your School/College/University
- Information about home District
- Previous job experience.
- Hobby Games, and Achievements
Very often the question which the interviewer asks, emanates from your own answers.
- Non-verbal communication and body language are a reflection of a person’s state of mind and also of the many other facets of his personality.
- Although excitement and nervousness are natural, it is important not to let it overcome us. Try to maintain your composure. Taking deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling gradually helps to soothe frayed nerves.
- Wish the lady Member (if any) first and then the other Board Members on entering the interview room.
- Take a seat only when asked to.
- Sit erect, Do not slouch or lean to either side.
- Keep your feet on the ground and slightly apart.
- Wrists can be placed in the lap, on the legs or over the knees, placing wrists on table is also acceptable.
- Do not cross your arms, shake legs, gesticulate wildly, fidget, stare at your watch, or sit with your hands in the pocket.
- Maintain eye contact with the Member who is speaking or to whom you are speaking. Also look at the other Members. Maintaining eye contact with different people in the group often comes with concerted effort and practice.
Feel free to contact us for any help. We will help you out.
All the best