Cracking Civil Services (CSE) Interview – Part 2

On the day of interview in the waiting room

1. Do not discuss probable interview questions

Discussing probable interview questions on the day of interview won’t help you. Each person is different with different background. Questions relevant to one person may not necessarily be relevant to other person. If you discuss with other candidates or engage in a Q & A session then most probably the person is going to ask you questions which he or she has prepared which may not be relevant to you. Also, if in this Q & A session you felt that you don’t know this or that, why didn’t you read this then it could be detrimental to your confidence and performance. So do not engage in such Q & A sessions. Your interview will happen inside the interview room. No need to panic beforehand. At this point of time you should have “I am adequate” frame of mind. Whatever I need to know I know already and if I don’t I will think of some good answer there only or worst case I will say “Sorry Sir, I don’t know.” which is also a perfectly legitimate answer.

2. Do not overthink about the panel

You will come to know about the panel in which you will be appearing for the interview. Every panel has some reputation developed from the experiences of past candidates who have appeared for the interview. Such as this panel do not give good marks, this panel asks a lot of technical questions etc. Don’t overthink . Go with clear mind without any preconceived notions otherwise your fear will become self-prophecy. The best you can do is that during your lazy and intensive period of preparation you can gather information about the uniqueness of some panel and prepare accordingly. In CSE 2014 I appeared in D. K Dewan Sir board. The first question he asked me was to draw the map of India and mark various places on the map. (An A4 sheet and pen was placed in front of me beforehand.) I drew the map and marked places but they were not accurate. In the hindsight, I think I could had handled this situation better. Some of my friends who had already appeared in the interview had told me that he is asking map based questions. They were asked to draw maps from around the world. Middle East, Europe etc. I had already made my mind that if I was asked to draw map then I would decline by saying “Sorry Sir, I don’t know.” But how can say that you don’t know drawing map of India. After that it became foot in the door problem. Once I drew the map I had to go with other map based questions. I wouldn’t say it was bad but also not great.
If you want to be prepared for some particular board then prepare beforehand. Don’t make strategies on the day of your interview. All panels are equally good to judge your personality. No board is easy or hard. It’s your attitude which would decide how they are going to treat you.

3. Crack Jokes

Crack jokes with fellow candidates. Waiting for your interview turn can be atrocious. And if you are 4th or 5th to be interviewed then you have a long time to wait. If you stay silent and overthink about the interview it can make you anxious. So talk random stuff with fellow candidates unrelated to interview. Best is to crack jokes, share funny incidents. This will keep you stress free and in good humour. If you are laughing and having good time outside the interview room then you will carry this good mood and positive energy inside the interview room. Also if you laughing you are sending signal to brain that there is nothing to worry about. You can’t be laughing and afraid at the same time.
During mock interviews I realized my face is like a mirror. If I am stressed it will appear on my face. I cannot hide. Many candidates would face the same problem. In my almost all CSE 2013 and 2014 mock interviews I was given feedback that you look stressed all the time even when you are giving good answers. Try to be little relaxed and smile. I didn’t knew how to change that. How to fake smile and avoid tensed face. In CSE 2015 I realized my face is mirror to my inner emotions. I cannot hide what I am feeling inside. So I need to feel happy from inside to show happiness on my face. Hence, crack jokes, share humorous stories. It will keep you engaged while you are waiting for your turn and keep you away from getting nervous and you would enter the interview room with smiling face.

4. Adjust your attire

Fifteen to twenty before your turn (You will come to know when you are expected to go inside) go to washroom and adjust your attire. You need to show your best self.

Click for Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4

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