[Official ] Interview Preparation 2021 - Ask Questions, Debates and Doubts, Hobbies, Home State

And this one

https://forumias.com/portal/ias-interview-preparation/

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From where to read about home state?

Wikipedia is the best place to begin. Check out KBC nano state series. 

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This was my first mains, please enlighten. I am confused as to what to write in hobby in DAF-2, if I get interview call-

1) I watch Movies/Web Series- but someone suggested that it is a passive hobby which is discouraged and that board might ask questions related to older movies while I mostly watch contemporary ones.

2) Should I write a new activity as a hobby- I don't actually do it but have some idea due to some projects and I can further prepare for it- like being from engineering optional, how about writing Electric vehicle enthusiast as the hobby- I can prepare technicalities and policies related to EV, why EVs still not a success in India, etc?! 

3) I like playing badminton but don't regularly watch it. 

Although I do play cricket a lot but I am apprehensive about writing it bcoz first, it is a national hobby :p and second, everyone is a cricket expert in himself/herself so they can ask tough ques there. 

Please enlighten. Thank you.

The Board may have movie enthusiasts who do ask questions on older movies sometimes. Plus I have also met candidates who have spent their whole 4 years of engineering in watching like 2 movies / day and have watched IMDB's Top 100 / 500 list + Korean / what not.


I used to think this is a generational prpblem, until I became aware of some Board members being deep into movies. So yes, that risk stays especially if you are just a casual movie watcher.

As far as electric vehicles are concerned, it is a fairly prep arable topic. You also have the time to do due diligence.

#3 Badminton, people who put that hobby do watch famous moments. I am also aware of an IIT Delhi female candidate who secured a under 40 rank being very well prepared with this topic - including questions like Why is China doing so well in Sports ( and was actually asked this question ) , so make your database well.

Also, do not forget to know the basics - which is what are the dimensions of a badminton court.

For cricket, there is nothing bad about it, do watch top 100 cricket moments videos on Youtube, you anyway are not doing much studies :P

Its better than eating Butterchicken :)

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@ssver2 Bhai same case read some books here and there(Harrari's, Sen's etc.) but not enough to write reading non-fiction as a hobby- probably in the same boat as you of pretending to know stuff :p 

I think @Neyawn sir, @AzadHindFauz and some seniors who already have experience of giving interviews may guide us better. 

That is okay. At least read / revise 3-4 books in the next 1 month so that if you are asked what is the last book you have read / or favourite author, you dont say something awkward. 

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Omen said

Manhunt said

@neyawn sir   Please share some Gyan to answer this famous question “ You were spending long time in upsc journey (4-5 years). Aren’t you wasting productive time of youth?”

I would reply on these line-Yes i have spent good amount of time in the preparation. It is only because of the energy and passion of the youth , that i was able to stand up after every failure and rectify my mistakes. If this doesnt work out, the preparation has made me capable enough to bounce back from another failure. 

Saying this will require tremendous amount of confidence, but more than that conviction.

Another approach can be to not justify the attempts that has taken you to reach there and how you have benefitted from it.

You could say, Yes Sir, it has taken me a few attempts to reach here because I could not understand the demand of the examination in earlier attempts.

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@WittyAayog I think skimming through your state's economic survey is a wise option. Someone also suggested me to buy 'Know Your State' of Arihant publications.


They are good to begin.

At least prepare the basic questions. That what why how and most expected questions.


Also Wikipedia first paragraph is helpful ( and significant )

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@Omen I hope you are not offended. I didn’t mean to. We are just sharing ideas. I didn’t mean to put you off. Apologies if that was felt.

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Omen said

Neyawn said

@Omen I hope you are not offended. I didn’t mean to. We are just sharing ideas. I didn’t mean to put you off. Apologies if that was felt.

No sir. I get it, i think. Answering at that moment would be a totally different ball game than writing here. My answer probably reflected idealism to some extent. I have to be a little more pragmatic i feel. What are your thoughts on this sir ?

One thing i noticed is your use of 'sir'. I have read you mention it quiet a few times for interview prep. This too was a great learning.


Idealism is not bad as long as your body language , age and DAF supports it.  I will quote here that people who are idealist, you can see it in their face. 

There was one old user Mittali here, she was posted sometime in a tribal area and wasn’t complaining . When I meet her or speak to her, she is very enthusiastic about her work among tribals. So you know who is idealist in thoughts  Aldine VS in deeds too.

With experience or age you will come to realise that guys who write - serving the nation, will join IT sector if they don’t get Selected. They won’t usually sacrifice a good IT job for actually working in dusty rural areas with no electricity to serve the nation. There is nothing in their DAF or personality which supports what they say. That is when idealism doesn’t look good.

I recommend using Sir a bit more because some people who have a bit of American English end up nodding their heads, saying “Ya-Ya”or “right-right” even to the board. As if speaking to a colleague.

That is clearly a very bad manner when you have to work in an administrative job with hierarchy  . The habit of saying Sir kinda mellows down such things .

And for example I have quoted : asked the question that why does the hero get posted in that remote district in the movie Article 15?


Anyone knows the answer ?


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ssver2 said

Omen said

Neyawn said

@Omen I hope you are not offended. I didn’t mean to. We are just sharing ideas. I didn’t mean to put you off. Apologies if that was felt.

No sir. I get it, i think. Answering at that moment would be a totally different ball game than writing here. My answer probably reflected idealism to some extent. I have to be a little more pragmatic i feel. What are your thoughts on this sir ?

One thing i noticed is your use of 'sir'. I have read you mention it quiet a few times for interview prep. This too was a great learning.


Ironically, neyawn discourages usage of "sir" for him, here. :p

Haha yes. I miss the anonymity. 

With that tag comes too much responsibility of being right every time.

I may not be right every time, the goal is to be less and less wrong every time.

Or else the learning stops. And we are Sapiens,not Neanderthals.

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By the way today I read Steven Pinker”s Enlightenment now. Mind boggling ideas.

Was recommended by an old community member Kabira here. It took me six months to make time for it, and I am done with 30% of the book in like 2 hours.


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Haha, Yes . So now you know one thing not to say to senior officials. Some people do say it in the interview - Right right right or ya ya ya. 
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Hey @Neyawn is there any repository for e-novels? A google drive Link or something of that nature will be highly appreciated 😊

You could try this, the Z Library project. Has most things you would want.

https://z-lib.org/

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Omen said

Neyawn said

Omen said

Neyawn said

@Omen I hope you are not offended. I didn’t mean to. We are just sharing ideas. I didn’t mean to put you off. Apologies if that was felt.

No sir. I get it, i think. Answering at that moment would be a totally different ball game than writing here. My answer probably reflected idealism to some extent. I have to be a little more pragmatic i feel. What are your thoughts on this sir ?

One thing i noticed is your use of 'sir'. I have read you mention it quiet a few times for interview prep. This too was a great learning.


Idealism is not bad as long as your body language , age and DAF supports it.  I will quote here that people who are idealist, you can see it in their face. 

There was one old user Mittali here, she was posted sometime in a tribal area and wasn’t complaining . When I meet her or speak to her, she is very enthusiastic about her work among tribals. So you know who is idealist in thoughts  Aldine VS in deeds too.

With experience or age you will come to realise that guys who write - serving the nation, will join IT sector if they don’t get Selected. They won’t usually sacrifice a good IT job for actually working in dusty rural areas with no electricity to serve the nation. There is nothing in their DAF or personality which supports what they say. That is when idealism doesn’t look good.

