While most written tests seek to focus on inherent qualities and the potential of the candidates in various areas of intelligence, reasoning, etc, there is still an unexplored area of a person’s personality which plays an important role in performing various functions and shouldering various responsibilities in the varied spheres of life.
The common sense is not so common as it appears to be. Despite being intellectually sound, educationally qualified and having purposeful personality, if common sense is missing, the interview can turn out to be a miserable failure.
Be prepared for the slower ball. There was an occasion when a candidate bestowed with all good qualities and good academic and extra-curricular activities record appeared in an interview. A look at the certificates and the interviewers found that he had secured top position in an inter-college debate competition.
The candidate was asked the topic of the debate. It was: Is wildlife conservation a hindrance to development and effective use of re sources? The interviewer asked him just one question How do you define wildlife? The candidate was dumbstruck. He had prepared well with all sorts of arguments in support of wildlife conservation with facts and statistics with him. But the simple thing, that is the definition of wildlife, he could not express properly. He was found lacking in common sense and his knowledge was taken to be superficial.
Such instances are common. You come across so many things in life, know quite a lot about them, but the first thing that strikes about it is usually forgotten or never cared for. Remember, until Newton, people through ages saw apples fall downward, but nobody questioned. It was Newton who applied common sense and raised the question “why”. And what followed is history or should we say Physics!
Don’t lose your calm
The applicability of common sense is derived from daily life. ‘A’ is the brother of ‘B’ but ‘A has no brothers. How is that possible? Simply because B’ is a female. Another interesting example is from a Combined Defence Services interview. A candidate was given a situation that he has gone to meet his boss at his residence and takes a seat there waiting for him.
Suddenly the boss’ daughter, in total nude, comes out in front of him. The candidate was asked what his reaction would be. Well friends, the candidate, though perplexed by the question, answered quietly that he would hold the child and take her into his arms. Yes, that is common sense, which often brings us out from a difficult situation. No qualifications or knowledge is required for it.
Pay attention to even little things
Let’s see another situation. You have come from your hometown Ranchi to Delhi to attend an interview for the post of Assistant Administrative Officer in Life Insurance Corporation. Commonsense says that you be prepared for questions like: What does the LIC emblem of two hands with a flame in between signify? What does its motto ‘Yogakshemam Vahamyaham’ mean? What were the major cities you came across on your rail journey from Ranchi to Delhi? There may be many such questions, some real absurd ones.
How do you compare the two maxims ‘Little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ and ‘Something is better than nothing’?
Don’t falter in search of ideal answers.
In another interview there was an interesting question put to the candidate. He was asked: Do you take non-vegetarian food? Not to be found on the wrong side of the idealistic plank, the candidate replied in the negative. On being asked why, he stated that we should not destroy life wantonly. But the next question caught him off guard. The interviewer asked him: What about vegetables which also have life in them!
There is yet another very important component to take note of. That interviews are based on the presumption that past performance, especially performance in the recent past, would be a good indicator as well as predictor of future performance.
Information about the various personality traits that are considered critical for the job in question is evaluated by trying to focus on the performance and functioning of the candidates in various fields like educational career, sports, games, NCC, NSS, extracurricular activities, hobbies etc. If the candidates have worked on a part-time or full-time basis, their performance in these jobs is also explored with a view to gathering information about their style of functioning.
In other words, what the interviewers seek do is to try to get samples of your functioning, of you work habits, of your attitudes in various fields and your relationship with your peers, with your superiors with your parents, with people in authority, etc. That why the boards focus on all these activities so that the can find out what sort of a person you are, what sort work habits you have, how industrious or how lazy you are.
Your articulation, your abilities to analyse facts an your understanding of current events and your verbal expression are also measured. Efforts are also made find out how wide awake you are in day-to-day living. other words, a candidate is supposed to know the happenings in the environment in which he lives, works and plays and how he tackles the day-to-day problems of living.
Wisdom is sheer common sense, the ability to different ate the wheat from the chaff. The winner is one who ha the knack of seeing things as they are and doing thing as they ought to be done. Genius is home-made an when the common sense or the home-made genius fully supported by fact and ideas it makes an invincible force. Therefore always look around and keep you eyes open.
You will be caught unawares and off guard if you kr. all about the world and India but have cared little abo the place and district to which you belong. If you have not bothered about this vital area try to fill it immediately studying in detail about your place, the history geography, culture, literature and industrial advancement of your area.
Have practical information
Have practical information about the subjects you have offered for theoretical papers. If you have appeared in Physics, be in touch with the lates research and developments in it in the world, because the interviewers would like to know whether you understand them and whether you have updated knowledge.
It would be interesting to see applicability of commonsense/general intelligence here. In an interview by State Bank of India Probationary Officers the interview board put the same question to two candidates, both having Physics graduation background.
They were asked: How do think you will be beneficial to the bank with Physics background? One candidate replied that the bank grants loan to industries and companies that include medium and heavy industries generating power, gobar gas projects, automobile industry and engineering machine manufacturing units. As a loan manager his Physics background will help him in assessing the ability of the project and thereby in the decision of granting loan.
The second candidate replied that as Physics graduate he is practically of no use to the SBI. It just happens that graduation is the minimum qualification to appear in the said exam and he happens to be a physics graduate. But he added that he rates himself better candidate than others who happen to be from humanities background or even commerce/economics background.
He said that physics has inculcated in him the scientific temperament and objective evaluation of things that will help him in his job. Analysing situations of problems with a scientific approach will help him certainly and he is eager to learn the banking operations about that foundation.
Needless to say, which candidate got better ratings from the interview board.
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