Here are a few practical tips to see yourself as an IAS officer……………
Being called for the IAS interview is one of the greatest joys an IAS officer can think of! It obviously implies that you have almost reached your goal. But mark it! You have almost reached the goal but not exactly reached it!
The truth is that the fulfillment of your heart’s desire seems to have come closer! But you still have to clear the interview before the final fulfillment of your dream.
So it only makes sense that you do not get carried away in the thrilling excitement of having received the IAS interview call! So do not allow this success (howsoever you may feel like cherishing it!) to sweep you off your feet. A sensible individual would feel thrilled only when he has finally cracked the interview as well!
So, here are a few practical tips to see yourself as an IAS officer……………….
Competing in the interview is no child’s play. Besides, all who are called for the IAS interview have reached there after having cleared the previous examinations. So the competition is not to be taken for granted.
The IAS interview is the final stage that you must cross successfully before finally seeing yourself as an IAS officer! So it is best to keep your feet on the ground rather than feeling overjoyed and getting carried away by the moment.
Clearing the interview is not as easy as it seems!
The IAS Interview as A Personality Test
The IAS interview conducted by the UPSC is also referred to as the Personality Test. As already stated above, the interview is not as easy as it seems to be. So it must not be taken lightly. The IAS aspirant is interviewed by a board of interviewers comprising 5 members who are highly competent and unprejudiced.
The IAS interview plays a highly crucial role in the assessment of the personality of an IAS aspirant in order to decide whether he would be suitable to perform the duties assigned to him as an IAS officer.
Apart from assessing the intellectual capabilities of the candidate, the interview also assesses the following attributes of his personality:
- The social outlook: The IAS interview aims at making an assessment of the social outlook for he is being interviewed to be an administrator (if selected, of course!). Only a candidate that carries a fair, positive and unprejudiced outlook towards all sections of society can be a good IAS officer. So the social outlook of a candidate is of paramount importance.
- Knowledge and interest in what goes on with an analytical mind: Though the interview makes an assessment of the knowledge and candidate’s inclination to know all the relevant details of the current affairs, it also focuses on how alert the candidate is. Besides, he must have the following attributes in his personality:
- the power of critical analysis
- logical thinking
- unbiased, well reasoned and fair judgment
- interest in knowing the society better so that problems related to it may be alleviated or at best eradicated altogether
- a high moral integrity, apart from the intellectual one
- leadership qualities
- capability of and also a keen interest in maintaining the society as a cohesive whole
The point to be noted is that an IAS aspirant is not cross-examined in the IAS interview; rather his personality is assessed so that his psychological attributes are revealed. Remember that the general knowledge and even the specific knowledge of the candidate have already been put to test in the previous papers.
However the aspirant appearing in the interview must not take his knowledge of GK (including all of the major current affairs) or other subjects for granted for if he does so, it only implies that his efforts to get through the interview, the last test to be an IAS officer are lacking somewhere.
UPSC issues guidelines to the candidates called for the interview. It is advisable for the candidate to adhere to the keywords including logical exposition, social traits and mental alertness. The candidate must focus on developing these qualities in him in order to clear the interview.
Besides, there are quite a few topics that need to be prepared well for the interview, also referred to as The Personality Test for IAS. These topics are described below:
DAF, the Detailed Application Form
Whosoever clears the Prelims is required to fill the DAF i.e., the Detailed Application Form. The form requires the following details:
(2) Date of birth,
(5) Optional subject,
(6) Parents’ occupation & income,
(7) Educational qualifications,
(8) Achievements in sports and extra-curricular activities,
(9) NCC, leadership at university/national level, home state etc.
Apart from the details of the candidate, the Detailed Application Form also asks for the following:
- the service preferences, and
- the cadre preferences of the candidate
Thus the candidate is introduced to the interviewers much earlier than he actually enters the IAS interview room. No wonder he is interviewed according to the information provided in the form. Thus, it’s only reasonable that the candidate should be able to answer the questions that are based or related to the details given by him in the DAF. He might be asked about his hobbies, the native state, and his background in totality. Not being able to answer the questions based on what had already been provided in the DAF is not going to throw a very bright light on the candidate.
Thus it only makes sense to fill the DAF very carefully because later, the candidate would be asked questions based on the DAF only. So the process to score well in the interview begins right at the time when the IAS aspirant is filling the DAF.
Moreover, all of the candidates aim at clearing the Prelims and the Mains exam successfully. Not all finally succeed to do so. Thus when the candidate successfully cracks the Prelims and the Mains and is called for the interview, he is competing with all other candidates who have been equally capable, or perhaps even more so, as UPSC has called all of them for the interview only after they have cleared the IAS Prelims and IAS Mains Exam.
