I did not try to do something different. It was a normal approach towards facing the interview board. Definitely, I gave heed to some of the suggestions I got and remained confident.
I was interviewed by Rajni Razdan Madam board and my interview lasted for about 20-25 minutes.
It was a relaxed atmosphere and I was asked questions ranging from my hobbies to my subject management.
Name: Munish Sharma
Interview Board: Rajni Razdan Madam
CP: So, what’s your name?
I: Munish Sharma, ma’am.
CP: Roll number?
CP: (waving the photo at me and nodding)
I: Yes, ma’am.
CP: So are you working anywhere?
I: Yes, ma’am.
I: at (told the company name), ma’am.
CP: What do you do there?
I: Ma’am, I look after a range of activities including content creation and marketing.
CP: You won’t get the kind of money you have mentioned in the form in Civil Services. Are you sure you want to join?
I: Yes, ma’am, very sure.
CP: You like cooking, right? Tell me some words for boiling?
I: (didn’t understand the question) You mean the synonyms for the verb boiling?
CP: No, other names for boiling used to cook.
I: I’m not sure, ma’am, but I guess there are words like poaching, blanching, stewing, simmering, etc., which mean the same as boiling – though they all are not same process.
CP: Yes, right. Tell me more words.
I: Sorry, ma’am. I can’t think of more at the moment.
CP: (read a list of some 25 words, asking if I knew any of them. I knew about 3-4 of them and mentioned that)
Ok, tell me the edible oils used in the states I mention. Tamilnadu?
I: Sesame oil.
CP: You pronounced that word properly. Kerala?
I: Thank you, ma’am. Keralites use coconut oil majorly.
I: Ma’am, the website and cookery books I refer to always recommend using clarified butter. Though I know people have started using soyabean oil, too.
CP: What’s clarified butter?
I: In Hindi it is called Desi Ghee, ma’am.
CP: Groundnut oil is majorly used. You know how to make Desi Ghee?
I: Yes, ma’am.
I: Not sure, ma’am. I always use clarified butter, I mean, Desi Ghee.
CP: What do you make in Rajasthani?
I: Dal Baati and various lentils, ma’am.
CP: They use mustard oil majorly.
I: Oh, thank you, ma’am. Didn’t know that.
CP: Where else is mustard oil used?
I: Punjab, Bengal, Bihar.
CP: Is mustard oil good for heart?
I: Ma’am, there are varied opinions amongst academia. Some people think erucic acid content is harmful. They sell the refined version in western countries, but in India, especially in north India, we use Kacchi Ghani.
Like the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, traditional Punjabi diet used to be rich in mustard oil and Desi Ghee. But health indicators have declined for cardiovascular diseases over the years.
CP: You know why?
I: Yes, ma’am.
CP: What do you like to cook the most?
I: I am into experimental cooking mostly. For instance baking cakes using oat meal.
CP: You just like to cook or eat, too?
I: Both, ma’am!
(Indicating to M1 to take charge)
M1: I would want to ask questions from your form only. It’s so interesting (with a smile he said that).
I: Sure, sir.
M1: You mention you know Sanskrit.
I: Yes, sir, I studied it till class tenth but kept taking part in Sanskrit-academy competitions even in class 11 and 12.
M1: Tell me five books in Sanskrit along with the name of authors.
I: Meghdootam, Abhigyan Shakuntalam, Kumar Sambhavam all by Kalidas. Kamasutra by Vatsyayana (they all giggled at this). Mahabharata by Ved Vyas. Ramayan by Valmiki. Ashtadhyayi by Patanjali
M1: Did Ved Vyas and Valmiki exist?
I: Sir, historians believe otherwise. Timelines don’t match. Some of these books might have been written over centuries and might be work of more than one person.
M1: What else is Patanjali famous for?
I: Sir, Ashtang yoga.
M1: What are its components?
I: Yam, Niyam, Asan, Pranayam…
M1: ok, ok, fine. Which soil holds maximum water?
I: Sir, claey loamy soil.
M1: That’s correct. Good. How are igneous rocks formed?
I: Sir, by lava flows, when it cools down.
M1: What is 9/11.
M1: Did something similar happen in India?
I: Nothing similar, sir.
(CP intervenes in a muffled voice and says 26/11… I thank her and tell M1 that though no planes were used, 26/11 had similar effect on collective conscience of Indian nation, as it had on American after 9/11)
M1: Yes, anything unusual about terms 9/11 and 26/11.
I: (Tell him about mm/dd and dd/mm concept)
(Indicates to M2 to take over)
M2: Do you like music?
I: Yes, sir.
M2: What kind?
I: Sir, melody-based music.
M2: Not other types?
I: Sir, I try to like, but electronic dance music, rock and metal are just not my type. I find them too noisy.
M2: So basically you like Indian music?
I: Sir, western music can be melodious, too. For instance that of George Michael and Stromae. Stromae’s music is not very melodious, but lyrics are very clever and insightful.
M2: Why is Lata Mangeshkar called queen of melody and not the likes of Asha Bhosle and Ghoshala?
