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.

16 comments:

Ashish said...

Hi Sir

Despite ur genuine concerns...I feel that these interviews are a major source of inspiration for aspirants...majority of whom don't have access to internet facility to know the details through blogs/orkut or similar other mediums....

So U can say these interviews to be necessary evil...if I may take the liberty to call them that...And trust me ...we all are smart enough to understand the hidden agenda...In fact I don't read all the questions that have publication's book names mentioned...as the format is really predictable...

Probably one could go in for a 'lengthy' legal recourse to set a precedent for these magazines...
Anyways nice to hear from u regularly...All the best for ur Mussoorie days ahead...God Bless!!

Regards
Ashish

Supreet Singh Gulati said...

Hi Ashish. Good to hear from to you too.

All the successful candidates realise that magazines level the playing field,thanks to their reach and low cost. But, I just wish they were in better hands. Earlier I would only call them necessary, but you are correct, they are a necessary evil.

Let's see if some workaround can be found.

All the best.

Avinash said...

Hi Sir,
Congrats. I am Avinash,23 just about to quit my software job. I have just started to my blog, on my preparation to be an IAS officer. I would like to mention my +ve's and -ve's in turning mindset from software job to Administrative job in this blog. Your inputs are required as and when you feel to express.
http://avinashgoud.blogspot.com

basu said...

hello sir, you must be going great there. i think it would be great if u put forward your interview in a similar manner..( like u were sitting in the interview room). u hv got great marks in interview so it wud be great if you elaborate in this part as well. by the way u r doing a great job...thanks a lot.

Supreet Singh Gulati said...

I'll be putting up details of my interview by December mid. It's tough to do it before that since the schedule at Foundation Course is quite cramped

Fundaputter said...

Hey Supreet,

First, my hearty congrats to you for not only enduring the tough life until now but for coming on the top of it. You and I were in the same batch and lab group in our first year at IITM. I wasnt sure how to congratulate you until I found your blog upon some diligent google search.

Always wondered about the tediousness and the format of the examination. Is it really necessary to make it so lengthy and tough? Its always easy to make an examination the most difficult, but its not easy to make the same examination the most effective or the best. Just take your example for a second, does it require the system four years to pick an able candidate like you? Sometimes I feel the system forces people to turn into geeks with limited contacts with the society and expects them to go administer the same society they had lost touch with.

I would like to know how you feel about the pattern of the examination. Now that you are on the inide, have you heard about any examination reforms that might take place?

Ankur Gupta said...

Thanks sir for the post. Today i am reading your blog for the first time & i have read some of your posts. Your posts are very informative.

My special thanks are for spending your valuable time to provide information to cse aspirants.

kanishka said...

sir,
i would like to know few good books and mag... for gs preparations.i know u may not post here but sir, if u could suggust few standard ones,like monthly,annually... it will b of great help as im finding it difficult to gather relavent info..for gs and ending up in magzine jungle dilemma.so,plz ...sir send me ur valuable info @kanishkashukla1@gmail.com.,and sir,if you could give few suggestions how to cope up with gen.studies few tips how to take up the relavent info and leave the irrelavent.
plz.........help me
thanking you,
kanishka.

Indru said...

Very well done first to publish what you feel, next to make aware the innocent readers...
Me too read those interview and thinking in the same manner...
well, everything went right now after seeing this post...what about others who never going to see this..
For many, you may seem god for 1-2years..every word is accepted and followed...
indrakumarhb@gmail.com

nimish said...

sir i want to ask u sumthng will u reply me i want to ask u abt civil services ias/ips i m an engg. studnt final year

navjot said...

Hello Sir
it was good to know ur take on the magazines.........it often made me wonder, during my preparation days as to how many magazines does a topper really subscribe to with all having his/her interviews!!!!!!!!!!!....in the hindsight, it appears funny too. i'v appeared in the interview this year. hope i make it!

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krs balu said...

sir, i need to start up preparation for csat 2013 .can u pls suggest me the way can i use my few days left to put my full effort….and the books can i prefer..and i’m going through the materials downloaded from your site.. can u suggest more things..

krs balu said...

sir, i need to start up preparation for csat 2013 .can u pls suggest me the way can i use my few days left to put my full effort….and the books can i prefer..and i’m going through the materials downloaded from your site.. can u suggest more things..

Shivani Gulia said...

Thanks a lot for the post sir... :)

ANIKET RANJAN said...

Hi sir
Myself Aniket ranjan, only one thing sir, all these type of magazine, they didn't thing about what happened with him when the people know about him.They all have corporativ view towrds student.