the UPSC requirements is very crucial for success in the interview. Just like prelims
and mains, understanding the requirements as prescribed by the UPSC should be
the first step. Though aspirants keenly follow the Preliminary and Main exam
syllabus, the requirements of UPSC with regarding interview test is missed by
even serious aspirants.
given in the UPSC CSE syllabus about UPSC CSE interview? Here are the 6 main
points which can bring wonders for you in the IAS interview. This is the most
authentic explanation regarding IAS Interview or Personality test, based on
UPSC notification for Civil Service Exam.
Questions will be on matters of general interest
candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of
his/her career. He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest.
The objective of the questions: to judge the mental caliber of a candidate.
objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the
candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased
observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate.
These are the qualities which are judged
broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only his/her intellectual
qualities but also social traits and his/her interest in current affairs. Some
of the qualities to be judged are:
critical powers of assimilation,
clear and logical exposition,
the balance of judgment,
variety and depth of interest,
ability for social cohesion and
intellectual and moral integrity.
What is the technique used in the UPSC CSE interview?
technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a
natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal
the mental qualities of the candidate.
Not a test of specialized knowledge; not a test of general knowledge either!
interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or
general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their
UPSC is looking for ‘well-educated youth’!
are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special
subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around
them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern
currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of
of Keeping the Right Attitude in UPSC’s IAS Interview
“People may hear your
words, but they feel your attitude.”-John
What is attitude?
is how you assess people, objects, events and ideas in your life. You can
either be positive or negative about them depending on your attitude. There are
three components in your attitude:
The emotional component is based on your
emotions while the cognitive component is based on your thoughts and beliefs.
The behavioural component is what influences our behaviour. It can either be
explicit or implicit. Explicit attitude is where you are constantly aware of
your thoughts and actions whereas implicit attitude is unconscious but it still
affects the behaviour. Attitude is formed over the years by our experiences and
observations. Even a simple advertisement has the power to change your thought
patterns and hence influence your attitude.
kind of attitude formation is called “classical conditioning”. The other kind
of conditioning known as ‘Operant Conditioning’ is developed from other people’s
thinking. An example of this kind of conditioning is kids trying to be like
influences your behavior and can be changed. They can be change in two ways, by
either getting influenced or motivated. A person with a positive attitude is a
thousand times more likely to succeed than a person with a negative mindset.
Your attitude not only affects you but also the people around you.
world does not recognize you for your talent and success as much as it does for
your attitude. Success or failure in life is not always a result of your hard
work but is a result of how you look at the world and at yourself.
you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, don’t blame the mirror.
If you look at the world and you don’t like what you see, don’t blame the
is not a mask that you can wear as it goes much deeper than your external
behaviour. It is what you are at your core and if you are not true to your core
it will invariably show. You cannot change your behaviour while your attitude
remains the same. Change in your behaviour is simply a change in response to
your external environment while a change in attitude is a fundamental shift
within you. A change in attitude leads to a change in behaviour but a change in
behaviour does not always imply a change in attitude. A change in attitude
requires serious and continuous effort towards it over a period of time. It
also involves introspection and willingness to make a change for the better. In
an interview despite of being at your best behaviour the interviewer can always
look through you if your attitude is flawed as behaviour is not a facade that
you can put up to hide the real you. Most behavioural valuations have nothing
to do with your behaviour and everything to do with your attitude.
conclude, attitude is a magnet. If you have a good attitude you will attract
good things to yourself while a bad attitude will only lead you to negative
experiences. So, be positivity and attract more positivity into your life.
of Hobby, Character Building & Motivation in IAS Interview
make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Life
of a civil servant is hectic and it is considered as the most challenging
profession. There are lots of responsibilities revolving around him. He is
supposed to face the problem of Political Interference, Corruption, and
Frequent Transfers etc. As it is a 24X7 profession one has to be enthusiastic
and stress-free to frame policy as well as to take a decision. One of the best
ways to lead a stress-free life is to pursue your hobbies. All hobbies produce
psychological benefits. It generates positive feelings and boosts creativity,
which enhances the ability to focus and concentrate. It also increases
happiness, reduces stress and enhances work performance. Concentration creates
hormones to retain interest, focus and spark enthusiasm.
rewind your life. When you were a kid, there were lots of opportunities for
pursuing built-in hobbies. Our parents make us for drawing classes, Karate
lessons or summer camps. In school, our teacher gives extra credit for those
who do extracurricular activities. In college, we cannot think about a life
without volunteer activities, arts, and other innovative experiments. When we
leave these and start preparing for UPSC exam, we intentionally block the
opportunities to pursue hobbies and ultimately it leaves us. But now, the heat
waves of the Civil service main exam have come down. The worries about how to
face interview will be still there under the deepest core of mind. Candidate
should be thorough with his/ her DAF. The interview board panel members are
well experienced in testing the personality of a candidate. So, the best policy
is to remain, to be honest about your bio data. Thoroughly prepare about the
hobby you have mentioned in your examination form. Search for popular terms and
the basic understanding of that particular hobby, recent happening in that area
etc. Current affairs play an important role here. One can expect question
linked with current affairs. This assesses how dynamic the candidate in his
reading is your hobby then they may ask – Who’s writing you like most? Which
are your favorite novels and why? Do you read a recent novel which might be
more popular? What is that book deal with? Even you can expect some technical
questions also. For example, if your hobby is photography they may ask you what
is the difference between SLR and DSLR is, what is Al Servo? Define Bokeh? What
type of photography you do? Are you Paparazzi? Who is Daniel Berehulak? Does a
picture destroy or create life? Apart from the direct question, they may ask
you, what you would do when you are bored? What will you so during your free
time? What will you do when you are alone?. These are some tricky question
where they want to check your honesty. Interviewers ask these to assess the
real character hidden to know that you would be a good fit for the role
personality-wise, as well as by your mains examination marks, skills, and
knowledge. One should be honest while answering these questions. It is a great
way to impress the panel.
consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than
in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course
of his life. Young people have a great choice of occupations for their
financial happiness but not their mental pleasure. Hobbies open a door to
opportunities. It molds a man into a living creature.
play an important role in enriching your perspective. You are opening a new
book; once you start to pursue a new hobby. It is an opportunity to learn new
things to enhance your mental efficiency. The more you know, the more you grow.
