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Interview The objective of the Interview is to assess one's personality and leadership skills.The knowledge has already been tested in the written phase.Candidates can Post all related queries here

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Old Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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Default CSS Interview: A Comprehensive Introduction



CSS Interview A Comprehensive Introduction

First of all, congratulations to all those who have cleared the written part of CSS exam. Now, the next phase confronting you is the Interview part of this exam which carries 300 marks. It might seem to you a bit less significant as compared to 1200-marks written exam but that is not the case. Interview part is not only a key factor in defining the final merit order but it also determines which group (like DMG, Police etc.) you would be allocated in. You might also have noticed from the marks sheets of those candidates who couldn't clear all the papers that the scores in written exam have generally been low this year. This fact again augments the key part, interview has to play as the interview marks this year would be the defining element in a candidate's standings in the final merit list. It is, therefore, highly advisable that you take this interview seriously and appear in it fully prepared. You may seek guidance from some reliable sources regarding your preparation. There are a couple of institutes in Lahore with some very good faculty members who guide interview candidates in detail. This piece of writing is designed to give you a complete insight of this exam and to answer all the queries that you might have in your mind about its various segments. The candidates would be confronted with three more segments now the Medical Exam, Psychological Assessment and Viva Voce.

Psychological Examination
Psychological test includes multiple tests and activities which expand to two days. The primary objective of psychological assessment is to estimate the abilities and personality traits of the candidates in order to gauge their aptitude for the Civil Services of Pakistan. The first day of the psychological assessment involves written tests covering a wide range of various aspects of the personality of the candidate. The tests conducted during the first day of psychological assessment, primarily aim at collecting information about the interests, opinions, personal preferences, personality moulds and personal information about the family life of the candidates. The second day activities are somewhat different from those of the first day. The second day activities include two group discussions, one in Urdu and one in English, on general topics, command tasks and an interview by a panel of psychologists. The primary focus of the second day is the attitude and response of the candidate while functioning and interacting with the group of people. The group discussions are meant for ascertaining the communication skills of the candidates, their opinions about the society at large and issues relating the domestic and international scenario and their mannerism while behaving in a group and discussing their views and opinions. Apart from the group discussions, the candidate would be supposed to perform command task functioning in a group. During this activity, each candidate would be required to play the leading role when demonstrating his problem, while subordinate/coordinate role while participating in other candidates' demonstrations.

The part played by the candidates, in the command tasks, is aimed at checking whether they possess the potential and qualities that are required in the members of the Civil Services of Pakistan. After completing the group activities, each candidate is supposed to confront a panel of psychologists for a brief interview for providing any additional information that may be required by the panel to form an assessment of the candidate's personality.

DAY 1
The first day is a long and hectic day for the candidates as it is characterised by different psychological, personality and aptitude tests in rapid succession. It is, therefore, advised that the candidates must be mentally prepared for this. A sound sleep on the night before exam is essential in this regard. Moreover, the candidates should have a good breakfast so that they may cope with the stress of the exam. They should bring with them a couple of chocolates and drinks to keep them energised. This day doesn't require a formal suiting but too casual clothing should be avoided. Depending on the season, a candidate may put on formal clothes.

Documents Verification
The day starts early as the candidates are required to be there at 7:45am. The day commences with the candidates submitting their documents to the FPSC officials for verification. Therefore, candidates would bring their original documents along with them. Then they would be called to the examination room.



Pro forma
After getting seated, they would be handed over their pro forma containing information about their educational and vocational records. The candidates would be required to fill in any missing information and correct any wrong entries in that pro forma. Such wrong or missing data may include the dates of their result declaration as well. So, candidates are advised to write on page all such information as their marks in exams, their university registration numbers, dates of joining and leaving any job etc.

Aptitude Test
Then a series of tests will start. These tests may include sequence questions. In such questions, a few numbers or figures are given in a particular sequence and the last one or two slots are blank. The candidates are required to crack that sequence and predict the missing numbers or figures. For instance 1, 3, 6, 10, 15,. The sequence in this question is of addition of numbers in an ascending order. Adding 2 to the first number gives the second number. Similarly adding 3, 4, and 5 to second, third and fourth number give us third, fourth and fifth numbers respectively. So, to predict/know the missing sixth number, we will add 6 to the fifth number and the answer would be 21. The candidates should practise such tests as much as possible so that they may complete the test in time.

