Handling Stress and Anxiety in the UPSC Interview Room

Facing the daunting challenge of a UPSC interview is a different ball game compared to the confidence one might exude during the civil services exams. You could be the epitome of intelligence, diligence, and determination when tackling written tests, yet find yourself drenched in sweat and overwhelmed with panic at the mere thought of staying calm in interviews. Let me guide you through a journey of calming UPSC interview stress before you take that pivotal seat across the experienced members of the UPSC board.

Firstly, let's explore why even the brightest and most knowledgeable individuals succumb to nervousness in an interview setting.

It is a natural physiological reaction for every civil service aspirant to feel nervous in a UPSC interview, or personality test.  It's the culmination of your dreams, and the fear of faltering at this final step, after months or possibly years of dedicated preparation, can be paralyzing. Knowing that you are about to face seasoned professionals on the UPSC board adds another layer of intimidation, even for those who are otherwise fairly confident. Another trigger for pre-interview jitters is a perceived lack of preparation, and the only antidote to that is thorough readiness.

Now, if you're someone who feels assured about your knowledge and preparation yet battles anxiety management at the thought of the UPSC personality test, here are some emotionally resonant tips to combat anxiety.


Imagine the heartbeat racing, the mind clouded by nerves. Having a clear head is crucial to providing coherent, sensible answers to the interviewers. So, let's slow that racing heart. Inhale and exhale slowly through your nose, repeating this calming breathing exercise four to five times. Feel your heartbeat gradually slowing down.

Clear your voice:

Nervousness can rob you of your voice clarity. Take a moment to clear your throat. Sip some water if needed, but not too much. Picture the clarity returning to your voice, wiping away the effects of anxiety.

Walk around:

Picture yourself fidgeting while waiting for your interview turn. Stand up and walk around slowly but assertively. Feel the calming effect as you engage unused muscles and release pent-up energy. Picture the anxiety dissipating with every step, and as a bonus, notice how your breathing naturally slows down.

Get there on time:

Imagine the stress of rushing to an interview, and worrying about being late. Arrive early, make allowances for traffic, and leave with ample time. Picture yourself calmly waiting, practising these calming techniques, instead of rushing in looking dishevelled and stressed.

Avoid electronic gadgets:

Imagine the distraction of scrolling through social media messages or news articles right before your interview. It might seem like a way to escape anxiety, but it could backfire. Instead, visualize yourself staying focused, avoiding unnecessary stressors, and maintaining a clear mind.

Painting Positivity: Close your eyes and picture yourself striding into the interview room like a conqueror. See yourself effortlessly tackling questions, leaving the panel in awe. This positive visualization isn't just a dream; it's a powerful tool to melt away anxiety and sculpt self-assurance.

Mindfulness Magic:

Picture a serene lake of mindfulness and dive in daily. Embrace meditation, and let the stillness seep into your routine. It's not just about clearing your mind but about finding a sanctuary where stress does not tread.

Affirmations of Valor:

Craft a scroll of victories and strengths. Before entering the interview battlefield, unroll it and let the words encourage you. These positive affirmations are whispers of courage when self-doubt raises its voice.

Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome:

Shift your gaze from the summit to the path you tread. The interview is not the end but a chapter. Pour your essence into each answer, and let the journey of thoughtful responses be your masterpiece.

Accept Imperfections:

Picture a canvas where imperfections are strokes of authenticity. The interview panel seeks genuine, not flawless. Let any missteps be part of your unique narrative, not stumbling blocks.

Take a Pause:

Feel the power in pauses. If the interview storm becomes overwhelming, let a pause be your refuge. In those quiet moments, regather your thoughts, and re-enter the conversation with poise.

Confidence by Experience:

Trace your journey, the late-night studies, the dedication. Trust in the arsenal of knowledge you've amassed. The interview isn't a trial; it's your grand performance, a stage where you shine.


These simple yet effective rules are your emotional anchors, ensuring you remain composed and poised during the civil services personality test.  You're not just facing an interview; you're embracing an opportunity to showcase the masterpiece that is you.