YOU ARE ATTENDING AN IMPORTANT INTERVIEW.

Here are some useful tips from Vallaths TES. 1. Make a brief introduction of 2-3 sentences about yourself, your education, family, interests, strengths and weaknesses. o It is most important not to over-elaborate, or repeat yourself. Highlight points that you want the interviewer to probe further. § FOR INSTANCE: If you wish to talk about your MPhil or PhD topic, stress these courses in your self-description. On the other hand, it will also look very bad if you stress on your MPhil or PhD and when they ask you more about it, you flounder! Or, if you wish to be asked about your teaching experience, stress on that. 2. Be ready to answer the question, “Why are you interested in this job?” o Do not give sentimental or hypocritical answers, or too personal answers. Your answer should be realistic and practical. § FOR INSTANCE: Do not say that you opted for this job because you want to serve society, or because your husband is also in the same profession. Say something like, you like teaching; this job gives you professional fulfillment as well as time for your family, etc. Also make it clear (if necessary) that you wish to learn more, do more courses (like research), and are ready to take bigger jobs, if there is such an opportunity. 3. Give yourself a quick overview of the subject o Cover all major periods, concepts, movements, authors, and texts in British literature, American literature, Indian Writing in English, Criticism & Theory, ELT, English grammar & phonetics, and related subjects. § FOR INSTANCE: This should help you answer typical questions like “Name a few Indian English poets, or American dramatists, or African American writers,” “What are the qualities of a teacher?” or “What is your favourite or least favourite area in British literature?” § Remember, they will ask you more in relation to your answer to these questions. 4. Prepare a brief, but exhaustively point-packed paragraph on at least one author and text from each period / movement / theory. o In literature, from each period, choose a poet & a poem, a novelist & a novel, a play & a playwright, an essayist, and so on. § FOR INSTANCE: This will help you answer questions such as “Talk about your favourite poem from the Romantic period” or “Talk about any Victorian novel that you have read.” 5. Practise speaking aloud these paragraphs effectively. o Practise sitting, standing, walking and talking in a modest but confident manner, crisply, without verbose expression. Avoid informal colloquialisms and unnecessary mannerisms / gestures. § FOR INSTANCE: This will help you when you are asked to teach a text in front of the interview board.

Prepared by Kalyani Vallath

6. You should know more than just the text. o Be prepared to quote from texts, to name characters, incidents and related works, and you should be aware of major adaptations of the novel / play you talk about. § FOR INSTANCE: If you say Macbeth is your favourite Shakespearean tragedy, then they might ask, “Do you know the name of the famous adaptation of Macbeth made by Akira Kurasawa?” 7. Give yourself daily teaching practice from now on till the day of the interview. o Practice teaching a concept / a text / a grammatical item. Choose from many areas randomly. § FOR INSTANCE: You may be given a topic to teach, or you may be given the freedom to choose from a given area. 8. Make a list of major current events from the past 2-3 months (at least) and memorize it. o Focus on your own state, and on topics related to literature and teaching, culture, sports, etc. Also make a list of recently published books, awards, etc. § FOR INSTANCE: They might ask you to discuss a current issue (say, nuclear power), or ask you the significance of a place or person, ask you to describe a recent socio-political development, or policy decision, or ask you some general GK questions, such as names of ministers, etc. 9. REMEMBER THESE POINTS ABOUT YOUR BEHAVIOUR: o Be relaxed and confident. o Be truthful. o Don’t panic or try to hide your ignorance. o Assume a formal and matter-of-fact manner. o Show that you are creative, open to new ideas and criticism, and eager to learn. o Stick to facts. Don’t give your opinions, unless when you are asked to. Even when you state your opinion, be neutral and objective. Don’t show your real self; be what they expect you to be! 10. COMMON INTERVIEW STUMBLING BLOCKS: o When you mention a text, author or movement, remember you may be asked more questions on it. So mention in an appropriate manner those texts, authors and movements that you have already prepared beforehand. o The interviewer might use techniques like asking questions in a high scholarly manner, asking many questions fast, disagreeing or arguing with you, insulting you, etc. Don’t be provoked or nervous. Be assertive, but be polite and submissive. o Don’t interrupt the interviewer or argue with him / her. If the interviewer interrupts you, stop and listen to him. o Be alert throughout the interview. Understand a question properly before answering it.

And finally, Follow these tips and do concerted hard work till the day of your interview. Think positive thoughts only. Put away your fear, guilt, escapism, overconfidence, or any such negative emotion. With the grace of God, you will pass this test.

Prepared by Kalyani Vallath

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