The UPSC Interview round is a test of personality, rather than of knowledge
Civil Services aspirants who have successfully cleared the first two stages of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) — Prelims and Mains — will be eligible for the challenging stage: the Personality Test, also known as the Interview round.
A UPSC Civil Services interview lasts for about 30 minutes. The purpose of the interview is to check whether the candidate is suitable for a career in the civil services. That is, whether the candidate has the potential to demonstrate good administrative skills.
The interview panel consists of the Chairman of the interview board and four other members. The Chairman of the board is always a UPSC member. The other four members of the panel are usually academicians /senior officials/experts chosen from different fields by UPSC.
The panel asks questions from the detailed application form of the candidates. The questions will be on the candidate’s place of birth, hobbies, issues of the home state, current national issues, and more. The members of the panel observe how the candidate responds to each question. There is no one definite answer for any question.
A successful candidate is broad-minded, sensitive to the needs of others and has concern towards weaker sections of the society.
Be confident. Be honest. Be polite. Smile. Most importantly, answer every question like an Indian. Use the phrases ‘our country’ or ‘our nation’ in your answers. Remember, the interview panel checks whether you have a national outlook or a regional mindset.
Interview score has a great scoring potential and even a small difference in interview marks, changes the Service Allocation, leading you to appear again for Prelims.
Interview Preparation is comprehensively addressed. Plz go through below sections in detail.
What is Tested in a Candidate:
- Mental alertness :
- Means presence of mind, confidence and mental composer.
- Critical powers of assimilation: To assimilate means to understand or take in fully. Grasp many dimensions of an issue.
- Clear and logical exposition: clarity of thoughts and expression.
- Balance of judgment: objectivity and optimism. No cynics needed.
- Variety and depth of interest: hobbies and passions.
- Intellectual and moral integrity: A synthesis of morality and intellect.
- Ability for social cohesion and leadership : Empathy to social problems and weaker sections.
- Tests intelligent interest in:
- special subjects of academic study.
- the Current events: National, International and within own state.
- modern currents of thought.
- new discoveries.
How to Prepare:
- Your Detailed Application Form ( DAF ) includes the following Bio-Data :
- Home State, District and Place of birth : Special features, peculiarities, typical problems, famous persons and places etc.
- Schools, Colleges, Places of Schooling.
- Mother’s and Father’s profession.
- Your own previous professions/jobs and organisation, if any.
- Date of Birth, Meaning of Name, any special occasion that coincides with the Date and Year.
- Hobbies : Be honest.
- Awards and any extra-curricular activities : Be honest.
- Reasons for a long time gap after graduation without employment, if any.
- Optional Subjects, Subject of graduation : general questions of applied nature like how the subject or a concept helps in administration or in real life etc.
- Order of preferences for services : justification for the same, especially when it is unusual. E.g. why IPS and not IAS or IFS?
- Revised Order of preferences for services : justification for the same.
- Frame maximum possible questions on above areas or topics. Distribute copies of your DAF to selected friends to prepare questions for you. Think and prepare your own answers.
- Practice regularly. After reading, systematically think, question, connect with other topics, internalize, summarize and form your own opinions.
- Observe small events around you. Make them your Personal experiences. Connect them with relevant topics and form your opinions.
- T.V. discussions on Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha TV / BBC / CNN/ IDSA / Big Think very helpful and interesting.
- Confidence, coolness, common sense, communication practice, charm&cheerful, honesty, humility are the qualities that will fetch you highest score in the interview.
Some topper’s interview transcripts deciphered to give a better understanding on how to prepare