Cracking the Prelims, followed by the Mains as conducted by the UPSC Civil Services Exam is a Herculean task in itself. However, do not be under an impression that you have almost joined the Indian Administrative Services simply because you have been called for the Interview.
Though you are much closer to see yourself as an IAS officer, you have not achieved your goal yet. In spite of the fact that cracking the Prelims and IAS are great achievements, these so called feathers in your cap do not matter at all if
UPSC does not find your performance in the interview satisfactory enough in order to ask you to join the Civil Services, let alone the most coveted of the cadres, IAS.
What does UPSC look for during the Interview?
UPSC aims at selecting the potential administrators rather than great scholars who are the store houses of knowledge. The score of a candidate, both in the Mains, as well as the Personality Test is considered by UPSC for the final rank. However, it should be noted that the score in the Mains does not play any role at all, in deciding the course of the Interview.
Again, it should not be forgotten that it’s your personality rather than your knowledge that is being tested in the Interview. No wonder, it’s often termed as the Personality Test. Besides, as your complete personality is being almost scrutinized, UPSC would assess the manner you analyze and respond to a question rather than simply what you know about the subject (though, that too, counts). Thus, it’s a candidate’s approach to a problem or issue or whatsoever is being discussed that counts. So, there can’t be an answer that can be termed as right or wrong.
Besides, the Interview panel never awards the marks in a subjective manner. Rather, all the members are highly objective. It would not be improper to say that it’s the complete personality of the candidate that plays a decisive role concerning how much he scores in the Interview.
Tips to Strategize for Clearing the IAS Interview
It’s not always a university topper who clears the IAS interview. Rather, an individual with a well-developed personality (with a fair share of the knowledge, of course, for that is a part of a well-developed personality) is more likely to clear the Personality Test.
Here are a few tips to strategize well in order to clear the Interview:
The UPSC Interview Panel comprises the Chairman who is a UPSC member, and 4 others, all of whom are chosen by UPSC from various walks of life. The Panel’s job is to assess if the candidate is capable to function effectively as a Civil Servant.
As the Interview Panel analyzes your personality traits, the following tips may help you score better in the Interview:
1.Do not take your DAF lightly: The DAF that you fill in after clearing the Prelims is a task that should not be taken lightly. Quite a number of the questions that you would be asked in the Interview are likely to be based on the details that you fill in the DAF.
The probable topics that you might be questioned about include the following:
- Place of Birth,
- Issues of the Home State,
- Current Affairs, etc.
2. Stay Unprejudiced: An unprejudiced individual always makes a good administrator. Even when you are answering something concerning an issue related to your home town or home state, it’s advisable to answer as an Indian national rather than as an individual whose mind is obsessed with his home state only. Instead of presenting a regional mindset, the ideology of an Indian national is better appreciated by UPSC. Remember, it’s Indian Administrative Service that you aim to join
3. It counts when you are alert and aware: How alert and aware are you? What if the Interview Panel wants to know the number of steps that you climbed in order to reach the Interview room? It’s best to retain your calm! The Panel is simply doing its job of assessing your personality! So, it’s your approach to various types of questions that matters as that reflects your personality.
4. Your social etiquettes should be nothing less than perfect: Remember, you aim at joining IAS. So, your social etiquettes should be nothing less than perfect. It counts more than many perceive at the first thought. In case, UPSC declares you a successful candidate, you would be required to deal with many of the high profile personalities in a highly logical, firm and yet a dignified manner.
5. Excellent Listening Skills: In order to answer well, you are required to listen well first. You must comprehend what is being asked and also what attribute of your personality it aims to test. Thus it requires patience so that you can listen well, comprehend well and answer properly.
Finally, though it’s natural for most of the candidates to get nervous while facing the Interview, stay confident and do not panic. If you enjoy a tight grip over various subjects including the current affairs and have a thoroughly alert, aware and unprejudiced mind, you are very likely to clear the Interview.
So, believe in yourself first if you want UPSC to believe in you. Remember, the Personality Test is going to test your personality and self confidence is one of the most appreciable traits that make up a highly appreciable personality, specifically when you want to administer the society as an IAS.
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