I recommend using Sir a bit more because some people who have a bit of American English end up nodding their heads, saying “Ya-Ya”or “right-right” even to the board. As if speaking to a colleague.

That is clearly a very bad manner when you have to work in an administrative job with hierarchy  . The habit of saying Sir kinda mellows down such things .

And for example I have quoted : asked the question that why does the hero get posted in that remote district in the movie Article 15?


Anyone knows the answer ?


He said “cool” to some Seccy or Jt. Seccy? Lol. I kept saying “right” “right” every time the board was explaining something. Must have looked so bad.

Oh yes, he said cool in the starting of the movie. It was a 'punishment posting'. 

And that was the Home Secy. We will be dealing with bureaucrats who enjoy a Constitutional Post. 

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@Neyawn To “why do you want to join civil services” - is the following an appropriate answer? “After my Univ Education I was looking for a job which gives me status as well as a satisfying work experience. Being a social sciences student civil services appeared to be the most appropriate choice”

Good enough answer. Do fine tune this wherever you take mocks. And then freeze it, write it down. One of the folks who appeared for Interview last year said - Sir, I dont write down because then it comes memorising stuff. It is not natural.

My argument is- dont say what you write. Write what you say.

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ssver2 said

Is cycling a good hobby to mention?

spotted min 2 candidates in forum transcript with that

Fairly good hobby to write. Remember that retired bureaucrats cycle too, so be ready with practical experience.

All I am saying is that when someone does "due diligence" on a hobby or something you have written in your DAF, you should pass that due diligence test.

By which I mean, if you say I love cricket and board asks who is your fav cricketer and you say Kapil Dev, most likley you have read a book on Kapil Dev and decided to put "cricket as a hobby."


 

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ssver2 said

@ssver2 anuvad still counts right. How does language matter? I get it you are using translator but still..

PS - When do we get to hear it?! 


It's already live, Joey. 

Anuvaad | अनुवाद • A podcast on Anchor

Listen, read, follow and share. I hope I'm not banned for this shameless self-promotion :D


See. We have so much talent on the forum. I think we should launch an alternative News Channel.

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ssver2 said

Since everyone here seems to be focusing on non-fiction books, just want to know if reading fiction books as a hobby has some issues? I do read non-fiction but those numbers are really less! 


imho :D it's the opposite, fiction gives you the room to make your own choices from a wide array, but with non-fiction the board would expect us of having read (at least heard) of particular recent works on imp issues. In my case, the focus on non-fiction, among other things, is due to the desperation to sound gyaani. *sighs*  

Lol, for the last part. IMO When people start reading non fiction, they start finding it more useful. They think it adds to their knowledge. This happens until you have read so many books, that you begin to realise that in a way some non-fiction is very fictional and full on unverified theory. Just plain logical writing, that appeals to a logical mind.

However, by that time, you have left fiction so far behind, you do not get back. Also with passage of time, *time* becomes a scarce commodity, which you may want to use for things that either help in your career or for good conversations in a social circle. 

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ssver2 said

ssver2 said

ssver2 said

Since everyone here seems to be focusing on non-fiction books, just want to know if reading fiction books as a hobby has some issues? I do read non-fiction but those numbers are really less! 


imho :D it's the opposite, fiction gives you the room to make your own choices from a wide array, but with non-fiction the board would expect us of having read (at least heard) of particular recent works on imp issues. In my case, the focus on non-fiction, among other things, is due to the desperation to sound gyaani. *sighs*  

Hey. I wrote fiction as a  hobby in my last year's interview, even though I had this apprehension of not being taken seriously by the board. However, fortunately, got an above average  score😁.
Though non-fiction is often seen as more "intellectually inclined", I think fiction will do just fine (and even well) if you actually read and enjoy it. 

As for the interview, if you read good classic fictions, board members do ask questions around its social- economic context. Asked me about Mulk Raj anand's books and female Indian fiction writers I like to read. 

 female Indian fiction writers I like to read.

what was your answer, if I may ask? :p

 I  mentioned Jhumpa lahiri, Divya devkaruni ( the palace of illusions) and then Arundhati Roy (could have avoided the last one:p). The member smiled a bit on hearing the last name and went ahead with a follow-up question on booker prize etc. 😁

good stuff!

also guys, try not to judge, ok? until this moment, I used to think Jhumpa Lahiri was a guy :/

(matlab kabhi specifically socha nahi, gender field mein default male saved tha. sighs)

No one is judging, but that’s blasphemy !

I read Jhumpa Lahiri in school, like tenth or twelfth. I was not that old to fully fathome the nostalgia in the work “The Namesake”


I had been to a school with many Bengali ( and Chinese ) students, and I did miss the Bengali culture to which many allusions were made in the novel.


So much so that for a long time, it was my favourite novel.

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@AureliusM I started playing after 2017 (after college internship). So, No I am not a rated player. I play online on chess.com, lichess.org etc.! I am rated around 1550 in chess.com & around 1900 in lichess.org.


I miss the time of your life when you can actually keep doing that. Like nearly two decades ago, I was a topcoder with a under 100 and at one time under 10 rank.

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The thing with my hobbies is that they are mostly things that I do on and off. A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

For example, I've been playing the ukulele the past 8 months now and got reasonably good at it. (Guess who learned the Godfather theme music and Bella Ciao in fingerstyle this past week) Yet, my theoretical knowledge of music is  nil. It's an instrument I learned using the internet entirely. Also, I genuinely love a certain genre of music and I take my Spotify very seriously. However, my interest and knowledge is limited to that alone. If they ask me about Kishore Kumar songs or famous musicians from my State from eons ago, I would know only to the extent I've prepared. 

Similarly, I've honestly been cycling in recent times. My heart and my brain knows it to be true, but my waistline does not. AND I know nothing about cycling in general. I can only balance a cycle.

Coming to reading books, it's a habit I picked up in the past three years. I wouldn't say I'm a voracious reader, but I read books which pique my interest. A lot of books do, and they're generally non fiction books. So, my knowledge is limited to a casual reading of the same. 

I write both prose and poetry, but I mostly dont publish them because I feel it's art and art is always personal. It's weird, I know, but it is what it is.

I also binge watch movies and TV series.

Basically, I'm like Dee Dee from Dexter who goes " Ooo, what does this button do?" when I see something that captures my interest. I don't lose that interest ever, but since there is only so much time every day, I cant give each interest the time it deserves. 

If that is the case, would they be hobbies or just interests?

I think my best bet would be to try and learn the basics the best I can, and just be honest and authentic about the fact that my knowledge is rather shallow about each of these interests of mine, if I dont know the answer? I wouldn't look like a blithering idiot, would I?

Thoughts?

Aaaaaaaaaaarrghhhhh. Overthinking would be my primary hobby if it were enjoyable. I definitely do it regularly.



“Define Google”  defines hobby as “ an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.”

You can put upto two of them and prepare them well.

The problem is really of generation gap you see. If you were born in the 60s, you had less things to do, and very little information on pursuing a hobby. So you had less hobbies and pursued them over a relatively long period of time.

In “our” generation, thanks to Internet you can nearly pursue any hobby including earth watching from space without a long term commitment to it or being tied to the same hobby. So that creates some discrepancy in how we timing vs how the hoard things.