Thus it’s understood that each of the marks that a candidate scores in the interview plays a decisive role not only in the selection, but also the rank. Needless to say, among the toughest of the tough competitions, that is only rising further day by day, your score in the interview can make or mar the fulfillment of your ambition to be an IAS officer.
And do not forget that DAF (as already stated earlier) is where the Personality Test begins actually. Most of the questions in the Personality Test are based on the DAF only.
The Detailed Application Form: A Few Tips
As the significance of the DAF has already been elaborated above, it only makes sense if all of the entries specified in the form are prepared for the interview in a highly comprehensive manner to the optimum. Quite a few of the tips are given below to do so.
- The candidate ought to think of all the questions that might be asked in the interview. He must not leave any scope (at least try his best to do so) for the interviewers to ask any question that might make him uncomfortable. It should be observed in connection of all the details that he has provided in the DAF.
- It is advisable to prepare for every aspect related to all the keywords in relation to the DAF of UPSC. The candidate must think of all the questions related with every entry. These questions, once the candidate begins to think of them, not only may be of various types, but may also be innumerable. The point to be noted is that nothing should be left out that might be asked in the interview. When the candidate prepares for the interview on these lines, the scope of coming out as a successful selected candidate goes higher promising a good rank that would be an additional feather in the cap. A candidate that goes to appear in the interview with a thorough preparation also feels confident and it further optimizes the probability for his clearing the interview successfully coupled with a good rank.
Preparing for various entries in the DAF
The tips given below may help the candidate for preparing for questions based on various entries of the DAF effectively.
- Name: The candidate might be asked the meaning of his name. Why was this particular name chosen for him by his parents or family elders? What else can he explain about his name?
- Date of birth: The candidate might be asked if anything specific took place in the year when he was born either nationally or on the global scene. So the candidate must be fully aware of not only the national or international events of the particular year when he was born, but also if his date of birth is common with anything specific, e.g., any great personality’s birthday or any other day of national or international importance. For example, if the candidate’s date of birth happens to be 15th of August, it might make the interviewers ask something specific about the freedom fight of India.
- Address: The address that your DAF carries might put it in the mind of the interviewers to ask you something about the districts and the states etc.,that are in the neighborhood.
- Community: In case the candidate belongs to OBC/SC/ST, he might be asked that how would he define OBC or for that matter SC or ST. He might also be asked about the problems and the issues etc. faced by the OBC, SC or ST communities. Next may follow questions based on the plans and the schemes made by the government(s) for the sake of these communities. It is best to express an opinion which is justifiable both for the sake of the entire nation and is also legally. So needless to say, the candidate should have a thorough knowledge of all the legal provisions made by the Constitution of India for the sake of the OBC(s), SC(s) and ST(s).
- The optional subject: Usually, not many questions are asked concerning the optional subject. However the candidate might be asked his reasons behind choosing the subject. In case, your academic or professional background happens to be a different one, there is a greater probability that your reasons for choosing the particular subject may be probed further. The candidate might face a few questions concerning the subject as well, e.g., a few definitions, concepts, theories, hypothesis, and the candidate’s own opinions about a school of thought (if the subject offers a scope for that).
- Family and the state the candidate belongs to: In case the candidate hails from a family of professors where one or both the parents happen to be teaching in a college, there may be a few questions related with the various problems the Indian education system is facing and what role can the teaching community play to eradicate the same.
Besides, as already said earlier, the candidate must have a thorough knowledge of all the states etc., that lie in the neighborhood of his native place. In case any of these states is held to be important due to any reasons, e.g., historical, economical etc., the candidate should have all the facts on his tips. For example, if he is born in Gaya, he should be well prepared to answer any questions that may be asked related to Gaya.
- Academic qualifications: The candidate should be able to explain the subjects and disciplines he had been studying. Though the questions asked concerning the educational qualifications are few in number, the candidate should be able to answer correctly whatever is asked.
- Employment: If the candidate had already been employed earlier, he should be able to relate his job profile and various duties that he had been performing.
Besides, as already said earlier, the candidate should be able to answer well regarding his hobbies and current affairs or for that matter whatever has been asked. The key to success is prepare well. And do not bluff. Admit if you lack in the knowledge while answering something. But you should know how to do so. Be logically courteous; seek permission while entering the interview room and before occupying a seat. Wear a confident, but gentle smile on your face.
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