Analytical Questions
The next test would comprise reasoning-based analytical questions. In such questions, a complex situation is described followed by one or more questions with multiple answers. For example:

Three persons A, B & C had a meal together. Mr. A ate curry, rice and sweet dish. Mr. B only had curry and sweet dish whereas Mr. C didn't have sweet dish. A day later, Mr. A & Mr. B developed food poisoning.

Q.1 Infectious material was in curry
Certainly Yes
May be Yes/May be No
Certainly No

Q.2 Infectious material was in sweet dish
Certainly Yes
May be Yes/May be No
Certainly No

Q.3 Infectious material was not in rice

Certainly Yes
May be Yes/May be No
Certainly No

Q.4 Neither rice nor sweet dish had poison

Certainly Yes
May be Yes/May be No
Certainly No

Q.5 Infectious material was either in curry or in sweet dish
Certainly Yes
May be Yes/May be No
Certainly No

The candidates have to answer all questions choosing one of the three options. 30 such questions will have to be answered in 8 minutes.

Mathematical Questions
The next type of questions is mathematical. For instance:
The candidates should have a good breakfast so that they may cope with the stress of the exam. They should bring with them a couple of chocolates and drinks to keep them energised.
Q. 6 percent of what number would be 3?

Q. Subtracting 3 from the aggregate of which consecutive numbers would give 22?

Vocabulary Questions
Another type of questions includes vocabulary similar to that asked in précis and composition paper. These words are usually fairly common and everyone, who has qualified CSS written, can answer 70-80% of them.

Personality Assessment Tests
The next test includes personality based questions. There are two types of questions comprising these tests. First one includes sentence completion tests such as:

Sentence Completion
1. A friend in need _________
2. Truth never _________
3. Unlike my brother _________.
4. I failed because _________.

Answers to such questions usually reflect a candidate's past experiences. It is advised for the psychological exam that the candidates should behave as they usually do and just be themselves. But, given the acute crisis state of our country, everyone has developed some aggressive traits in one's personality. Such traits may reflect in their answers. So, candidates are advised to think in a broader way while answering these questions and try writing some positive and healthy things apart from accidents, blasts and murders which we normally listen or read from our sources of information. 30 such questions will have to be answered in 8 minutes.

Personality Trait Questions
Second set of questions is personality trait questions. 180 such questions will be answered in 35 minutes. The candidates would be constantly instructed by the staff to hurry up. However, they would give candidates extra time to make sure that all questions are answered. These questions test various personality traits. For example,

1. Do you like mixing with people?

2. Are you rather lively?

3. Would you call yourself happy-go-lucky?

4. Do you often feel fed-up?

5. Do you find it hard to fall asleep at bed time?

Next would be a half an hour break. Candidates may freshen themselves up in this time.

Personality Questions
After break, the candidates would be handed over a paper containing 25 questions about their personality. They would answer these questions in 20 minutes. A list of these questions is given below.

Q. What do you do in your free time?
Q. Responsibilities that you are sharing at home these days.
Q. Injustices you have suffered in your life.
Q. Unpleasant decision that you took in your life.
Q. Mention any instance when you took a stand over any of your decisions.
Q. Any differences that you currently have or had with your parents.
Q. Any independent decision that you took in your life.
Q. What, in your view, are the satisfactory things of childhood?
Q. Any disadvantages of childhood.
Q. When should parents be strict with their children?
Q. When should parents be liberal with their children?
Q. What are the effects of modern facilities on youth?
Q. Your merits as your friends point out.
Q. Merits of your parents.
Q. Demerits of your parents.
Q. Facilities that you want to avail in next five years.
Q. Suggestions for CSS selection process.
Q. What people do to impress others.
Q. Mention two favourite personalities (living) and reasons for liking them.
Q. Mention two books that you recently read and liked.
Q. Two short-term policies of the present government that you would support.
Q. Two long-term policies of the present government that you would support.