Last to last year, I met a candidate who had put reading Ramayan and Mahabharata in hobby section. When I asked him why he had put it, he said you ask any question in this.

He was fairly good, but the board may not be so kind, as these are strong areas of several people in the board.

besides among the youth the MAhabharat and Ramayan thing has picked up thanks to reading Devdutta Patnaik. Some people have quoted this in hobby by just reading Jaya.

The candidate managed to get IRS that year ( as far as I remember )

This year when I saw him, I asked him, you have not filled the same things again no?

He laughed and said No sir.

He also managed a fairly good 26 rank this year.So sometimes it is a good idea to play safe.


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IAS>IPS>IRS>IFS

Optional: PSIR

What could be the best way to defend this preference?



There is nothing wrong that choice. No one asks questions on that these days.

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Sadhika said

The one with the hobbies: 

I generally enjoy cooking and have been trying new recipes lately those which I like to eat. But I am not well versed with various cuisines. What range of knowledge (practical) one should possess in cooking?

I also like to watch movies and web series. Have watched hundreds of movies and good 20-25 tv series* (full runtime). But here it is purely for entertainment basis and any relation to productivity is fictional. So, what one is expected to know in this field to not look like a serial time killer? 

Lastly, I think I like to read. But then it is scattered read just few hindi and english novels here and there. Some non fiction books also. I also read lot of trash on internet, doesn't count though. I would have read some 30-40 books. However, I am not a sucker for 'classics' (western literature). This might not be a good situation infront of well read people. 

All in all I am totally clueless about the whole hobby thing. Any suggestions would be helpful. 

*Edit 1: counting number of tv series in my head and then making a correction.

Prepare the most basic questions that you someone may ask you on your hobby with a smile. For example, if I were to mock Interview you, I would ask So what does heeng do to food, with a smile.

Trust me depending on where you stand, there will be people who will think what a simple question - "who cooks and not knows that. Thats a bogus cook." And an equal number of people who will say - "I have been cooking all my life but never used heeng." So you see why some preparation is helpful. In fact needed.

There is no problem being a serial time killer, just that if someone asks you few basic questions, it is better to have deliberated them here than to do impromptu in the Interview.

There are very few people who are extremely good at giving an objective, balanced answer Impromptu . This year, among all the candidates I found one candidate who was brilliant with impromptu answers, he was from NLS, and he has secured Rank 5. Not sure about his final marks though.

I will try to locate and post the video. Its a little informal one, not fancy youtube stuff. Ping me sometime, and I will share it here in this little community :)

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Omen said

And what do you think about mentioning reading philosophy ?

Stoic philosophy, tao, vivekanad etc i have read and enjoyed. Ryan Holiday, Allan Watts etc 

Philosophy meets self help is what interests me. 

I like reading nihilism and existentialism literature too. Mostly as an escape from the grind of life. Not sure whether to mention it or not. @Neyawn your thoughts on this ?

You may, but remember that from what I have seen that setting expectations very high before the board is not a good idea. The simpler you keep the better it is.

Thats also because what you feel like the grind of life is nowhere close to how life grinds you as time passes by.

So a 65 year old is less likley to believe that you are facing some grind ( and hence turned philosophical ) , because somewhere he knows whats in store for you as years ( and decades ) pass by.

But more than that, the person going to interview you was someone like you, plus thirty more years where he has explored the topics in much more depth. ( Secreatry level officers in State govt do not have as much work. Its even more free in IPS ) 

Look, knowledge/ wisdom  per-se is gained in stages. And when you get new knowledge, it will unfold itself like the peels of an onion. If you have ever peeled an onion, you will find the "perfect-ultimate-final" piece of onion. 

But then when you peel off that layer too, you will find a completely fresh onion, which is even more perfect than the previous one.

So when we know something, we always feel that this is the ultimate truth of life/ syllabus. Until we dig a layer deeper. But while we are at a certain layer, we do feel 100% that this is "the" fact/ "the truth" and final.

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ssver2 said

Omen said

And what do you think about mentioning reading philosophy ?

Stoic philosophy, tao, vivekanad etc i have read and enjoyed. Ryan Holiday, Allan Watts etc 

Philosophy meets self help is what interests me. 

I like reading nihilism and existentialism literature too. Mostly as an escape from the grind of life. Not sure whether to mention it or not. @Neyawn your thoughts on this ?


Thank you. You validate my point. This is what happens. And you can't say Sir, this was not part of Philosophy Optional syllabus!

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Omen said

@Neyawn and yes thank you for all these insights.

Jeezus, can’t you thank forum guys without using words like vision or insights :P

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mehuifs said

@Neyawn but it is forum who gave us the insights to achieve our vision! 


Thank you. Made my day.

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@Neyawn How does  “ watching contemporary movies” as a hobby look in your opinion? 

Fairly good. As long as you have watched at least a dozen movies.

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@Neyawn it would be of great help if you could tell how much specific one should get while writing hobbies.. for instance, writing ' 'cooking' vis a vis 'cooking different types of rice/snacks' or 'Cooking Chinese cuisine'. 


Cooking is fine. Cooking Chinese cuisine is good too. Do watch videos on Chinese food. Also prepare a bit on the food culture. For instance, if someone has visited China for like a week and had meals there, what would be the first things he would ask. Guess them and prepare your answers.

If you can’t, prepare questions asked in mocks that you take.

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@Neyawn thank you. Will definitely research a little. 
However, is it that mentioning a cuisine is fine but one shouldn't mention any specific type of dish that they keep experimenting with (in my case rice/snacks)? 


Keep it simple, stupid. 

Follow the principle when in doubt.

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Thankyou! I must have watched more than a dozen movies, was only thinking what if the members would start asking about movies of their era and stuff. How to prepare in  that case?

Look, you can’t prepare everything. Interview preparation is an incremental , best effort basis thing. Do not be over ambitious and try to do everything.

So be incremental. Prepare things as they come.

We always overestimate what we can achieve in a day and under estimate what we can achieve in a Week or month.

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@Neyawn Its a long query, but i have been following your advice on mains, prelims and studies though have commented only thrice on forum, Please give your guidance as its needed, would be immensely grateful :) 

1. In the column for prizes/ scholarships, will it make sense to write about school level district competitions in GK / GATE rank/ giving interview for BARC scientific officer position?

2. I have done two research internships in abroad during my IIT years. It will be considered under employment right.

3. Under extra-curricular activities along with hobbies. Would it be okay to fill in extra-curricular activities like volunteering in NGOs.

4. In college, i mentored a junior who had failed classical mechanics course to pass course. I happened to join a fellowship called "India fellowship" just after passing oand have worked and lived in a community school in a village near Sitapur district at Hardoi Border for an NGO as part of fellowship.

Now thing is during my stay in village, i had mentored 4 girls from community (two from school and two from community) out of my pocket and as personal project along with work. It so happened that one of girls got job in police constabulary, two in govt colleges for engineering and fourth has now done diploma in software.

After completing fellowship, i kept in touch with students and children from nearby villages and infact have guided another girl clearing polytechnic (but this time no physical presence)...

Whenever i find time during preps, i do check with those children to check mental well being, guide, persuade parents and help find books.

I also had mentored a child of really poor farmer (less than 150 rupees a day earning) pass class 10th exam during my stay at village

Work was about implementing process in community school and even work also involved taking life skill sessions during which i used to mentor couple of students. 

