Even though the interview carries 200 marks with no minimum qualifying marks, it is the deciding factor at many times of your being within the services or out of it and in the least matters in which service you get. However since the interview is so personal and variable it is most desirable to do very well in the written mains. But an Interview can make or break you so take your personality development rather seriously and make sure to attend some mock interviews at leading institutes.
UPSC Interview Questions
UPSC Interview questions range from questions about your choice of subject to why you want to join the Engineering services. It is good to answer honestly but at the same time avoid clichés like wanting to do service to the nation etc. Questions on your hobbies are imperative so prepare well as they expect some in depth knowledge on that. Questions relating to your name, your college or school name are also a big possibility. If someone well-know shares one of these names please also prepare on that. Also learn up about important events on the year or date of your birth. As you can see, UPSC Interview questions are mainly from what you have filled in your form including your subject but here it is more a test of logic and presentation and awareness rather than pure subject knowledge. In the UPSC interview many questions are situational like what will you do if a Tsunami strikes your district and you are the DM/Collector/SP. Questions on your choice of service preference also need to be prepared. Current affairs analysis is important too.
Some useful tips for a successful interview at UPSC are:
- To have a positive body language
- To have a good personal turnout and ensuring the right posture
- To answer questions clearly and confidently
- Try to remain calm and composed even when faced with provocative questions
- Try not getting into long winded explanations and answer to the point.
Things to be avoided at the UPSC Interview
- Avoid the expression, 'I am sorry.'
- Avoid conversational cliches, like: 'as you know', 'that's correct', 'of course', 'indeed', 'obviously', etc.
- Avoid technical jargon. However, if a member continues to probe you in any technical field, you can use technical expressions.
- Maintain a cheerful disposition. Now and then you can appear serious; but most of the time keep smiling or look cheerful and composed. One caution here: if the board laughs, you should only smile. It is only when you maintain some amount of distance that the board begins to wonder about the depth of your personality.
- Do not give long introductions. Come straight to the heart of the matter.
- Show human concern whenever possible in your answers.
- You should be logically consistent and analyze things rationally while talking. You are supposed to defend what you say, but with due respect to the views of the board. Stop trying to defend an answer if it becomes difficult to do so logically and fairly.
- Do not make hasty or sweeping generalizations.
Tips to improve your performance at the UPSC Interview
- There are generally 5 members at the board with the Chairperson seated at the center. Enter confidently and greet the Chairperson, who will probably welcome you, and pleasantly nod at other members. Wait till you are asked to sit.
- Intelligent listing is the mantra, and for this maintaining eye contact is very important. You should not glare but all the same appear attentive and do not glance at other members; it can be very distracting for the interviewer. However if some other member asks you anything, look at that member and answer and turn back to the first - this is what we do in normal attentive listening.
- Do not fidget or throw your hands around, or shake your head. Less amount of movement does not mean you should sit unnaturally stiff. Your posture should be attentive and relaxed at the same time. Do not crouch/bend forward or place your hands on the table.
- Cut your answer short to the required patience shown by the member talking to you. They usually like to talk more, so listen carefully and think for a few seconds before you start answering the question. This will show that you are organizing your thoughts in mind before starting to speak.
- Leave some room for difference in opinion. Do take a stand, but do not look adamant or unwilling to appreciate the board's opinion.
- Use couple of words from the question while answering any question. It shows you have listened to the question carefully. But at the same time limit the use the technical jargon.
- Listen very carefully. Come to the central issue of the enquiry immediately. Wild guessing or speculation is a complete no no.
- Do not start evaluating your performance while still in the interview. Even if you have committed mistakes in the beginning, do not think that you have already lost the game. They are looking for warm, sensitive respectful and attentive youngsters. They know you are good or you would not have come so far.
- Talk humbly about your achievements and hobbies. You may have mentioned some hobbies in the form without serious background in them, but before the interview it would be useful to pick up some basic info on the hobby.
- Say less to convey more. Less is more these days as per the minimalist creed. Argue logically and generalize correctly. Do not try to read too much between the lines.
- Remember, while answering any question, what is easy to see is easy to miss. We often tend to miss the obvious and go for some non-crucial aspect of the subject.
- Get up to leave only when the chairperson asks you to, not because you think everyone has asked a question. Similarly, even if someone has not asked a question and the chairperson asks you to leave then please leave. Some members do not ask questions at all, due to various reasons like limited time.
- Before leaving politely thank the chairperson and nod at the others politely. Avoid saying "Have a good day sir". A "Thank you Sir/Madam" is enough.
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