The answers, that candidates give, would be further explored and questioned when candidates appear for interview to psychologists as well as the panel. Therefore, the candidates are advised to prepare well for these questions, especially the favourite books and personalities. A sample of likely questions is given below.

Favourite Personality Questions
Q. Why is he/she your favourite personality?
Q. What lessons you learn from his/her life?
Q. What impacts his/her personality had on your grooming?
Q. What inspirations you get from his personality?
Q. His/her greatest achievements.
Q. His/her flaws.
Q. How do you see his/her life?

Favourite Book Questions
Q. What the book is about?
Q. What are the themes of the novel? (Literature)
Q. What is the relationship between the title & the plot?
Q. Why this book has appealed you?
Q. What lessons you learn from this book?
Q. Tell something about the author of this book.
Q. Mention other books written by the same author.
Q. What impact this book will have on readers?

Story Writing
The next test is story-writing from pictures given in a booklet. These pictures are usually very dark and vague and can be interpreted in multiple ways. The story, that we make, reflects our views and our past experiences of life. Candidates are advised to avoid mentioning violent scenes and arms that might be visible in the picture and instead focusing on positive things in that scene.

Autobiography
The last activity of “Day 1 Psychological Tests” is writing an autobiography in 8 minutes. The candidates should try practising that frequently as both time and space would be limited. Try mentioning your positive aspects. A sample autobiography is given below:

Sample Autobiography
My name is Waheed Asghar and I am from Lahore. I was born on July 15, 1984. My father is a government officer working currently in Agriculture Department, Punjab.
The candidates are supposed to listen carefully the instructions and pay heed to whatever the chairperson is saying. After reading out the instructions, the chairperson announces the topics for the group discussions.
I graduated from Nishtar Medical College, Multan in 2008 and since then, have been working in public sector hospitals in Lahore. I am currently working as a Medical Officer in Anaesthesia Department of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore. This has been a very learning experience for me as I have been appointed in emergency department. It is a critical job which includes Basic Life Support, pain management and managing the ICU. Here, I have learnt how to prioritise our goals, to do maximum in whatever limited time available and how not to panic in emergency situations.
Most of my time is spent in Hospital and later in library. Whatever spare time I get, I like to spend that listening to music, hanging out with friends, surfing internet or occasionally, watching television. I like to play cricket and badminton. During my stay at Nishtar, I participated in tournaments of these sports. I was a member of college's Audio-Visual Society, Blood Donor's Society and Nishtar Dramatics Club. From these platforms, I organised a lot of events.

I am a staunch believer in struggling hard in order to achieve the desired goals. To me, life is another name for continuous struggle. With determined efforts, one can turn one's dreams into reality.

With this, the day1 ends.

DAY 2
Where the first day activities are meant for gathering personal information from the candidates, the second day activities aim at observing the behaviour and response of the candidates in a group. Therefore, the candidates are expected to behave properly in a formal way exhibiting gentlemanly manners. The second day activities commence from waiting to be called in the specific room where the second day activities are to be performed. Before being called in, the candidates are allocated numbers which range from 1 to 8 or 10 as per their roll numbers in the CSS Examination. When the psychological panel asks for the candidates, the candidates are made to queue up number wise by the FPSC staff/peon. The candidate bearing number 1 is required to enter the room first followed by other candidates number wise. The candidates are required to be seated in the same manner on a U-shape arranged chairs and table. At the opening end of the chairs and tables' U-shape arrangement, there is a sitting arrangement for the psychological panel. The panel is sitting in a position that all the psychologists present can observe the movements of the candidates.

