Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interview and more interviews; that’s how life is

picture courtesy: Google
I am not an ambitious man but I am certainly a big dreamer. I like dreaming big because as a young man, I often saw it coming true. Of the many dreams I dreamt, those that came true were the ones when I passed my tenth grade with distinction marks in the year 1999. The other was when I qualified for my B. Com (Honors) course in 2001 to the (then only) college in our country, known more as Sherubtse College.

But there were often times when dreaming alone wasn’t enough.  The greener pastures in life calls for more efforts and competitions and one such way of competition was through interviews. Interviews were expected to promote transparency, Justice and equality but often those interviews came with varying purposes and with varying motives.

 There were times when unofficial terms called ‘Bosses candidate’ and ‘pre selected candidates’ ruled the entire show of interview. And there were also times when interview were called for ‘formality sake’. Things like that were considered rumors but it disheartened many on real term.

Having said that, I have been through many such interviews in my life. I succeeded in some but failed in many. There were times when I attended the interview for the sake of getting more exposure and experience. There were also times where I attended the interview just to attend tea-snacks session and walk away with the bottle of mineral served on my table.

Just as life, there were good interview times and bad interview times. Goods ones brought me immense joy and bad ones; the unbearable pangs. Life is such that we can have just one. Today I will just take my friends and readers back to my interview days.

One such interview I attended was in December 2004. It was a selection interview for graduates who were planning to pursue a Post Graduate Certificate in Financial Management (PGCFM) in Royal Institute of Management (RIM). If successful, the candidates would be guaranteed a job in civil service, therefore the stakes were high and competition was fierce. After a weeklong written test, I finally attended the interview. The penal members were all senior bureaucrats known for their wisdom and knowledge. The sense of feeling nervousness was overwhelming but to my surprise, they asked nothing tough to answer. Few asked be about the globalization. Some told me to talk on advantages and disadvantages of Bhutan joining World Trade Organization (WTO). One panelist on seeing my culture certificate even asked me to sing!

The other interview (second latest) I attended was in 2009 and I was competing for RGoB a scholarship. If successful, I would be guaranteed a seat in one of the universities in Australia.  To be precise there were six of us who competed for 2 slots. The selection interview was held in a conference hall of RCSC and as required by rule, there were a team of 5 members to conduct the interview. I found it little funny and more crazy because the panelist appeared to have gotten the purpose wrong. Apart from my introduction, all they asked me was about the TV program I watched the night before. I was a TV freak then and I had no difficulty answering that sort of questions. I talked on and on about the soccer match in England and about the Indian dramatic serials like Kasturi, Kumkum, Kasouti, and Kahani gar gar kei. I also talked about the news I watched on CNN and BBC; of the Bin and Bush, and of the Osama and Obama. Somewhere they stopped me and said I can leave.

The last and the final interview I attended was yesterday (on 07/06/2011). I was a lone candidate, but I still had to compete with myself. It was for a scholarship from Government of India. The five panel member not only looked eager but appeared well prepared to get at me with their ‘shooting questions’ (I was ready with my flying answers nevertheless)

As I entered the room, they first demanded my introduction which I did like a running water. Second thing they asked me was about the languages (I am supposedly good at) and the advantages of knowing more language. My answer was simple. I speak Bumthap, Dzongkha, Tsangla, Kortoep, kheng, Neplai and Hindhi. The advantages it has are obvious; the number of languages one knows indicates how one can interact freely with that many people. More interaction means more knowledge sharing which is good.

Third thing they asked me was; whether I have achieved any extraordinary things in my six year service for Customs Department. Taking the ground realities into consideration (of not having a proper system of rewarding and recognizing the sincere service man) my answer was very straight forward. As such, I have no certified achievements to show but I feel I have many uncertified and recognized achievements, which are dearer to me than those certified ones.

Fourth thing they asked me was something rather strange but all the more interesting. They asked me, if I were a director of Revenue and Customs of Bhutan, then what would be my advice to someone who is joining the department for the first time. My answer was again a very straight forward one. As a director of Department of Revenue and Customs, I would advise my new recruits to use their common sense more than anything.

Since I applied for a masters course in Public Finance, Fifth thing they asked me was the definition of public finance. To know my answer, go to finance

Sixth thing they asked me was bout the current news, both national and international. The answer for this wasn’t that tough either. Crack down in Syria, mass protest in Yemen and Bahrain, flood in China, corruption in India and elections in Turkey were some my international news. Subsequently, Tobacco control rules and regulation 2011 was my national news for the jury for which they seemed little bemused.

Seventh thing they asked me was to give a little deliberation on the Tobacco control rules and regulation 2011. I am a not a legal expert, but I still acted like one and said, it’s as confusing as the Tobacco control act 2010 itself.

Eighth thing they asked me was about how masters in Public finance would help me shape my career ahead. (I am sorry; I sound little like a hypocrite) I said as I progress down the life, I may have to play a greater role than a mere customs officer. 

Ninth and the final thing they asked me to do was to translate a Dzongkha paragraph to English. I found it bit tough but nevertheless, I tried my best. The she panelist seem to have missed one thing because for translation there is always a concept called ‘Think Time’ which she did not even mention it to me.

As I came out, I saw my friends busy discussing about the pillars of Gross National Happiness. For once I thought the GNH terminology and Bhutanese have become inseparable like the water and milk. I wished them all good luck and went for a very fast lunch because our interview started late owing to a crises called 'Penal Crises'


  1. hahahah gudluck charo i know u are getting that scholarship. The last interview i attended was in 2004, now i have absolutely no idea how i would do. I would probably go blank.

  2. Interesting. You seem to have done well. and I would want to know the result when it comes out.
    By the way, I am concerned about your 2009 interview- were you selected? Looks like not! You were questioned about TV programs and you did well, but what happened? You mentioned "preselected interview" is a rumor but looks like you were a victim yourself once.
    I am yet to sit down for a interview... your story gave me an idea of what an interview in Bhutan would be like.

    Note: there are some typos, please correct them.

  3. Thanks Tshering for your comments.

    i think its worthwhile you attend some interviews in your life. because we learn a lot by attending interviews.

    Thanks Passu,
    as you wish, i will definitely let you know when the RCSC declares our results.

    going back to my 2009 interview, If I were selected, I would not be writing this post today bro. I was NOT selected. Today, I still dont know whether i have fallen victim to what i have mentioned.

    I would suggest you to also sit for interviews in life because, you will not only learn abt the subject matter but also about the jury or the panelist themselves.

    and please Passu, point my typo errors, because i am very lousy typist and i tend to make many such mistakes.......

    anyways Thanks.

  4. Good luck Kuenzang.

  5. Congrats...kunsott...hope you hav a grt learning experience there...



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