Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, for the interest of JWT readers and CSS, PMS aspirants, please tell us about your educational background? And also tell about your career ambitions during your student life?
Jamil Haider Shah (JHS): I hail from a small village of Shorkot, District Jhang. After doing matriculation and FSc from my native village, I went to Lahore and did BSc Chemical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore. Then, I embarked on my professional career as a Process Design Engineer at Engro Fertilizer Company. As regard my career ambitions, I would like to say that I always wanted to be a civil servant. So, besides performing my duties at Engro, I started preparing for PMS exam. Although, I faced many problems during the course of preparations, yet I braved them and achieved my dream. Here, I would especially mention the name of my boss, Mr Majid Latif, who extended to me every possible support to me so as to help me in achieving my dream.
JWT: You secured 11th position overall and also secured excellent marks in the interview segment. What’s the secret behind your phenomenal success?
JHS: Hard, smart work in right direction always pays in the end. I believe my commitment to my goal along with persistence won me success. For interview, I relied mostly on newspapers and magazines especially Jahangir’s World Times (JWT), which helped me in broadening my views on any issue. My job experience also boosted my confidence. Most importantly, my father bucked me up at each step so that I may get a position in this exam, and I actually did.
I am again very thankful to JWT for doing a commendable job for CSS, PMS aspirants.
JHS: Proper guidance is the key to success in CSS, PMS or any other competitive exams. I my opinion, the aspirants should first go through the syllabus and then they should make short notes for each subject. It helps a lot in getting a good command over the topics in a short time. It is often seen that students prepare very good notes but fail the exam. It is only because they remain unable to properly reproduce their knowledge on paper. Aspirants should avoid resorting to redundancy in exam as here only quality — not quantity — matters. Each answer should be concluded with a critical analysis which should be the heart of whole answer.
JWT: To whom goes the credit of your success? Did you ever imagine of getting such a prestigious position in PMS exam?
JHS: My adorable daughter, Masooma Haider, is lucky for me. No doubt, she turned my luck. My CSP friend, Mushtaq Ahmad Chachar, played important role in my success especially in English Essay. My friends Khaliqdad, Irfan, Mudassir and Bilal, also encouraged me a lot.
Like all other PMS aspirants, it was my dream to get position in this exam, and Almighty Allah blessed me with it.
JWT: As syllabus for PMS optional subjects is quite lengthy, what had been your preparation strategy that you got excellent marks?
JHS: I prepared short notes of each subject and this strategy helped me grasp the whole syllabus. I strongly recommend this strategy for all CSS, PMS aspirants. I adorned each answer with relevant facts, figures, references and quotations. And, it earned me excellent marks.
JWT: As you know most candidates fail English Essay and General Knowledge papers. What should be the strategy to get through these two crucial papers?
JHS: For Essay preparation, I would recommend that aspirants should read English newspapers especially DAWN on daily basis. They should extract vocabulary from the newspapers and try to utilize it in writing. I think, for an excellent score in essay paper, the aspirants should:
- Write at least one short essay daily and get it checked from a good teacher or an expert on English language
- Use simple language
- Cover all aspects of topic
- Maintain mature thoughts all through the essay
- Pay special attention to coherence and continuity in essay
- Introduction and conclusion should be highly impressive
For General Knowledge paper, aspirants should read newspapers and magazines like JWT and prepare short notes. I always consulted monthly JWT in order to get latest information. Aspirants should know geographical capitals, currencies, airlines and news agencies of important countries and all important facts about Pakistan.
JWT: Do you think that PMS requires more hard work than CSS? And how much time an aspirant should study daily to get through these exams?
JHS: Both are equally difficult hence should be tackled with same strategy. Further, I think effectiveness of time is more important than its length. In my view, 8 hours a day for 8 months is enough to prepare well for these exams.
JWT: Do you think that students should join an academy to prepare for CSS, PMS?
JHS: Aspirants may join academies for guidance. However, they should work hard on their own as well. Renowned teachers and CSPs can guide you in better way.
JWT: Would you like to give any message to the JWT readers?
JHS: Commitment to and sincerity on your objective always reward. Aspirants should join civil service with a motto to serve the nation.
JWT: Please describe in detail your experience of interview.
JHS: On the day of interview, I was highly excited as it was my first experience of an interview with the panel of a public service commission. Having experience of interviews in private sector helped me gain confidence that I will perform well. The panel asked many questions “Why I wanted to leave high-paid job for joining the civil service”. My enthusiasm and commitment was mirrored in my answer in front of panel. I told them that it has always been more important for me to serve my nation on macro level than to earn money only for my own self.
Interview is the test of one’s confidence and of one’s opinion on current national and internat8ional issues. So, students should have clear thoughts and positive opinions. Answer should be brief and precise. For interview preparation, candidates should note down important issues and then collect data on them. A topic should be studied from various different angles. For this, candidates should study different national and international newspapers and magazines like JWT, Nida-e-Millat, The Economist, etc.