Thursday, December 20, 2012

SSC CGL 2012 Interview

I have not written anything in a long time. This seems weird.

Anyways, it is 20th December, and I must say: Happy Birthday Neeru Masi!

I had my SSC CGL Interview today at Chandigarh, and thought would write about it since
1. It went better than I expected, and
2. I could not find a lot of those from other candidates.

So me and my friend Pankaj Beniwal had our interviews together, same day same time. I guess it saved us both a lot of boredom and awkwardness (thanks, spell check!), though talking to other candidates is good too. Feels nice to meet others just like you. And not to mention the variety  of people, in almost every sense of the word.

Pankaj knows about the almost. In other words, great if you are girl and want guys hitting on you. :)

We reached the Central Govt. Offices in Sector-9, Chandigarh at around 8:25 am.After signing the attendance etc., we just sat around the last seats for about an hour (that passed in about 5 minutes cause we are friends from college). Then an official came and started instructing us. On paying attention we found that the instructions  were nothing but a repetition of the documents that we were required to bring. We did not have photocopies of our identity forms, and had to get it done at their office photocopying machine.

After that we came back and waited till another hour or two before we were called for document verification. In the meantime, people were being called for their interview.

It was time spent having half-philosophical, half-jackass-ish discussions, and no attention whatsoever to what might be asked in the interview itself.

It must be around 11:15 am, when an official came and summoned Pankaj for his interview. I just told him to go there and give em hell.

Then I started talking to a Sikh gentleman who was originally from Muktsar, who turned out to be working in the Ministry of Labour, and I must say I enjoyed it. We talked about the work that he did, and the highlight was why he could not get his department to provide leave to him.

Then Pankaj came back. He told that the interviewers were asking about recent news and football and some other things. Way to kill a mood.

We all talked for some more time. Then I was summoned.

The waiting
I went in, and was greeted by another candidate, who had another panel. And much like a cricket test match, his panel had been on tea-break since the last hour.

We chatted for a few minutes, and then a bell rang and I was called for interview.

The actual interview
Ok. So I went inside, and there was a small room. Like the Matrix trilogy, this room had 2 more doors at the end, and I was told to go inside the one at the left.

As I entered, I was greeted by a 3-member panel, consisting of 2 Sikh gentlemen, one a bit old (M1), and the other in his late 30s/early 40s (M3). The third member was a lady (M2).

I wished them good morning, even though it was past noon, or almost noon. Whatever.

The older Sikh gentleman, sitting in the middle started the interview. For the most part (70-80%), the interview was in Hindi. Jai Hind! (Bad parts in italics)

M1: So, Kaushal ji, why are you leaving your current job? Is it not a good job?
Me: Sir, I have already been selected in FCI...

M1: F-what?
Me: Sir, Food Corporation Of India.

M1: So you think this job (meaning the current interview) is better than that?
Me: Yes, sir.

M1: So, Karunesh ji, aap newspaper to read karte he honge? Aur zahir hai TV bhi dekhte honge?
Me: Yes sir.

M1: So tell me what do you watch on TV?
Me: Sir, I watch football on weekends.

M1: Do you watch something else too?
Me: Yes, sir. Sometimes when I am free, I like to watch movies on TV.

M1: So tell me about the latest movie that you watched.
Me: Sir, Screamers.

M1: Ok. Who is your favorite actor?
Me: Sir, I do not have a favorite actor as such. 

M1: How is this possible? There must be one.
Me: Ok sir. It is Shah Rukh Khan.

M1: And there must be a favorite actress.
Me: Let me think sir. It is Preity Zinta.

[THANK GOD they did not ask why I liked these guys] 

M1: Why is she not coming in too many movies now-a-days?
Me: Sir, I do not know. [He smiled] I add: Sir, unhone mujhe to nahi bataya! :)

[All laugh]

M1: Karunesh ji, tell me the number of states in India which have female Chief Ministers.
Me: [Confidently] Sir, 3.

M1: Ok. Tell me the states.
Me: Sir, firstly Tamil Nadu, and Ms. Jayalalitha.

M1: Correct. And?
Me: Sir, UP, and Ms. Mayawati.

M1: No. She was.
Me: Ok sir. In that case sir, my other state is also wrong. Ms. Raje was the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.