*I feel like i have decent track record of mentoring, can i write "mentoring" as hobby of mine? as some friends have said it cant be written as hobby, problem is i don't seem to have any other genuine hobby it seems*


About second hobby, i used to write blog on social issues for fellowship but have stopped completely since december 2018, similarly i have watched many infotainment documentaries (500 GB HDD has 190 GB documentaries) but again i have missed out on them for last 3 years although i have started rewatching post this mains. what to do?


I am bit talkative, lack clarity of expression sometimes i feel which may be offputting to examiner i think... Please suggest your solutions to them...


Answering your query inline

@Neyawn Its a long query, but i have been following your advice on mains, prelims and studies though have commented only thrice on forum, Please give your guidance as its needed, would be immensely grateful :) 

Thanks for the accolades , I hope you make the most of it. The dream is to have a community meet soon. Ever since the quality of discussions collapsed, we couldnt get anyone from the community for a community meet. It became a Toppers meet from the academy, which we stopped doing. I am hopeful folks from this thread, this participation make it with flying colors :)

1. In the column for prizes/ scholarships, will it make sense to write about school level district competitions in GK / GATE rank/ giving interview for BARC scientific officer position?

People have done that. There is no negative things about them. The BARC interview can be skipped.


2. I have done two research internships in abroad during my IIT years. It will be considered under employment right.

Again, Internships have been kept out of employment, but you can still put that. Last year also people have done that. Prepare well on those topics.


3. Under extra-curricular activities along with hobbies. Would it be okay to fill in extra-curricular activities like volunteering in NGOs.

Thats okay. I personally do not think highly of NGOs thing as something that attracts a bureaucrats towards your profile. Also the questions get messy sometimes.


4. In college, i mentored a junior who had failed classical mechanics course to pass course. I happened to join a fellowship called "India fellowship" just after passing oand have worked and lived in a community school in a village near Sitapur district at Hardoi Border for an NGO as part of fellowship.

The fellowship is fine to mention.


Now thing is during my stay in village, i had mentored 4 girls from community (two from school and two from community) out of my pocket and as personal project along with work. It so happened that one of girls got job in police constabulary, two in govt colleges for engineering and fourth has now done diploma in software.

After completing fellowship, i kept in touch with students and children from nearby villages and infact have guided another girl clearing polytechnic (but this time no physical presence)...

Whenever i find time during preps, i do check with those children to check mental well being, guide, persuade parents and help find books.

I also had mentored a child of really poor farmer (less than 150 rupees a day earning) pass class 10th exam during my stay at village

Work was about implementing process in community school and even work also involved taking life skill sessions during which i used to mentor couple of students. 

*I feel like i have decent track record of mentoring, can i write "mentoring" as hobby of mine? as some friends have said it cant be written as hobby, problem is i don't seem to have any other genuine hobby it seems*


Look, you set the bars very high when you say work with NGO. There is a famous guy from forum, whose book on Socio is a bit famous. He was in Bihar when I spoke to him last. He had NGO / Mentoring and all that in his DAF. But he was actually socially committed. It was completely different talking to him. He had worked only for non profits in Africa, India.

The guys who really like to work for NGOs serve in hinterlands of Bihar and UP and poorer states. Not in posh urban areas and claiming to  serve the urban poor in their locality. Worse, they run away when there is actually serving the poor without AC in rural areas and there is no car, but kharata bus and overloaded bolero travel.


About second hobby, i used to write blog on social issues for fellowship but have stopped completely since december 2018, similarly i have watched many infotainment documentaries (500 GB HDD has 190 GB documentaries) but again i have missed out on them for last 3 years although i have started rewatching post this mains. what to do?

You could watch them like 5 -10 of them and put that. 


I am bit talkative, lack clarity of expression sometimes i feel which may be offputting to examiner i think... Please suggest your solutions to them...


This girl was talkative. The first time, it was a mess, I hated to say it, but she sat hours just to correct that behaviour. She worked very hard.

Made a 180 degree turn in how she said things and what she said.

Got a 201. Sent a thank you note. Also her mantra.

Here is a screenshot.




The solution is in written answers and not blabbering first thing that comes to your mind.

Matlab Man ki baat nahi karni hai. We already have a PM do that. 

Hope I address your query to some extent. 

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@Neyawn  Sir, I would be grateful if you will share your views on the following points:

1. In the column for prizes/ scholarships, does it make sense to write about intra-university level prizes in debates, quizzes, etc or even school level prizes?

2. I have done two foreign internships during my engineering. But that was almost 4-5 years ago. Would it make sense to fill it in the scholarship column or would it sound out of place?

3. In the sports column, should I just mention the name of the sport or also the level at which I have participated? Say, zonal level swimming or just swimming?

4. The 4th column mentions extra-curricular activities along with hobbies. Would it be okay to fill in extra-curricular activities in which I participated during college (but not after) like debating or quizzing here?

5. I write short poems and prose in English and Hindi that I publish on a social media handle. It’s nothing major but I have been doing it for the last 4 years. Do you think I can write it under the hobbies column as “writing poems”? 

#1 People have done that. even school level prizes.

#2 You can put that. Prepare those countries and internships well. Be thorough with that. If you cant be thorough, leave it.

#3 Zonal Level swimming seems fine.

#4 Yes. people have done that. The ones who have cleared have also left debating after college. Those who continue, don't quite reach the interview stage.

#5 You may, and prepare famous poets as well very well.

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Omen said

I read the prelims thread and comments by @Neyawn and others. I am afraid and almost want to start preparing for the next prelims already. :/

But Prelims *is* tricky. There are so many people every year where they have gotten a rank and flunked prelims next year! You need 4 months or solid prep before you know how to crack it. Once you develop the knack , you can do so in 2 months. Even 15 days. Then you can give a topper interview and say i cracked IAS in 15 days! That works!

But when you prepare, be cautious, give the exam the time and respect it deserves.

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@Neyawn last year after working alot with inputs from you, I expected such a 180 degree turn around (as you described above in case of that girl) in my case too. Same Bhonsle sir board. But , what that girl was feared about, happened to me. 154 again in my second interview too. I need a 'surgical strike' to turn around things this time. I hope you help me again , with more intensity. 

I completely understand how devastating it can be. She had the benefit of it being her first interview, so didn’t have a baggage problem.


However, there is one thing I would like to know. Have you written down your transcript after the interview. I have often seen that 6 out of 10 times candidates who don’t write their post interview transcript do end up with 160 minus type score.


I am not pointing to causation. I am pointing to coexistence, and if you think hard enough, you will see it.

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@Neyawn Yes. I did. And I shared it with you during lock down. You know me personally 😄. 


That’s good then. Lose the baggage, start afresh. Work on objectivity of answers. We will do some group mocks this year too.

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Neyawn said

@Neyawn Yes. I did. And I shared it with you during lock down. You know me personally 😄. 


That’s good then. Lose the baggage, start afresh. Work on objectivity of answers. We will do some group mocks this year too.

Oh the perils of you know who I am but I don’t :(

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What are consistent qualities of people who score high marks in PT year after year? Is there a common thread that ties them, or is it too flimsy to merit much thought?

From what I have observed, they are the quieter ones,often lack content to be an alpha male in the group, objective, balanced and don’t give opinions in matters that are factual.

Also they always have few I don’t knows. That sometimes becomes most important.

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Neyawn said

What are consistent qualities of people who score high marks in PT year after year? Is there a common thread that ties them, or is it too flimsy to merit much thought?

