The Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is one of the toughest examinations in the country. Every year, more than five lakhs aspirants sit for the exam, but only a few hundred are able to make it to the final list. The UPSC exam is conducted in three stages: Prelims, Mains and the Interview.
The UPSC Mains 2022 was recently concluded on 25th September 2022. The Personality Test/ Interview, which is the last and final stage of the UPSC exam, will be conducted in February- March 2023. The personality test assesses the innate personality of the candidates rather than their knowledge, which was already examined in the Mains and Preliminary exams. The final merit list is prepared based on marks scored in the Mains examination and the Personality Test.
The process of the UPSC Interview carries 275 marks out of the total 2025 marks and lasts for about 30 minutes. A good score in the Interview can be very beneficial to the candidates and increase their chances of getting a service of their choice and a higher rank. Here, in this article, there are a few tips and suggestions given for candidates to perform better in the UPSC Interview.
Tips for UPSC Interview
When beginning their preparation for the Interview, candidates should not wait for the results of the Mains exam. Candidates should assess their strengths and weaknesses and should work on them accordingly.
Unlike the Preliminary and Main tests, there is no set syllabus for the UPSC Interview. Additionally, the members of the Interview Panel come from different academic backgrounds, and they ask questions from their specific domain, which becomes a little challenging. Therefore, aspirants find it difficult to prepare for this stage of the three-phased exam.
Here are a few tips for the aspirants to help them prepare for the UPSC Interview.
- Holistic Preparation: Preparation for UPSC Interview should be comprehensive, with topics such as the educational background, optional subject chosen for mains, current affairs, place of residence content written in the Detailed Application Form (DAF), and a reason to become an IAS/IPS officer should be prepared thoroughly.
- Focus on Current Affairs: Determine the themes on various relevant subjects and thoroughly prepare them. A good reading of The Hindu and The Indian Express, as well as Rajya Sabha TV programmes like Big Picture, India’s World, World Panorama etc., can equip a candidate with the analytical and critical thinking skills they need to answer questions with confidence.
- Maintain Calm: The confidence and composure displayed by an applicant before the Interview Board is essential to the Interview’s success. This will demonstrate that the applicant can completely carry themselves in the Interview easily.
The candidate will develop the necessary confidence and composure if they have done a thorough preparation on all of the optional courses, current affairs issues, the information provided in the DAF and college-level study subjects.
- Groom Personality: A strong value system, etiquette (i.e., culturally and socially acceptable behaviour) and a rounded personality (i.e., balanced personality) where the candidate is able to demonstrate integrity, commitment, honesty, fairness, sensitivity towards the problems of depressed sections of the population, empathy, sincerity, willingness to assume responsibility, etc., are some of the parameters that can help a candidate groom their personality for the IAS Interview.
- Take Mock Interviews: The mentioned qualities will be further improved with enough mock interviews conducted. Also, candidates can avoid mistakes by practising the mock interview before the actual interview. You can get assistance with it from knowledgeable mentors and friends.
- Avoid Bluffing: Answering all questions is not at all important in the Interview. The more important thing is the clarity, originality and quality with which the other questions are answered. In several cases, candidates got two-thirds of the marks while answering just one-third of the questions. Hence, rather than bluffing on a question on which you are totally blank, better politely and respectfully state that you do not know the answer.
In addition to the above tips, it is important to do a document check before to avoid the last-minute rush and assemble all required documents in one file. Choose a neat and clean, light-coloured formal attire for the Interview to look presentable. The Interview dates will be announced on the official website of UPSC, where the UPSC Notification 2022 was released. Therefore, candidates should keep visiting the website for further updates.
UPSC Interview is a test of your personality, so remain calm and maintain your smile intact, as this will reflect your confidence and your positive nature. Have a good sleep the night before and avoid taking unnecessary stress. Remember, it is your attitude rather than aptitude that will determine your success in the Interview.