M1: Yes. Who is the current CM of Rajasthan?
Me: Sir, it is Mr. Ashok Geholt.

M1: Ok. Now go to the east of  India. Can you remember something?
Me: Yes, sir. Ms. Mamata Bannerjee is the CM of West Bangal.

M1: Ok. Now come back. Near UP.
Me: Yes, sir. Ms. Shiela Dixit is the CM of New Delhi.

M1: Good. So, Karunesh ji, can you tell me a few things about what is happening in the world right now?
Me: Yes sir. Currently I can think of 2-3 things. First of all, there is the problem in Nepal.

M1: Yes.
Me: Sir, the problem is that they had created a Constitutional Assembly, and they had set a deadline for its working. The problem is that it could not complete the constitution in the stipulated time, and there was no provision in the Assembly's work or otherwise that could guide the way the work could further go forward. [Thanks Pankaj!]. Therefore, the different parties are not able to arrive at an "ekmat" (love Hindi) at the moment, and hence the chaos.
           Then sir, North Koreans just tested what was meant to be a nuclear capable missile launcher with a weather satellite. [He nods]. And elections in Japan have resulted in the winning of Mr. Shinzo Abe led Liberal Democratic Party. He will most likely be the new Prime Minister, and he was also the Prime Minister in 2007.

M1: [Nodding] There has also been an incidence in America [implying USA].
Me: Yes, sir. Near the city of Connecticut [Nod], there has been an incident involving the shooting of 27 people, 20 of whom were children.

M1: Good. So, you watch football. Who is your favorite footballer?
Me: Sir, I love watching Jonas Gutierrez play. He plays for Argentina, and played in the 2010 World Cup. Also, he plays for Newcastle United in the Barclays Premier League.

M1: All right. You like John Gutierro.. and he plays for Newcassa United...[at least he tried]. Have you heard about Thierry Henry?
Me: Yes, sir. He was a very good French striker. In his best days, he played for Arsenal and Barcelona.

M1: Who is your favorite Indian footballer?
Me: [I really did not know what to say I started mumbling].

M1: There is Jarnail Singh, ___ ___ ___ ( a few Bengali names).. 
Me: [Still clueless]

M1: Ok. Who was the captain at the time we won the Asian Games Football Gold in 1962?
Me: I am sorry sir, I do not know. [I should have known]

M1: No worries, it was ___ (Bengali name)
Me: Ok sir. [I feel ashamed that after only 6-7 hours I have forgotton]

M1: [nodding towards M2] You can ask, mam.

M2: What is a barometer:
Me: Mam, it is a device that tests air pressure.

M2: What is the unit of pressure:
Me: Mam, I do not know. [It was pascal. WTF?]

M2: What are endocrine glands?
Me: Mam, these are hormone-secreting glands that inject hormones directly into the blood supply, from where it acts at the target organs.

M2: Which organ produces Bile Juices?
Me: Its the liver, mam. [Thanks, jaundice in college!]

M2: What is insulin?
Me: Mam, it is a hormone produced in the pancreas. If the body is not able to synthesize it, the result is diabetes.

[M2 then asked 4-5 more questions, all of which I answered. Maybe except 1, but I do not think so]

... Then it was M3's turn. I do not remember the exact order of his questions.

M3: What are Pascal, Fortran and Cobol etc.?
Me: Sir, these are Computer Languages, rather programming languages.

M3: [Nodding] Are they used now?
Me: Sir, they are not used now for new projects. But there are a lot of legacy projects that make use of Cobol and Fortran. [I felt compelled to tell him about phone calls, ATMs etc., but decided in favour of being to-the-point]

M3: Have you heard about the recent Apple-Samsung controversy?
Me: Yes sir. Basically, Apple first created its iOS-based line of smartphones. Then Samsung also entered the smartphone market with products similar to Apple's, and I think both overstepped their boundaries. Samsung copied the look and feel of Apple's phones and Apple sued them for very minor things like having rounded corners in rectangular phone frames.

M3: What is Android?
Me: Sir, it is a smartphone operating system. The Samsung phones we were talking about just now run on Android.

M3: What is the latest version of Android?
Me: Sir, I do not remember the latest version.

M3: Do you remember any versions?
Me: Yes sir, there is Marmalade, Jelly Bean..Thats all I know sir.