I: Sir, she has a naturally endowed sweet voice which sounds good even in higher octaves. When she talks, her voice is not as great, but lends beautifully to musical creations. Plus, she does a lot of riyaaz. But she is like Shreya Ghoshal + Sunidhi Chauhan. Her voice is as sweet as Shreya’s or even more, but unlike her and like Sunidhi she is more comfortable singing high notes. Some people allege she indulged in monopoly while at her prime.
M2: What do you think?
I: Sir, I don’t know the inside story but I know that she started refusing Filmfare award after winning them in row, to give chance to new talent like Kavita Krishnamoorthy. And, sir, it must have taken a lot of commitment to reach where she did.
M2: (visibly happy with the response) What else? Any male singers?
I: Yesudas, S P Balasubramaniam, and to an extent, Mohd Rafi
M2: Yesudas, really? Which is his famous Hindi song?
I: Sir, that’s song from a Rajshri movie. I don’t remember it but I know many of his Krishna bhajans. He has won the maximum national awards for singing – seven.
M2: Does that matter, the number of awards?
I: Sir, that’s very subjective. For instance, Chithra has won double the awards that Lata Mangeshkar has won. But I like Lata Mangeshkar better.
M2: You know Yesudas is not Hindu.
I: Yes, sir, he’s a Christian.
(Indicates to M3 to take over)
M3: You did your PGDM from Lal Bahadur Shastri?
I: Yes, sir.
M3: How is PGDM different from MBA?
I: Sir, only universities can offer an MBA degree.
M3: What subjects did you have?
I: Sir, all management subjects.
M3: What is BCG matrix?
M3: What is Black Scholes model?
M3: You remember the formula?
I: No, sir. It is such a huge formula that we used to cram it before finance exam and write on paper after reaching exam hall.
M3: Is it useful?
I: Not practically, sir. But it is easy to apply it to make broad comparisons.
M3: What is Hub and Spoke model?
I: Don’t remember clearly, sir.
M3: But it is very important. They use it in Gujarat.
I: Yes, sir. AMUL uses it. (I explained the basics and utility of it)
M3: That’s right. Good. You know it then. What is data analytics?
M3: What tools can be used for it?
I: SPSS, SAS, Tableau and Qlikview
M3: Give an example.
I: Gave Domino’s pizza example.
M3: What is the full form of AMUL?
I: Don’t remember sir. Anand Milk something.
M3: (completed it for me) What’s the full form of Noida?
I: Don’t know, sir.
M3: There’s a full form of it, you know. (though he didn’t tell what)
(Waves to M4)
M4: Why did you take law? Could you complete the course?
I: Sir, my graduation subject biochemistry is not one of the subjects in UPSC list. And my PG subject, Management is too vast.
M4: But you got a gold medal?
I: Sir, honestly, I think that was relative performance. We had a good teacher in Mr Rajat Sethi during PG. He always encouraged us to read extra things in law – like the overview of torts, IPC and constitution though it was not a part of course. He said that law doesn’t operate in vacuum, so there’s no sense in just studying business law. Sir, I could complete the course. Read everything but forgot it by the time it was time to write exams. There’s so much to remember. (everyone laughed at that)
M4: So you don’t like cramming? What is the best thing you have crammed?
I: Sir, I actually loved cramming till school. Then the propensity to cram kept on declining. I remember the periodic table of elements, except for F block elements and 4d and 5d series at present.
M4: Tell me the names of Group 18 elements.
I: (gave the names)
M4: You remember constitution now?
I: Not the articles, sir.
M4: Tell me any article you remember.
I: Sir, 21, right to life.
M4: Good, which is the one about Kashmir?
I: Sir, 370.
M4: Approaching courts for protection of FRs?
I: Sir, 32.
CP: You quite remember it.
I: Thank you, ma’am, but not all the articles.
M4: What is a Khap Panchayat?
M4: Are you on Social Media?
I: Sir, earlier I used to be. Now I don’t log in to check anymore.
I: Sir, I don’t like it. I used to follow good thinkers, newspapers, and scientific journals. But now they get delivered to my inbox through alerts. So, social media is redundant for me.
M4: What is the use of internet for an administrator? There’s a term for it?
I: E-governance, sir.
M4: Which state has displayed a brilliant e-governance record?
I: Sir, Gujarat and Delhi.
M4: But these two are not the state that has won award for best e-gov five years in a row.
I: Sorry, sir. Don’t know. (Though I later remembered Rajasthan)
M4: You have never taken a leave in school life? Never got ill?
I: I did, sir. But the school was at five minutes of walking distance, so I used to muster courage. I never got anything else than common cold.
M4: No cousin weddings?
I: No, sir.
M4: What’s the difference in marketing and sales?
M4: Should an administrator be flexible?
I: Yes, sir, but to an extent that he follows constitution, positive morality and law.
M4: Yes, very good. What is positive morality?
(Before I could answer CP cut him short and thanked me. I said, “thank you, ma’am… thank you, sirs… have a great day ahead” with the smile.)Last Update Wednesday 27th July 2016