Dear Readers,

First of all, we congratulate all the candidates who have successfully cleared the SSC – CGL 2015 Mains exam. The Staff Selection Commission will soon start issuing call letters to the shortlisted candidates for the third and final tier of the exam, which includes a Personal Interview (Personality Test). We are posting a series of articles on ‘Preparation Strategy for SSC – CGL 2015 Interviews’, discussing all the core areas that need to be focussed on while preparation and the actual interview. This is Part 1 of this series.

While the common written examination only tests your aptitude skills, the third phase has different set of questions for every candidate, targeting his/her core personality. It tests your knowledge, conceptual depth, analytical prowess and attitude. Among all the stages of the exam, Tier-3 is the toughest.

Are you worried of not being successful in your interview? Don’t be. Though it seems a tall order, in reality it is quite easy if you are well-prepared. You need to first understand the mindset of interviewers. i.e. What exactly are they looking for? Have a balanced approach on issues while answering questions, communicate coherently and maintain your true persona. So, before formulating an interview strategy, let us thoroughly understand the pattern of Tier-3.

Pattern of Tier-3:

The Personality Test is worth 100 marks. The Commission, at its discretion, may fix different minimum qualifying marks in PI for General and Reserved category candidates.

After clearing the PI with high merit, you will be shortlisted for various posts as prescribed in the notification. Candidates receive the posts based on their post preference & the final score out of total 700 marks. (Tier I + II + III = 200 + 400 + 100 = 700)

Panel of Interviewers:

i) Your interview will be conducted by a panel comprising 3-4 SSC officials.

ii) The panel will consist of a main interviewer seated in the middle, who will ask questions based on your personality and aspirations.

iii) Another member will analyse your profile and ask questions based on facts mentioned in the same.

iv) The board members also judge your general knowledge and the manner in which you respond to questions.

Nature & scope of the PI:

To understand the nature and scope of the interview, we first need to know why an interview is a prerequisite in the selection process for positions in the SSC. The major attributes necessary for candidates competing for various administrative posts are aptitude, management and social skills.

As the written examination tests your core aptitude, the interview is conducted to test your interpersonal skills and attitude.

i) Interviewers test your capability to grasp ideas/thoughts as well as articulately communicate your own viewpoints.

ii) They also assess how you respond to pressure and your ability to tackle challenges.

iii) Interviews also test whether a candidate has an optimistic attitude and a solution-centric approach when confronted with tough situations.

Interview does not have a set model or preparation strategy because its scope changes based on each candidate’s profile. The set of questions may be different for a fresher and an experienced person. Questions can be based on his/her academic background, work experience, recent developments in their professional fields, a candidate’s decision of changing the previous field of job, etc.

Now that we have discussed the nature of interviews, let us sum up the tools we have to build a good preparation strategy.

Interview Tools:

1) Personality: An honest personality and healthy confidence while presenting it in front of the panel is your first weapon. Your manner of presenting your strengths and knowledge will surely pay off.

2) Academic Background: Your academic background gives an insight into your career choice. A graduate usually spends around 3-4 years to study and excel in a particular subject. It is thus natural to expect him/her to know about the field. Therefore, be prepared for questions on current developments in your field. If you have any interesting projects and summer internships in your profile, it will have a healthy impact on the interviewer.

3) Job Experience: A candidate with job experience should be ready to answer questions based on his job profile and work experience. Notable work/assignments that you took up in your previous job will be an added plus.

4) Aptitude: Though you are tested for aptitude in the previous phases of this exam, you can expect more questions based on current affairs. Your knowledge of relevant topics and opinions about current and controversial issues will be also tested.

5) Eloquence : Your ability to use proper language and convey his/her opinions in an articulate manner is very important.

6) Leadership qualities : The posts offered by SSC require administrative skills and leadership qualities to discharge one’s duties efficiently. The panel will look for such qualities in the candidate and judge him/her accordingly.

In this article, we discussed the pattern, nature and scope of an interview and the requisite traits. In our next article in the series, we will discuss possible questions across categories that may be asked and the strategy to tackle such questions.

To get other articles in the series follow :

part 2 :

Part 3 :

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