My Perseverance During The Stressful Interview Carried Me Through

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My Perseverance During The Stressful Interview Carried Me Through—Amit Kataria, IAS

I was not surprised when I received the call for Personality Test as I was expecting it.

I got two weeks time to prepare for the Interview, as it was only on the day after the start of the interviews. I joined a coaching institute mainly to brush up on the current events. I also started making notes on my home State, collected information about my hobbies and started reading the newspapers thoroughly. I did not do any extensive study, but focussed mainly on my background and current events.

On the day of the Interview, I was dressed up in formals and wore a tie as well. In the waiting hall, I talked to other candidates of my Board. My Board’s Chairman was Mr. Nawalwala and I enquired about his background so as to get an idea about what type of questions to expect. I was the fourth to be interviewed in a group of five.

As I entered the Interview room, I asked if I could come in. The Chairman said, “Yes, come in and please sit down”. Then I made a mistake. I forgot to wish the Board Members and just sat down saying thank you.

The first question the Chairman asked was the power situation in India and the problems associated with it. I answered this question, but he was not satisfied and went on insisting that I was wrong. Then the members asked me about India-Pakistan cricket diplomacy, US unilateralism, but most of the Interview focussed on agriculture in India and poverty. It was a very uninteresting and boring talk, as I was not at all comfortable with these issues.

The last question was asked by the Chairman as to which State had the highest agricultural yield per hectare. I said that I did not know, but I could make a guess and he asked me to guess. I said Punjab, but he said it was Kerala. Both my first and last questions went wrong.

Although the interviewers did not put questions to me abruptly, yet it was quite a stressful interview as the Board Members said I was wrong even in opinion-based questions. The Interview was very general and no ticklish questions were asked in which I could get confused.

When I left the room, I knew it was a bad interview and I should not expect much. I got only 162 marks.

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