मंगलवार, 30 मार्च 2010


Dear Friends,

In this post, I would like to discuss the importance of hobbies for your interview. Let me tell you one thing, that sometimes your hobby section may be deciding factor of your interview.

For example, I am telling you about my interview experience in 2008. I had given 7 hobbies in my interview form namely, Diary writing, Poetry, Meditation, Inspiring others, Social Service, Enjoying  company of Nature and participating in debates. My interview begin with my Hobby and the last question was also on hobby. Questions on hobby formed one third of my interview. And, for my Interview, I got 210 marks, quite good for a first timer.

Parveen Talha was chairperson. She started with the question that what you write in your diary? I gave a small but complete reply. Then she asked me to name one famous diary. Initially, I started with diaries of Hindi Writers but she interrupted me and said that tell me about  any world famous diary. Suddenly, I remembered Anne Frank's Diary and I named it. I think that madom was also thinking about the same book. So, there was broad simle on her face. Then she asked me 4-5 questions regarding this Diary like who wrote it, where, how etc. Fortunately, I had read this Book in 2006 so I gave satisfactory answers to those questions.

Then madom turned to my next Hobby and told me that You write poems. Recite 4 lines of your poem. I boldly said that I would like to share my full poem because in 4 lines, the board would not be able to make out any sense.  Madom gave her permission with smile. Then I recited one of my Hindi Poem "Majboori ka Naam Mahatma Gandhi". I am giving this poem below-

मज़बूरी का नाम महात्मा गाँधी

पता नही कब से मज़बूरी का

नाम महात्मा गाँधी है

हर मुश्किल में हर बेबस की

ढाल महात्मा गाँधी है.

अक्सर इस जुमले को सुनते-

सुनते मन में आता है -

गाँधी जी का मज़बूरी से

ऐसा भी क्या नाता है?

ऑफिस की दीवारों पर

गाँधी की फोटो टंगी-टंगी

बाबुओं का घूस मांगना

देखा करती घडी- घडी.

चौराहों- मैदानों में

बापू की प्रतिमा खड़ी- खड़ी

नेताओं के झूठे वादे

सुनती विवश हो घडी-घडी .

गाँधी का चरखा, गाँधी की

खड़ी आज अतीत हुई,

गाँधी के घर में ही देखो

गोडसे की जीत हुई.

गाँधी जी की हिन्दुस्तानी

पड़ी आज भी कोने में,

गाँधी के प्यारे गांवों में

कमी न आयी रोने में.

नोटों पर छप, छुपकर गाँधी

सब कुछ देखा करते हैं

हर कुकर्म का, अपराधों का

मन में लेखा करते हैं.

गाँधी भारत का बापू था,

इंडिया में उसका काम नही,

मज़बूरी के सिवा यहाँ होठों पर

गाँधी नाम नही.

इतना कुछ गुन-कह-सुन मैंने

बात गांठ यह बंधी है-

गाँधी होने की मज़बूरी का ही

नाम महात्मा गाँधी है.

When I was reciting this poem, there was pin-drop-silence in the Interview room and all members were listening to it very sincerely. When I finished this Poem, Parveen Talha  took one link from this poem and came to corruption in government offices. She asked me that you know the reality, even then why you want to become part of this system. I replied with smile that I want to clean the system. Then she asked-how? I gave a detailed answer for that.

After that, there were some questions regarding the District where I was working, about International relations(My one optional was Political science) about Development scenario in India, about Indian Freedom struggle etc.  In the end, final question was on Hobby again. One board member asked that you have written Social Service as your hobby. Could you explain that how social service is your hobby?
I was associated with one Grass-root NGO named Titli in Birbhoom, W.B. This NGO works for educating Child labours and children of sex workers. I told them about my experiences in working with this NGO and they were very moved by this. Again one member asked that How will you continue this hobby once you come into this service. I told them if a administrator takes care of efficient and honest implementation of all the Government welfare projects, that will be the greatest social service. They were fully satisfied and agree.

I would like to share experience of one of my batchmates who socred highest marks in interview in 2008 IAS examination, Lalita Lakshmi. She is a gifted singer and has good knowledge of classical music. In her previous interviews, she gave classical music as her hobby. So, normally board went for questions regarding classical music, its masters etc. Then, she gave SINGING as her hobby. Chairperson was Balaguruswami. They asked her to sing. She sang one Song written by great Tamil Poet Subhramanyam Bharti in Tamil. She scored 249 and her hobby played its part in it.

So, I suggest all candidates that prepare about the hobbies you have written in interview forms very sincerely. You should be clear about that what is this hobby, if any other famous person has this hobby, how you will continue your hobby in future, how your hobby benefitting you. Prepare all possible questions regarding your hobby and their possible answers. Remember that when u r talking about your hobby, there should be happiness and relaxation on your face.

If you have any specific doubts, let me know. I would try my best to give meaningful suggestions.
Best of Luck.

सोमवार, 8 मार्च 2010


Friends, Results for Mains examination has been declared by UPSC and I congratulate those who got the golden chance to appear in Interview. I would like to give some suggestions form my side based on my experiences-

1.Formalities- You have to take certificates in regard of your Educational qualification, Caste Certificate(if u belong to SC/ST or OBC community) and No Objection certificate from your employer if u r already working. Before interview, your certificate will be checked by upsc officials. Read carefully all instructions in this regard in interview form.

2.Dress- Your dress should be decent and  formal. Use dark colour pant(preferrably black and blue) with plain or simple sriped shirts. Tie is optional but if u r comfortable with it then use it. It adds to your look. Use formal shoes and belt. The most important thing is that you should be comfortable and confident about your dress. Use your dress at least 2-3 times to be fully comfortable with it.

Either use Good Morning/afternoon/Evening Sirs/Madom or in Indian Tradition Use Namsakar/Namate with hand gesture. Your eye and face movement should be towards all the board members in one go. Greeting chairman and each board member separately is not needed.

4.Biodata-   Normally, candidates remain in doubt that they need bio-data and their certificates with them in interview room or not. That is not required. Board will have your bio-data based on details filled by u at the time of Mains examination. So, take your certificate folder with you but leave that outside interview room with gateman their.

list out all the possible questions on the following area-
-Your Optional subjects
-Current affairs and important topics, Indian Economics, Important public debates going on at present in India and abroad
-HOBBIES given by you in the mains form, their importance and significance in your life, any important development related to that hobby  (I'll discuss this topic in detail in my next post because somtimes your hobby may be most important segment or your interview)
-Your home state, home district and all related and important matters
-If you are working, then important things about your job
Also acquire some knowledge about your Work state and District.
-Regarding extra-curricular activities if You have mentioned them in Your mains Form
-Your Inspiration for joining this service
-Service preference given by you
-Cadre preference given by you
-Hypothetical questions Suppose if you are holding this post, what will you do for this problem...

Prepare all possible questions on these topic and then conduct mock interview sessions with your friends, relatives, teachers, good institutions with all seriousness. Always remember UPSC's motto of Interview-

"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 service 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 intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interst 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth."
(From UPSC website http://www.upsc.gov.in/)

I'll come with specific guidance on some topics like hobbies, Hypothetical questions, using your sense of humour in a positive way, reading the mind of Interview board in coming days. I wish good luck to all the candidates who are going to appear for this year's interview.
With best wishes and Good Luck,