Comprehensive Article on "How to acheive Success in KAS INTERVIEW" by 'KAS Guru'
Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari (KAS):-
The Interview stage, third and the final stage of the civil services
examination, has emerged as the most deciding phase of the exam. I extend my
heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to all those who have made it to this
stage and to all those who could not, I put in my sincere appeal to carry on and
prepare for the next time. This 250 marks test, may not be of the qualifying
nature, but is very central in your selection and putting your rank up or down
the final list. Therefore one should take this final step very seriously.
You may call it interview but the more appropriate term is
the personality test. The object of the interview is to assess the personal
suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of
supposedly competent and unbiased observers- the Members of Public Service
Commission. The test intends to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In
broad terms this is really an assessment of not only of his intellectual
qualities but also the 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, balance of judgement, 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. Thus, theinterview shouldn’t normally
require any extra preparation other than being aware of issues and especially
those related to one’s home state. Bio-data is also important topic.
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. The interview test is not
intended to be a test either of the specialised 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.
Although the number of members is not fixed, generally the
interview is conducted by a board consisting of 5-6 members including the
Chairman of the Commission. These members are from different fields, including
subject matter experts, psychologists, bureaucrats, educationists etc. All of
them are highly experienced and ask searching questions to the candidate.
The Public Service Commission is looking for some traits in you, which can
be summarized below:
1.Suitability to a public career
2.Mental Caliber and Constructive thoughts
3.Not only intellectual traits but also social traits
4.Interest in current affairs
6.Critical powers of assimilation
7.Clear and logical exposition
8.Balance of judgment
9.Variety and depth of interest
10.Ability for social cohesion and leadership
11.Intellectual and moral integrity
12.Fresh and unique ideas
An ideal civil servant should be a gentleman. He should
possess good character qualities. He should have courage of conviction,
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
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
- Meaning of your name,
- Questions on your village/ town/ college.
- Sometimes questions on your hobby.
- Family background, history of your clan/caste etc.
- Job experience (if any) and particularly, government job.
- Extra curricular activities.
- Educational institutions attended.
- Why did you choose public administration / sociology/ mathematics /
history / electrical engineering / and so on as your subject of
- 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 how you would have faced the recent
flood havoc Leh as an administrator.
- 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.
- 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 in Delhi. 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.
Be prepared to answer some tricky questions: Answering
the question requires your presence of mind. If the members ask you a recall or
memory based question, you will either answer it or say you don’t know. But if
the question is a bit tricky then you will need to be alert to answer it. For
instance if you are a physics student, then be prepared for some confusing
question like “With what velocity will Afridi have to hit the ball to make it go
beyond the Earth’s gravity?” If you are a cricketing fan like me, then you could
be asked some unexpected questions like the records of some famous cricketers.
It is not necessary you know them, be polite in confessing that I don’t know.
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. Our whole system is
suffering because of such chaperone's that change colour faster than a
chameleon. 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 and that year's attempt.
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. Just keep your
poise and smile intact.
Remember: One good, convincing answer is
better than ten half hearted answers that lack conviction.
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. No fancy shirts and dresses here please. You’ll
have all the time to wear these once the interview is over. One reason why you
should avoid fancy clothes is that such clothes tend to distract attention of
the board members from you to your clothes, which is not desirable.
Folks go ahead! Arise awake and rest not till the goal is
achieved. Victory belongs to the most persevering. If you work hard towards your
goal, then the Almighty conspires to help bestow you with luck.
Courtesy: Jammu Kashmir Civil Services Aspirants at FB