From what I have observed, they are the quieter ones,often lack content to be an alpha male in the group, objective, balanced and don’t give opinions in matters that are factual.

Also they always have few I don’t knows. That sometimes becomes most important.

On second thoughts, I would say that we do have a negative list, but coming up with a positive list is going to be difficult.

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This is one video I would like you to watch. Not fancy Youtube stuff. Regular mock. What are your observations about the candidate?


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Neyawn said

This is one video I would like you to watch. What are your observations about the candidate?


I checked the candidate has 200+ score, so you can take a cue.

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Neyawn said

@Neyawn Its a long query, but i have been following your advice on mains, prelims and studies though have commented only thrice on forum, Please give your guidance as its needed, would be immensely grateful :) 

1. In the column for prizes/ scholarships, will it make sense to write about school level district competitions in GK / GATE rank/ giving interview for BARC scientific officer position?

2. I have done two research internships in abroad during my IIT years. It will be considered under employment right.

3. Under extra-curricular activities along with hobbies. Would it be okay to fill in extra-curricular activities like volunteering in NGOs.

4. In college, i mentored a junior who had failed classical mechanics course to pass course. I happened to join a fellowship called "India fellowship" just after passing oand have worked and lived in a community school in a village near Sitapur district at Hardoi Border for an NGO as part of fellowship.

Now thing is during my stay in village, i had mentored 4 girls from community (two from school and two from community) out of my pocket and as personal project along with work. It so happened that one of girls got job in police constabulary, two in govt colleges for engineering and fourth has now done diploma in software.

After completing fellowship, i kept in touch with students and children from nearby villages and infact have guided another girl clearing polytechnic (but this time no physical presence)...

Whenever i find time during preps, i do check with those children to check mental well being, guide, persuade parents and help find books.

I also had mentored a child of really poor farmer (less than 150 rupees a day earning) pass class 10th exam during my stay at village

Work was about implementing process in community school and even work also involved taking life skill sessions during which i used to mentor couple of students. 

*I feel like i have decent track record of mentoring, can i write "mentoring" as hobby of mine? as some friends have said it cant be written as hobby, problem is i don't seem to have any other genuine hobby it seems*


About second hobby, i used to write blog on social issues for fellowship but have stopped completely since december 2018, similarly i have watched many infotainment documentaries (500 GB HDD has 190 GB documentaries) but again i have missed out on them for last 3 years although i have started rewatching post this mains. what to do?


I am bit talkative, lack clarity of expression sometimes i feel which may be offputting to examiner i think... Please suggest your solutions to them...


Answering your query inline

@Neyawn Its a long query, but i have been following your advice on mains, prelims and studies though have commented only thrice on forum, Please give your guidance as its needed, would be immensely grateful :) 

Thanks for the accolades , I hope you make the most of it. The dream is to have a community meet soon. Ever since the quality of discussions collapsed, we couldnt get anyone from the community for a community meet. It became a Toppers meet from the academy, which we stopped doing. I am hopeful folks from this thread, this participation make it with flying colors :)

1. In the column for prizes/ scholarships, will it make sense to write about school level district competitions in GK / GATE rank/ giving interview for BARC scientific officer position?

People have done that. There is no negative things about them. The BARC interview can be skipped.


2. I have done two research internships in abroad during my IIT years. It will be considered under employment right.

Again, Internships have been kept out of employment, but you can still put that. Last year also people have done that. Prepare well on those topics.


3. Under extra-curricular activities along with hobbies. Would it be okay to fill in extra-curricular activities like volunteering in NGOs.

Thats okay. I personally do not think highly of NGOs thing as something that attracts a bureaucrats towards your profile. Also the questions get messy sometimes.


4. In college, i mentored a junior who had failed classical mechanics course to pass course. I happened to join a fellowship called "India fellowship" just after passing oand have worked and lived in a community school in a village near Sitapur district at Hardoi Border for an NGO as part of fellowship.

The fellowship is fine to mention.


Now thing is during my stay in village, i had mentored 4 girls from community (two from school and two from community) out of my pocket and as personal project along with work. It so happened that one of girls got job in police constabulary, two in govt colleges for engineering and fourth has now done diploma in software.

After completing fellowship, i kept in touch with students and children from nearby villages and infact have guided another girl clearing polytechnic (but this time no physical presence)...

Whenever i find time during preps, i do check with those children to check mental well being, guide, persuade parents and help find books.

I also had mentored a child of really poor farmer (less than 150 rupees a day earning) pass class 10th exam during my stay at village

Work was about implementing process in community school and even work also involved taking life skill sessions during which i used to mentor couple of students. 

*I feel like i have decent track record of mentoring, can i write "mentoring" as hobby of mine? as some friends have said it cant be written as hobby, problem is i don't seem to have any other genuine hobby it seems*


Look, you set the bars very high when you say work with NGO. There is a famous guy from forum, whose book on Socio is a bit famous. He was in Bihar when I spoke to him last. He had NGO / Mentoring and all that in his DAF. But he was actually socially committed. It was completely different talking to him. He had worked only for non profits in Africa, India.

The guys who really like to work for NGOs serve in hinterlands of Bihar and UP and poorer states. Not in posh urban areas and claiming to  serve the urban poor in their locality. Worse, they run away when there is actually serving the poor without AC in rural areas and there is no car, but kharata bus and overloaded bolero travel.


About second hobby, i used to write blog on social issues for fellowship but have stopped completely since december 2018, similarly i have watched many infotainment documentaries (500 GB HDD has 190 GB documentaries) but again i have missed out on them for last 3 years although i have started rewatching post this mains. what to do?

You could watch them like 5 -10 of them and put that. 


I am bit talkative, lack clarity of expression sometimes i feel which may be offputting to examiner i think... Please suggest your solutions to them...


This girl was talkative. The first time, it was a mess, I hated to say it, but she sat hours just to correct that behaviour. She worked very hard.

Made a 180 degree turn in how she said things and what she said.

Got a 201. Sent a thank you note. Also her mantra.

Here is a screenshot.




The solution is in written answers and not blabbering first thing that comes to your mind.

Matlab Man ki baat nahi karni hai. We already have a PM do that. 

Hope I address your query to some extent. 

@Neyawn Ton of thanks for your frank suggestions and wishes. I will not disturb you again with more long questions as i am new and quite confused. Especially on talkative thing, Ma'm scores are some hope for talkative person like me. Just need to clarify things,
1. How does one sit and correct such behavior of one's Man ki Baat like she did? Is there something on that I should do before mains results? Writing what i say is really good advice, where do i start? Should i open some
2. I agree i should not write volunteering with NGOs as part of extra-currics as all of them during college were superficial and in slums area.  This is indeed correct (thanks!)
3. I will write Documentary watching as hobby (i was just watching one in morning) then.
4. Makes sense to remove BARC interview from achievements.
5. On social commitment thing,
However, this fellowship (was 13 months long) which i did was in proper hinterland of uttar pradesh, i actually lived in a classroom of community school amidst the village. Yes, it is accessible by "local thheliya" which was probably reason why NGO founder told me saying he has high hopes from me and i was first one to choose to work there as most of young people chose to live in city and volunteers for school used car from lucknow to have travel of two hours instead of staying in community.

