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Face the WBSSC Interview Board Easily
A very short introduction
First things first:
- Have a sound and deep sleep at night.
- Rise up early and collect the English newspapers like The Statesman or The Telegraph (if possible). Read the important news of the day.
- Make sure that you have got the necessary documents (Call Letter, original and photocopies of all the mark-sheets and certificates other documents if required) and a pen with you. Use an elegant file (Clear Book) with transparent pockets that display the mark-sheets and certificates from within.
- Make sure that you have put on light coloured dress. Do not use any perfume. Female candidates should put on sari and should avoid using lipstick and excessive and self-fashioning ornaments. Remember, you should feel comfortable whatever you are dressed in.
- Do not chew or smoke anything that would stink (like pan, cigarette, guthka). To resist bad breath, if you unfortunately have, you may use mouth-freshener candies. But don’t go for any chewing-gum as excessive chewing caused by tension results in cramp in the oral muscles.
- Prepare yourself sufficiently ahead of time and start for the SSC Office confidently.
At the Office before the Interview:
- Before you enter the office, make sure that you have some dry food and a bottle of water with you.
- Get your documents checked properly and wait for the call to the board.
- You may talk to other candidates in a light-hearted manner. This may reduce the tension level in you. But don’t talk too much as you may lose you focus.
Getting the personality right for the Personality Test:
- Try to remain focused and feel comfortable. Remember you have crossed many barriers and passed many tests. Your task is to score well out of remaining marks.
- Tell yourself that you need the job. But in order to get it, do not think of presenting yourself as someone begging a job before the board. Think of presenting yourself as a candidate fit for the job. Now it is your task to convince the interviewers that you are fit enough for the teaching job. Gather the whole weight of your knowledge, teaching skill, extra-curricular skills and will to do the job sincerely and present those before the board.
So instead of evading the board, wait eagerly for the call.
Feel easy at the table:
- Approach the allotted room or the table without making noise of your shoes and ornaments. Standing at the door, with a sincere smile on your face, ask their permission to enter by saying “May I come in sir/madam?”. After they have said “Yes, come in”, proceed to the table and wish them “Good morning” (if it is before 12p.m.) or “Good afternoon” (if it is after 12 p.m.). They will return the courtesy and say to you “sit down” on the chair kept there for the candidates. Say in a low but audible voice “Thank you sir/madam”.
- Be seated confidently and feel comfortable and with a smile wait for the questions.
- Don’t feel cramped. Remember the interviewers are also somewhat apprehensive of the encounter. This happens because whenever we meet a stranger we feel somewhat shaky.
It is expected that they will want a short introduction from you—your name, address, degree/s you have done, the institutions you studied in, and, above all, your present position. Answer the questions smoothly and clearly so that they can hear you and understand your words. Since you are supposed to speak in English, answer in English if any interviewer asks you any question in English. But if any member asks you questions in Bengali, you should then speak in standard Bengali. Remember, since you will have to speak both in English and Bengali in school, they will test your skills in both languages. By ‘test’ it is meant here that they will see to whether you can speak fluently and clearly, and loudly enough so that you teach a class of 100 students or not. So don’t stammer, don’t speak in a weak and inaudible voice, don’t answer in one word or only in expressions (incomplete sentences) and don’t pronounce any meaningless expression.
- For your convenience, a fictitious dialogue about the introductory part is given below:
- 1st Member: What is your name?
- Candidate: My name is Amit Chaudhuri.
- 2nd Member: Where are you hailing/coming from?
- Candidate: I live at Silapur. It is an ancient village in the Kharagpur Sub-division of Paschim Medinipur.
- 1st Member: Where did you do your graduation from?
- Can: I passed B. A. Hons. in English from XYZ College, XYZ (Place), which is affiliated to XYZ University.
- 3rd Member: What are you doing now?
- Can: I am now teaching in a college/school as a part-time teacher and preparing for the examination of School Service Commission/ I give tuition for English to the students from Class VIII to X. (Here whatever you do, tell them honestly)
After the introductory part is over, they may ask you specific questions. For instance, “Why do want to be a teacher? Why don’t you look for other jobs?” Here you should prepare a ready-made answer. The answer may be like the following one:
“I want to be a teacher because it is directly related to social service. In my school I was inspired by my teachers. I loved the job they did. When I went to my college, I was further inspired by my teachers. I think that only this job will allow me to do my work by being directly associated with common people. Not only this, this will also give me the opportunity of helping the young generation shape their destiny and become ideal citizens. Besides, by being a teacher, I think, I will be able to remain with knowledgeable persons.”
