Success in KAS

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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. 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 decision making. 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.31-1

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