Confabulating with Waseem Haider
Preventive Officer Revenue Division, FBR
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): Please tell us about your educational background
Waseem Haider (WH): I did my matriculation and Intermediate from my home district Kambar-Shahdadkot. Later on, I did B.E in Electrical from MUET Jamshoro. Currently, I’m doing EMBA from SZABIST Karachi.
JWT: How long did it take you to prepare for Preventive Officer, Revenue Division, FBR exam?
WH: I completed my BE in 2016 and worked with the National Engineering Services of Pakistan (NESPAK) as Junior Engineer until 2020. After resigning from Nespak, I have been preparing for CSS and general recruitment tests.
JWT: What were your principal resources?
WH: For English: ‘GRE Vocabulary Flashcards’ and a Grammar book.
For GK: JWT magazine, Daily Dawn, YouTube and Google.
For Maths: Get Ahead Mathematics book series.
I maintained my own one-liner notes for each portion and kept on updating them.
JWT: How was your experience at World Times Institute during your preparations?
WH: WTI is the only platform that provides the right direction to the students for screening and descriptive exams, as well as for interview. Recently, I appeared in mock interviews and the panel was highly professional and amicable. The panellists address different queries of aspirants to the best of their abilities.
JWT: How much helpful was Jahangir’s World Times during your preparations
WH: I have remained in touch with JWT since the day I started preparing for CSS and general recruitment tests.
JWT: How new aspirants should start preparations for the various one-paper exams?
WH: Along with CSS and PMS, aspirants should also prepare themselves for other posts that are advertised every now and then. For that purpose, they have to cover MCQs on a daily basis. They should earmark 2-3 hours a day for MCQs. In addition to the above sources of preparation, new aspirants can solve MCQs from CSS past papers because most of the MCQs are repeated in tests.
JWT: What areas should they focus on?
WH: As far as general recruitment is concerned, I think Current Affairs and Mathematics are the deciding portions. One must cover both these areas from multiple sources to meet the merit criteria.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is an ideal timetable for sound preparation?
WH: Three to four months are sufficient for good preparation. The preparation must be divided into three phases: In the first phase, aspirants should make notes from diverse resources; in the second phase, these should be memorized; and lastly, the aspirants should solve as much as mock/sample papers of different posts as they can. These are available on the Internet.
JWT: What strategy should the in-job aspirants adopt as they have scant time at their disposal?
WH: Smart study is the best approach for in-job aspirants. They can cover MCQs from newspapers and, vocabulary from flashcards. They can use the Internet in breaks during office hours. After office hours, 2-3 hours for the remaining subjects are enough. However, the overall preparation period for in-job persons can range between five and six months.
JWT: How did you handle the interview pressure while before the panel?
WH: One should collect questions from other candidates and meet the persons who are already employed with the department so as to have detailed know-how. This will enable one to prepare accordingly and relieve pressure. In addition to it, the candidate should practice before mirror and appear in mock interviews to boost his/her confidence and to avoid mistakes.
JWT: Please share some questions the panellists asked during the interview.
WH: FPSC interview revolves around four areas: Introductory questions, degree-related questions, general knowledge and departmental knowledge. In my case, Customs-related questions, especially from the Customs Act, 1969, were the main focus. As I had prepared them thoroughly, I addressed all of them. So, one must have in-depth knowledge of the department one is aspiring to join because department-related information is a prerequisite to ace any interview.
JWT: On the basis of your experience, what tips you would give to the prospective aspirants?
WH: Consistency is the key. The journey is full of troubles, failures, discouragements and a long wait. Keeping in view these hurdles, only consistency can enable one to conquer one’s dreams. The world belongs to those who have vision, energy and direction in life.