UPSC Civil Services Examination is conducted annually in India. It spans various months and includes two main stages held at three different time intervals. The first round is the preliminary examination in which general studies 1 paper is used for calculating rank and the CSAT paper is only to be qualified.
Then the Mains exams are held at two levels. First is the written descriptive type exam where each candidate writes 9 papers. Papers A and B are modern Indian language examinations, again only to be qualified. The other 7 are used for ranking and each carries 250 marks. The total marks are 1750.
The interview round is the last and most crucial part. No matter how well you have scored in your written exams, interviews will decide your fate and ranking. Also known as the Personality Test, the interview round carries a maximum weightage of 275 marks.
If you have scored excellently well in your mains exams, but somehow your interview didn’t go well, there are chances you will still be selected but your ranking may suffer. Despite that fact, most people tend to focus primarily on Prelims and Mains. However, this approach is fatal.
To help you out and give you a taste of the interview round, we have curated a list of the most asked questions in the interview round with some plausible responses.
- The Interview Round
The interview round is a two-way process between the candidate and the investigator, a person in the UPSC exam classes. The discussion lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes during which a wide range of questions are to be answered by the candidate.
The environment in the interview room will surely not be light. You may even feel intimidated by seeing a highly-qualified and well-reputed panel. However, be calm and confident.
Unlike the two previous stages, the syllabus for the interview round is not laid down. You can be asked questions about national importance, environmental issues, any recent government policy, some topic from your optional subject, or anything else. In short, the scope of questions is endless.
Just know that the interview panel is not there to test your knowledge. That has already been done during the written exams. This round is all about your personality, aptitude, risk management skills, etc.
- The Introductory Questions
The first set of questions will be about yourself. The most asked question is about self-introduction. There can be questions about your family, native place, the meaning of the name, etc. be true while answering these questions.
Do not overshare. More information will lead up to more questions. While answering any questions about your place, make sure you know almost everything about its geography, demographic composition, economic habits, political leanings, etc.
- Education-related Questions
“What do you think is the functionality of your degree in the public administration sphere?”, “Please tell us about your time in school or the college you attended”, “Which was your favorite subject?”, “Why did you choose this particular course?”, “What kind of a student do you think you were?”, etc. are certain questions that might be asked to you to know your approach towards various disciplines.
Questions like these also give the interviewers a sense of how confident they are about what you did during your study years. It is a way to ensure that you can own your decisions.
Hence, make sure to have a positive approach when you reply to any of the above questions. Be clear in your head about your decisions during the course and communicate the clarity to the panel to have a positive impression.
- Current Affairs-related Questions
No matter which interview you may sit for, current affairs will never leave your side. The favorite question of the examiners is about “today’s newspaper headlines”. Hence, make sure you have read the newspaper for the day before sitting for the interview.
Besides that, current affairs must be covered for the past 10 to 12 months. Every issue of national importance, environmental issues, new policies, or anything else other than that related to any of the GS papers.
Even concerning these topics, learning facts is not enough. You should build your understanding of the matter at hand. Critically analyze each news piece and present your interpretations of the developments around the same. This will fetch you better marks because this is what the examiner expects from you.
- Work and Hobby-related Questions
If you had a job before clearing the examination, the nature of that job will be questioned. They might assess you based on the responsibility held and how well you did your job. Stress and time management will be factored in.
“Why do you think you are suitable for the job?” is another popular question. They may question you to determine how you will serve the nation. Be honest with the answer. Tell them about your strengths and shape the answer around them. Your hobbies and interests might also be a point of discussion.
- Optional-related Questions
Your optional subject is considered to be the area of your expertise. Hence, any segment from the subject might become a point of discussion. Choose the optional wisely!
- Your Weaknesses
The questions will not always be modeled around only positive attributes of your personality. The examiners will be keen on scrutinizing you. They would like to have a better sense of your self-awareness and self-criticism. Hence, you should know what your shortcomings as a person are and how you plan on improving them.
As there is no prescribed syllabus for online classes for UPSC, you need to cover almost everything. Current affairs can just not be skipped. Make sure that your application contains every detail in absolute honesty. Practice good communication. Maintain a good posture and body language.
Don’t run after a perfect answer. Give an answer that is honest and confident. Avoid any kind of stress and pressure. Calmness is the key to great results. Go about fabricating and putting forward your opinions rather than stating facts. Be patient. You would not want to mess up with the panel. Remember that you have come this far already, not a lot is left to be aced.
- What is the UPSC Interview?
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) administers the Civil Services Examination (CSE), commonly known as the Personality Test, as the last step in the selection process for positions in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and other Central Civil Services. The purpose of the UPSC Interview is to evaluate a candidate’s personality, interpersonal abilities, fitness for a career in public service, and capacity to communicate their thoughts and viewpoints successfully. Generally, the UPSC Interview takes 20 to 30 minutes and is worth 275 points.
- Is there a dress code for the UPSC Interview?
The UPSC Interview does have a dress code, and applicants are required to present themselves in a formal and professional manner. Candidates are recommended to dress professionally for an interview by donning neat, ironed attire. Men should dress professionally in a formal shirt and pants, either with or without a jacket. Women should wear a formal suit, saree, or salwar kameez. As first impressions do count and how a candidate portrays themselves might affect the overall impression they create on the Interview Board, it is crucial to dress appropriately for the UPSC Interview.
- What function does the Interview Board serve during the UPSC interview?
In determining a candidate’s personality and aptitude for the position of a civil servant, the Interview Board in the UPSC Interview is quite important. The board’s senior members and subject matter specialists in the public sector ask questions to gauge a candidate’s knowledge, attitude, communication abilities, self-assurance, moral character, and leadership abilities. The Interview Board is a crucial component of the hiring process that ensures only the most qualified individuals are chosen for the demanding position of a government servant.
- How should a candidate prepare for the UPSC Interview?
Candidate should prepare for the UPSC Interview by familiarizing themselves with current events and issues, practicing communication and interpersonal skills, and being honest and confident in their responses.