Preparation for UPSC Interview

The interview of the Union Public Service Commission (Civil Services) Exam is officially known as Personality Test. The UPSC Civil Services’ interview, the final stage, is held just after the results of the mains exams are declared. A lot of candidates, who clear the Prelims and Mains, fail at this stage as it is aimed at assessing the candidate’s personality, whether S/he is suitable to be a competent administrator or not.

The candidate is tested not only for their intelligence but also for their overall personality development, their attentiveness, balance of judgement and qualities of honesty, integrity and leadership. Therefore preparation for the Interview requires proper planning.

The idea behind the interview is to judge the candidate’s social traits and to see if their personality is suited to that of a Civil Services officer. If a candidate gives off an impression of being a bookworm, their chances of getting selected are reduced. They must exhibit an interest in events happening around them and be able to have an intelligent and fruitful conversation with the board.

Must Read: How to Crack IAS Exam? 10 Tips for IAS Preparation

Questions to be raised from sections

The research and analysis section of UPSC is used for assessing background information of the candidate appearing for the personality test/ interview. This questionnair has to be duly filled and submitted at the time of the interview and questions are raised from these sections.

  • Background of the candidate.
  • Employment status
  • Previous Civil Services attempts
  • Competitive exams cleared
  • Reasons for interest in Civil Services
  • Education particulars
  • Background of Parents/Guardian
  • Source of information for Civil Services
  • Coaching attended
  • Optional subject chosen

While preparing for the UPSC interview, a candidate needs to remember following things:

  • Be attentive and have a positive body language
  • Ensure that your posture have a good personal turnout
  • Answer questions clearly and confidently
  • Remain calm and composed even when faced with provocative questions
  • Stay crisp and to the point while answering a question

The qualities that should be possessed in a interview are such as, “clarity of expression, reasoning ability, appreciation of different points of view, awareness and concern for socio-economic problems, ranges and depth of interests and personal attributes relevant to interaction with people.”


Things to be avoided in the UPSC Interview:

  • Avoid saying “I’m sorry”
  • Avoid conversational fillers like “as you know”, “that’s correct”, “of course”, “indeed”, “obviously”, etc.
  • Avoid using technical terms, unless probed into technical field.
  • Maintain a cheerful disposition. You can appear serious but try and maintain a composed look and hold a smile. Even if the board laughs at some point, maintain your smile and composure.
  • Do not give a long introduction, keep it precise.
  • Show human concern wherever possible in your answers.
  • Maintain consistency in what you’re saying, logically and rationally. Defend what you say, but with due respect to the views of the board. Do not defend an answer if it becomes difficult to do so logically and rationally.

Frequently asked UPSC Interview Questions :

  • Initial questions will be based on your bio-data, career choices and why you have opted for civil services.
  • To start with, the board generally asks a candidate to give a description about himself/herself.
  • You need to research well on your hobbies as questions are asked on the reason why you pursue a particular hobby.
  • Questions will come from Current Affairs. So have an in-depth knowledge of current hot topics in the present world. While answering, put forward your views in a precise and analytical manner, with a logical backing to it.
  • Name your three good and negative qualities. While answering this question, always keep in mind that you provide a justification the good qualities you mention, and while mentioning your negative qualities, always mention what you can do to improve on them.
  • Situational questions can pop up during the interview like if you were the Collector/SP of Pune, Maharashtra, you would do after a bomb blast in the city.

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