After getting seated properly, the chairperson of the panel welcomes all the candidates and reads out to them the instructions and the whole plan governing their activities for the second day of the psychological assessment. The candidates are supposed to listen carefully the instructions and pay heed to whatever the chairperson is saying. After reading out the instructions, the chairperson announces the topics for the group discussions. Firstly, the Chairman of Psychologists Panel (usually a lady) announces the topics for Urdu discussion and after its completion, she announces the topic for English discussion. Each discussion is supposed to be of 15 minutes duration. The chairperson leaves the discussion open and any candidate can start the discussion. One minute before the completion of the given time for discussion, the chairperson rings the first bell alarming the start of the final minute of the given time. The candidates are supposed to start concluding their discussion after the ringing of the first bell. As the chairperson rings the second bell, it means end of the given time and the candidates are supposed to stop the discussion immediately.

A sample of discussion topic is given below

Judicial activism should not be unchecked.
Merit is the best slogan.
Stable stock market means stable economy.
Nurture not nature is a basis of refined personality.
Accountability has just been slogan in Pakistan.

When the two group discussions, one in Urdu and one in English, are over, the chairperson would again address the candidates stating the instructions for the command tasks. After the instructions, she would hand over files carrying problems and a small piece of paper for each candidate to the candidate occupying seat number 1. The candidate No. 1 is supposed to pick one file and hand over the other files to the candidate sitting beside him who would pass it over to other candidates till all the candidates get their files. When all the candidates get their files, the chairperson leaves the field open for any candidate who wants to volunteer in performing his command tasks. Before the commencement of the command task, the candidates are given 15 minutes to solve the problem themselves before actually performing the command task. They are only given a small piece of paper for that purpose. For performing the command task, the candidate is required to leave his seat and go up to the sitting arrangement placed at opening of the U-shaped sitting arrangement in front of the psychologists' panel. The candidate performing the command test would have his back towards the panel and would not be in a position to see the panel. But, the panel would be in a position to see the candidate performing the command task as well as all other candidates who would be supposed to participate actively in the command task by rendering their suggestions. The candidates would be given 8 minutes for performing the each command task. As in the group discussions, the chairperson would intimate the candidate, performing the command task, one minute before the end of the allocated time by ringing the bell. As the allocated time exhausts, the chairperson would again ring the bell requiring the candidate to stop the command task. Proper management of time is the key for performing the command task. The candidate should bifurcate the time in three parts:

1. in 1st part of time, he should make others comprehend the given problem,
2. in 2nd part, he should ask for the suggestions and
3. in 3rd part, he should dictate the actual command.

Some sample command tasks are given below for the candidates
Sectarian violence is on the rise in the city. 40 people have been killed including 11 during last 24 hours. Being DCO of the city, how will you tackle the situation? Prepare a plan.
Textile industry labour union has called for strike in your city as a protest against low wages. Being District Labour Officer, how will you manage the situation?
The government has decided to bring a new policy to control population explosion. Being Secretary of Population Welfare Department, make outlines of the new policy in consultation with various officers of your department.

After the command tasks, the candidates are sent to the retiring room where they are given forms in which they are asked to assess the performance of their colleagues in the two activities excluding themselves

from the ranking. After making assessment, the candidates are given a break of about 30 minutes before the commencement of the interviews by the psychologists panel. The candidates are called for interview one by one according to their numbers in the same room where the earlier activities were performed. In the interview, the candidate is asked various questions relating to the information that he gave during the first day of the psychological assessment. It is noted that the panel asks questions which relate to the previous life, professional career, social orientation, future planning, other available options before the candidate, reasons for joining Civil Services and as diverse fields as economics, politics and other social issues. It is further noted that the tone and duration of the interview varies from individuals to individual. After the interview, the candidate is asked to leave immediately and he is not allowed to communicate with other candidates who are waiting.

Suggestions For Candidates

Come properly dressed up in a formal suiting. Preferably, wear that suit which you have tried a couple of times before so that it doesn't feel uneasy to you.

Behave like a gentleman, avoid aggressive or dominant attitude towards your colleagues.

In Urdu discussions, avoid using English words for which suitable Urdu words can be easily substituted. It shows your attitude towards you national language as well as your command over it.

In discussions, think before you speak. Gather two most striking and valid points in your mind and then say them in an effective manner. After consuming 40-50 seconds, give turn to others voluntarily. Show that you are an interested listener.

Look towards the candidate who is speaking at the moment.

