Civil Services Exam, PCS Exam, IBPS and many other competitive exams consists of total 3 stages through which UPSC, IBPS, SSC or other state or central government commission test the suitability of the candidate for the particular job. The 3 stages usually described as Preliminary Exam, Main Exam and then the final UPSC Interview, which is also known as the personality test. Unlike the previous 2 stages, Prelims and Mains; interview stage does not have any defined syllabus, for, the interview is more of a personality test than the academic knowledge. Although there is not any defined syllabus, but there are some defined tips by experts on how to handle interview and how to face the board of competent observers who will judge you on the basis of your personality, communication skills including both verbal and non-verbal, your body language, your decision making skills and many other factors which are listed below.
Since the commencement date of interview for Civil Services Exam has been announced by UPSC from 11th Of February 2019, Let’s take UPSC Interview as an example to understand the entire process.
- Important advice
As the final stage aims to test the personality and aptitude of the candidate more than his/her academic knowledge, therefore, candidates should focus on developing confidence in their personalities, should know how to present themselves in front of the board members, should have the ability to portray the administrative and other required traits while answering the questions, should be honest, must have good listening skills along with the speaking skills and should be well abreast with current affairs.
Experts of the field suggests IAS candidates to listen to the interview videos of other successful candidates to learn well, and must take 2 to 3 IAS Mock Interviews before they appear for the final quest, because being judged by the experts beforehand and getting their feedback for further improvisation would always be the wiser decision than directly jumping to face the final challenge. Coaching Institutes which conducts such mock interviews maintains the atmosphere which is akin to the actual UPSC interview with the panel of experts including ex or serving officers, psychoanalysts, well-experienced academicians and other subject experts who closely examine the candidates and prepare them for the final interview round.
- Scrutinize your Detailed Application Form (DAF)
Your Detailed Application Form acts as a window to your entire personality in the interview process. The major portion of the interview process is based on your Detailed Application form. Each member of the board has a copy of your DAF and they will read it in full lengths before turning their curious eyes on you. Hence it’s very crucial to fill in the DAF very carefully so as to avoid any mistakes that might happen in the state of nervousness or hurry. Make sure you fill your DAF with honesty. Your DAF will consist of questions like the place where you born and brought up, your educational qualification, your current job (if employed), your area of interest, your hobbies and such other questions. Questions may be asked based on the city where you born and brought up, so read about it carefully, read about the major news or event occurred in that particular place, some historic significance associated with that place. Then if you are currently employed, make sure you have sound knowledge on the field where you are currently working and be ready for the question that why you chose to leave that job and why do you want to job Civil Services. If you are writing something as your hobby; get good information about it; some famous personality associated with that particular hobby, for eg. If you say you like reading; so you should know the names of some good authors and some good books, if you say you like playing football, you should know some famous personality in that particular sport and some major event associated with that. So all you need is to just be honest and speak your opinions out.
- Frame a very logical answer for ‘Why Civil Services’
‘Understand the job before you aspire to take it up’
Civil Services, especially IAS, IFS & IPS are jobs of extreme responsibilities. You simply cannot consider the service as a simple job where you are expected to go to the office, sit whole day signing papers and leave for home at 6. The day in the life of a ‘Civil Administrator’ is packed with important meetings, field trips and a lot many official activities ending the day on not so peaceful note. You will have numerous events to attend and most of them are non-avoidable at all. Amidst all this, you have to make crucial decisions that will directly or indirectly influence the lives of thousands of people residing in the areas under your jurisdiction. You definitely need a very calm mind to make decisions or sign papers of such high public value. For IPS officers, it’s often working night shifts. This is the life of a Civil Administrator. And this is the reason why this question is always asked in Civil Services Interview as to ‘Why do you aspire for Civil Services?’ or ‘Why IAS, IPS or IFS?’ Ensure framing a rock-solid answer to this most crucial question. And do not ever say that it’s a dream of your parents; never do this! Make sure you have some genuine answer to these questions which must show that you actually want to contribute to the benefit of society and country as a whole.
Here, we would again recommend you to take IAS Mock Interviews. Experts’ advice is required the most here. And in the mock interview, you will not only be interviewed by the panel of experts, but you will also get the feedback sessions and suggestions on how you should frame your answer well with the right body language.
- Develop the Right Attitude
When you know what do you expect out of your career and how exactly are you aiming to take forward your duties, the most important factor that will support your decision is practising the right attitude from that very moment. By right attitude, we mean having a positive & practical approach towards life and everything you come across. For serving mankind through extremely responsible Civil Services, you will need this right attitude inculcated in your actions to the very cores. Remember, interview panel is highly experienced and can judge your attitude towards situations by any means, be it through an imaginary situation you will need to give your understanding or solution for or through random questions based on your DAF. Be prepared!
- Polish your Communication Skills
Interviews are the formal communication and in case of UPSC CSE Interviews, communication is the Master Key to wide open the doors of Infinite possibilities and glorious career with Civil Services. No matter what language you speak or how you speak, for UPSC CSE Interviews, all that’s considered is what you say, with what clarity, how well you keep your point and how you take stand on your opinion maintaining the dignity of yourself and of the people you are sharing the room with. From this very moment, fine tune your tone and clarity of speech, and at the same time, do not forget to respect other person’s opinion while maintaining the clarification you wish to express. The better you explain yourself, sticking by the point but not being adamant to prove yourself right, more will be the chances to grab keen attention of the interviewers towards what you are trying to say. Maintain a fine line between your logic and common sense while keeping your point before the expert’s panel. They will cross-question you any moment, because they are listening to you, very carefully. A light & healthy conversation will directly increase your chances to crack the Interview and make it to the list of Civil Services Officers. Don’t forget – they are of high reputation in the fraternity. Respect that! Along with good speaker, make sure you practice being a good listener too.
- Be yourself
The purpose of asking you inculcate all the healthy traits in you beforehand is to ensure that you can bring these into regular practice and face the panel with the real ‘you’. Panel most appreciates the candidates who are themselves and do not fake their statements only to impress the interviewers. Allow them to frame out certain traits that are the best in you or something you must change before getting into the services. Be the best version of you and answer with full honesty.
- Stay updated with Current Affairs
Apart from these very crucial factors what more you need to keep in mind is stay updated with current affairs on a regular basis, be well versed with your knowledge base & put up with a pleasing personality. These are additional traits that will help your interviewer accept your presence at the Interview and frame out an Administrator in you.