Tees (30) minute, tees minute hain tumhare paas, Shayad yeh, tumhare zindagi ke sabse..khaas tees minute. Phir tum chahe acha khelo ya bura... Lekin yeh tees minute tumhe zindagi bhar yaad rahenge.”
This must be a little extra puffed-up filmy motivational speech just to give you a little nudge towards your goal to crack your UPSC Interviews. But the truth is, based on your interview, your post will be decided, whether you are suitable for IAS, IPS, IFS, etc.
So, if you ask me whether cracking an interview is worth it?
Is it going to be easy?
So what is required for the interview?
You see… Now we are talking.
Before, you go straight to crack the UPSC interview or UPSC Personality Test… let’s just take the overview first.
UPSC Personality Test or simply called an “Interview” is the last and final stage. This personality Test is not a test of your knowledge but a test of your innate personality. It is a process that lasts for about 30 minutes, which carries 275 marks out of the total 2050 marks. And, the final list is prepared based on marks scored in the main examination and the personality test. A high score in the interview round can benefit the candidates and increase their rank and chances of better service.
Is there a way to understand the true nature of the interview?
First of all, if you have a preconceived notion that an interview is an elimination game, it is never to eliminate you or demean you. The only or you can say the ultimate objective of conducting interviews is to determine the suitable candidates and measure their potential in administrative skills.
Remember: the panel members are not there to test the candidate’s knowledge but to assess their personality for civil services. They want to evoke the different character traits of your personality; through questions, counter questions, hypothetical situations, and case studies – They test your reactions and responses based on your presence of mind, body language, sensitivity level, calmness level, etc.
So, is there any interview preparation strategy?
Yes! Indeed there is….
- Firstly – Aspirants should not wait for the results of the main examination to start their preparation, rather they should start the preparation ASAP!
- Secondly- Candidates should work on their strengths and weaknesses and prepare accordingly.
- Thirdly – The most important, The UPSC Interview preparation should be comprehensive, with topics such as chosen subjects for mains, your educational background, place where you reside, your educational background, your professional background, and everything that you have filled in your DAF form and all the questions asked from there.
BASICALLY… THERE’S NOTHING OUT OF THE SYLLABUS!
How much important is DAF in UPSC Interview Preparation?
Candidates who clear the prelims exam are required to fill up the Detailed Application Form (DAF). To understand it better… it is like your biodata that contains all your personal and professional information which is shared with the Interview board members. Contents such as your place of birth, subjects in graduation, optional subject, details of the college, professional experience, interests, and hobbies are all mentioned in the DAF.
Caution: while filling your DAF you need to be very careful. Yes! You need to be well aware of each and every piece of information that is mentioned in there… as it gives panel members scope to ask questions about you.
What are things that should and shouldn’t be done in an interview?
a. Ideal Etiquettes of Candidate:
- First and foremost, don’t pretend and be oneself in the interview
- Some of the questions might be tricky and it’s better to reply respectfully and politely that you are not aware of the answer.
- Take time to answer every question and weight in your opinions.
b. Bluffing Interviewer:
- When you don’t know the answer, tell the interviewer clearly that you don’t know the answer and at the same time you can ask for permission to guess that answer. By doing these little things it will reflect honesty in your personality.
- Whatever you say, say it confidently. Do not lie.
c. Maintaining Composure:
- It’s important to remain calm throughout the interview as a board member will check on your ability to deal with stressful situations.
- UPSC is more interested in your approach to the question rather than the answer. Maintain your smile intact as this will reflect your confidence and your positive nature.
- And yes! Bonus!
Things to Keep in Mind during the Interview…
- The candidate is not expected to answer all the questions. The UPSC interview is not going to be a quiz competition where you answer more questions to fetch more marks.
- Don't answer the question that you are not aware of as this will allow the interview panel to probe you with further questions.
- The answer by a candidate should reflect his clarity of thoughts and decision-making approach and it should be crisp and clear
- While answering a candidate needs to make eye contact with all the members and not only with the member who has posed the question.
- Remember no one is perfect and perform your best with moral integrity
- Say less to convey more. Less is more these days as per the minimalist creed. Argue logically and generalize correctly. Do not try to read too much between the lines.
- The candidate must remain alert throughout the interview and must thank the board politely after the completion of the interview.