Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Interviews, Competitive Magazines and Media: Something for the future toppers (Part I)

During the first three weeks after the D-day (May 16, 2007), I took many interviews with magazines, newspapers and was involved in two programs with NDTV. This post is mainly concerned about my experiences during that time.

First, the competitive magazines. My interviews were published in Civil Services Chronicle, Civil Services Times, Competition Success Review, Competition Refresher and Pratyogita Darpan. I won't go into the details of my experiences with each of these, but experience ranged from disappointing to outright disgusting.

Two of these magazines didn't leave any stone unturned - including trying to make a complete fool of me (trying to get signatures on an empty sheet of paper or on a pre-written letter), bribing me, asking favour in the name of religion etc. - to ensure that I recommended their magazines to the aspirants. I did not recommend any of these and even told one of them not to publish my interview, but to no avail. The interview format itself gives away the intentions. Questions like "Apart from our publication ...... what else did you read?". And since they ask to fill up the form in a hurry, many of these tricky questions slip by and it appears as if the successful candidate is endorsing these magazines. I was lucky enough to spot most of these and strike out such questions, but many have fallen into the trap. BEWARE!!

All the five magazines (including the interview published in the magazine that I actually read) have altered the interview to suit their interests. What I wrote does not appear in toto in any of these. Thus none of these gives a complete picture of my preparation. After my experiences with first three magazines to approach me, I asked the remaining two to get the final interview approved by me before printing it. None of them did it and changed the interview as per their interests.

And one the magazines has quoted me completely out of context. I always say that newspaper reading is much more important than magazines even though magazines are excellent from an examination perspective. So I was very surprised to see a statement which implied that magazines are all important for the examination.

Why am I posting this today? That is due to the conversation I had with Mr. Adapa Karthik (AIR 1) today. After my experiences, I realised why he had refused to be interviewed by any of these magazines. He was aware about all these tactics and refused all interviews. Bravo Karthik, that was well done! I just wish I had been aware too.

And as I write this I am aware that at least two toppers from previous batches and one from our batch had similar experience.and couldn't do much about it. Out of the five of us, Karthik has done what each of us wished we could have too.