How I got through CSS Interview

css Interview

Interview Panel: Chairman FPSC, Maj General (R) Niaz Khattak, Mrs Batool Iqbal, Mr Abdul Wajid Rana, and Mr Ahmed Baksh Lehri.

I entered the room and greeted them with Assalam-o-Alaikum. They answered and Mr Chairman offered me a seat. He started off asking me some questions about my present job to which I responded well, and to his satisfaction. He then asked me to enlist major problems of Pakistan. To this, I said that there is only one problem of Pakistan. He looked at me and inquired “only one?” I said, “Yes sir, and that is National disintegration.” He asked me to elaborate my point and that why isn’t terrorism, energy crisis and faltering economy major problems to me? I responded by saying that “Nations were destroyed in world wars; for instance, Japan was destroyed by nuclear bombs. They lost millions of people and entire infrastructure yet they managed to survive and today we see Europe and Japan as the hubs of trade and global economy and people in those countries enjoy peace and stability. If losing infrastructure and economy was the criterion of downfall then they wouldn’t have bounced back. But they fought together at national levels and changed their fates. Pakistan hasn’t seen the problems those nations had faced. We can solve all our issues in only a few weeks, if we come up with a national resolve.”

To this, Mr Chairman agreed and asked me further questions on the “how” of the same. This discussion went on a few minutes. I was then asked about my choice of optional subjects and that whether I merely chose them because they were scoring. To this, I replied that it is a function of the candidate’s ability. People have topped CSS exam with Urdu as their optional subject. So, no one can say for sure which subject is scoring and which one is not.

css Interview 1After Mr Chairman, Ms Batool interviewed me and since I had mentioned in earlier debate that transformational leadership is required, therefore she asked me what were the ingredients of a transformational leadership and who would I seek as a leader. I answered that someone like Gen Raheel Sharif in civilian setup; someone who believes in action and not just in lip service. She continued cross-questioning me on the subject and then asked me questions from international affairs i.e. ISIS, etc. and their impact on Pakistan. She then asked me to give suggestions for improvement in country’s policing system to which I said public participation and vigilance are quintessential. I gave some more suggestions as well and expressed my resolve to implement them.

After Ms Batool, I was handed over to Mr Abdul Wajid Rana. He was believed to be the toughest interviewer of the panel since he had a strong grasp on not just all optional subjects but also on general issues and he was expected to give everyone a very hard time. So his reputation had already put me under pressure and I was prepared to be grilled. He started off from economic issues and since economics was my weak point, I couldn’t handle those questions well enough and I excused for my lack of knowledge on the subject with a subtle smile. I then took the opportunity and shared a joke on my situation upon which he chuckled. He then started asking me questions from my optional subjects of which I answered only half. He then again asked me some questions from my psychological test responses and some of them were interesting to him especially the one in which it was asked about favourite actress and my choice was the same as his; so we shared a light moment there too. He then discussed with me Pakistan’s energy crisis since I am an Electrical Engineer, and asked for my take on that too. Some other national issues of Pakistan also came under discussion.

After Mr Abdul Wajid Rana was the turn of the fourth and the final member of the panel: Mr Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri. He started off asking me some questions from Forestry (one of my optional subjects) and then went on to ask me about government machinery and some governmental bodies, their structure, functions and service delivery mechanisms and their distinct roles in administration. With this, the interview ended as Mr Lehri signalled to the Chairman that he’s done to which the Chairman bid adieu to me with a subtle smile and a “Thank You.” I got up from my seat and responded with, “The pleasure is all mine sir, Allah Hafiz” and left the room.

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