CGL interview strategy by Maha Sir

We have 3 stages in a CGLE namely TIER-I, TIER-II & TIER-III (the interview). I think the last stage is the toughest among all; tier-II being the easiest. Certain reasons are there behind this particular view.
1. Endless scope of questions asked in the interview. In tier-I it’s only GK section which has no limit for its syllabus; but in an interview it’s even wider.

2. In the other two tiers there is one whole hour of time for 100 marks but in the interview one is with only 15-20 minutes.
So its importance can’t be ignored and thus should be treated with most sincerity. In CGLE-2010 only 28% of the candidates who were called for the interview scored 60 or above; which shows how tough the interview stage is.
Generally the interview runs from 15 minutes to 20 minutes and is conducted by a team of 3-4-5 members. Remember the board members not only try to judge your general knowledge or any other subject matter specifically but also watch how (in what manner) you respond to a particular query. So it becomes of paramount importance that in addition to have a very good command on the subject matter you should also learn to give responses desirably.
Remember HONESTY IS THE KEY! Therefore if you are unable to give an answer correctly it’s better to admit your ignorance. But it does’nt mean you take the things casually; it will always be in your favour if you answer the query correctly and in time. So prepare your knowledge well.

2. INTERVIEW–Importance

The SSC has discretion to fix minimum qualifying marks in interview for each category of candidates. In CGLE-12 there were qualifying marks (cut-offs); 25 for UR and 20 for others (reserved categories) in the interview. So by going through the above you can’t conclude that these will be the cut-offs in the following years also, but it’s very much clear that they will be the same more or less. Therefore the importance of the interview increases more.
It is quite possible that candidates performing exceedingly well in the written find their names in the select list despite their poor show in the interview; like it happened in the case of one Mr Mudrika Prasad Chamar whose score in the interview in CGLE-10 was just 25 against his score of 504 in written. And many more such cases. Had his score in the interview been average at least, he would have been among the top ten; and not the 152nd rank that he actually got.
VICE VERSA is also true; a candidate can surpass candidates scoring good in the written by scoring high marks in the interview. So INTERVIEW IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT.

3. TRAITS (qualities in your personalty)

Marks in the interview may go upto 80 or even more; and as low as 25 or even further down. Now the question is who are those getting 70, 80 or even higher marks. Of course they need not be brilliant in academics. You must believe that a candidate ordinary in bookish knowledge has every chance of getting good high marks in the interview.
Following traits will help:
1. Personality—the various aspects of a person’s character that combine to make them different from other people
2. Eloquence (waakpatuta)—ability of using language and expressing one’s opinions well
3. Good in academics and co-curricular activities
4. Awareness of the present happenings and events
5. Evaluation and formation of own opinions
6. Expression of job experience, if any, desirably
7. Leadership qualities


Your appearance is important:
1. Dress:
a) Males—A clean well pressed light coloured shirt with a sober tie (mainly cause a CGLE interview is generally in winter), well fitted coat and a pair of trousers (not jeans of course), well polished black or brown pair of leather shoes ( avoid sports shoes etc). Shoes and the belt should be identical in colour. Better it will be if a coat-pants suit is worn; though the coat-pants with different different colours will do. Just have a pen in shirt pocket; better what you are using daily (make sure not new one). Use non sticky gel at least on interview day… it wil make hair settle.
b) Females—Not too brightly coloured lady suit or a sari and a blouse with sleeves & any nice looking sweater
2. You should be properly bathed.
3. Finger nails should be clean and properly trimmed.
4. Glasses of the specs should be clean if you wear one.
5. Avoid smoking a cigarette or chewing paan well before going to the interview.
6. Neither men nor women should wear noticeable pieces of jewelry. A single ring is enough for the hands if you wear.
7. Don’t wear perfume and so also flowers, religious threads etc. If you are superstitious, carry your lucky charm in one of your pockets.
8. Remember you’re going to look more nervous than you are if you look hot and bothered


Walk into the room and close the door behind you if it was closed before you entered. Don’t ask permission to enter as you have already entered. Walk upto where the interviewers are seated but remain standing till you are asked to sit down. Say Good Morning (before noon), Good Afternoon (from noon to about four) or Good Evening as the case maybe. Don’t greet by saying ‘Hello’.
You should try to look calm. Never play with your clothing or papers. While giving a response you should be looking the interviewer in the eye but must not stare fixedly at him. Don’t ask him any question. Don’t pretend you are an expert . Use a sincere and friendly tone of voice in speaking. Keep your phone set in silence or switch off mode; but If the phone in the room rings during the interview or somebody enters the room don’t appear to be listening.
When any of the interviewers indicates with words or gestures that interview is about to end; prepare to leave. Smile; say ‘Thank you’ and look at each interviewer in turn. Don’t offer to shake hands unless the Chairman or other members offer their hands first. Then leave without looking back. Close the door after you leave if it was closed before.


A great many candidates are under the confusion whether to wish the Chairman only or all the members separately. It will really be ridiculous if each member is greeted separately and therefore you must never do that. Instead, look at the Chairman first and then at the rest of the members; smile and wish them together.
Say Good morning/afternoon/evening Sir or Madam as the case may be looking at the Chairman. You must not say good morning to you all. Nor good morning ‘madam and sir’ or good morning madams or good morning sirs etc is the appropriate way to wish.


