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Interview Preparation Strategy

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Getting Started

As interview is the last straw in the series of your year-long efforts/struggle, you must pay extra attention to score maximum marks out of it. A good interview score can improve your final rank by a huge margin, so like any other stage of the exam, it needs to be prepared with strategy. After consulting many toppers, we have worked out a strategy to prepare for the interview. In this section, we would like to share that strategy for you.

Specifications of SSC Interview

First of all some insights into SSC interview:

    • Interview carries 100 marks out of a total 700 in SSC CGL. That means interview gives you an opportunity to score around 14.3% of the total score.
    • Breakup of interview marks is as * :-12th Class score: 5 marksPost-Graduation Score: 5 marksSocial Activities: 5 marksHobbies: 5 MarksPersonality Analysis: 5 marks* There is no documentary evidence of this breakup, it is based upon the inputs obtained from empaneled professors in SSC Interviews.
    • Technical/Subject knowledge and General Awareness: 50 marks
    • Communication Skills: 5 marks
    • Job Experience: 5 marks
    • Extracurricular Activities: 5 marks
    • Graduation Score: 5 marks
    • 10th Class score: 5 marks
  • Average marks scored by Candidates in 2013 SSC interview were 52-53 out of 100.
  • SSC interview is not a tough nut to crack. Although the subjects or topics you need to prepare are vast in number but you can never predict the questions that can be asked from those topics.

Classification of Topics

To make preparation easy, we have broadly divided the questions asked by the interviewers in 4 categories and these can be prepared individually:

  1. General Awareness: like history, geography, constitution, current affairs etc.
  2. Things specific to SSC: like about SSC, why to choose SSC, any improvement in the selection process.
  3. Bio data information: like native place, places you have worked in , your job profile, hobbies.
  4. Technical: subject knowledge, esp of your Graduation and Post graduation.

Preparation of Interview in Stages (Most Imp.)

Let’s start the interview preparation. The number of topics to be covered are huge in number, therefore you should prepare them in stages so that nothing is missed.

Stage 1

    • This stage starts from the first day of your preparation i.e. when your name appears in selected aspirants list of Tier 2 results.
    • The most important thing is to prepare a to-do list. It must contain a list of subjects, to be prepared for the interview. Making this list is a long process and can’t be done in 1 or 2 days.
    • First day you can start noting down the subjects you want to cover broadly like history, geography, constitution, native place, current affairs, and graduation subjects.
    • You can write whatever you think, can be asked in interview. Day by day, as you make progress and get more knowledge about topics to be prepared, additions can be made to this.
    • After noting down some subjects, it’s time to prepare them in detail. You should take subjects one by one. Like if you take up history first, you note down all the relevant topics in “to-do“ list  needs to be covered in the subject.
    • You can use your knowledge/experience from interviews faced till now (if any) to prepare this list.If its your first interview, worry not, Google is there to help you. Search directly for “history interview questions India” or something like that, read interviews of already selected candidates and you will get an idea about what sort of questions are asked.
    • You should note the questions, find their answers(self-made) and keep saving the content in a word file. If you did some coaching or you have some notes for the interview subjects you can refer them. Interview coaching are not of much help, only the mock interviews are worthy.
    • Once done you should tick out that topic in your to-do list, so that you can keep a track of topics done and topics left.
  • Take a print out of the self prepared notes (word file) at end of day and start reading them simultaneously.
  • You need not learn everything there. It can be read just like a story except for some facts and figures that you are expected to learn; like founder of Congress, year Gandhi came to India etc. You can mark important things with a highlighter for easy reference 1-2 days before the interview.
  • With these tasks, you need to devote at least 2 hours a day to newspaper reading. Read all the important national and international news (generally interviewers ask only current affairs of other countries, all other static questions are in India’s context).
  • “The Hindu” would be the best choice to prepare for current affairs. Its editorials provide a clear insight of the current issues or advancements with their solutions or future scope.
  • If you find any important news or analysis, copy it in your word file.

Thus, the following 4 tasks need to be done on regular basis: –

  1. Adding new subjects/topics to your to do list.
  2. Searching for all the relevant data for each topic and making notes based on that.
  3. Reading newspaper and maintaining notes on that.
  4. Reading the notes.

These steps will keep a check that you are covering everything. Also, you should complete all the General Awareness topics in news for 2-3 days before the starting of interviews in your region (15 June in this case). In between you can give 1-2 mock interviews to gain confidence. You need not go to any coaching center for this. Any of your friends/elders/seniors can help you with that.

