Prem Kumar R (Rank-70/IFS-2015)
1st Attempt, Forestry, Geology; Anna University, Tamilnadu
Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?
Ms. Alka Sirohi
Q2. How long was the interview?
I was the first candidate, so it went longer(about 40 minutes)
Q3. Why do you want to join civil service? Why don’t you continue in your graduation field? Social service can be done from private sector too. [Since I don’t know whether they ask you this question or not. But if they had asked- what will be your reply?]
My first question was why not civil service.
Q4. Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview. (Earlier some toppers only tell me their question but not their answer. I would appreciate if you give both Question + your original answers)
Interview happened in Feb. So many questions and answers slipped out of memory.
Q: Why not civil service, why forest service?
A: Civil service covers only the human-centric view of life. But life is beyond that. With IFS, I can have an universal sense of love and service
Q: How can you expect me to entrust a 21 year boy with administrative roles?
A: Cited examples of South African pacer Rabada, Vivekananda, Messi, Rafa, earlier civil servants(pre-1900). Emphasised that age is not correlated to maturity and cited(boasting without much ado) my profile. I turned my young age into advantage by saying that being young, I could learn fast and vast.
Q: Questions on my graduation, job, hobby, extracurricular activities and achievements.
A: My answers are not relevant here. But their way of questioning was different. They questioned a topic, then dug deeper and deeper till they get a ‘I don’t know, sir’ answer.
Q: EIA, Coral reefs, El-Nino, IOD, Nano-technology and its applications in conservation, bio-materials, smart materials- recent developments
A: I answered them briefly and elaborated only when asked to do so. Most of the questions had subsequent cross-questions
Q: Forest rights act, tribals resettlement problem, man-wild life conflict, agriculture in forests, wild life trade, Paris summit of UNFCCC, International Whaling commission, fuel blending, hybrid cars, NGT
A: Standard answers. I made sure I answered atleast 3 lines for each question.
Q: A paradox puzzle was given to solve, involving permutations and combinations
A: I was asked to work out on a sheet of paper. After few minutes, Ma’m asked for my paper and said I was not even close but that she liked my attempts. I asked her what the answer was and got the answer that it had none.
Q5. Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared or did they ask you totally unexpected questions? Was it a stress interview, did they ask any uncomfortable questions? If yes, how did you handle it?
The board was cordial and open. While Ma’m appreciated some of my answers, some were thrashed(I suggested tribals’ replacement, citing the example of kaatu nayaks tribes demanding development). But I replied, ‘Sorry mam. It is still my belief that ..’ She was not convinced. I suggest aspirants take a less stringent stand on such criticisms. Thanks to my mocks, I never lost my cool even when was cross-questioned. Just tell your opinion in a cool manner and it would pass off perfectly. Correct your answers if situations demand.
Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?
None. UPSC gives plenty of time to file documents if you forget them.
Q7. Any word of wisdom / observations about medical checkup?
None. Make good friends while the day-long process happens.