M3: [Nodding] Ok.

M1: Ok, Karunesh ji, you may leave.

I pick my things, wish them, and come back.

The interview was a nice experience. I loved how the members tried to help me whenever I faltered. Secondly, I noticed that whenever one member was asking a question, the other two were looking very closely at me. Almost like drunk relatives at some marriage when they are having trouble looking at you.

I hope it goes well. Cheers. 


  1. Certainly an interesting read! I guess it would send nostalgic vibes through us whenever we read it in future.
    The fine details mentioned surprised me and reflects your amazing observation qualities. Just like a typical football team, you started (your interview) awkwardly but recovered brilliantly. One amazing coincidence in your interview was that it consisted mentioning of both your and my favourite footballer i.e. Jonas Gutierrez and Thierry Henry!

    1. Yes. I too am surprised that instead of giving in to the stressful atmosphere, we just went there and had a ball.

      I still am strictly neutral about my chances in the interview and in CGL-12.

      Did not know you liked Henry.

  2. Karunesh ji, preity zinta se baat nahi hoti aajkal? ladai chal rahi hai?
    Is Delhi a state? i think Not!

    i am also neutral about your chances but Best of Luck anyways.....

    P.S. : loved the title, you ought to write more

    1. Bas ustad ji, kya batau?

      Thanks for liking the title, most people do not get it. Thats what the title is, I was sure that I won't be able to write a lot, not too frequently anyways.

      Turns out you need to actually have *ideas* to write. I can only try. :)

    2. Haan, aur vaise Delhi is a UT. Different UTs have different governing 'jugads'

      For example, Chandigarh has an administrator and Delhi has a CM. KK-land has me! :)

    3. KK-land has me! :)

      Holy misinterpretation batman!

  3. really jealous to knw abt the gud gng interview as i also applied for the post but nt selected for the all the best to my sweet bro for results....

  4. Loved reading it , it has been a boring sunday otherwise ;)

  5. 1. Favourite actor-- "I,me,myself" was the right answer...
    2. Unit of pressure-- "Sir, 'P' likhte the.. full form yaad nahi.." Abe pascal bhool gaya????
    3. "Sir latest android update to nahi pata..... blah blah.. examples-jellybean, marmalade.. abe jellybean hi tha.. KK-proud owner of an android phone himself.. "
    4. And favourite actress ka reason poocha nahi because face pe jhalak raha hoga.. lolz....

    1. With friends like you and Ankit Gupta, who needs enemies? :)

  6. liked the way you wrote it.... would help others a lot

  7. Thanks for sharing.
    Waiting for update of your positive result.
    All the best.

  8. My brother also got selected in this exam last year but he didn't tell me that interview could actually be this fun. Or is it how you portrayed it to be? I always love hearing about intervews!

    1. First of all, congrats to your brother!

      Different things are funny to different people. The actual interview is a kind of "neutral" experience... they ask things and you try to answer asap, preferably with a well thought out answer and all.

      The part that we, as candidates can judge is the overall environment and our interactions with other candidates. In this respect, I was lucky since me and a friend from college were had the interview the same day. Old friends make for great company. Secondly, I interact with people without much inhibition. And talking to strangers, whether in a train, at the post office/bank, or at the time of SSC interview is very good, since people are relatively free, both mentally and in terms of work. So normally, they tend to be open and humorous.

      As far as SSC interviews are concerned, after your documents have been checked, you are free until called for the interview itself, and everybody gets into time-killing mode. Most people read newspapers or try to talk to girls etc., but some talk to each other.

      The Sikh guy that I talked about, I am still in contact with him via facebook and the odd phone call, so we can say this experience gave me a new friend.

    2. So good to hear that. After all there is someone who values his relations. And don't worry this time killing mode will not be soon finished. You know how these govt. people usually work. By the way, which ministry did you prefer?

    3. My choices were something like this: Customs (Examiner), Ministry of External Affairs, Customs (Preventive Officer), Income Tax (Inspector), Central Excise (Inspector) ...etc., and states were: Pb/Hr/Chd, HP, JnK, Raj, Delhi, UK, UP, Guj and Maharashtra. States were these only, and post preferences were some more.

