The UPSC interview, also known as the Personality Test, is the final stage of the Civil Services Examination. It aims to assess the candidate’s suitability for administrative roles. The UPSC interview questions test the candidates’ mental acuity, general awareness, social etiquette, and overall personality. The questions in the IAS interview are not meant to solely ascertain the theoretical knowledge so instead of mugging up, candidates should focus on their soft skills.
The personality test assesses your intrinsic personality rather than your knowledge (which was previously examined in the mains and preliminary exams). In addition to the total 2025 marks, the UPSC Interview procedure lasts roughly 30 minutes and is worth 275 points.
The article below is divided into two parts for convenience of understanding. The first part has tips to prepare for the UPSC interview while the second part majorly constitutes the do’s and don’ts of the main interview day along with some important tips. This article will surely help you for your interview day.
Tips To Prepare For The UPSC Interview-
Below given are some tips and strategies you can follow to prepare for the UPSC interview.
1- Start the UPSC Interview preparation now!
Its now or never, you need to begin your UPSC interview preparation now. Start working on your body language, your posture, your accent, language, your dressing sense. Every small thing matters a lot when it comes to the UPSC interview. You can’t change or learn everything in a single day so it is really very necessary to start the preparation now. Start working on yourself. Work on your communication skills.
You can even take mock interviews. Many coaching institutes provide training for interview. Mock interviews are very helpful.
2- Explore yourself For UPSC Interview-
It simply means that you need to know yourself deeply, your strengths, weakness, motivations, hobbies, passion etc. In interview most of the students are asked questions on these things, so be well prepared. Accept your weakness and try to work on them before the big day. Start polishing yourself. Be very clear about your hobbies so that if the questions are asked you can answer them confidently.
3- Read your application form properly–
The detailed application form contains a lot of important details about you there are chances that the board members can ask questions from that form. Revise your bio-data many times and prepare well for questions from areas like hobbies, education, work experience, service preference etc. Be confident and calm, do not fumble on personal questions. Avoid mismatching of facts and information.
4- Know Everything About What You Have Written as Hobbies–
Normally, what aspirants do is just write the hobbies in order to fill the column and when the board members ask the question about it they get numb. Most of the time this may be the first question that is asked by the board members to the candidates. Do not do this mistake. Think properly about your hobbies and then only mention them to avoid awkward situations. Know everything about the activities which you have mentioned as your hobbies. If you mention that your hobby is singing you may be even asked to sing, be very prepared for these things.
5- Revise your UPSC Optional Subject Thoroughly-
UPSC interview panel may ask questions from your optional subject on the interview day. Brush up recent happenings related to your optional subject. Many candidates neglect their optional subject but you must not do that. The optional subject must be a strong point for you. Don’t take optional subject for granted as many as it may carry many questions on the big day.
6- Stay Updated with National and International news and Daily current affairs-
Questions are even asked from the current happenings in the country and world. You need to remain updated. Read newspapers, watch news channels, read articles, blogs etc. These things will keep you updated as it is very crucial for the UPSC interview.
7- Work on your Communication Skills–
You must start talking in a decent way. Choose the language you want to give the interview in and start practicing so that you don’t lack words on the main day. Start listening to debates, news and podcasts this will improve your communication skills. Improve your command on the language.
8- Gain Knowledge about District, Village, City and State-
IAS interview preparation can’t be complete without knowing about the geographical and other information of your country, particularly about the state and city in which you live. Get ready with the entire history of your city and state in all aspects. Collect details about your birthplace. Know the problems in your village or city. Be prepared with solutions as well. Questions may be asked on these topics also.
9- Develop self- confidence in Yourself-
Confidence enhances your body language and personality. Express your thoughts, beliefs in a confident manner. Remember that the line between self-confidence and arrogance is very narrow. Overconfidence kills your knowledge and turns your behavior arrogant. Maintain a confident and positive attitude.
10- Rehearse for the interview-
To get rid of the nervousness and hesitation, it’s a good and effective idea to rehearse in front of the mirror. This helps you to sound confident on the day of the actual interview. This will improve your body language and expressions.
Tips And Suggestions For The Interview Day
Don’t believe in rumors and set an image of interviewers or myths about the interview. This might distract you from the IAS interview preparation. Face the interview with positive thoughts. Here are some golden tips and suggestions that you can follow to impress the interview panel/ board members on the UPSC interview day.