Stage 2

    • This stage begins 2-3 days before the starting of interviews in your region.
    • Now you should start preparing things specific to you. More than half of the interview questions come from this section.
    • The most common question asked is why you want to join jobs provided by SSC.
    • Although it is a very common question but answer to this should be personalized and convincing. Giving generic answers can leave interviewer unsatisfactory. You can check the interviews shared on SStube’s page to get an idea how to answer this question.
    • Another common question comes from your preference of Posts.
    • To prepare these two questions, you can ask your friends to counter question you till they find a satisfactory answer from you. This can help a lot.
    • Then comes Bio data form. You should not lie about anything in the form, as they are experienced professionals and will grind you to get the truth. You should prepare about each and everything you have mentioned in your bio data form. You will surely be asked questions from this section.

Things to be given extra attention in bio data form:-

  • Native Place: They expect you to know everything about your native place. You should know its topography, history, political situation and other important factors.
  • Extracurricular activities: You should posses all the relevant certificates and knowledge about the competitions or quizzes you have participated in.
  • Social activities: For this also you should posses all the relevant certificates and knowledge about the activities you have participated in.
  • Technical: All the subjects you have studied in your Graduation or Post Graduation. You should have deep knowledge about all of them. However, if you analyze interviews shared by us, you can narrow down the subjects you need to cover. Technical is favorite section for interviews.
  • Hobbies: You should choose them with prudence. They must clearly reflect your nature and also you are expected to know even the minutest detail about your hobby (as hobby is driven by passion). This is also one of the favorite topics for interviews. To prepare this section you can fill one rough copy of bio data form based on which you can prepare the answers. You can edit this rough copy till your interview day. We will also be sharing guidelines to fill the Bio data form.[/quote]

Stage 3

So by the time interview starts in your region, you shall be done with General Awareness and questions based on Bio-data form. That means you have covered everything that you had planned to prepare. Now with the interviews in your region, Stage 3 begins. This stage will cover all the dynamic topics. You need to follow the below mentioned routine to gain success in your interview.

    • Continue reading newspaper for 3 hours.
    • Start reading interview experiences shared by the candidates of your region.
    • This will give you an idea about interviewers. Their nature, expectations, duration of interview, process to be followed and everything else you expect to know beforehand.
    • According to their experiences you can add new topics to your list and edit your bio data form.
    • Prepare the newly added topics, same way you prepared General Awareness topics.
    • If time permits, you can read the less important topics or the topics you left before.
    • Converse with the other candidates, topics they are covering and their views about some ongoing issues (current affairs).

Also around 2-3 days before your interview, you can start revising your notes.[/quote]

Stage 4

Now comes the Penultimate day (1 day before your interview) :

  • Read your interview call letter again, completely. Confirm the time and place of interview. Check Google map to know the exact distance and route. Check whether you have taken everything needed.
  • Check your bio data form and Preference form completely . Take a photo of them for your own reference. Keep a blank copy with you of both (just in case if you want to make any last minute changes).
  • Check your attire ready for next day.
  • Read newspaper of that day.
  • Don’t study too much. You can relax.
  • Eat light and sleep early.[/quote]

Stage 5

Interview day

  • Read the newspaper briefly.
  • Reach Venue at least half hour before reporting time.
  • You can listen to music or talk to people to relax yourself.
  • Don’t bother yourself much by asking other candidates what interviewers are asking and how hard the interview is. Obviously they are not going to ask same questions from you.
  • Now the time has come to show everything you have prepared. Calm yourself and Present your best.

Some key points to be followed while giving interview:

  • Always use correct grammar.
  • Don’t punctuate sentences with “you know”, ”you see”, “okay”, etc.
  • Maintain polite Eye contact.
  • Seek clarification or elaboration of the question if you believe that the question is incomplete or you could not understand it clearly.
  • Always be polite when you seek clarification or elaborations.
  • Respond to questions in a positive manner.
  • Watch the tone of your voice. It should be clear and audible.
  • If possible, use examples and include personal experiences to illustrate or support your answers.
  • You should avoid arising controversial topics on your own but handle questions on them, if any, carefully.
  • Do not lie. The interview board collectively will have over 100 years of working experience and is trained to detect lies and inaccuracies. Answer questions truthfully, frankly, and tactfully.

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