The last and final phase of the civil services exam is the UPSC Personality Test/Interview. The Personality Test measures your intrinsic personality rather than your knowledge, which has previously been assessed in the Mains and Prelims. The UPSC interview process takes roughly thirty minutes to complete and is worth 275 of the 2025 total points. This 30-minute procedure has the power to transform your life and realise your ambition of working for the government. Based on the results of the Personality Test and the Main Exam, the final merit list is created. A candidate's rank and likelihood of receiving better service can both be greatly enhanced by a good interview score.
Understand the actual purpose of the interview
Determining the candidate's potential suitability for administrative skills is the ultimate goal of the interview process. The panellists are there to evaluate a candidate's personality for civil service, not to test their expertise. Through questions, counter-questions, hypothetical case studies, and other techniques, they elicit various personality traits and characteristics from you. They then evaluate you based on your approaches during your response, presence of mind, body language, etc. Never assume that the purpose of the board is to destroy or denigrate you. You ought to be thinking positively.
Why do aspirants often feel anxious about getting ready for the UPSC interview?
Unlike the preliminary and main tests, there is no set syllabus for the interview phase. The interview panel's members are chosen from a variety of academic fields, and because they delve deeply into their own fields, it can be difficult.
Method for Interview Preparation
Candidates must begin preparing for the interview as soon as possible, regardless of the outcome of the main exam. As soon as possible, they should begin working on their personality. It's crucial to evaluate yourself in order to get ready for the interview. It is important for candidates to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and make necessary improvements. The Detailed Application Form (DAF) content, the place of residence, the Optional Subject chosen for the mains, the educational history, the motive for becoming an IAS/IPS officer, and current affairs should all be well prepared for in the UPSC interview. Most likely, only these themes are included in the questions. Here are some guidelines for getting ready for these subjects:
Understanding DAF is Crucial for UPSC Interview Preparation:
Filling out the Detailed Application Form (DAF) is necessary for candidates who pass the preliminary exam. It is comparable to your biodata, which includes all of your personal and professional information and is shared with the interview board members. The DAF contains information on you, including your place of birth, graduation subjects, optional subjects, college specifics, career experience, interests, and hobbies. It is essential that candidates fill out their DAF with special caution. It is crucial that you are fully aware of every aspect of your DAF because this allows panellists to ask you personal questions. Here are some pointers:
Getting ready for inquiries on your hobby:
The candidate must have thorough knowledge of his hobbies and interests.
It is usually a good idea to pursue a passion that is representative of your personality.
Getting ready for inquiries about your educational history:
Candidates need to be ready with information about the college or university where they completed their master's or graduate programme. The candidate's chosen degree and the rationale behind it
Given that the candidate has spent three to five years mastering a particular stream, UPSC anticipates that the candidate will possess sufficient knowledge of it. Thus, review the key ideas and subjects related to streams.
Applying a degree to the civil service and providing examples to support this
Getting ready for inquiries about your work experience:
solid familiarity with the company that the applicant works for or was employed by
Important areas of duty within that company
Any use of his professional background in the civil service
Being ready for questions concerning your rationale for selecting the civil service
A candidate needs to prepare thoroughly for the following series of inquiries.
What motivates an applicant to enter the civil service?
Why would a candidate desire to leave their current position if they are already employed?
In the civil service, how may the job expertise be useful?
Getting ready for inquiries on your optional subject:
Justification for selecting an optional if it deviates from the curriculum the candidate completed for graduation
It is necessary to review concepts and topics that are optional because the question may come from the same source. For instance, a candidate who took the Economics optional might be questioned about the current economic crisis.
Getting ready for inquiries about the services you prefer:
The applicant must become ready in the areas listed below.
Justification for favouring the services' order IAS> IRS >IPS
Why is a specific state given preference?
How will a candidate shift to a state that is linguistically and culturally distinct if that state is not awarded?
Getting ready for inquiries about your hobbies:
The following things should be considered.
The motivation behind engaging in a specific interest.
Possessing thorough knowledge about the selected pastime.
If a candidate is a member of an NGO or club, their role within that specific NGO or club.
Getting ready for inquiries about your state and district
Regarding your state and district, this is one of the most frequently anticipated queries you might encounter. Therefore, you should prepare questions about issues specific to your state and municipality, along with facts about topics like escalating corruption, sexism, gender disparity, and other similar issues.
Regarding the state and district, inquiries are possible. Gather information about your birthplace. Recognise the issues facing your community or city.
The Value of Current Affairs Preparation:
It is observed that the UPSC inquires about everything under the sun as it relates to current affairs.
The candidate needs to be informed of the major global events that are now taking place.
The interview panel is made up of subject matter experts from many fields, and current affairs is what they have in common.
Interviewing: Dos and Don'ts
1. The Perfect Candidate Manner:
Above all, in the interview, be yourself and don't pretend.
Certain questions may be difficult, so it's best to acknowledge that you don't know the answer in a kind and professional manner.
Spend some time considering each question and providing your input.
Inform the interviewer up front that you are unsure of the answer, but you may also request permission to guess it at that point. Your personality will be more honest if you follow these small steps.
Be confident in what you say at all times. Never lie. If you must lie, tell it with confidence.
3. Keeping Your Cool:
Throughout the interview, maintain your composure because a board member will be assessing your capacity for handling pressure. UPSC is more intrigued by your method of asking the question than by your response. Keep your smile intact because it will convey your assurance and upbeat attitude.
During the interview, have the following in mind:
Remember that the candidate is not required to respond to every question. There won't be a quiz competition during the UPSC interview where you have to answer more questions to get higher points.
This situation is one where it makes sense to "look before you leap." Avoid providing an incorrect response to questions you don't know the answer to, as this will enable the interview panel to interrogate you more.
A candidate's response should be succinct and unambiguous, demonstrating his or her capacity for clear thinking and sound decision-making.
A candidate should look at every member in the room while responding, not just the one who asked the question.
It is not appropriate to assess your performance during the interview. Do not believe that you have already lost the game, even if you made mistakes in the beginning. They are searching for young people who are kind, perceptive, courteous, and focused. If you weren't good, you wouldn't have progressed as far as you have.
Use fewer words to say more. The minimalist movement says that less is more these days. Make a rational case and make accurate generalisations. Avoid attempting to infer too much from the text.
Throughout the interview, the candidate must stay focused, and when it's over, they should kindly thank the board.
Keep in mind that nobody is flawless, and try your hardest to act morally upright.
The UPSC interview is a personality assessment. Thus, just make an effort to be authentic and voice your true thoughts. Put on formal clothing to make yourself appear respectable. Verify that you are carrying all of the necessary paperwork. To discover your strengths and limitations, form small groups with other hopefuls for group discussions and make an effort to attend as many mock interviews as you can. Consider the criticism offered during the simulated interviews positively and work to strengthen those areas. Finally, approach the interview with complete confidence and try not to worry too much about it.