How to prepare UPSC Interview
This blog will give you a complete insight on Interview conducted by UPSC for the Civil Services Exam. We will provide you all the important information and guidelines for interview.
For an aspirant, Interview is the final hurdle in their way of success. Generally, UPSC Civil Service Examination is also known as the “Mother of all Exams” in India. If you want to become a member of the permanent executive, you must cross the three obstacles (Prelims, Mains and Interview). You all can easily clear the first two stages but for the last stage we are there to help you in every way possible.
In UPSC terms, it is not a Regular Job Interview – it is a test of one’s personality, integrity and honesty.
Importance of interview-
As stated earlier, CSE Interview preparation is a test of personality, not knowledge. This is because of the fact that UPSC analyses and judges the understanding of candidate’s theoretical knowledge’s practical application.
During the CSE interview, the interviewer assesses the candidate’s personality by listening carefully to the candidate’s approach to the question asked, and probes him or her further based on that. A vibrant & positive candidate is what they look for.
An individual’s personality cannot be changed within a short duration of time just for the interview’s sake. Personality development is a process not one or three days process. The best ways to prepare for IAS interview after your Mains results is to approach all situations with a positive attitude.
Interview plays a very crucial role in your success because it is all about who you are?
- The interview (Personality Test) evaluates not only your intellectual qualities but also awareness in contemporary events happening both at the global and national level. They judge the presence of mind, mental awareness, balance of perception, leadership qualities, moral and intellectual traits, simplicity and honesty.
- To understand your administrative and problem-solving qualities it is important to develop a conversation. Conversations are the best way to know about any person.
Important Note for candidate
- The interview is intended to know about candidate’s knowledge and interest not only in his specialized subject of academics but also in the events happening around him and whether he/she has comprehended the nature of problem through someone or through his/her own observation.
- It is done for the evaluation of traits that are essential for being a civil servant, i.e., positive attitude, alertness of mind, quick decision-making power, free from any prejudice, ability to act in stressed situations and to handle difficult situations. It searches for the most suitable candidate who has:-
- Willingness to acquire and learn new things
- Openness to new ideas especially in the administrative arena
- Flexibility of approach in any situation
- Positive attitude on national, societal, environmental and developmental issue
- Willingness to look for an out the of box solution
- The interview marks are very important and the deciding factor for one to be in the merit list, you must not leave any stone unturned in the preparation for the interview. It is more so because majority of the candidates are able to secure only about 55 percent marks in the interview and are unable to get a job even after reaching the last stage of this exam. This shows that how tough is getting marks in the last leg of the exam.
Syllabus analysis of interview as given by UPSC
The core division of syllabus of UPSC is for Prelims and Mains.
The Civil Services Mains examination consists of two sections – 1)It consists of written examination and 2) the personality test that is known as “interview”.
Hence we can say that interview is a part of your Mains preparation and you should prepare it thoroughly.
Please remember two things – Firstly, Interview is the last part of your examination and it will be the biggest hurdle in your success if you do not prepare well.
Secondly, the personality test is too difficult and needs different type of approach & to understand that approach, and to imbibe that approach one must read the course syllabus of the interview as notified in the notification of UPSC.
“The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his/her career. He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his/her intellectual qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity”.
“The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.”
“The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well-educated youth.”
Underlined paragraphs above clarifies the Objective, Technique and Syllabus of UPSC personality test.
- The interview syllabus is divided into three segments- first segment deals with the comfort zone of the student and the level of interaction between board members and the candidate.
- Second part deals with techniques related to the interview.
- And third and most important part of the interview syllabus is testing the intellectual level of the candidate.
So we will start from the first part of the syllabus-
- Interview by a Board – this is about the member of the board who interviews you and your examination.The Board generally consists of 5 members and conducts the interview in 2 slots-1. Morning slot from 9 A.M and 2.Evening slot from 2 P.M
- Questions on matters of general interest- question on the matter of general interest is the first phase of your interview. It is a friendly conversation and they will ask you about your general interest which is already mentioned in your detailed application form. The intention here is to make you relax and lift the pressure.
iii. Assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service is done by a Board of competent and unbiased observers to test the personal suitability of the candidate in a broader perspective- it includes the following things
- Mental caliber of a candidate or mental alertness
We can develop it by these 8 simple ways
- Learn a musical instrument.
- Make time for family and friends
- Engage in a new sport
- Start doing crosswords
- Eat well
- Get good sleep
- Critical powers of assimilation
Assimilation means you have the capacity to indulge in “the process of taking in and fully understanding information or ideas.” Critical power assimilation means you have power to grasp all dimensions of any particular issue and particular topic. If you have a good assimilation power you can score well in your exam, else you can improve it by adopting the following habits-
- Reading about diverted ideologies
- Watch TV debates like Rajya Sabha TV, Lok Sabha TV, BBC News Hindi English and various type journals
- If you have time then organize a group discussion
- Clear and logical exposition: It gives an exposure to your personality that can be seen in your decision making,an important component required in the work of a Civil Servant. UPSC Member wants to know the clarity of Logic in a candidate through the interview. They want to know the clarity of thought and expression you will possess in dealing in high pressure situations by observing your clarity which they will observe through your answers to hypothetical situations.
- Balance of judgment: Objectivity and Optimism are important requisites. No cynics are needed. One cannot assimilate all the aspects but he/she needs to make a balanced judgement which is good for both human being and government.
- Variety and depth of interest: This is the most important and interesting part of your interview which deals with your hobbies and passion. Answers you will provide in your DAF will form an important component in this stage. It is very critical for those who have hobbies. Example, if you like playing a musical instrument, the board is likely to test your knowledge about the instrument and /or on music.
- Intellectual and moral integrity: A synthesis of morality and intellect.
- Ability for social cohesion and leadership: Empathy to social problems and weaker sections.
- Intellectual qualities
- Intellectual virtues are qualities of mind and character that promote intellectual flourishing, critical thinking, and the pursuit of truth.
- They include: intellectual responsibility, perseverance, open-mindedness, empathy, integrity, intellectual courage, confidence in reason, love of truth, intellectual humility, imaginativeness, curiosity, fair-mindedness, and autonomy.
- So-called virtue responsibilities conceive of intellectual virtues primarily as acquired character traits, such as intellectual conscientiousness and love of knowledge.
- Virtue reliability, by contrast, think of intellectual virtues more in terms of well-functioning mental faculties such as perception, memory, and intuition. Intellectual virtues are studied extensively in both critical thinking and virtue epistemology.
So, from the above expressions it is clear that the main aim behind this segment is UPSC wants to know the interest of a candidate in the following sector that is –
- Subjects knowledge of your academics
- Recent development in the various sphere of life on national level, international level and near about
- Modern currents of thought
- New discoveries