The Interview in UPSC is the final hurdle to leap over in the pursuit of the Civil Services Exam. It is the last stage of the exam where your personality is tested and not just the knowledge. The Interview in the Civil Services Exam is conducted for 275 marks and is spread over a month with two sessions each day. Though the marks in comparison to the Mains exam, which is of 1750 marks, is much less, candidates should not take the Interview lightly at any cost.
The twenty-minute-long discussion with the UPSC panel can lead to one’s dream cadre or service. However, facing the board itself can be an intimidating affair, and even the most confident of people can falter, which can pull you back from your dream of clearing the UPSC exams. A thousand questions can sail through your mind as to what to wear, how to talk, what to say, what not to say, etc. Hence, we have come up with a few to-dos for the UPSC Interview, which will assist you in sailing across this last mile smoothly.
Before we delve into the to-do list to be followed to prepare well for the Interview for the UPSC Exam, we must first understand what the board looks for in a candidate. The following characteristics are tested in the Interview:
- Clarity of expression
- Grasp of narrative or argument
- Reasoning ability
- Appreciation of different viewpoints
- Awareness and concern for socio-economic problems
- Range and depth of interests
- Ability to interact with people.
A candidate’s intelligence, presence of mind, honesty, general awareness, and leadership skills are crucial in the UPSC exams.
Now, let us take a look at the points working on which can help us sharpen our characteristics with respect to the above-mentioned list.
5 Things to Work on for the Upcoming UPSC Interview
- Prepare your self-introduction – Your introduction’s first couple of sentences should have your full name, education, work experience, and special interests. Try to include some attention-grabbing detail in your intro, but be genuine because faking it can put the interviewers off. You can also talk briefly about what motivates you in life. Practise your intro well because you could be interrupted by the UPSC board members in between. In that case, do not forget the rest of your intro. You must be able to answer the board and then finish from where you left off without breaking a sweat.
- Be well groomed – The first impression is a matter of judgement of the interviewers about you. To crack the IAS Interview, it is essential to create a lasting impression in the mind of the interviewers. In order to make a good first impression based on your outward features, it is desirable that your attire should be elegant and sober. The way you have dressed up and presented yourself matters a lot. If your attire creates a negative impression, then your whole interview session will go downhill from that point.
- Do not get involved in any arguments – The panel may ask the question to provoke you or say no to your explanation; still, you have to stay calm and act wisely. Consider the Interview as a discussion forum with eminent people, not as an argument. You should be able to prove your views with supporting examples. While answering any question, if you make a mistake and the interviewer points it out, accept it without argument. Committing a mistake is human nature.
- Don’t fake it – The UPSC board members are experienced people, and they will see through you. Pretend that you are a self-assured person but not overconfident. Do not portray an image of yourself that is fake. State the facts accurately and don’t lie. When you do not know the answer, be frank and have the courage to tell the board so.
- Be confident – It is important to speak confidently in the Interview because when you speak with confidence, you come across as a decisive person who is sure of yourself. Being shy can be a part of one’s nature, but it is acceptable as long as it doesn’t interfere with one’s ability to function effectively. Sometimes, shyness can prevent one from displaying one’s talents. Knowledge can give you immense confidence, and when you know the answer to a question, you will be able to speak with ease and flow. Hence, brush up on your current affairs, your hobbies, hometown, etc.
Last and not the least, look pleasant, carry yourself confidently, and wear that hypnotic makeup – smile – on your face from the time you enter the Interview Board’s room till you come out. Be confident and wear your attitude in such a way that it earns you a favourable impression of the board members. Express your views with thoughtfulness and consideration. Be attentive to what the board members say, and also look attentive. With these tips, you are surely going to come out with flying colours in the most coveted UPSC exam. To prepare effectively for current affairs, check the linked page.