Indeed, many left fellowship (fellows were placed across country, many in tribal belts like kala handi, bastar left fellowship) because of reasons of comfort even i became afraid when i came to know many deaths due to snake bite. Indeed if i had been bitten by a snake, i would have probably died as nearest tahseel (Sidhauli block) is 40 minutes away from village and good hospital was two hour away. Since i was living in school, mobile network was hard to have, so me being able to ask for help was difficult given i was new and lived in isolation so i had to walk alone to seek help which seemed difficult.  

Somehow pep talks by my mentor and realisation that i had commitment to community made me stay back and indeed it was most learning experience. Infact my mentor gave me option to stay at guest house in tahseel and use transport but i also was sure if i want to guide some community girls, it will require a place which is not my private place (parents are reluctant to send adolescent daughter to home of a 21 year old young bachelor). 

So i agree with your statement. Many people do leave due to challenges of work (like community ignoring your efforts, it took me more than 6 months to convince parents of girls to send their child to school to me for tutoring) and comforts. Those NSS hours at colleges at IIT are sham, so i will not write them ( i was unsure because of this, thats why asked). But fellowship, i think, is fine to mention.

Even during lockdown, i was supporting school teachers of village for online classes. I even fundraised significant money for Covid Cash relief (https://www.indiafellow.org/covid-relief/) which involved giving direct cash to migrants in distress using network of development sector, I think quality of social commitment was decent during that year. 

I think mentoring is only hobby i can say with conviction because despite many odds, i worked with social commitment and i do use my leisure time to mentor children even after my job as fellow. Also mentoring which i did had some results which i could show them as matter of actual track record i think. During fellowship, i used rest of my time after work on a day in engaging with community people and asking children come to school (which was my home for a year)

Besides just so you know, i have worked with PAGIR NGO of LEH (10 day workshop component of fellowship using self fundraiser) for a design thinking project there for them. 

My fear is although i have social commitment, my poor quality of expression and inability to summarize things may make my day worse if i do get that golden chance of interview this year. Now do you suggest should i write mentoring as hobby, or i am diverting??? Please know i am not indulging in self appreciation, its just that i am confused and want to eliminate clutter which i present. Does mentoring make sense then or i should write something to showcase this.

A relevant blog i wrote and a relevant news clipping of a newspaper,  documenting my stay at school:  https://www.indiafellow.org/blog/2017/12/my-first-3-months-at-swarachna-school/




Haha, Thanks for pouring out your heart. 

Keep it simple!

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@Prafull401526 Please see the video at 24:00. You can see that how candidates work on improving . Progress from Feb to now.

Also all those following this thread, can note that the recommendations for candidates vary from candidate to candidate. That because not everyone has the same set of problems. But if we figure out, it helps score better.

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Jammu said

@Neyawn  Sir, I have been tracking stock market for past 15 years, acting as helping aid to my father who invests. I have its complete working knowledge . I only need to read some technical terms plus little bit of foreign markets.

I genuinely believe India needs lot many stock investments as debt based lending is not viable beyond a point for many corporates. There has to be mix of equity and debt.

My concern is should I mention about working as retail stock broker in my DAF II. I feel if I write about it, lot of discussion in Interview can revolve around it. 

I am ready for many questions including Harshad Mehta Scam, Insider Trading, etc

If you feel about it, do write it. Prepare incrementally.

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Neyawn said

» show previous quotes

And that was the Home Secy. We will be dealing with bureaucrats who enjoy a Constitutional Post. 

@Neyawn Whether Addressing woman chairperson/member with "madam sir" could be penalized?( ye ORN ki kissa mey bhag tha)

Ps:Lately rewatched Delhi crime series.


Haha nope.

but just say Ma’am. You could wish her the first . 

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@Neyawn Sir, I plan to give IFS as first preference and chose economics optional(its possible they could ask on international trade). Otherwise, I absolutely have no background in IR except while preparing for GS2. All I have is interest and curiosity. So do you suggest me to read books on theoretical IR part (usually what PSIR does) And also could you suggest what specifically I should prepare for IFS. Thank you in advance


Do read at least one IR book. Rajiv Sikri is good enough. Read it like a story. A lot of things will make sense to you. When you say following IR is a hobby, I would expect candidate to have the popular books like does the elephant dance and spent at least half hour a day on IR.

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Is it necessary to follow 2-3 newspapers these days for interview? I’m finding it difficult to manage with insights current affairs and also next pre preparation. Any one else also feeling the same?

Please help!!

Read the front page news. Follow the one one you are following plus maybe one regular newspaper like express / HT / Times

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@Neyawn Sir will there be any discussion group for interview based on say optional, graduation subject, current affairs. If it happens, then it would be helpful for 

A warm up group mock session is in place. Reach out to someone at forum. 

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My parents belongs to Uttar Pradesh but since I was born nd education done in Maharashtra nd still in Mumbai.what should I consider my homestate for Interview preparation ???


Your home state will be Maharastra. Give it the most importance. Where do you have a permanent home?

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@Matrigupta Totally agree. 

In my previous interview, board member asked about shrimp cultivation in my city (Visakhapatnam). 

There is not much shrimp hatcheries in my district, but plenty are present in my neighbouring districts. I told her the same .She replied that Visakhapatnam is shrimp capital of India and I am expected to know that fact. 

I just said okay and kept quiet , resisting that urge to correct her again (Nellore, some 600kms down South is the shrimp capital.. BTW). 

Same happened in another question when she asked for famous handicrafts sarees in my district. I couldn't recollect any. Then she mentioned a place which is in adjacent district.  I just kept quiet. 

Some old board member was mentioning about naxalism in a certain area in my state, while naxalism was wiped out from that area some 3 decades back and I got to know from him that naxalism actually existed there. 

Point is board members might not be so factually correct and updated about the questions they ask

Oh that’s bad. It’s sheer bad luck. You won’t get anything out of correcting them. However , if you expect to face this again, let’s have a chat. We can handle it better.

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Today I saw that my phone number printed on DAF is wrong at two places while correct at one .

How to resolve this

@Neyawn 

Write a letter and send it to UOSC by speedpost. Keep a copy of your letter and a slip of the speed post.

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Hi everyone..I am quite unsure about the hobby thing... I like watching documentaries on wildlife and reading about wildlife in general...Also have visited fair share of national parks of and around my state.. Can this be written in the hobby section?..

Fairly good to write!

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Axel123 said

@Valar_morghulis I thought it's a test of personality not knowledge. Hahahaha.
Aapke sath bohot bura hua


It is as much a test of personality as Prelims  current affairs questions are of a level such that a candidate who is generally aware of current events should be able to answer it. This is as per the Notification :P

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@Neyawn How is "watching TV series" as a hobby? It's a genuine hobby but how good does that look on DAF?

People have put that. It’s okay to write it. Prepare OTT players and associated debates well.

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@Neyawn I have been running telegram and youtube channel and putting some relevant article on social issues on these channel as a part of my hobby

How should I frame my hobby ? I was thinking of writing "generating awareness through social media" should I write any other word?

You may put it if you are comfortable. One moderator here ( a very popular one, in fact the most popular one ) had put his hobby as “motivating people , making them aware” etc. that was 2018. He was asked even by Ravindran Sir or Vajiram ( vaji fan boy ) to not have something like this. He had a TG too. I don’t think he scored very well that year. In 2019 attempt he didn’t have these things as far as I can recall. Got a rank of under 110.


no correlation. Just sharing how people refine hobbies in DAF.

