Now that the result of written exam has been declared, most of you must be wondering about steps required to be taken till completion of interview stage. In this article, I will try to address your concerns as much as I can. So , this will be a step by step guide for personality test a.k.a interview.
- DAF- Detailed Application form
Show utmost care while filling this DAF online, there is no need to submit it in one day itself. Consult your peers while filing this form. Many coaching institute provide guidance for filling DAF ,so if possible you can also consult them.
In DAF, there are few grey areas such prizes, achievements, sports and hobby, etc. This section falls in the most important part of DAF because the first question will be from these things only. And what a tragedy could be ,if you start without answering first question and that too related to your hobby and achievements. So, I will not suggest you what to fill there but I would like to say that fill only those contents which you will be able to defend there. It is not expected of you to have PhD in your hobby but still your knowledge should be enough make you look sincere in their eyes. Let me tell you that they are very good at catching lies, especially if you are not a confident speaker. Once they get that impression that you are speaking lie then your whole effort at further improvements will not make much impact on them. So, what you speak should be worth what you have written in your DAF. Therefore, fill DAF with utmost caution. Remember this rule, “the more you write, the more you increase their expectations from you”.
- Preparing HR and Current Affairs
Once you submit your DAF, then you become a prisoner of it. You should look at it daily; write down 5 random questions that come to your mind while looking at DAF. Let others have a look at DAF and allow them to ask questions. Diversity of opinion is required to get the best possible outcome. The most important questions are why you want to join IES, why you want to leave your current job?, how will you serve people in IES?, why do you want to join railways? Etc. IF you have read my previous articles, then you can frame your answers based on concepts elucidated there.
Current awareness is must for those who want to score high. It is not necessary that current topics will be asked but there are high chances of it being asked which may land you in trouble if you don’t prepare it. Answering current topics will not show that you are a brilliant candidate but it will save you from humiliation in front of board. Unlike IAS interview, the depth and analysis of current topics will be to the surface only, but more the knowledge the better it is. Some board chairman also asks puzzles, so better if you prepare for it.
- Preparing Technical Aspects
Apart from board chairman, there will be 4-5 technical experts of your subjects sitting there. These experts are either current or retired technocrats in Government of India. You will be relatively, if chairman is not from your technical background, as in that case he will ask only HR questions. After that you will be passed on to technical members for further grueling. Their main job is to check your technical knowledge of the stream in which you have qualified ESE. Apart from the core conventional knowledge which you studied for written exam, also prepare engineering applications of your subjects in practical life. Also be ready to go to some standard question available in the interview market, which if you don’t answer will reflect poorly on you. How to get these questions? These can be gathered from interview experiences of others and coaching material. In this segment never forget your core subjects and their concepts because they expect you to atleast that much. But the problem is , those who have fear of authority will most likely forget everything in front of interview board. They will have black-out. For solving this issue, training of mind is needed, do some yoga and meditation to overcome fear of authority.
In technical aspects, remember this rule “Either you know, or you don’t”. Don’t give your opinion in technical matters. It is not IAS interview where your opinion will matter. Either you say confidently or you don’t. But there is a way of telling them that you don’t know. Say that “I am not able to recall it now”. Learn these types of standard responses to get yourselves out of difficult situations.
- Mock Interviews
Give atleast 2 mock interview to asses your preparation. For mock session you can join coaching nearest to where you live. Or you can give it in Delhi also by taking leave from your current job but it not to be neglected.
Let me tell you honestly that mock conducted by coaching institutes will not give you feel of UPSC. You will find remarkable difference in those two. However, it necessary for your own analysis. You will come to know of the mistakes which you avoid later on. Like in my case, I used to keep my hands on table, I came to know it when pointed out at mock sessions. So, there are lots of personalities issues that you may be grappling with in your lives, don’t let it reflect there. Basically, you will have confidence while facing real board, but if you don’t then be prepared for worst. Either you already have a great personality or you are confident that you score too high to bother about mock, then only take a risk otherwise mock sessions are must for everyone.
- Interview Day
It will be wither November of December when you will be at UPSC, so proper suit attire is expected of you. But not everybody has a suit to wear, in such a case I would say that go without suit but don’t wear sweaters. Attire is also a part of your personality for which you are being judged. Sit quietly in the common room. The more you discuss, the more anxious you will be. Keep a smile on your face while entering the room. For first 10min you will asked to wait outside the room which is going to be like a torture. But think something about else at this point, or you will become too nervous while taking your seat. Look around yourselves, be alert and attentive. Once you take your seat, half of your worry will be over. Learn the manners of sitting, walking, standing and speaking. These entire things can make a lot of difference apart from giving answers to them.
I hope I have given you quite clear picture of IES interview process. Wish you all the luck
Bonus Point- Your marks will only be decided by chairman of the board who is a UPSC member. Technical experts don’t have power to give marks but they can advise the chairman about performance of the candidates.