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The interview round is the final procedure of UPSC to shortlist the candidates. Interview or the Personality Test is of utmost importance as the marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for final ranking. It carries 275 marks.

UPSC mains exams are generally not a high scoring and the marks of the candidates are likely to spread over a small range. However, after Personality Test, the range of marks may substantially increase. Every extra mark will push the rank a few notches higher and in the end that determines what service you get. It is generally seen that that interview high-scorers top the final selection list too.

Place of Interview: UPSC Office, New Delhi

Interview Board: It is headed by a Chairpersonwho is a UPSC member and Members (not fixed but generally 6). These members are from different fields like bureaucrats, educationists, subject matter experts, psychologists, etc.

DAF (Detailed Application Form)

Candidates are required to fill up a Detailed Application Form (DAF). This generally contains details about educational back ground; work experience, native place, extra-curricular activities; optional papers, choice of services etc. In fact, this detailed form serves some sort of CV to the panel members. Hence, it is likely that many questions of the panel members may be based on the responses of candidates on the form.Form filled by the candidate before the Interview

What and how to Prepare?

Prepare the answers for the following questions as these will be helpful for the Interview:-

Reason for applying for Civil Services Exam!

>> Why do you want to be a civil servant?

>> Why want to switch the job to AIS / civil services, if already employed?

>> If having engineering / medical / technical qualifications – reasons for     switching over to more administrative / generalist role!

>> How your technical /professional qualifications will be helpful in proposed job – civil services (Better to have some good examples- ex. Application of IT in e-governance etc.)

Choice of services for I.A.S./I.P.S/I.F.S and other civil services!

>> Reason for preferences inter se various civil service categories

Preferences given for States

>> Reasons for preferences among the states;

>> How you will adjust on allotment to state, other than the native state: language / cultural adjustment etc.

@ Study / refresh / brush up of the knowledge on following items-

Native City / City of Education / City of work etc. 

> History of the Place;
> Places of historical and cultural importance;
> Major events of the city.

State / Region

> Geography & History of the state / region;
> Agriculture / Soil / Biodiversity / Forest;
> Economic & Industrial Scenario;
> Political & Culture; etc.

Education Background  

> About College / University
> Streams of Studies: Degrees – reason for choosing;
> Subjects Studies: Adequate Knowledge would be expected-

@ Refresh the important topics / issues / concept;


> Any matter on these subjects which are in current news;
> Application / utility of the study subject in the proposed job / civil services. (Better to have some examples)

Optional Subjects

> Reasons for choosing the optional subjects ( if candidate choose optional subjects other than what they have studied);
> Good knowledge about these optional subjects (Concepts, important topics; etc.) – better to refresh them from your notes / other resource materials.

Work Experience, if any

> Nature of work; functions and responsibities;
> Knowledge about Organization;

Extracurricular activities /Hobbies

> Care has to be taken while filling up the details about hobbies ( no bluffing )
> What are your Hobbies? Reason for pursuing such a hobby;
> Ensure that you have good knowledge about the chosen hobby;
> What exactly you did or your role if being part of a NGO / voluntary organization;
> Details of the prizes / certificates won etc. in  Extracurricular activities, if any

Describe yourself!

Be yourself in replying such questions; you should able to substantiate / justify with concrete examples, if asked)

(Sincerity, Integrity, honesty, hard working, committed, responsive, leadership qualities, initiative and decision making are some of the terms generally used by candidates)

(What is expected of a candidate in the IAS interview?

Interview / Personality Test generally focus on-

^ Assessment of intellectual abilities; Social traits; leadership qualities;

^ Knowledge about happenings of national and global importance, range of interests;

^ Awareness and concern for socio-economic problems;

^ Alertness, clarity of thought and logical thinking; Judgment capability;

^ Attitude and confidence level;

^ Intellectual and moral integrity)

Name

Name / surname - related / similar to any famous personality; meaning of the name etc.

General Studies & Current Affair

Prepare well the topics of recent national & international importance; issues related to policy

Some of the topics are:-

* Demonetization, General Budget 2017-18, Economic Survey 2017;
* Surgical strike, National security, Terrorism;
* Digital India, Stand up India, Make in India;
* Niti Aayog, Ease of doing business, Global Income inequality;
* Beti bachao beti padhao, Swatch Bharat etc.

@ Read 2-3 Newspapers regularly to know the latest knowledge / awareness about current affairs.

Situational questions –as collector/SP – ex. Government schemes/ Law & order, Terrorism etc.

Tips

# A good personal appearance; wear neat / clean and well ironed dress;

# be yourself in the Interview

# Questions not able to answer-

> Better to say so politely; (I am not very sure about the answer of this question)
> Be honest, don’t try to bluff or make wild guesses;
> don’t panic or lose composure;
> keep poise and smile intact;

# be careful in answering the questions, avoid certain terms, which you are not knowing / sure, as they may lead to further questions;

# It is often noticed that some students despite doing well in written examination not able to perform well in interview because of inadequate communication skills and lack of confidence.

> Make a self-analysis of strengths and weaknesses; and work on them
> Improve your communication skills;
> Answers should crisp clear and to the point;
> Develop a positive attitude;
> Talk softly and intelligently;
> Have a positive attitude, alertness, mind, and a good decision making approach.
> Greet Chairperson / pleasant nod at other members on entering the room;
> Appear attentive during interview;
> Make eye contact  with chairperson / panel member while answering a question; and then generally look in the centre & not towards one member only;   
> Don’t be too casual on serious questions;
> May take stand on a issue but not to adamant or unwilling to appreciate the board's opinion;
> Maintain Moral Integrity;
> Politely thank the chairperson and nod at the others members while leaving.

@ Take mock IAS interviews / tips from good mentors and experienced civil servants / professionals – to have actual experience of interview facing, to check the extent of preparation, and any weak links thereof. But keep intact your personality and be yourself. 

Interview / Personality Test for Civil Services: What and how to prepare?