The Strategy for Civil Services Interview – Part 2

As we said in the earlier article, the appropriate strategy for Civil Services Interview Preparation (Part -1) would be to divide the expected questions into five broad areas. We shall look into these in detail here:

1. Personal : This could relate to your name, the district / village where you belong to, the political, economic, social, aspects of that place. Questions may also focus on why you would like to embark on a career in the government services? Here questions could be unsettling like “ Mr X with a similar background like yours has not been successful at the interview….. why do you think you will be successful ? One I.P.S officer has been killed and another has committed suicide recently…… do you still want to get into the service ?”

2. Academic : This relates to your basic educational qualifications. While, there could have been a long gap between your graduation and this Interview, you are expected to renew your knowledge regarding the core subjects of graduation and be able to answer the basic questions. Preparing for the academic area is more important for those candidates who have chosen different optionals for the examination.

3. Optionals : Normally, in-depth questions on the optionals are not asked based on the rationale that the candidate has already proved his mettle at the Main examination. However, since last year there have been a significant number of questions from the optionals also more so on optional like Anthropology.

4. Current Affairs: This could relate to any topic regional ( AP specific ) National or International. Reading the news paper daily, especially the editorials of National news papers is necessary.

5. Hobbies: You may be asked by the Interview board about your activities in your spare time. In case you do not have a hobby, be honest about it. In case you have one, be prepared for a few basic questions.
While these are conventional areas, that a candidate is expected to be prepared with before the Interview, in the last few years there has been a change in the nature of the questions. This change is consistent with the efforts of the UPSC to elicit the ‘real personality’ of the aspirant. Now, apart from the conventional areas the Interview board is assessing the personality of the aspirants by asking questions that bring about the behavioural, attitudinal and value based traits of the candidates. Typically some of the questions may be

i) What are your personal goals in life ?
ii) What are your strengths and weaknesses?
iii) What are you looking for in this job and why should you be selected for it?
iv) If you are given the choice to opt for the IFS, IAS, or IRS or Customs & Central Excise, which one would your prefer and why ?
v) In which region or state would you prefer to be posted ? What are the reasons for your choice ?
vi) What rewards do you expect from your career in the service you wish to opt for ?
vii) What contributions do you think you can make in the job you are hoping to take up?
viii) What would you like to see yourself doing five or six years form now ?
ix) What is it that will motivate you to put forth your best efforts ?
x) Do you treat work as a means of livelihood or what else ?
xi) If you heard an unpleasant rumor about a friend from other friends, what would be your reaction and how would you go about it ?
xii) If a boat in which you are traveling with your boss, an old friend an a loyal subordinate capsizes, which of the three would you try to save and why ?

It is advisable to be prepared to tackle such questions by writing down the answers and practicing them. Questions on current affairs will be issue based and will require the aspirant to take a stand.

Some of the important areas are :

1. Political Issues: 60 years of Independence – Achievements and Failures, Reports of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission, Pro’s and Con’s of Smaller states, Lok Pal Bill and the role of Civil Society, Panchayat raj, Recent Elections and their possible impact on the 2014 elections, Presidents rule Vs. Governors rule, Politics of Consensus Vs. Politics of confrontation, Anti terror bills, Other bills which have to be passed in the Parliament, Election Of President of India, Parliamentary Vs. Presidential forms of government.

2. Economic Issues : Economic melt down and its impact, NREGA – achievements and shortcomings, , financial inclusion, Micro Finance, All Flagship programmes of the Government , Approach Paper to the 12th Plan . Economic Survey report and Budget etc

3. Social Issues : Census and an analysis of the information that is coming up, For example; We have more telephones than toilets why is it and what does it indicate ? There are more nuclear families than joint families …… what does it indicate ? What would its impact be on the government ? Caste census Reservations for Women, Death penalty – should it be abolished, Euthanasia etc

4. International : India ‘s relations with its neighbors etc Elections in USA and its possible impact on India,

5. Issues related to the State : Distinctions of Hyderabad, Flagship programmes of the government - Jalayagnam, Rajiv Arogyashri, Indiramma programme, Demand for a separate state , State of the I.A.S in A.P etc.
Fine. Now comes the real situation. That is Board Room. What happens inside the Interview Board room. Let us know this from Part - 3 of the article. Here we discuss on the expectations of the Interview Board from the candidates and dos and dont's from candidates perspective.

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