1- Dress Code is Very Important in UPSC Interview-
First impression is the last impression. You must look presentable. Dressing reveals your personality and is very effective to fall a good first impression of yours on the panel of experts taking interview. Dress according to the occasion. Your clothes should not be colorful or flashy. It is advised to wear a suit of dark or formal colors. Make sure the collar of your shirt is clean, well ironed and stiff, also check your shirt handcuffs, it should not be tattered in the ends. You should wear socks and shoes and ensure that socks are pulled up, shoes must be well polished. And for female candidates, they can opt for a descent traditional formal wear like saree or salwar suit and preferably of sober color. It is advised to keep your accessories and makeup minimal which goes well with your attire. Not the last and the least, keep your hairstyle well maintained and it is advised to tie your hair as it will make well-groomed.
Make sure you have a good haircut, clean nails, comb your hair well, maintain a smooth-shaven face and if you have beard trim it to maintain it tidily. It is also recommended to cleanse your face to remove sweat, oil, dirt and brighten your face. Also, make sure you smell good, and that no bad odor emanates from your body. Do not use deodorants or perfumes which have harsh smell instead go for the soft and long lasting ones.
2- Be Polite and Calm at the time of UPSC Interview-
Be polite, before entering the room, gently knock the door and politely ask “may I come in” and wait for the board members’ response and then enter. Go in calmly with confidence. After entering the room, greet the individual board members. Wait till you are offered a seat, thank the person who asks you to take your seat and it is advised not tp sit until you are asked to do so. Do not screech or mutter. Keep your tone clarity and speak words completely. While speaking to the Chairman or to the members look into their eyes and speak, do not look at the roof, table, wall or the floor. Maintain eye contact with the board members. Do not sound uninterested, boring or robotic, your voice must be filled with spirit in such a way that when the board members hear you it should excite them.
Do not lose your calm, the board may trick you with argumentative questions, do not fall into the trap and challenge the opinion of the Board Members and try to correct their statements. If you are wrong, admit it and apologize immediately. Conclude your answers or opinions in a logical manner with valid reasons. Do not be over-confident. When the board asks questions on your bio-data or achievements, state the fact accurately and be polite while talking about your achievements. Listen carefully until they complete the question and do not interrupt while they talk this may look rude.
3- Avoid Empty Gestures-
Look pleasant, carry yourself confidently, and wear a smile on your face from the time you enter the interview board room till you come out. Give the feel to the board members that you are keen, attentive, pleasant and passionate. When the Chairman or one of the board members speak to you, listen carefully to what they say and do not ask them to repeat often. Do not close your eyes to concentrate on what they say as the board members may feel you are rude and don’t be under the impression that they will understand that you are concentrating. Emit positive vibes and sound energetic. Don’t fumble and rush to speak in nervousness.
4- Body Language is Important in UPSC Interview-
Work on your body language and gesture. Sit straight and always face the board members. Do not keep shaking your knees or tapping your feet on the floor. Don’t cough often, adjust the throat every now and then or stop playing with your tie, collars or coat buttons. Do not sit informally, resting your elbows and leaning on the table. Do not yawn during the interview. In fact, you should cut out all unnecessary movements. The confidence and calmness should be depicted on your face. Keep calm so that the anxiety is not seen on your face. Avoid gestures which do not suit the occasion. Don’t let negative thoughts and expressions ruin your chances.
5- Don’t Pretend, Don’t Lie. Just be the Real You For UPSC Interview-
Don’t tell lies to impress the UPSC interview board. Never create fake facts in your bio-data. Very often they will catch you. Saying yes to unrealistic thoughts, never do that. Speak the truth about you and don’t give any fake information which is not at all correct. Be serious about the process and questions. Give respect to the board members who take your personality test. Don’t be too casual on serious questions. Don’t lie, you cannot fool the board members, when you do not know the answer, be frank and have the courage to tell them so. Never generalize or make ambiguous guesses.
6- Be Confident and Positive. Hope for the Best!
UPSC interview is not at all easy but you can make it up with confidence and a positive attitude. Stay refreshed, positive, and optimistic. Be confident and wear your attitude in such a way that it earns you the favourable impression. Your confidence can be seen in your walking, sitting and speaking, this can give you some extra marks. Be delusional and highly optimistic. Hope for the best! Don’t let negative thoughts ruin your day.
It is surely a very important day for you. This day can change your life entirely. Interview marks can even create a big difference so do not take the UPSC interview lightly. You should be well dressed and well groomed. Carry all the necessary documents with you. Do not be very anxious and avoid putting a lot of stress and pressure on yourself. Do not let your confidence turn into over confidence. Stay calm and positive. Hope for the best.
Good Luck! Hope you achieve your dream.
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