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Are you prepared for UPSC Interview? Here are some important tips

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Tips to Come Out of the UPSC Interview with Flying Colors

UPSC Civil Services is an extensive three staged examination where aspirants are tested rigorously on different aspects of their knowledge and personality. Each stage has its own importance for selection for the most coveted Civil Services. With the last phase of the Civil Services exam 2017 coming up, aspirants must be busy preparing for the Interview/Personality test. Needless to say, Interview is mandatory in other UPSC exams like NDA, Technical Entry Scheme, CDS etc.

And for those who are preparing for UPSC 2018, the Preliminary exam is the first hurdle which must not be neglected, and therefore, we recommend you to enroll in Prelims Test Series to get familiar with exam pattern and probable questions before you sit for the UPSC Preliminary Exam.

Now, coming back to Interview preparation tips, let’s have a look at what kind of questions to be expected at the Interview?

Are you in that league as well? In this article, we will share some really important tips for you to understand the Interview phase better and crack it with flying colors.

UPSC civil services Interview is a crucial and decisive phase and a good score can play a pivotal role in determining the final selection. If everything goes well at the interview session and you score 60% or above, there are high chances of you to get the service of your choice. Therefore, aspirants aiming at IAS, IPS, IFS and other Group A services, should dedicatedly prepare for the exam and strive to get at-least 200 marks and above out of the total 275 marks in the interview.

The sum total of marks obtained in the Interview and in Mains decides the ultimate selection of the candidates. Personality test, also called ‘Interview’ for the UPSC Civil Services Examination is conducted at UPSC Head Office, Delhi.

Since this upcoming phase of the exam is of the utmost importance, here are few important tips which one must keep in mind while preparing for the final stage of Civil Services Exam. Check out 7 Proven Tips to Increase Your Chances of Successful Job Interview.

What kind of questions to be expected at the Interview?

Aspirants are required to fill a Detailed Application Form (DAF) and submit to the Interview. You are expected to be honest and formulate the answers carefully because a major portion of the Interview questions can be asked from your DAF. Hence you must go through the information you have filled and make sure you fill your DAF very carefully.

Questions could be based on anything related to:

  1. Your name and famous personalities in the similar names or surnames.
  2. Why did you choose Civil Services as your career choice? Or why do you want to be a civil servant?
  3. Your choice of Services (as filled in DAF).
  4. Education qualification and/or academic institution. Questions can be anywhere related to the educational institution indirectly as well; like if you have studied from IGNOU, then they can question you about Indira Gandhi or if you have MBBS background, you could be questioned on how you are going to utilize your knowledge and skills for Civil Services. And why don’t you prefer serving your country better by remaining a doctor and treating poor patients?
  5. Your hobbies and reasons behind them. If you mention any sports as a hobby, make sure you read each and everything about that sport, you can be asked about the history if that particular sport, or the current scenario.
  6. Current Affairs topics like ‘Demonetisation and your opinion on this’ can be asked.
  7. Be thorough with your optional subject, especially if that is not the discipline in which you have graduated. In case of a change in optional subject in the re-attempt, questions could be raised on that concern as well.
  8. There could be situational questions. For instance, you are the SP of an area and there is communal violence. What actions would you take to resolve the issue and how would you tackle the aftermath.

What are they looking for at the Personality test?

UPSC Interview phase aims at assessing the candidate’s decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, aptitude, administrative skills and overall personality to judge whether the candidate is suitable for the service or not. Aspirants are evaluated for their knowledge base, intelligence, intellect, perception, balanced judgment, leadership qualities and humanitarian aspects like ethics and integrity.

The Kothari Committee constituted by the UPSC has listed the basic qualities for assessing the candidates aspiring for India’s most competitive examination. They are as follows:

  • Clarity of expression
  • Reasoning ability
  • Welcoming different opinions
  • Awareness and concern for socio-economic problems
  • Range and depth of interests
  • Personality attributes relevant for social interaction


Prepare yourself for the Real Quest:

UPSC Civil Services’ Interview phase is extremely crucial and decisive. Marking for this phase of the exam is tougher than expected and hence, candidates must do everything humanly possible to crack this life-changing opportunity.

