How to Prepare Interview

Preparation of UPSC interview

UPSC Civil Services Examination is conducted in three stages (Prelims, Mains and Interview). Interview is its last and third stage. The nature of this stage is complex; since unlike the Prelims and Mains, it does not have any fixed syllabus. This is the reason why the range of questions asked during the interview is very wide. The question is how to build such a personality that within that half an hour student are able to impress the members of the interview panel. It is noting that the direction of interview preparation is decided by the objectives of the interview.

Objective of UPSC Interview

  • Its objective is to determine and understand the inner personality of the candidates.
  • In this stage, the all-round qualities of the candidates are evaluated, which include-
    • Mental alertness
    • Logic and awareness
    • Variety of interests
    • Leadership ability
    • Critical perception power
    • Intellectual and moral aspects
    • Balance of decision; etc.

Importance of interview in UPSC-

  • It plays an important role in the final selection.
    • Its marks are included in the final merit list.
  • It is very important in determining the exam rank.
    • More marks can be obtained with less effort.
  • Through this, one gets an opportunity to develop personality.

Important tips for UPSC interview preparation

Preparation done under proper guidance can prove to be very helpful in presenting oneself in front of the interview board. The following tips will make your preparation effective-

  • The commission completes the entire selection process in about a year. However, only about a month is available between the main examination and the interview; which is very less. Therefore, start preparing for the preliminary examination, main examination and interview right from the beginning.
  • In organizing the interview, testing of general or special knowledge is not a priority. Because it is tested before the written exams. In the limited time available, especially focus on the behavior and expression aspect.
  • Below are some tips related to interview preparation, which will prove to be helpful in the interview-

Knowledge Aspect-

        • Candidates should collect information about all the aspects written in the biodata
        • Also keep in mind the syllabus of the preliminary and main examination
        • Pay special attention to the events that happened around the interview date

Expression Aspect-

        • Try to strengthen both the physical and verbal expression aspects
        • Pay overall attention to the vocabulary, pronunciation, ups and downs, etc. in your speech
        • Maintain balance in physical expression (expression gestures)
        • Make a group of 6 to 8 friends for practice and practice regularly for a few days
        • Whenever you get the opportunity, present yourself and your words effectively in front of the board-members
        • Whenever you get the opportunity, talk to new people

Attitude Aspect-

        • Have a balanced, practical and progressive approach towards various issues
        • Try to include words like ‘probably’, ‘possibility’, ‘maybe’ etc. in your statements
        • Avoid using binding indicator words
        • Present both sides of controversial issues
        • Give your opinion by incorporating all the arguments for and against


        • Keep practising wearing appropriate dress for a formal meeting
        • Wear clean and ironed clothes
        • Pay special attention to hair style selection
        • Male candidates
          Choosing full sleeve formal shirt and pant or coat-pant or suit will be a better option and choose the tie accordingly. Provided there is a contrast in the colours. Shoes should be well polished and socks should be of formal colour.
        • Female candidates
          Can choose a saree or suit, it would be better if they choose a saree. Dress should be formal, the saree should not be colourful. It would be better if the saree is of cotton. Sandals should be free from fancy touch.

Topics of frequently asked questions in the interview-

  • Educational background
  • Reasons for joining civil service
  • Alternatives to civil service and reasons for its selection
  • Family background
  • Your home state and its geography
  • Current hot topics
  • Home district and its geography
  • If you are in service, then detailed information about that job
  • Questions on priority given to services
  • Questions related to the year's budget, etc.

Find the answers to these types of questions in advance. The answers to these questions asked by the board members will give you an opportunity to feel comfortable.

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