      Got customs PO. Since my dad is also with customs, under his 'advice' I preferred Customs over Income Tax. Not the best decision :-)

    4. Heartiest congratulations to you for the selection. But customs is also not such a bad place. Atleast now I know that nobody not more idiotic than my brother who chose central secretariat services as his top priority..and guess what he landed up in ministry of minority affairs!

    5. Thanks.

      You know, CSS is a very good thing for Delhi people. It is very deterministic. Your brother is sure to stay in Delhi upto his retirement, and within 10-15 years of joining, CSS people get to the rank of Under Secretory, which is cool. By retirement, CSS folks can go upto Deputy or even Joint Secretory, from what I have heard. Now, that is something.

  9. hiiiiiiii karunesh !! one thing i want to know about document verification..instead of writing 64.93 as percentage of graduation , i wrote 64.80 in my application. so whether it will be a big problem ..if selected for interview...plzzzzz help!!

    1. I am not sure. It should not be an issue. Depends on the particular person checking your documents that day. Relax and hope for the best.

  10. Hello! Nice reading your interview experience. Can you please tell me if the application form print outs are required during document verification? Thanks!

    1. No, not required. But make sure you read the notifications and the instructions with the interview/doc-verification letter.

  11. I need some clarification regarding the documents. I have applied for SSC CGL 2014 but did not download the online application form. Will that be a problem in the future? Please reply as soon as possible.

    1. I don't see any reason for it to be a problem.

  12. Karunesh ji, in which post you were selected?

  13. bro,i am a 2012 passout engg. graduate.....i have my final year mark sheets and provisional degree bearing 2012 dates but the original degree which i got last month only bears the date of issue as of 2014.....will that be a problem in document verification process?

    1. I don't think it should matter, Sankalp ji. But just in case, be ready with your mark sheets since they will show right dates.

  14. hi bro,

    i am appearing for the first time but getting discouraged by widespread rumor related to corruption and bribery in goverment job. bro did u face or observed any sign of bribery / corruption during t he course of your whole selection process.? your honest reply would help me a lot by boasting my confidence .
    i lived up a very hard live to prepare for it and wana make sure that with true talent i can clear it. if you can not reply on forum, then please on my email "" . i will really appreciate you move as this would really help me a lot.


  15. Sir... Kya interview se phele document varification hota h

    1. Haanji. Document verification/CPT ke time par.

  16. May i know how many marks had u got for this nice intrvw..

  17. Is there any option of state pref they allocate state..

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Hello karunesh.
    Congratulations for ur selection. Can u reveal the details of ur marks secured in tier1,tier2 and interview? I am curious to know whether I can get selected in po in customs. Kindly reply at according to ur convenience email id

  20. congratulations karunesh on your success ...
    thanks for sharing this experience with us.
    i'm getting 440 ( t1+t2), from official key, in obc category in cgl 2013
    will you please guide me which post i should fill as 1st preference..if location is not a matter of concern for me..

    1. 440 is very good marks. I got total 448 in 2012.

      Pre: 95
      Maths: 126
      English: 159
      Interview: 68
      (don't remember decimals)

      Keep in mind that every year is different in terms of marks and vacancies in different departments.

      Similarly, everyone is different as far as preferences are concerned. But remember 1 thing: location becomes a matter of concern with some people.

      Here is a post that can guide you.

    2. thanks..
      now results are out seems i don't have much choices left..
      interview will play a great role for me to get any respected job profile..:I

  21. bro im working in SBI. HR Dept is reluctant in issuing in NOC..So is it mandatory in submitting NOC for interview..

    1. I am not really sure on this. If I were you, I would try to contact the higher-ups in your organisation's HR department. Your manager or seniors must have some knowhow of things and people in the organisation. Try talking to them about what you should do.

  22. Great job karunesh ji.....
    I m a candidate selected for 2013 interview posts..
    Would you please tell us the correct order of conducting cpt, interview, physical....and please do give us some details about cpt and physical., what kind of preparation needed for them...
    Thanking U Anticipatingly

    1. I don't know what order they will follow this time.

      In 2012, they called us for document verification and CPT in November end or early December. Document verification is done in batches, then they call you as per your batch for CPT. You have to type a page into a software. Nothing to worry about. I had problems with excel, but instead of applying formula, I just did the sum of the numbers :-)

      Then interview. Medical was before joining i.e. after results were out.