Sitting properly is a must; and at the same time you should be at comfort as well. You must let your back rest on the chair back and should not be found drooping, leaning or tilted to one side. Your arms should be placed either on the arms of the chair or partly on the arms and partly in your lap. While sitting in the chair your sight should not either be at the floor or at the ceiling above.
You must look straight and towards the person who is talking to you. But you should not give the impression of staring at the gentleman who is speaking to you. While a member is speaking to you; lean slightly forward so as you look interested in his speech. Listen to him carefully.
If you couldn’t get a question asked or hear the question properly; the right thing is to say very politely——Excuse me Sir, I could not follow this question. But this should happen very rarely and not too frequently.


Try to avoid coughing and sneezing in the interview. You must carry a clean and well pressed handkerchief and put it over your mouth before coughing or sneezing and say sorry. It is very important that you speak in a clear voice. You must not speak too fast. Your face should never give a frowning impression and you should look pleasant and cheerful.
If you don’t agree with any opinion of any of the members; say it very politely. A polite way of saying things is appreciated by all. Then you must also give proper and authentic reasons for your disagreement.
You should not leave the interview room in an abrupt way. Shift the chair very politely and carefully without making any unnecessary sound. Never use your legs for shifting the chair. If the door was closed at the time interview ended; close it very carefully as you move out. If it was open leave it open. If at the end of the interview, the chairman asks, if you have any question, it’s always considered polite to answer in negative.


Here are the things on which questions of an interview are based most generally; guys are advised to read them carefully and prepare themselves accordingly.
1. Personality—the various aspects of a person’s character that combine to make them different from other people
2. Eloquence (waakpatuta)—ability of using language and expressing one’s opinions well (THE MOST IMPORTANT)
3. Good in academics:
One should be well prepared with the subjects in GRADUATION, 12th if they were different from one’s graduation subjects and the subjects of post graduation. I wanna say here that there are very few questions from 12th; most of them are from one’s graduation or/and post-graduation . If a person is not so comfortable with his subjects in PG; better not to show the qualification in the bio-data form. We have to remember one thing——merely showing a thing in the bio-data form doesn help in scoring; rather knowledge of that thing does.
4. Awareness of the present happenings and events
5. Evaluation and formation of own opinions
6. Expression of job experience, if any, desirably if one shows any experience in the bio-data form; he should be well prepared on the questions based on that experience. Otherwise he will loose instead of gaining something.
7. Leadership qualities
8. Hobbies—- Guys are advised to show only one hobby; and that one about which they know the maximum and are most comfortable. Generally we tend to show many to impress the panel; but I’m sure it will harm only. If you wanna show more than one; show it only when you are good in questions on them. Otherwise show only ONE.
9. Extra co-curricular activities shown. If you didn participate in any one better to leave the column blank.
10. NCC etc
Also read this:
Interview board’s questions in order of priority:
1. Experience
If one has shown some experience questions are a must, so be prepared on that well.
2. Post Graduations
Most of the questions are from PG if one has shown; in fact more than one’s graduation generally. So better not to show it if you are not comfortable in it.
3. Graduation
If PG is not there; their main area of focus is one’s graduation. So start working from this very moment.
4. 12th
There maybe a few questions on one’s 12th also, so not to ignore.
5. Hobby
Decide your hobby just immediately as it needs time to prepare questions on. So important it is really. Though there are instances when there is no question on one’s hobby, it’s very rare. 4-5 questions are there generally on it. So decide it just now and start working.
6. Hometown/state
This is another important point of interview. Be well prepared in possible questions related to your city/state.
7. Co-curricular activities etc
If shown 4-5 questions are a must on them generally, so never ignore
8. Oneself
Prepare yourself in some questions on yourself like meaning of your name, why it was christened, a poem on your name etc; your family background and so on
9. Time-gap
Also prepare yourself well if a time-gap is there between your completion of education and taking of the exam.
10. Current affairs
11. Read the News Paper of the day of interview.
NOTE: 1. So guys start working hard from this very moment with full dedication if interview has some importance for you. I’ve seen people preparing it after the tier-II result, but believe me this is the most difficult stage of an exam among all. It’s really hard to score even 50/100 in it whereas in other stages we are easily getting 60-70% or even more. Every other paper is of 200 marks in 2 hours. This is just a 15-20 minutes affair. Therefore you don’t have a right to take it casually.
2. Also I’ve made another forum on interview, having some of the past SSC real interviews. That will certainly give an idea of the type of questions asked in an SSC interview and make yourself really comfortable. Get, go to it. Good luck!


Of course one can opt Hindi as well for the interview. It can be either English or Hindi. Though mixture of these two languages is also allowed; but as my personal opinion says it should be one to get more marks. Anyway MIXTURE also will do.
If you are asked a question in English you can use Hindi as well; and vice-versa. The thing to keep in mind is——whatever you say; say with confidence; use of language doesn matter much. I think this is your wrong perception that English speaking candidates are more advantageous than the Hindi speaking ones.


1. DO write in ur bio data only those achievements which you can justify to urself.
2. Believe me, it doesnot matter what institute u have studied from. IT REALLY DOESN’T. Only thing that matters is whether you should look like a product that you are claiming urself to be.
3. I have seen higher rankers getting just 40% marks in interview just because they could not prove themselves worthy of the qualifications and achievements they mentioned in bio data.
4. A friend of mine even went to the extent of writing hobbies and interest under separate headings… doubts were raised in the board room… and she did justified her segregation… scored 68.
5. So write anything… (nothing is considered stupid in an interview)… but you shoud be able to stand upto i



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