After the successful clearing of the first two stages- Prelims and Mains, comes the final round of Personality Test which, being the last stage, should not be misunderstood as being the least important stage rather is the most challenging stage.


The Process


The Interview round lasts for about 30 minutes. Its sole purpose is to check whether the candidate has the potential to demonstrate good administrative skills, given the fact that bureaucracy forms the implementation wing for this nation’s welfare.


The marks allotted to this stage is 275 marks out of 2025 (total). This stage has its own individuality. Marks of Mains examination has nothing to do in deciding the course of scores of this round, it is only included while after-interview calculation of final scores.


Little about the Interview Panel


The panel consists of the Chairman of the interview board along with four other members. The Chairman of the board is always a UPSC Member. The other four members are chosen by UPSC, who are usually some experts of their respective fields.

The basic personality traits a candidate needs to possess in order to be a civil servant, are assessed by the panel.


Prospective Areas of Questions


The questions are majorly based from the Detailed Application Form of the candidates. For instance, questions on candidate’s Place of Birth, Hobbies, Issues of the Home State, some current national issues, some introspective topics which give a hint of thought process or views, a candidate holds regarding those issues.


To be clear, the panel is there to observe how a candidate responds to each question along with whatever knowledge base he/she possesses.

There is no definite answer for any question.


The panel keenly observes whether a candidate has an Indian or regional attitude . They check whether the candidate answers like an Indian National or carries the regional mindset because the candidates are to be selected for IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS and more, where every time ‘I’ stands for Indian.


For instance, a candidate from Tamil Nadu is expected to carry some ideas about the problems and probable resolutions of farmers of Karnataka related to Cauvery water dispute and a candidate from Karnataka is expected to to have the same for farmers of Tamil Nadu.


General Preparation


Before knowing the process for preparation, know that a successful or potential candidate which the panel looks for is a candidate who is politically neutral, honest and patriotic. He/she has to be a broad-minded person who is sensitive to the needs of the nation’s citizens and carries a concern towards the weaker sections of the society.


It is an assessment of intellectual abilities, Social traits, leadership qualities, awareness and concern for socio-economic problems, alertness, clarity of thought, logical thinking, Judgement capability, Attitude and confidence level, Intellectual and moral integrity.


So, it simply means a candidate should not spend his/her time memorizing the facts and figures rather in developing their opinions by trying to know about the other side of any issue. A balanced approach is welcomed rather than a parochial mindset.


A Punjabi candidate, for instance, should read about the problems of Haryana farmers and the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal rather than focussing only on the problems of Punjabi farmers alone.


A candidate from Andhra Pradesh or Telangana, when asked about famous things that make Hyderabad, he/she should talk about the famous leaders who fought against the Nizam in order to ensure the unification of Hyderabad with our country rather than mentioning Biryani alone.


Specific Preparation Tips


  • Appear confident and be honest while being polite as well.
  • Carry a slight smile but do not overdo it.
  • Answer every question like an Indian using phrases like ‘our country’ or ‘our nation’.
  • Do not be overdressed while dressing up in a formal way. Be comfortable in what you wear.
  • Be true in your DAF because the Interview revolves around it.
  • Be realistic and rational in your answers avoiding portraying yourself as a revolutionary person, the government can’t survive without. Bring your views to the table with humility.
  • Be ready for questions like-
  • Reasons for applying for Civil Services exam-
  • Why do you want to be a civil servant ?
  • Why do you want to switch the job to Civil Services ? (If already employed)
  • If belonging to a technical/engineering field, reasons for switching to a more generalist/administrative role ?
  • How will your technical/professional qualifications be helpful in the proposed job ?
  • Reasons for preferences of services, choice of states, and how you will adjust if posted to other than native state.
  • Questions related to your Native City / State / Region, City of Education, City of Work, Educational Background.
  • Reasons behind pursuing Extracurricular Hobbies, choosing your optional
  • If you are unable to answer some question, say it politely, don’t panic and be poised.
  • Keep your opinion but don’t be too adamant on your stand that you seem unwilling to accept the board’s opinion.
  • Do not forget to greet the panel and make eye contact while answering the question but do not focus on one member only.


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