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UPSC CSE Interview Tips

  • The UPSC Interview aka Personality Test is the final and most crucial step of the IAS exam as it is not mere a test of knowledge but a holistic test of aspirant’s true personality. Your performance in the Interview can make a considerable change in your score and hence your career. The interview aims at making an assessment of your overall personality.
  • Important Info:

    1. As per the RELEASED important affidavit by the Bombay High Court, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has taken a lead and clear the doubts of all the candidates regarding the language barriers in the UPSC IAS Interview round. As per now, IAS applicants can give the UPSC interview in English or any regional language mentioned in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution regardless of the mechanism of the composed test, according to the declaration by the UPSC in 2011. They can pick English, Hindi or whatever other local/regional language when confronting the UPSC panel. Actually, there have been toppers who have taken the UPSC personality test in their preferred regional dialect.

    2. The success in an interview depends on the levels of confidence and composure exhibited by a candidate before the Interview Board.

    3. That will show whether the candidate is in control of himself and the interview or not.

    Below are some important Tips for UPSC CSE Interview:

    1. A thorough preparation on the different topics of Current Affairs, optional subject, the subjects of study at the college level and the details indicated in the DAF will enable the candidate to gain enough confidence & composure.

    2. Sufficient levels of mock interview sittings too will further help to enhance the above qualities.

    3. You need to identify the topics on various subjects of relevance and prepare them comprehensively. Newspapers like the Hindu and The Indian Express, Rajya Sabha TV Programmes like World Panorama, India’s World, etc., will give you enough critical thinking and analytical ability to face the questions confidently.

    4. At the interview, be honest as the UPSC Interview Board would realize instantly if you begin to tell lies.

    5. Be attentive while listening to the Board members and express yourself well. For this you need to work on your vocabulary and enhance your communication skills by listening to debates concerning various current affairs.

    6. Be precise and answer to the point. It’s a brief and precise answer that counts more rather than a lengthy one. Be mentally prepared for follow up questions.

    7. It is very important that you should never make any categorical statement or express strong views on any issue. You should always preface or bring in expressions like: ‘personally I think’ or ‘from what I have read’ or ‘as far as my knowledge goes’, etc.

    8. Avoid expression, “I am sorry” and all conversational clichés, like: “as you know”, “indeed”, “obviously”, “that’s correct”, “of course”, etc.

    9. Even if you fail to answer any questions, continue to go on answering the subsequent questions because the quality, originality and clarity with which the other questions are answered is more important. However, if you are totally blank on a question, it is better to politely and respectfully state that you do not know the answer.

    10. Simply remember, it is a not an oratorical competition but a test of your personality.

    11. Last but not the least, be calm, and look pleasant and composed in appearance, particularly when you are not able to tackle a question. Poise and grit are the most important requirements of an administrator. The candidate should be polite, respectful and formal in his approach towards the Members.

    How to prepare UPSC Personality Test

    1. The window to your inner self is your personality so it’s extremely important for the UPSC board to understand your personality in and out before assigning you the great responsibility of serving the nation.

    2. Always keep in mind that UPSC is looking for in a candidate is a person of substance who has the intelligence and courage to take on any job and give his/her best to it without fear or favor. In other words, they are looking for a person who will hold his ground and stand by his colleagues in the difficult situations with complete sincerity and commitment.

    3. The candidates, who have qualified for the Personality Test, need to prepare themselves for this stage carefully.

    4. Though the weightage of the personality test is comparatively less (with total marks of 275), but its role in deciding the final outcome can be immense. Candidates can secure as high as 70-75 percent of the total marks of the interview.

    5. The Personality test is not meant to test your expertise on academic issues but its purpose is to evaluate you, as a person, and to test your suitability as a civil servant.

    6. The main objective of taking personality tests is to know the candidate's overall personality and traits like their honesty, intelligence, confidence, integrity, understanding ground realities, and depth of understanding of various concepts.

    7. About half of the questions in the UPSC Personality Test may be based on the candidate's biodata and the next half of the questions may be intended to assess their social traits or interest in current affairs.

    8. In order to crack the IAS Personality Test, you have to develop an appealing and pleasing personality that has traits required to perform duties of an IAS officer. Some of the qualities to be judged are

    a) Mental alertness

    b) Critical powers of assimilation

    c) Variety and depth of interest

    d) Intellectual and moral integrity

    e) Clear and logical exposition

    f) Balance of judgment

    g) Socioeconomic awareness

    h) The ability for social cohesion and leadership

    1. The interview panel knows you from the Detailed Application Form (DAF) form, which was submitted by you. Therefore, you are expected to know about the various aspects of yourself in detail.

    2. The interview panel, generally, is very accommodating, and does not try to make you feel uncomfortable. The interview usually starts with an introduction of the interviewers and the candidate, and goes into the discussion on personal details of the candidate. It is actually an intelligent conversation with the exchange of ideas with the interview panel.

    3. In this context, it is important to know about your socio-cultural background, your native town, family background and any possible thing about yourself. Therefore, beforehand, you should try to know everything about yourself and the world that belongs to you. For example, talk to your family members, know about your family history; about your native town; meaning of your name and surname.

    4. In addition, you should develop a comprehensive knowledge about the hobbies and interests, which you have mentioned in the DAF form. For instance, you have written football as a hobby, you might be asked about the general evolution of the game; the latest system that governs the format of international football or if there are any changes introduced in recent times.

    5. When it comes to IAS personality test, your personal experiences can help you a lot. The majority of questions posed by the interview panel (excluding the technical ones) would relate to the general socioeconomic and political problems faced by India as a country in a variety of fields.

    6. Always, keep in mind that the board can’t test your personality from a question you have not answered instead it tests your personality based on your honesty, integrity,

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