Hafiz Muhammad Haroon Tahir
1st Position Tehsildar Exam
Punjab Revenue Department
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): Please tell us about your educational background
Hafiz Muhammad Haroon Tahir (HMHT): I did my intermediate from a college in my native town, Pattoki. After that, I earned my BA degree from University of the Punjab and later, graduated from University of Management and Technology with an MA in English Literature.
JWT: How long did it take you to prepare for the Tehsildar exam?
HMHT: It took me 3-4 months of relevant preparation to prepare myself specifically for the Tehsildar exam, as it happened for the first time that PPSC included a 100-mark MCQs-based English exam.
JWT: What were your principal resources?
HMHT: The sources that I consulted for the preparation of Tehsildar exam were:
1. General Knowledge Manuals
2. Wren & Martin and other English Grammar books
4. One-liners on a variety of subjects by JWT Publications
5. JWT magazine
JWT: How was your experience at World Times Institute during your preparations?
HMHT: Honestly, I had a wonderful experience at WTI. The lectures on personality grooming, communication skills, general knowledge, revenue-related portion, and current affairs not only increased my confidence but also broadened my knowledge base. Besides, a thorough understanding of job-related aspects developed through interaction with retired officers helped me greatly in my interview.
JWT: How new aspirants should start preparations for the various one-paper exams?
HMHT: New aspirants should start with the study of the past papers to get an idea of the type of questions that are asked. Then, they should start reading an English newspaper regularly and consult diverse sources for preparation of general knowledge-related subjects. Aspirants should also keep the syllabus in view as being relevant is very important. Be consistent, and success will knock at your door very soon.
JWT: What areas should they focus?
HMHT: All the subjects are equally important. It is never wise to give too little time to any of the subjects. Also, an aspirant should pay special attention to the subjects in which his/her knowledge is rather limited, and give maximum time to prepare those subjects.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is an ideal time table for a sound preparation?
HMHT: It is not the time-table but consistency that makes the difference. Therefore, I strongly advise aspirants to be consistent; whether they follow a timetable or not. One needs to study for 5-7 hours a day, whenever time is available.
JWT: What strategy should the in-job aspirants adopt as they have scant time at their disposal?
HMHT: Being in a job hardly exonerates an aspirant from working hard. Such aspirants need to devise a balanced study plan and work according to that. I myself was in a job while preparing for the Tehsildar exam, and in my observation, maintaining a work-study balance isn’t as hard as it seems, if it is dealt with rationally. Such aspirants are advised to keep some of the sources at their offices or on a laptop, so that they can study in their free time.
JWT: How did you handle the interview pressure while before the panel?
HMHT: Pressure is always there. Instead of trying to counter it with too much positivity, one should channelize it. A little fear always helps us to perform well, but do not allow it to get on your nerves. For that, I tried to have a smile on my face come what may. It helped me transform the atmosphere of the room into a pleasant one. During my interview, the worthy chairman expressed his annoyance as I was digressing while answering one of the questions. But I didn’t lose confidence. I had decided that I would give myself lifelines, which I did. I couldn’t answer a few questions, but I simply apologised in a gracious manner. Also, I made full use of my sense of humor, and it helped me in keeping the panel engaged.
JWT: Please share some questions the panellists asked during the interview?
HMHT: Some of the questions were;
1. You are already serving in the same pay scale, why do you want to shift to this department?
2. How would you prove to be a good officer?
3. Questions related to my degree, current department and current affairs.
4. Questions related to the Department
JWT: On the basis of your experience, what tips would you give to the prospective aspirants?
HMHT: My first and foremost advice would be to have faith in your abilities. Work hard yet smart and do so consistently. Preparation is the best part of the journey as it is the metamorphosis of the whole personality of an aspirant. Customized notes, analysis of the syllabus and past papers will greatly help you in achieving your goals. Also, don’t forget to live your life to the fullest, as only a happy person is a productive person.