- After you have finished, the members may ask you some specific questions relating to Environmental and Social Awareness in Bengali. Answer the questions as far as you know. If you do not know any answer, tell them smilingly: “I can’t recall it right now/ I don’t know the answer.” Don’t give wrong answer.
- As you know, there will be a subject-expert among the members. He/she may ask you specific questions relating to your subject. Subject specific questions do not have any range. In spite of that, you should have your preparation:
i. Memorise a short important speech (10-15 lines) from one of Shakespeare’s drama. Again, memorise one or two stanzas from one of the Romantic poems like Immortality Ode you have read. Remember they may ask you questions from the speech of a drama or the stanza/s of a poem you will recite.
- Now re-read the important events and topics like the Renaissance, Neo-classicism and Romanticism, Wordsworth’s pantheism/attitude to Nature, Coleridge’s supernaturalism, Shelley’s revolutionary and Platonic ideals, Keats’s sensuousness, Keats’s theory of “Objective Co-relative”, modernism, postmodernism. Get acquainted with certain important years like 1066, 1453, the span of the Elizabethan period, the year of Shakespeare’s birth, 1688, 1798, Victoria’s ascension to the throne, 1914, 1922, 1939 etc.
iii. Memorise the definitions and examples of certain literary types and terms like sonnet, lyric, ode, tragedy, hamartia, essay, one-act play, problem play, poetic drama, dramatic monologue, blank verse, different kinds of novels—like Gothic novel, picaresque novel, historical novel, psychological novel, the stream of consciousness fiction, short story etc.
- As to questions from grammar, you will have to have a thorough knowledge of English grammar. Go through a good book of grammar like “A Higher English Grammar (General)” by P.K. De Sarkar. Memorise the definitions of important terms like adjective, adverb, preposition, auxiliary verbs, transitive/intransitive verbs, infinitive, present participle, gerund, verbal noun, case, moods etc.
- Take note of the English (French and Latin loans) words having difficult spelling.
20. Now come to the question of teaching in school. Here you may be asked very simple basic yet difficult question like: “How would you teach English in class V/VI?” The answer should be as follows:
“I will teach English through functional communicative approach. I will start the day’s lesson by asking a few questions relating to the lesson in order to draw their attention and make them interested. Then I will read the text loudly and explain the new words in English by giving concrete examples and writing the synonyms on the blackboard. If some of the words are abstract words, I will explain those by supplying Bengali words for those. After I have finished explaining the text, I will ask some students to read a few lines. In this way I will see whether they can pronounce the new words correctly or not. After that I will ask them questions given in the book to see whether they have understood the text or not. If they face difficulty, I will explain the difficult portion. Sometimes if it is necessary to create an imaginary situation, I will form groups among the students and tell them to communicate with one another as if they are in real-life situation. Thus I will finish with them the questions given at the end of text and give them home-task and finish the day’s lesson.”
The questions may be specific, like “How would you teach grammar in Class V/VI?” Your answer may be as follows:
“I will teach grammar through the text book. For instance, if I am to teach the use of simple present tense, I will not start by telling them the definition and giving some examples. Rather I will first make them familiar with the uses by referring to the examples given in the text book. Then I will ask simple questions in order to see whether they can use the example in real-life situations. In order to do this, I may create an imaginary situation. Finally when I am satisfied that they can apply the use of simple present tense in real life, I will tell them the definition.”
Again they may ask some questions relating to the problems of teaching in school. For instance, they may ask you to give your opinion regarding the recent circular issued by the West Bengal Council of Secondary Education. So collect the circular and read it and prepare your arguments in favour of the circular. The same is the case with Sarba Siksha Obhijan and the disputed Sex Education (Life-Style Education). Remember that whatever you say must be directed towards the development of the students, irrespective of class, caste and gender. Don’t talk of the weakness of the students. If they are weak, it is the teacher’s fault.
- In other words, you will have to present yourself as a candidate with positive mindset and flexible attitude and willingness to do the job seriously and sincerely. Remember you’re your role in school should be that of a facilitator.
- So, after the interview is over, say “Thank Sir/Madam” to them and walk out of the room modestly.