How to crack UPSC interview

A K Mishra Mar 8 2018, 00:28 IST
During the interview, maintain eye contact at all times and beconcise while making your point. REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is a coveted career option for many as it not only promises job security and a decent salary package, but also offers a sense of satisfaction, when you serve society. For those who have cracked two crucial stages of the UPSC exam, the interview is the final decisive stage.

The interview is a critical stage as you will be judged on your personality, communication skills and decision-making skills, among other factors. Hence, it is important to prepare for the interview by doing a few mock interviews. Unlike the other two stages, the interview stage does not have any defined syllabus.

The board members will seek your views on current happenings, government initiatives and the issues faced by people in the country. As a major part of your interview will be based on your Detailed Application Form (DAF), you will need to fill it carefully. Specifically, the DAF lists out your academic and personal achievements and interests, among others.
You will also be assessed on your presentation and communication skills along with your knowledge on the topics of your interest.

Essential preparation

Here are a few tips that might help you crack the UPSC interview:

n Read the news regularly as it will help you frame your own opinions on various issues and happenings that are of national and international importance.

n It is important to engage in a constructive hobby and nurture it. This can help you explore another dimension of your personality and bring out your inbuilt skill or talent. That is why UPSC gives importance to hobbies in the interview round. We all have a passion, we just need to nurture it.

n Mock interviews, at least two to three, are a must as they help you get prepared for the real one. This will help boost your confidence to speak yourself in a more professional manner, keeping your point efficiently. While mock interviews help you understand the psychology of the panel members who will interview you, the post-interview discussion will help you analyse the weaker areas of your personality, and improvise on them.

n It is important to prepare yourself mentally as the interview stage demands more stable, calm and composed mind. If the concepts are clear, you can easily crack the interview with confidence. So, don't just mug up information but go in depth. Practise speaking on important topics and try to be a part of the discussions
and debates. The more you practise speaking your point with logical reasoning,
the better you get, and the chances of cracking the Civil Services interview are more.

Path to success

At this stage of Civil Services examination, aspirants must follow certain golden principles to make sure they leave an everlasting impression on the panel. So, here are some dos and don'ts that can help you in acing the interview.


n Confidence is key: Maintain a decently upright posture while sitting and maintain eye contact with the panel members at all times. When you are interactive, you are sure to leave an impact.

n Be concise: Express your views and points but make sure you are concise. Try not being repetitive, stay within the topic and frame interesting answers.

n Present the best version of you: As the UPSC panel will be looking out for efficient administrators, it is important to present the best of yourself and answer the questions efficiently. So, this is your chance to show the best version of yourself and your capabilities. Be who you are, present your views in a humble manner, respect the panel and show the required traits of your personality, like empathy,
decision making skills, leadership, wherever required.


n Don't panic: You are sitting at a place where thousands dream to reach. So,
do not panic at any point. Be confident and give your views. Even in case of a difference in opinion, be calm and take the arguments of the opposite side.
Do not get nervous if you are proved wrong. The panel will acknowledge that you
tried responding to the best of your knowledge.

n Don't be overconfident: The interview panellists are highly experienced and
reputed in their own fields. So, don't try to be overconfident in front of them. State your opinion efficiently but don't argue to prove your point. Along with being a good speaker, it is important to be an efficient listener.

n Avoid fidgeting: This is one habit the examiners will never appreciate and hence you must avoid fidgeting with your hands, clothes, handkerchief or anything.

With these tips in mind, facing the UPSC interview may become a bit easier. So, take your time, prepare well and be confident of your abilities. Good luck!

(The author is founder, Chanakya IAS Academy, New Delhi)

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