Going About KVPY Interview Preparation:
If you’re reading this, congratulations on making it through the KVPY written test! For most of you, this must be your first ever interview and you must be understandably nervous, but just look at it as another exam, prepare well and give it your best shot.
First of all some myth-busting:
Please don’t over-worry about your lack of English or communication skills. They are testing your PCM/B skills only. Interviewers have been known to accept answers in Hindi.
Now for the KVPY interview preparation:
1. Favorite subjects: The concept is ingrained in the process for Std XII students where one only opts for two subjects out of the four in paper B. But even Std XI students will be asked their favorite subjects at the beginning of the interview. You might not be questioned exclusively on these subjects, but they will be the central focus. So thinking about your answer should be the first step of your KVPY interview preparation.
2. Revision of basics/fundamentals: Since you have cleared the written test, you should have a good grasp on the subjects already. But still if there were some topics that you left or aren’t confident about or need to study again to clarify, now is the time to do it. Naturally spend more time on the two subjects of your choice but don’t completely ignore the other two subjects. At this stage, stick to NCERT books for good, precise explanation of concepts. Look at diagrams and derivations thoroughly. Focus on experiments as well.
3. Applications: What differentiates KVPY from the other competitive exams is its focus on research. So the interviewers expect you to not only know concepts but understand their applications and significance as well. It is a good time investment to look up the applications of some of the concepts in topics you like or are confident about as they will often as you what topic you’d like questions about. Focus on concepts which have applications in day to day life. Be prepared to be asked to analyze a seemingly random situation. You will most likely have to recall and apply a simple concept. Don’t panic and think clearly.
4. Presentation skills: Most of you will be used to and good at solving questions and marking the right answer but here you will have to explain concepts out loud on a board or answer questions verbally. This is something which takes practice but can certainly be acquired. A good way to go about it is to sit with a notebook and pen, read a topic from the textbook and explain it out loud like you’re teaching it to someone else.
5. Hobbies: You will be asked about your hobbies so think about what you are going to answer. Once you choose your answer think or find out about all the science or technology related aspects of your hobby and find out how they work.
6. Scientific research: They will ask you what you’d like to work on in the future. Have an answer ready for that. You should ideally not only state the field but also explain why you’re interested in it. And be prepared for questions based on that explanation.
Remember that the KVPY interview is not so much about testing your PCM/B skills as it is about testing you as a researcher. Very often your approach is more important than the final solution. Keep talking to the interviewers. Tell them what you’re thinking. If you get stuck or are doing something wrong, they will ask you side questions or give you hints. Be careful about things you say as almost everything will have follow-up questions. If you bluff, you will be caught and that doesn’t leave a good impression. Be honest.
And most of all keep calm, try to learn from those amazing scientists and have fun.
KVPY is an excellent milestone to target if you are aiming for JEE. Find out how KVPY supplements your JEE preparation in this article.