Saturday, June 02, 2007

IAS Interviews

Don’t read it if you are looking for clues how to give a good interview in civil services. I have given just one and scored a pathetic 150. The worst part is I still feel I gave a good interview. What I wish to do in this blog is to recollect various incidents I came to know while discussing about interviews.

I begin with collection I got from common men who actually never appeared for civil services. I seriously doubt there is any element of truth in these but they present the most interesting lot.

I have heard this incident n number of times from various sources. The chairman of the board drops his pen on ground and asks the candidate to pick it up. When the candidate picks it up, the chairman becomes very angry. He says you are aspiring for the post of IAS, you don’t pick up the pen yourself but push the buzzer, call a peon and ask him to pick up the pen. Well, well, well, is there any wonder why the work in government departments’ move so slowly.

Another is about testing the sharpness of your memory. The board asks questions like how many steps you climbed before entering this room (UPSC interview room has no stairs, so don’t worry, this can never be asked) or what is the color of the wall behind you. I feel that they are more interesting than true.

Now some true incidents. A candidate enters the boardroom and falls flat on ground. The chairman says ‘Mr. what a great fall'. The candidate stands up, smiles and says ‘Sir, it’s a pleasure I have fallen in company of great men like you.’

There is one in which the chairman asks the candidate his favorite color. The candidate says none. The chairman insists on his favorite color but the chairman again says none. Now the chairman turns little angry and says look Mr. you have to give a color, imagine you are giving it to your bride but pick a color. The candidate becomes agitated and says if I have to pick up a color, it will be red, the color of revolution. The candidate is given very poor marks. When the other members ask the chairman how his preference of color determine his personality, he says that he is going to become an IAS, he will have to handle strikes, pulls and pressures from various groups, if he can become agitated in an interview room, one can imagine his behavior in the field.

From this time interviews, I remember questions like what is similarity between Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Abdul Kalam. The candidate answers that Gandhi wanted colonial India believe that independent India is possible and Kalam wants developing India believe that developed India is possible.

A candidate who wrote classical singing as his hobby was asked to sing a song. Then he was asked to sing the same song in different raga. The candidate was able to do that and got 225.

One person was asked to untie his knot and tie it again. Poor candidate did not know how to tie a knot and became nervous. More than not knowing how to tie a knot, nervousness spoiled his interview. The person who was due after this candidate took out his tie outside the interview room when he came to know about this incident. His bad luck was he forgot to open the topmost button of his shirt and the first thing he had to explain was why he was not wearing a tie when he was having his topmost button closed.

There are many more incidents which I will recollect in a later blog. If you know any, do let me know. But yes, do not believe the magazines in which all the candidates say the board was very cordial, they made them very comfortable.

In case you want to read a perfect interview, read vivek’s blog if you have'nt read it till now.


Shailesh said...

NIce account Anurag!

How cud one cannot tie a knot.the best way wud hav been to remember the steps in which he had unwinded the knot!!

Had u been with a tie??


Anurag Srivastava said...

Tying a knot is also an art, not all know it :)

In the tension of interview room, if one can learn tying the knot by untying, i will call him a genius :)

Yes I did wear a tie, nearly all do. I know how to tie a knot ;)

gaurav said...

nice blogs yaar....its interesting to read them. For a lazy person like me....reading a page in one go is really difficult. But i have enjoyed ur n parate's blog. lucid, clear n natural.

Bruno said...

I wrote a book for TNPSC Interview

I included a section on how to knot a tie, and got the maximum "thank you"
feed back for that !!!!

Anurag Srivastava said...

@bruno: that was an amusing information :)

Proud indian said...

HI anurag.Nice to see you buddy talking about CSE stuff. I never knew
even you are preparing for civil services..Great man. Contact me at we can be of any help for each other..

Anurag Srivastava said...

@Proud indian : sent you a mail :)

Now you know that I am not preparing, actually somehow got selected ;)

aviral said...


i have heard few "interview legends" like

how many humps a camel have

what was the train / ticket / seat / bus no. you traveled For UPSC / New Delhi

how many teeth where there in your comb you used this morning

what is the difference between walking and rinning

what is the difference between cow and buffalo

Bruno said...

//what is the difference between walking and rinning//

Running, I suppose.....

Awanish said...

Thanks for this informative blog. There is also a really informative website where you can Free Download NCERT Books for class 6th to 12th of all subjects that will definitely help you in Civil Services Preparation. Here you can also get materials for Interview Preparation. Do check it out........

DON said...

Hello Anurag SIr,
I am cse aspirant.I went thr' ur blogs, needless to say, i found them very informatic,imperative and indispenasble.Can u give me ur mail id and contact number.For interview, u refered vivek that i am unable to open.I'd be thankful to u,if u lead me towards the correct path for preparation for mail id is