We are happy to share that the Department of English & CLS and its Alumni Association organized a One-Day GPSC Workshop in the Department on 30th July, 2017. The first session of the Workshop was organized in August-2016 which covered counseling regarding written test for GPSC exams – Government Polytechnic and Arts/Commerce/Science Colleges. This Workshop was an extension of the First Phase but with focus on the Interview process. Around 30 students of the Department have cleared different GPSC written exams. Keeping this in mind, planning took place to provide some guidance regarding successful performance in the Interview expected to be conducted soon. Hence, the second phase was organized on 30th July, 2017 as a Mock Interview round.
Dr. Ranjana Agrawal, Principal, H.N. & H.B. Kotak Science College, Rajkot and Dr. Anil Kinger, Senior faculty at P.D. Malaviya College, Rajkot and an alumnus of the Department were invited as Experts as both of them have played vital roles as a Government Nominee or a Subject Expert on different Panels during interviews of Government recruitments. The entire panel consisted of Dr. Agrawal, Dr. Kinger, Dr. Kamal Mehta, Dr. R.B. Zala and Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee.
Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee, President of the Alumni Association of the Department formally welcomed both the Experts and all the participants. Without much formality, the First Session began in which all the experts offered guidance to make an effective presentation in the Interview. All of them discussed their experiences at different institutions and also cautioned candidates how to prevent a few common mistakes during the interview.
Dr. Agrawal divided her session into three parts: preparations to be done before the interview, how to behave during the interview and how a candidate should leave at the end of the interview. Madam discussed a few very important areas regarding questions asked, mannerism to be adopted by the candidate and a few cautions for them during the process of the interview.
Dr. Kinger discussed the importance of fluency in language and command over the core subject. Sir also stressed upon the awareness of General Knowledge and General Awareness a candidate ought to have to sail through the relatively long duration of the interview. He very realistically demonstrated the seating arrangement of the Interview room through a power-point presentation and also gave an idea how the panel would interview a candidate. Dr. Kinger also suggested that candidates ought to prepare a demo lecture which is most likely to be a part of the interview.
Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee emphasized upon a strategic preparation taking a cue from Carpe diem, i.e., to know how to seize the opportunity by grabbing the chance when and if the Panel asks questions in the area of candidate’s knowledge and interest. Sir also asked to activate their general awareness of current events; new release of books; discussion on any art / literary movement; and new release of literary books and journals. Dr. Mukherjee also informed how a candidate ought to express his/her strength as a Human Resource other than excellence in the core subject (mentioning extra / co-curricular activities) and how to put one’s weakness in a positive way in front of the Panel.
Dr. Zala made candidates aware of the fact that the Panel does not follow any definite question bank as such and that asking questions depend on the responses a candidate has given for the earlier questions. Sir asked to prepare one’s area of research well and in detail. Sir also discussed how to approach questions if they are too long and at the end a few tips to make overall presentation more effective.
Dr. Kamal Mehta began his talk by making candidates realize that the post for which they have applied is an entry level post in the System which needs attention to a few basic attributes as a teacher. Sir opined that a candidate must sharpen his/her professional skills. Sir divided the areas on which a candidate is expected to respond for a longer time. Such areas can be a favorite author or work, recently what a candidate is reading, research work/area, current profession or activity and one’s own area of interest from literature, language or theory. Dr. Mehta also spoke about the importance of non-verbal communication in the interview room and discussed the values and expectations hoped from a teacher.
The First Session was followed by a few questions by the candidates from the guidance offered by all the Experts. Post lunch, the Mock Interview session took place in which each candidate was given a minimum of 7 minutes. The Experts had divided areas of questions among themselves. These areas covered questions on introduction and general information by a candidate, values of a teacher, exam system, current activities a candidate is involved in, General Knowledge, Research, English and Indian Literature, Indian and Western Criticism, Grammar and English Language Teaching. The environment of the Interview room was made friendly and other candidates were allowed to attend the other interviews as a learning audience.
The Mock Interview session lasted almost for five hours and around 100 questions were asked in all. In the Third Session all the Experts presented analyses and their feedback on the performance of each candidate. They also offered a few important suggestions for improvement in the final Interview. The result was prepared out of 50 marks calculated as an average of the individual scores given by each Expert.
A total of 23 candidates took their interview out of 29 registrations. The hall was full till the end of the day with rigorous participation by each candidate. All the sessions were quite exhaustive and fruitful for all the aspirant candidates. It was fun with learning as the group was a mixture of some senior and recent alumni of the Department. A few students who were not the alumni of the Department had also participated as interviewees, as the Department felt that allowing them ultimately furthered the cause of the learners of English Studies and widened the scope of the Alumni Association. The day ended with a commitment towards cracking the interviews successfully and making the Department proud and the teachers of the Department hoped that another meet would take place in the near future when all would be celebrating the selection of many of its alumni.
Wishes & Regards,
Dept. of English & CLS,
Gujarat – India.