    2. Thanks a lot for this info........i
      I was eagerly waiting for this.......
      But stil physical ke baare mai if u can tell smthing......

  23. how to start preparing for interviews and cpt? which institue to join. not good in excel

    1. CPT:
      1. use online typing test websites. Google "typing test"
      2. Learn some excel formulas. I did not, but you should not take risk.

      Interview: I did not take any coaching. Prepared with 2 friends. It was more like chatting. You will fill an attestation form to take with you for interview. Just make sure you can explain whatever you fill in it. Add some GK and you should be fine.

  24. thanx for sharing ur interview buddy... n i m qualified in both lists of interview and non interview query is this there wld be interview only or interview and cpt both????

  25. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your interview experience...
    I am a passout of 2009...jobless till to save my self from such a situation...any help is appreciated...
    I wish to know if the entire interview process will be over by evening 5.00....please reply i have to plan my return journey accordingly...

  26. Hi friends, thanks for sharing your experience! I have some questions and I hope that you would help me in them.

    1. When did you get your appointment letter? and what was your joining date?
    2. How are your working hours? Is it possible to simultaneously prepare for Civil Services while doing job?
    3. Do they grant leaves (even Leave without Pay) during the initial 1 year (To appear for Civil Services)?
    4. Which post would you have preferred in SSC if you had to prepare for Civil Services?

    1. How much time you get for studying varies greatly according to the department, the place, the office environment and many, many other factors we cannot even think of. We have 89 days (or 90) continuous Extra Ordinary Leave for POs, but it depends on the seniors. I cannot answer these questions because there is no uniform answer.

    2. Krunesh ji can you tell me about the work profile and nature of your job ? Is there any risk factor associated with PO's job ? What would you have preferred were you given a chance today - 1) PO 2) ITI 3) CEI ? And yes, What do you think about Examiner ?

      Please mind replying asap as I have my Interview due on 19 June. and M to re-submit new post preference. Will be thankful. :)

    3. Work in Customs and Excise both is very varied. It ranges from purely clerical work in HQ to intelligence work in Air/Cargo Intelligence in Customs and Anti-Evasion in Excise.

      I could get Income Tax in 2012 but I had filled Examiner and PO before that. Even if I get the chance now, I am sure I will screw it somehow. At the moment, I think Examiner, ITI, PO, CEI should be the order. But this is just me. I can not make a decision for you. Sorry.

  27. I misplaced my degree but I have my provisional degree and 3 years mark-sheets with me. Those documents should be enough for that purpose. What do you think?

    1. I do not have any idea. The most SSC people will do is that they will make you write a undertaking saying that you will bring it in a month. The least you can do is apply to the University for a new copy of the degree and have that with you. But yes, 99% I think there should not be any issues.

  28. iam having main degree of B.E. and a abstract marksheet that is having all semester marks in grade point.. is it necessary to have each and every semester marksheet or the abstract will do?
    plz guide

    1. It should not matter, but I am not really sure. You might want to call your regional SSC office for details.

  29. hello Karunesh JI ..its nice to read your interview experience and .I am seeking some help from you as I am graduated last year.. I want to appear for SSC cgl 2016 please provide some prepartion guidance and reference some books which are useful to crack cgl exam

  30. Hello karunesh ji i got po this year can you tell me (1) which custom zone is better in all aspect especially mumbai pros n cons (2) Chances to get posting at airport (3) Working hours if one get field posting and about shift

    1. I have been too late to answer your questions.

      I will say Mumbai is the best zone because I got Mumbai and because it is the closest place to Mohali :-)

      Postings are divided into sensitive and non-sensitive and there are many considerations. You might want to see this:

  31. Can you tell me about the medical checkup. I cant find any article about it.

    1. As far as I know, medical is usually done in one of two ways: either the organisation you are about to join calls you for medical and gets it conducted at a local government hospital, or they make you to undergo the medical yourself at your place in the office/hospital of your place's Civil Surgeon. The physical part i.e. walking and cycling will be done at the organisation's end only.

      Our medical, document verification and joining was conducted by Mumbai Customs Zone - I. For medical and document verification we were called to Mumbai for 3 days. First day was document verification, second day was medical at St. George's Hospital near VT and third day was cycling/walking. This time is good for getting to know your batchmates.