UPSC CSE examination is a pack of 3 exams which is to be faced by any individual to get through. While prelims is a screening test and its score is not counted in the final rank calculation, mains exam is the 2nd level exam whose score is considered for calculating individuals rank in UPSC exam. Individuals who have cleared those two exams are to face a direct interview which is the final test to get selected for the UPSC. There are many things to be considered while attending an interview.
- Once the UPSC prelims and UPSC mains exams are done, UPSC calls around 2000 to 3000 candidates every year for interview vying for just 800 – 1000 seats available. UPSC being the most onerous and desirous exam aspired by many individuals, the final interview stands as that very x-factor in the successful achievement of a candidate and is like a gateway to the prestigious and powerful services like foreign, civil, police and other services.
- The final IAS interview is for 275 marks out of the total 2025 marks, while the council can award the candidate as high as 80% or as low as 30% budgeted marks which ranges to around 140 marks giving the candidate a chance of ranking in the top 100 or simply knock him/her out for reckoning.
- This interview is usually done in around the month of March calling the qualifying candidates. UPSC organizes different board daily with each headed by a UPSC member and 4 to 5 other subject experts from different fields.
- The interview happens in a way with the candidate facing various questions of either national or international significance from the panel.
- The questions also include those related to the candidate’s profile as mentioned in the detailed application form – DAF, provided to the UPSC initially while applying for the exam.
- The duration of the interview is unpredictable as it completely depends on the candidate and the teams’ conversation with the main objective of assessing the candidates’ thoughts and personality apart from just the theoretical bookish knowledge, assessing which was already done through mains exam.
- What actually is assessed or observed by the panel in the candidate is his/ her balancing judgmental ability, reasoning ability, ability to think in critical situations, sincerity of purpose, how aware and how concern is the candidate for the socio-economic issues and problems, how clear are their thoughts and expressions under any given scenario, positivity, analytical ability and many others as such.
With all that know about the interview, here are few thought points to be kept in mind before preparing for the UPSC interview.
- Improving knowledge is never a waste of anything whether you qualify mains and get shortlisted for interview or not. Start preparing for the interview as early as possible post completion of mains exam, never wait for the mains results. Start with reading newspapers and magazines.
- Have knowledge of issues happened and happening around of national and international importance. Having knowledge doesn’t mean about the figures or any such, it’s all about analyzing the situation, appreciation, causes and consequences and as such. Follow top national dailies instead of just putting it on the local newspapers which are hub for more internal political matters than anything else.
- Make a note of everything in precise and concise form.
- Television too plays a useful role with chosen channels or programmes are of importance and usefulness like Doordarshan, Rajya-sabha TV, Lok-sabha TV, NDTV, News at Nine, Market Mantra (economic news programme) and Spot-light (news analysis programme), All India Radio (FM Gold) etc.
- Make use of the internet for all the above and especially while working on areas related to personal profile put on DAF.
- Widen your thoughts by following books authored by great individuals like Dr. A PJ Abdul Kalam, Ramchandra Guha, Narayana Murthy, Amartya Sen, Nandan Nilekani, etc. that reflect on world issues, India and its society, economy, etc. and are worth for the time spent. Also spend time on books of your interest or those that are related to your hobbies, state of domicile, or current job.
- Also, take time and chance to meet experts in your field or successful candidates from previous years.
- Develop positive and confidence attitude.
- This test phase is an interview, which involves a lot of speaking so develop your communication skills to the best you could. Improve answering abilities with good balancing and straight to point skills.
To help you understand the type and style of questions being asked in the IAS interview, we have listed some of the sample questions below:
- Tell us or me about yourself? Or Brief us about yourself. Or Give us a brief introduction about yourself.
- What made you choose UPSC? Or Why do you want to become an IAS officer?
- Tell me or us about your strengths and weaknesses or positive and negative strengths.
- Why choose civil services for social serving?
- Why only UPSC and why not politics?
- What’s the reason behind choosing the mentioned subject as your option in UPSC?
- What does your name mean and why are you given that name?
- What are your hobbies? Why only that in specific?
- How can a raw egg dropped onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
- If it took 4 days to build a wall for 1 man, how many days will it take for 4 men to build that wall?
- How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
- How can a person go without sleep for 10 days?
- What happened when wheel was invented?
With a strong desire for your dream, nothing is impossible. Plan well, prepare well and crack your dream. All the best aspirants!
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