If you managed to clear your prelims round and believe that you will do well in the mains round, then it is time for you to start preparing for the final round of examination which is the UPSC interview round.
So if you are wondering how to prepare for the civil services interview, then this article will give you tips for the UPSC interview that you await!
How to Prepare for Civil Services Interview?
The third and final stage of the selection process for civil servants is the UPSC CSE interview. In the civil service, interview candidates are asked about a variety of things.
The personality round is generally around 20 minutes and it will be held by a board. This board is appointed by the UPSC. There is no prescribed time limit for any personality round and can even exceed the average 20 minutes mark.
Candidates must adhere to their time slot and generally reach the venue of the personality round well in advance of their slot. Proper verification of all your documents need to be done and a questionnaire has to be filled out by the candidates.
Every candidate is given their panel number and then all the students are made to sit together in a huge hall where they will be called in one by one.
Importance of UPSC Interview
The UPSC interview is very important in terms of selection. To pass a written exam is much easier than to prove your worth to an experienced board of members. This personality round will help the board assess your abilities as a civil servant and then will deem you fit or unfit for the job.
The personality round holds around 275 marks out of the total of 2025. These marks play a very important role whilst deciding your rank too. Many times, it is seen that the difference between the top 10 rankers is just the difference in their personality round marks.
The test is not a knowledge test but a personality test and will require you to be yourself. The objective of the personality round is to prove how good you are and remember that there are no right or wrong answers here.
Tips for the UPSC Interview
This section following from here will talk about some useful tips that can come in handy for many candidates during their UPSC interview.
These tips are intended to help you in scoring better for your civil service interview.
The most basic questions the board can ask can be based on your mental awareness. Many students are asked questions like how many steps did you climb before coming here or how many buttons are there on your shirt.
Candidates must be mentally aware of their surroundings and should have very good observation skills to impress the board.
Learn to be mentally alert in all situations and start to create this as a habit from now itself. It will help you in the UPSC CSE interview.
Preparation for the UPSC interview need not require you to remember hard and fast figures and facts but you should be well versed in current affairs. Ensure that you read the current affairs of the day of the personality round too so that you do not miss out on any questions.
Look to understand the affairs and not just remember facts. Remember that this is a personality test, they may ask for your opinion on situations and how you can eliminate any unfavourable situation that is prevailing in the nation.
As mentioned earlier, there is no right answer or wrong answer; it is all about the perspective of the candidate. If any question arises on a dispute or issues prevailing in a certain state, try to address the problem from the point of view of the central government and not as a regional officer. Remember that the I in UPSC stands for Indian.
Students believe that answering all questions in a certain way is very important, but this is a wrong attitude.
The board is highly experienced and can detect any lie within seconds. Be yourself and answer the questions with confidence in your point of view. This will impress the board. Also, do not be ashamed if you do not know the answer to something. Trust the process and accept that you do not know the answer to that question.
Believe in your stand for any topic, no matter what. Your goal is to ensure that the board believes in your point of view for which you need great oratory skills.
Having really good oratory skills is very important for every candidate. Oratory skills will help you to impress the board too. You should be able to speak your mind in such a way that the board accepts your ideas too.
Oration can be learnt. It is recommended to keep working on your language skills and the correct use of vocabulary will help you to score higher in your personality round.
Look to practice every alternate day and take mock interviews. Mock interviews can also be done at home. Keep learning the best way to speak, it cannot be developed overnight so put in the efforts for this.
How to Avoid Mistakes
Avoiding mistakes in your personality round is something you should look to do. Try not to use fancy words especially if you are confused.
Make sure you know the meaning of every word you speak. If you are not a fluent English speaker and wish to improve your spoken English, read more books and listen to good speakers. This will allow you to understand better and you will also be able to adapt to the language.
Ensure that you speak directly and do not look to divert the topic. Get straight to the point and ensure that you give a direct answer.
The importance of body language is generally undermined by candidates. Ensure that you portray a positive mindset through your body.
In your work field as a UPSC officer, you will be meeting many high ranked officers and even state dignitaries. You need to show that holds the prestigious post of an IAS officer.
Make sure you show good social etiquette by wishing every member on the board and even thanking them after the end of the personality round. Address them as sir or madam only. The board too will consist of high ranked officials and experienced members, so be at your best.
UPSC Interview Questions
Now let’s see what are some of the basic questions you can be asked in a UPSC interview.
Q1. What are your hobbies?
Q2. What subjects did you study?
Q3. Why did you select those subjects?
Q4. Tell something about yourself
Q5. Why Civil Services after engineering? (important personality round question)
Q6. How would you rate yourself as a student? Why would you give that rating?
Q7. What are today’s headlines?
A lot of questions in your personality round can be based on your DAF. Ensure that you have thoroughly read your DAF and keep practising whatever you have written in the form.
Based on Education
Which disciplines did you study in school/graduate school, and do you believe they apply to a career in administration?
What kind of projects did you do in school, graduate school, or post-graduate school?
Would you describe yourself as a typical student? Why?
Based on Current Affairs and Work Experience
What are the news stories of the day?
Tell us about the most recent events in your hometown in the last several months.
What were your responsibilities and roles at your previous job?
Why do you want to work for the government?
Here are some general guidelines you can use for the personality round.
#Never be late for an interview. Make sure that you are punctual and do not miss out on the interview for silly reasons.
#Do not be over-stressed during the personality round. Yes, nervousness is very normal but ensure that you do not let it affect you.
#Engage in public speaking well in hand. If you cannot speak in front of a crowd, make it a habit so that you do not get very nervous during the personality round.
#Do not lie. Lying will not help your case at all. Not knowing answers is not a crime and you won’t be negatively scored for it. Lying may not sit well with the board, so avoid it at all costs.
#Maintain decorum at all costs. Do not forget that it is a personality round, a discussion can happen, but do not let it become informal.
Learn to prepare well even for the personality round. Do not take it in light spirits. This interview has a value of 275 marks. Each mark is very important. Ensure that you have great speaking skills but also listening skills. It is very important to listen to each question well and also comprehend the questions in the right way.
Hopefully, this article about how to prepare for civil services interviews for the batch or even others will help you ace the personality round. For better and more effective guidance you can always opt for a personal mentor who will not only guide you but will also be there to show you the right path that leads to success.
Keep working hard and the results will follow. All the best!