The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) recruits Assistant Provident Fund Commissioners (APFC) every year to recruit officers in the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) under the Ministry of Labor & Employment. The selection process comprises of an objective exam with 120 questions. The candidates shortlisted in the first stage are called for the next stage i.e. the interview round.
The interview panel consists of competent, experienced, unbiased, and knowledgeable members. You may expect a wide variety of questions from your profile, academic background, interests and hobbies, past work experience (if any), current affairs and general knowledge.
Focus of the interview
The basic objective of the interview is to evaluate the suitability of a candidate for the service. The purpose is not only one-on-one interaction but also intended to reveal the intellectual capacity and mental ability of the candidates.
- You should revise not only your academics but also about the events happening around your own state or country
- Be updated with the current affairs and curious to learn about the latest happenings in India and across the world
- Some qualities to be inculcated are: unbiased judgment and alertness of mind, mental and physical energy, powers of practical applications, integrity of character, social- ability etc.
- A key to success is self- confidence and the key to self-confidence is preparation
What to Expect in an Interview?
Personal Questions: To start with, you can expect personal questions on your hobbies, strengths, weakness, career goals, and achievements and so on. Further, you need to be thoroughly prepared with questions on details mentioned on your resume. Also, questions based on your value system can be asked. Sometimes, the interviewer might ask questions like - Where you want to see yourself in next 5 years? What are your strengths? How will they help you as an APFC? In such cases, what they are primarily checking is your articulation and discriminating abilities.
Profile-based Questions: Based on your graduation discipline, you can expect basic level questions on the core subjects. If you have work experience, then expect questions like - reasons for leaving your previous job and why do you want to shift? What is needed here is a logical answer, which is convincing enough to justify your shift.
Knowledge-based Questions: In the interview, expect a majority of questions which test your level of knowledge in different domains. These areas can be broadly divided as:
- Economy and Finance: Questions on economy and finance test your basic knowledge about key concepts, historical evolution and the working of important institutions like PFRDA, RBI, NABARD and SEBI.
- Current Affairs: The interview panel expects the candidates to have a fair knowledge of recent developments in the fields affecting the banking industry.
Apart from above mentioned categories, there might be questions to see if you understand the kind of work expected from you as an officer and if you've applied for jobs elsewhere.
So, follow the given steps to ace the interview process:
- Know your resume thoroughly. Be true in writing about yourself, your achievements, hobbies, extra- curricular activities.
- Make the habit of reading a national newspaper on a daily basis. It will enhance your command over general awareness.
- Support your readings with various government websites to prepare with the first hand information.
- Prepare for mock interviews with your friends or family members or in front of a mirror. This will also improve your command over the English language
- You can also take training for interviews from reputed coaching institutions for practice and solve your queries, if any. They will help you by providing quality feedback and reliable information to crack the APFC interview.
- For more details regarding the working of the EPFO, visit their site, www.epfindia.com
Keep reading and practice regularly!
Following is the sample of an interview session held in 2012:
- What is the most unique feature of the Indian Constitution?
- In a clock showroom why all the clocks show the time 10:10?
- What is the chemical name of Ruby?
- Who founded Google?
- What is CACP? (w.r.t. agriculture)
- What is core banking?
- What are negotiable instruments?
- What is the difference between mergers, acquisitions and takeovers?
Thus, to crack the APFC interview, focused preparation, knowledge of issues of general awareness and regular practice is the mantra.