Developing personality traits is an on-going process from the very start of our being. But for the Civil Services, what requires is a proper brushing to qualify for the Interview phase.  With proper planning and preparation, a candidate can self-analyze their strengths and weaknesses and work on them to polish their personality traits consciously.

Prepare yourself strategically. Initially, keep your knowledge base and current affairs updated. This will help you frame and back your answer with relevant information for related questions.

At the UPSC interview, no hobby is merely a hobby and no interest is just for the sake. The interviewers will analyze you for every inch of the personal habits and traits you mention. 

Be very clear about what you really like to do and what interests you the most. This clarity will not just help you answer the questions in your DAF but also justify the same in front of the Panel of experts. For this, you can take help from your friends and their genuine criticism might just help you in framing out the best answer for the Interview. Don’t forget to rehearse your answers and even if you forget some part of it, don’t lose your calm and try framing your answer even better. Even in the interview, just in case you skip on a point, confidently keep the part you remember and justify yourself best on it. Maintain utmost sincerity while answering before the panel.

Develop Conversational proficiency

UPSC Interview is an obvious one-on-one conversation with the expert panel where they will notice and analyze everything, as already mentioned, including your conversational proficiency and style. Civil Administrator is a public servant and hence for the recruitment for the position, the interviewers will scrutinize the aspirants on every aspect they would connect to the public with, directly or indirectly.

  • Improve and polish your conversational skills
  • Practice clarity of Speech – pronunciation & apt vocabulary will be a benefit.
  • Talk softly – Keep low on your tone and respond calmly.
  • Respond intelligently – You are discussing an extremely responsible service, frame your responses accordingly.
  • Keep to the point – Don’t over-explain or skip anything important.
  • Avoid subordinate type approach – your leadership and administrative traits must show in your words.
  • Do not sound over friendly – Develop professional approach in your conversation.
  • Mock interviews are the best way to prepare for the UPSC Civil Services interview and improve your preparation based on the feedback.

Addressing the esteemed panel of experts:

Panel members are from the esteemed positions of the Civil Services Fraternity and are highly experienced. Make sure you are aware of your panel before you go for the Interview.

Enter the interview room by knocking the door and confidently move in while greeting the interviewers. Do not sit until you are asked to do so. Once they have welcomed you formally and asked to sit, respond with a gentle nod and take your seat. Keep a pleasant smile throughout the conversation.

Maintain a positive body language, right body posture and eye contact with the board members. Do not fidget with your hands or bend forward needlessly. Your body posture should be comfortable but attentive at the same time. Panel appreciates a patient listener and expects an active participant in the discussions, so balance yourself on both the aspects. Don’t be rude in case of difference of opinion and appreciate their views where they are making a point over your answer.

Be Honest

In case of a query and you don’t know any particular question, prefer being honest and tell them that you are not aware of the answer. Don’t weave around a loose nest only to build a story for the answer you are not aware of.  They will judge it by your expressions and confidence while giving the answer.

While answering, you could appear serious and thoughtful, now and then, but maintain a calm smile and remain composed for the rest of the time in the interview room. Do not laugh even if the board does, just smile. It will give a positive reflection on the depth of your personality. Be sure of maintaining a human concern whenever possible in your answers.

Post interview session, take a polite exit. Leave your chair only when asked. And don’t forget to greet them with a ‘thank you’ before you leave the room. Make sure you hide your excitement or worry until you are out of the premises.

Inculcate the administrative traits in you and practice these tips well in time. For that one day of the interview, believe you are the administrator and keep up the spirits of the Civil Service. Answering with full honesty and integrity can assure you the rightful success. Good luck with the preparations!

Must Read : Top Tips To Follow Up After A Job Interview | UPSC CIVIL SERVICES 2018 (Complete details)

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