UPSC Interview Tips for Aspirants: Beginners Guide

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)'s Interview is the civil service examination's last step. A candidate's Knowledge has already been examined in Mains and Prelims. Thus the Interview is meant to gauge how your true character shines through. The UPSC Interview takes place over 30 minutes and is worth 275 marks out of a possible 2025 mark. In just 30 minutes, you can take the first step toward a new, more secure, and more stable future as a civil servant in the Central Government and serve the nation. Final rankings are determined by how well candidates did in both the main exam and the interview, i.e. the personality test. Candidates that perform well in the interview phase may move up in the selection process and have greater chances of selection. 

UPSC Interview Tips for Aspirants: Beginners Guide

Objective of UPSC Interview

To kickstart your preparation for UPSC Interview, you need to understand what actually is the objective or the purpose of the UPSC Interview. An interview aims to gauge the candidate's potential for administrative skills. Members of the panel are not there to check a candidate's expertise but rather to gauge their character for potential Civil Service positions. Through a series of questions, counter-questions, hypothetical case studies, etc., they attempt to draw out specific aspects of your character; then, they evaluate you based on the strategies you employ in responding, the depth of your thought, your body language, and other factors. Don't ever assume that the board's purpose is to get rid of you or put you down, and always maintain an optimistic outlook to succeed in the interview.

Strategy for Preparing for Interview 

Candidates should not wait to begin preparing for the Interview until they know the mains exam results. Improving their character is something they need to get going on right away. Preparing for an interview by honestly evaluating oneself is crucial. Potential candidates need to take stock of their abilities and areas for improvement. There is no substitute for thorough preparation for the UPSC Interview; areas to focus on include your Optional Subject choice for mains, your educational background, your place of residence, your motivation for wanting to become an IAS/IPS officer, the information provided in your Detailed Application Form (DAF), and current events. Questions related to these areas will likely be asked in the interview.

For more guidance and mentorship, UPSC aspirants can also join a good IAS coaching institute. These coaching institutes conduct mock interviews through which you can analyse where you are commenting mistakes and your areas of improvement.   

Things to Remember while Preparing for UPSC Interview 

  • It's important to remember that the candidate isn't obligated to provide answers to every single inquiry. The UPSC interview is not a quiz show in which the more questions you answer, the higher your score.
  • It's wise to take a few precautionary steps before making any rash decisions. If you say you don't know the answer, the interviewers will likely follow up with further questions designed to draw you out.
  • A candidate's response should be reflective of his ability to think clearly and make decisions in a concise, unambiguous manner. A candidate addressing a question should look at all of the members, not just the one who asked it.
  • A candidate should take a stand, but not one that reveals his intolerance for other viewpoints. They ought to show that they are open to the board's input.
  • Refrain from moving your hands and head around wildly. If you need to reduce your activity level, however, sitting rigidly is not the way to go about it. Be alert but untense in your body language. Keep your hands off the table, and don't stoop over.
  • Include at least one or two of the question's words in your response. It demonstrates that you paid close attention to the question being asked. However, try to use as little jargon as possible.
  • A good interview performance depends more on your demeanour than your actual skills.
  • Don't second-guess yourself during the interview. It's not over if you make some early blunders, so don't give up hope. They want candidates who can show empathy, respect, and attention. They wouldn't have brought you this far if you weren't good.
  • Use fewer words to express more. The modern credo of "less is more" encapsulates this philosophy. Use proper logic and correct generalizations in your argument. To avoid misinterpretation, try not to read too much into the ambiguity.
  • The candidate needs to pay attention during the interview and extend sincere gratitude to the panel at its conclusion.

Conclusion 

The interview for the UPSC is a test of who you are as a person. Therefore, try to be honest and speak your mind. If you want to make a good impression, dress formally. Please bring the necessary identification and paperwork. Gather a handful of your fellow hopefuls for in-depth roundtable discussions, and go to as many simulated interviews as you can to gauge where you stand. Many UPSC coaching institutes can help you with this. Use the information you learned from the practice interviews to your advantage. Last but not least, try not to worry too much and instead go into the interview with your guard down.

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