First of all, hearty congratulations to all those who have qualified for the KVPY (Kishore Vygyanik Protsahan Yojna) interview. If you’ve found your name in the selection list, then the next step is the KVPY interview, which carries 25% weightage. It’s a round that makes most of the students nervous, owing to the factor of uncertainty attached to it.
Quite often, several juniors and batch mates ask me questions like “what do they ask?” and “in what manner are we supposed to answer the questions?” I mostly get puzzled with such questions as there’s no magic trick to crack the interview, so I generally have no answer. But I can surely tell you how I handled my 50-minute long interview to maybe help you conclude or learn something.
Read our article “Why should you appear for KVPY” to understand the benefits of giving this exam. Also go through information about the streams of the exam and how KVPY preparation will supplement your JEE preparation.
My KVPY Interview Experience & Takeaways
My interview was held at the IISER Kolkata Salt Lake Office. I remember I had to wait for about an hour and a half before my name was called. Finally, when the coordinator announced my name, the door opened, and the previous fellow walked out.
My heart was racing at a phenomenal rate. I stood up, composed myself, and opened the door.
As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by a panel of 8-9 people sitting around a parabolic table, and my chair was placed at its focus.
I greeted them, went and sat on the chair, and gave my files to the man sitting right in front. He asked me, “So, what is your favorite subject? “Physics”, I said. The next question was, “Which branch of physics interests you?”
My reply was quite out-of-the-box for a class XI student, “Semiconductor Physics“, I said. (The main reason being I had done my school project on semiconductors). The interviewers, though taken aback, went on with their question answer session.
The next question thrown my way was: Explain the working of a p-n diode.
I have always found it uncomfortable to answer this concept verbally. I just mess things up when I’m speaking for long. I chose the “pen and whiteboard” option.
While I was explaining, they continuously asked counter questions like “What sort of materials should be used for doping?”, “Why this happens?”, “How this happens?”, “How can you increase the conductivity without increasing the doping?”, etc. I got stuck in the last answer, but fortunately, the interviewer gave me a hint.
After that, I was asked a few questions from Vector Algebra, and Plane Geometry, which didn’t cause a great deal of trouble. I got completely stuck at a Geometry question, and had to say, “I don’t know Sir.” I swear, I was so reluctant to utter those words.
The last thing they asked was, whether I was interested in Fundamental Science or Engineering. Ensure that you never answer “Engineering” or “Medical” under any circumstances. They will always prefer students having an inclination towards fundamental science.
What Did I Learn From My KVPY Interview?
Here are some tips from my personal experience that might help you crack the grueling session.
- Use the whiteboard. It’s easier to explain with a pen on a board than verbal explanations. You might goof up big time due to nervousness sometimes.
- Do not act smart. Be humble. If you don’t know something just say that. Don’t beat around the bush as that creates a bad impression. They won’t ask you alien questions, so get your basics clear.
- Stay calm and well-behaved. You cannot possibly forget to wish “Good Morning” or “Thank You, Sir.”
- Remember that you don’t have to memorize the whole essay-type answers or speeches. You just have to ‘know’ things. The questions are more often very direct and require to-the-point answers, which can be given in a single line.
- You do not have to worry about your speaking skills or your proficiency in English. While it definitely helps to have these skills handy with you, the main aim of the interviewers is to test your knowledge base and nothing else. If uncomfortable, they accept answers in Hindi as well.
- Use diagrams to support your answers whenever possible.
- Most importantly, show your enthusiasm for gobbling up as much knowledge as possible, and prove that you are extremely captivated by scientific phenomena.
I hope that you learn something from my experience and prove your capabilities inside that closed chamber during the interview.
Read more about the KVPY exam and KVPY interview in this article.
Do share your feedback in the comments section below along with other Do’s and Don’ts (if any) for KVPY Interviews below.