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Agog said

Has ny kind soul NEXT IAS Computer Science or NCC interview pdf fodder?plz do provide in return Allahtallah wud provide "zannat" 2 the noble soul.Thnx in advance😀

Computer Science , don’t bother. You may get questions from elon musk to social media. From one CompSci to another

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@Neyawn rank is the combination of mains marks as well. Without knowing the mains marks we can not say that his interview might have gone wrong or something plus what was the contribution of that particular hobby on his interview score we also do not know. The possibility can be that he was not able to justify something or any other area can also be the reason like a branch, optional, home state


Agreed.

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Agog said

@Neyawn can "interacting with people" b an hobby?how to streamline the wrds further?Ny counter ques?wht abt ques frm village cleanliness camps,cllg fest coordinator and elocution?


A good way to find out would be to consult parents. Since they are usually of the same age , the views are likely to resonate to some extent . 

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@Neyawn I dont have any special hobbies as such.

I like watching and playing cricket and watching tennis(can tell about them.Will prepare court dimensions,indian players etc.)So what do I do here?

My 2nd doubt is I m from decent ug college,had highest marks there.immediately Post that I did mba from 1 of the old iim.Then jumped in upsc prep since may 2018.

Did badly in 2019 attempt.

How do I justify my gap of 2.5 years despite passing from good ug and pg college.

Wouldnt they tell u r wasting national talent by preparing without job,wasted someones seat etc.Gap could have been justified if I cleared in 2019 as 1 year prep would have looked decent.How do I justify this?I can get a fake work ex certificate(I have knowledge about it for the period from feb 2020 till now).But is it advisable?If not how to justify this gap?

If u have some example of people ffom good colleges taking more than 1 full fledged attempt to clear upsc ,please share.

I feel like a burden on myself having rejected a 6 figure salary post mba,lurking in darkness since 2.5 years plus the lack of confidence after failing failed to clear in 2019 in killing me as I have never failed in an exam before

These days I cry my eyes out and tears dry whenever i think pf my current situation)

Please shed some light...

Please a humble request.I feel lost out how to go about in this period.Should i prepare for interview,practise ans writing,look for job or give other exams like bank po(whenever i think of filling such exams i fall further in my eyes as I have always been a brilliant student and going in a bank job after iim is further killing me)

Fairly good hobbies.

You are worried about the wrong problem. A 2.5 year gap won’t even attract a question. 

Nearly one third of the candidates will have a gap more than that.

And Civils is an exam where Some people face failure for the first time in their lives.

Dont worry about problems that don’t exist in the first place.

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@kartikeybhatt171778 I have tried to but i see people here discussing that people with no work ex get poor marks in interview,a gap of more than 1 attempt results in bad marks.This got me worried


No one in the history of upsc interview or forum discussion in past eight year has said that. People may have asked. Just like some people think that getting 60% in 10th boards will attract a question from the board.

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@Neyawn my parents be like: " Beta tu.jo bhi.likhe sab perfect he 🤣"


That’s a good philosophy too. My only point is, be gyani in the forum, and elsewhere. Not in interview. Some of the calmest, quietest people usually get the best scores.

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@kartikeybhatt171778 I have tried to but i see people here discussing that people with no work ex get poor marks in interview,a gap of more than 1 attempt results in bad marks.This got me worried


That's BS. An acquaintance of mine cleared UPSC in her 4th attempt with no job and got 192 in personality test.

+1

Those are not anecdotal evidences. It’s a regular thing.

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Strong said

@Neyawn  Learning about Naturopathy .

Can it be a hobby . I watch lot of videos on that lifestyle and food habits . Will they ask any counter questions like learning a medical course how far is it feasible such questions ?

If you can answer five basic questions on what why how , go for it. 

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DevBoss said

@Neyawn How is "watching TV series" as a hobby? It's a genuine hobby but how good does that look on DAF?

I personally wouldn’t recommend that. But, if you still go ahead with it, I believe there should be some kind of “goal” to such kind of hobbies. For example, in your case, it should something like directing amateur short films or being a critic in future. Because, everybody watches tv series for fun. But when you say it’s your hobby, there should more reasons for it than just being fun.

I’m putting down my hobbies as Reading Fiction and watching Formula 1, both of which I actually do. Any pointers on this @Neyawn ?

Also, I have been in NCC at school level. What kind of questions can be expected from this?

Prepare the basic questions on fiction , your favourite authors, books. You are good to go on those hobbies.

NCC attracts again very basic questions only, like why created, do we need , etc 

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ssver2 said

@Neyawn SFG join kar lein ya wait karein? I'm inclined to, b/c SFG days were the best! :p

I miss the “old” SFG too. Last month two of my SFG students got married. 

To each other. 

It was emotional ( tears in eyes ).


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ssver2 said

Neyawn said

ssver2 said

@Neyawn SFG join kar lein ya wait karein? I'm inclined to, b/c SFG days were the best! :p

I miss the “old” SFG too. Last month two of my SFG students got married. 

To each other. 

It was emotional ( tears in eyes ).


You didn't answer my question :/

Haha, how can I make that decision for you?

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Hi @Neyawn sir. I did a dual degree called MBA(Tech) (5 year course from 2012-17) from NMIMS University with BTech in Mechanical Engineering and MBA in Technology Management. Passed out of college in 2017. Thing is, I had received a pre-placement offer from my company in which I had done internship in 2016. So I joined that company on probation on 1st June 2017 as a Management Trainee. But eventually I realised that I would not be able to do justice to my preparation for civil services while continuing with my job. So I quit on 23rd June 2017. Since then I have been preparing for Civil Services and 2020 was my 3rd attempt and 2nd Mains.                                                                                                                                                                                               Now my question is- is this going to be an issue in front of the interview board. Will they look negatively at the fact that I quit my job in 23 days ? And how do I handle this ? Plus I think among all aspirants, I could be the only one with this particular degree so will I be grilled about this ? How to make sure that I don't end up stepping on a minefield in relation to this ?

You have answered the question already which they may ask you. These are not the concerns that you will have post your interview.

I am not saying you won’t have concerns. I am saying the above won’t be your concern. 

So don’t loose sleep over the wrong things. You are good to go.

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Hi @Neyawn  sir, I have deep interest in buddhas teaching. I have tried to follow them to the best of my capacity. I have gone through some books also on buddha teachings. Can I write it as "interest in Buddha's teachings". Will it be taken in good gesture and not as one highly religious, to the extent of biased, in perspective. 

You may add it. However, please search interview transcripts once. Even people with philosophy optional are sometimes asked very deep questions on Buddhism, much beyond what they study. See Buddhist literature is very vast. Accordingly the scope of asking questions increases.

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@pranaymudgil_nmims26456 Your reasons are well put, you have nothing to fear. Starr preparing.


Anyone here has been compiling some expected questions for the personality test ? Or everyone is waiting for coachings for the compilation ?

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@Neyawn can 2 sports be given as hobbies. Will only sporting hobbies become a bit one - dimensional? Or it doesn't matter

Go ahead. Be well-read as well about the two sports.

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Mirage said

@Neyawn Sir, Please shed some light on whether I can mention the following in my DAF-2:


1. Hobbies: Trekking in Karnataka (want to keep it as Karnataka only as I dont want them to go beyond)

2. Prizes/Medals: "State topper in Mathematics, class 12". Is this too silly to mention ?


Can you think of Western Ghats ? 