Do not ever look at the panel of psychologists. Ignore them.

Avoid speaking again and again. Don't try to dominate the group. Show some respect to other members.

On your second turn, give opposite view as well.

In command tasks, try to engage all the subordinates when you are performing as a leader.

If proper suggestions are not coming, suggest a few of your suggestions to them.

Do not show dislike to any of suggestions, no matter how absurd they may be.

Do not behave like a 'good officer'. Just be a 'good gentleman'.



The Panel Interview

The candidates, usually after a break of a few days, shall appear before the FPSC panel headed by the Chairman FPSC. Two or three senior members are also a part of the panel. The duration of interview may range from 15-40 minutes. It must be noted here that the duration of interview does not mean good or bad performance of the candidate. It is pure quality of interview time that matters.



The questions asked from the candidates would be broad based and wide ranging. However, the candidates may, purely for the purpose of comprehensive preparation, divide them in following categories:



Profile of the Candidate

Qualification & its scope

Occupational experiences and learning from those

City of origin – a brief introduction



The Group of first preference




DMG

Profile of job

Devolution Plan 2001

Its advantages & laws

Suggestions for DMG



PSP

Police Order 2002

Thana Culture

How to check corruption in Police
Community Policing
How to reform Police

FSP
Foreign Policy & its determinants
Major Trends in Pakistan's FP
Challenges to FP
Suggestions for FP
How to improve image of Pakistan
Pakistan's foreign relations

Optional Subjects Studied by the candidate in CSS

Reason for opting
What did they learn
Main theories & concepts of that Subject
Short term & Long-term policies of the government that the candidate mentioned in day-1 psychological exam.




General Questions

These would relate generally to the Ideology of Pakistan, problems confronting the Muslim World, current national and international issues and events, national policies and geography.

The questions asked would be very searching and thought provoking. The candidates are expected to give very frank, fortnight, original, independent and well-considered answers particularly on controversial issues affecting our national policies. Bold and uninhibited views by the candidates would be appreciated. Any generalised answer, very ordinary and rhetoric in content, without keeping the ground realities in mind, as well as lacking factual data, logic and rationale would obviously be unconvincing and consequently would not accrue any merit.

It is, therefore, highly advised that the candidates do not have any constraint on their minds. The interviewing panel never has any prefixed opinion on question asked and any difference of opinion by the candidates would never be considered adversely. The panel is always impartial and is only interested in the response and views of the candidate.

In the end, I would like to advise the candidates to realise that this is only an interview to seek a job. Every candidate would not get allocated. So, give it your best try and leave the rest to Allah Almighty. Failure to get allocated would not mean an end to your life. The best lesson to be learnt from this exam is that consistent hardwork and well-planned and directed efforts are the only way to succeed in life. Some candidates may fall short here but if they learn this lesson, they would fly high in next endeavours of life. May Allah bless you all.

Suggested Reading
Jahangir's World Times; JBD Quarterly Journal.
Jahangir's; Psychological Tests and Interview Guide (Coming Soon by January)
Dawn; Daily Times
Newsweek; Herald
Economic Survey of Pakistan
State Bank's Quarterly Report
For Stats of Economy
Business Recorder
Dawn Yellow Pages (Monday)
Devolution Plan 2001 (for DMG)
Police Order 2002 (for PSP)
Wapda Vision 2025
Education Policy 2009
Oxford Pakistan Geography

Areas to Focus
Pakistan's Foreign Policy
Economy (Agriculture, Industry, Exports, Challenges, IMF Loan)
Energy Crisis
Terrorism / Extremism
Performance of Present Government
Good Governance
Corruption & Accountability –NRO
18th Amendment
Civil-Military Relations
Balochistan Issue/ Federalism/Provincial. Autonomy
Judicial Activism Vs Parliamentary Supremacy
Role of Media
Future of Democracy in Pakistan
Education; Health; Women; Minorities Issues
International Issues & Organisa


Dr Waheed Asghar (CSP)


I hope it shall help you. I tried to find this thread in tips section but couldn't and thought to post it.
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This is quite a syllabus
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