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@Neyawn Sir, how is "Watching Anime" as a hobby? I watch movies and TV/Web Series mostly but have watched 2 anime too- Naruto and Deathnote. I am apprehensive over mentioning movies etc as I think board members get too wide a field if they start to ask question over movies. But does watching anime look to childish to mention in a CSE interview? I am already mentioning one of the sports as hobby.

People have done that. Be confident with what you put. And be prepared. Avoid anything that adds to your troubles or worries.

Hakuna Matata.

Make a decision and stick to it. In my past decade with a near “public interface” I have realised that more people screw up not because they made a wrong decision but because they couldn’t decide .

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@Neyawn  sir I have made my mind to mention my two hobbies..

1) Meditation... which I do everyday in morning nd anytime I feel to calm my mind nd get connected to my loved god.

2) Loving and caring dogs...as I have fed with my hand to 5-6 dogs on road side..I have called NGO and Ambulance multiple times for injured nd sick dogs nd carried puppies to get them treated...

I love to spend time with them..play with them..

What you suggest ??



Fairly good hobbies. Can you think of something else as a word for “loving and caring for dogs”?

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Jammu said

@Neyawn Sir, in interview transcripts, generally district administration is asked, like the hierarchical order or different domains. Any handbook to prepare that would be a great help.

Just use Wikipedia. It’s not so complicated. You have SDM, ADC /ADM and DM /DC. In some states like Jharkhand, it is called DC.

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@Neyawn Can I write playing golf as a hobby? Can it be perceived as elitist?

Not if you don’t have an accent :P

Perfectly all right. Be prepared to answe questions from some ace players.

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@nayawn sir what kind of ackward questions may be asked if 

1. A am working in a PSB since last 12-13 years 

2. Completed my 10th 12th and BSc with just above 60% marks and done no further studies (P.G. etc)

3. 2020 was my last attempt both agewise and attempt wise.

A lot of banking questions. Last year , there was one kid working with SBI , has gotten some 120/130 rank . Interview is on Shubhra Ma”ams channel. She used to come down after 5 pm only as it’s bank closing time. I remember she having several banking questions in both her attempts. 


The second question is meaningless. Those marks don’t matter. 


If 2020 is the last attempt, make the most of it! 

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@Neyawn Definitely cant be OFFICER in SBI as she couldnt have come even after 5 then 🤣. Just on a lighter note


Lol. Actually she would drop by 6:30pm usually. 

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Mirage said

@Neyawn 

Sir, does mentioning "state topper in mathematics, class 12" in daf-2 looks too silly for interview board?

You may mention it. It’s not childish. Expect some basics on mathematics.

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@Neyawn I have been trading in cryptocurrency since 2016.... Will writing cryptocurrency trading/investing as hobby backfire given recent rbi guidelines? 

You may. Interest Areas: cryptocurrency. Do not talk about trading, business , entrepreneurship stuff. Be a regular guy.

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Strong said

@Neyawn  Sir occasionally i guide students from slum areas on career opportunities. I also born and bought up in slum area. So have a good understanding in those problems. My question is can i keep "career guidance to child from slum area " as my area of interest? Will it look odd ? Or will they dwell too much?

Go ahead, as long as you are true to what you are saying.

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@Neyawn Sir I am very much interested in elections. Continuously following Indian elections since UP 2012 elections. Electoral behaviour ,issues and the voting patterns are the key areas of interest.

Would it be risky to mention psephology as an interest or hobby as there are too many caste complications and religious matters in this.

People in the panel may not know politics, but they very well know the election process, some of them having conducted them. Expect questions on EVMs and stages of conduct of elections, dispute redressed.

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Hi @Neyawn  sir, can i write "Agribusiness" As my interest area. I hail from agricultural background, and my family is also involved in cold storage  logistics and trading business.

If you have it, and can take questions, go ahead.

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@Neyawn sir, how can one prepare exactly about the state(Bihar)or a particular district(gaya) details. Will the books such as "Know your state" such as by KBC come handy and serve the purpose?

Wikipedia. 


Plus the book you have mentioned. Look, don’t expect a definitive source, one stop thing.

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@ktgulfam you do have a point. However another way of looking at it is that very few hobbies have utility wrt administration. Another disadvantage with golf could be the obscure rules.
@Neyawn btw how many hobbies need to be listed ideally?


There ain’t an ideal number. People have zero hobbies as well as five six. “Normal” or “average” would be 2-3. Ones that you can prepare.

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Mirage said

Is there any website by any coaching institute or aspirants where we can search for interview transcripts based on graduation streams , hobbies (eg: trekking/music, etc) and such other categories ?

You can take a look at https://interview.forumias.com 

and search  for the relevant keyword .

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@Charlie  I m 1600 (rapid) @ chess.com. few things which can be asked..
1. Diff between rapid Blitz and classical games
2. Anand 
3. Rating - IM GM 
4. Indian chess success stories
5. Concentration of GMs @ Chennai
6. Why we couldn't produced another world champion
7. Why Anand is failing to replicate his own success
8. List of world champions
9. Chess openings (not difficult to remember if you play regularly)
10. Chess during covid - virtual chess Olympiad ( issues of connectivity and cheating)
11. Imp chess tournament in India - TATA steel @ Kolkata
12. Players and sponsorship ( yesterday one National player Kuldeep Chouhan  in Dhar(mp) found selling tea outside college)
13.Which opening you prefer as white/black and why
14. Imp elements in chess - sinner , space , time,  kings safety
15. Positional vs tectical play and players
16. Attack and combination
17. Movies related to chess - pawn sacrifice, Queens Gambit
18. Women chess players - polgar humpy etc..
19. Know basic style repertoire of capablanca, tak fisher carlsan Anand spasky botvinik Petrosian etc..

20. Chess association (aicf) , Elo ratings , fide etc

Expect questions on these things. If u can prepare than go ahead. And try to improve your rating to 1400-1500( it's not that difficult).

This is more like it. 

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Can I use pencil and paper during interview. 

Sometimes boards have given pencil and paper to solve . Sometimes students have asked for it. Can you share what question you would like to / intend to answer by “showing” rather than “saying”.

Philo guys should get it :P

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@Neyawn  Like if they ask me to tell what steps have been taken by govt/RBI to help msme sector during covid. It would help if they allow me to write down steps taken ranked in terms of importance.

I am afraid that might not be the best way. Usually the silence that follows when you write, and you can only hear your pencil against the paper. It’s usually unnerving, if not scary. Those minutes.


When board asks puzzles, they let you have paper. In fact, offer you.

You don’t lose marks for asking paper, though. You look bad if after using the paper, you say something that is the same or lesser than what others are saying.

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@Neyawn I have put Taekwon Do medals ( blue I belt) as achievement and playing Tabla as hobby in IFOS and will put same in cse. kindly some experience person provide insight into the depth up to which panel can go and questions 

They don’t ask moves per se. Get a Daf analysis from forum or mocks from3-4 major institutes, you will get an idea. 

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@Neyawn When is Forum interview prog starting?

Quietly, secretly we are doing it :)

In fact just got off with a bunch of six people , one of them was stuck in RBI office like me till like 9pm. Another was at his shop, and it was time for shop to be closed and he was on the street. Some regular group sessions :)


P.S. I do not provide academy program details here at all. Not one bit. Let us keep it like a community. High entry barriers for outsiders, and strong intra community bonds.

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