The more you grow you act wisely. Hobbies detract focus from job stress and
personal issues. Engaging in enjoyable activities generates self-confidence and
motivation, which helps to carry positive performances in aspirant’s personal
and professional life.
belittle the focus from professional stress as well as personal issues.
Engaging in amusing activities kindle self-confidence and keep motivated. The
secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having
pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If
you don’t, life controls you.
are things you enjoyed as a kid that you might still enjoy as an adult.
Sometimes you might have an awesome coin collection, loved to crawl on a couch
with a book and paint crazily. Those are all things you could pick up again as
an adult that would make great hobbies.
personality plays an important role in choosing hobbies. Some people are
creative while other wants to be adventurous. Analyze your personality and
think about the things you already like and how it can be expanded. Sometimes you may not hit the apt activity
for you right out of the gate, but you can have a lot of fun exploring what’s
out there. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and soon you will have a hobby that
provides you with a lot of fun and an answer to UPSC interview panel.
hobby, a day keeps the doldrums away. If you are starting a new initiative in
your life, it takes time. After the Civil service main examination, you will
have a lot of time in your hands. The best part is that still you have time and
most of us are not using well if you don’t have time, start to save the time
you spend on social media or watching Television. Carve out a half / an hour daily for your
explore your interest and spend it effectively.
your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more,
you are a leader.”
Why to become Civil Servants?
Indian Civil Service (ICS) came into being after the passage the Government of
India Act, 1858. The immediate trigger for passing the Act was the Indian
rebellion of 1857, what the British called the Sepoy Mutiny. This new
administrative structure, in turn, helped annex new territories.
in the first five decades of independent India got enticed by the residual
goodwill of ICS, which catapulted them into the higher echelons of society. The
“social prestige” associated with the service became a fatal attraction and
enrolment in the civil service a tour de force.
the entrants were drawn from the presidency towns; then from other State
capitals. Subsequently, students who had education in vernacular medium also
joined the service in droves, enriching it, with their sound commonsense.
is a felt need to stand out in a crowd of 121 crore Indians. Selection into
civil service instantly satiates this need. To an insecure mind it provides
eternal solace. Shakespeare said that “Security is mortals’ chiefest enemy” and
entry into the civil service helps obliterates insecurity.
Nehru often ridiculed the ICS for its support of British policies. He noted
that someone had once defined the ICS, “with which we are unfortunately still
afflicted in this country, as neither Indian, nor civil, nor a service.”
Prime Minister, he retained the structure and its top people, albeit with a
change of title to the “Indian Administrative Service.”
America need a foreign policy; towards a diplomacy for the 21st century.
post-liberalized India, the All-India Services (AIS) are ordained the role of a
facilitator, and not necessarily one of a regulator. This took the sheen off
AIS and its pre-eminence in economic decision-making is being encumbered.
in the past three decades regional parties have taken over the reins at the
State level and the immediacy of the next election drove the agendas of these
parties in power.
AIS officers are made to toe the line of the political bosses. The concept of a
“committed bureaucracy” is being encouraged subtly.
the ethos of society itself is getting metamorphosed. Ill-gotten wealth now
bestows instant respectability.
AIS officers, who always had a ringside view of this process of ill-gotten
wealth in the Licence-Quota-Permit Raj, started collaborating with political
masters. The percentage of officers who are in this collusive collaboration is
increasing by the day.
parties in power bestow favouritism on civil servants loyal to them. As is
evident, from the recent incidents even “Lady Officers” have joined the party.
It is no more true that women officers are more honest, they have made news for
the wrong reasons.
cardinal principles of civil service, viz. professionalism, anonymity,
integrity and neutrality, are slowly withering.
chains with which the AIS binds itself are self-acquired, the links were
non-existent at the entry, the links are slowly forged and the chains formed.
The process is full of compromises, both intellectual and fiscal.
servants taking to politics is a detestable phenomenon. One even rose to become
a Chief Minister. This trend severally compromises neutrality during their
tenure in service. Traditionally, civil servants were sent as Governors,
post-retirement. Now even for this honour civil servants are cultivating
politicians unabashedly. Most of the evils perpetuated by ‘to-retire’ civil
servants are their craving for post-retirement sinecures.
Reagan once said “politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession; I
have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”
Perhaps had he worked with the AIS in close quarters, he would have extended
the courtesy of comparison to civil servants also.
Mehta, in his book The Lucknow Boy, pays tribute to E.A.S. Sarma, who fought
the PMO to uphold steadfastly what, he thought, was in the larger interest of
in Andhra Pradesh, some officers who withstood the onslaught of a former CM are
breathing easy, and their successors who obeyed the ‘diktats’ of the former CM
are under the CBI scanner.
Chomsky in Deterring Democracy predicted that the unholy businessman-politician
nexus will undermine democracy. No party is wholesome, now, without the media.
The politician-business-media house nexus, with the tentacles in the
bureaucratic network, is a heady mix. Now, well heeled, highly-networked women
in the media coalesced into business groups and when caught, vociferously
pleaded an “error of judgment” and got away with the egregious. Where does this
leave the civil services — in the fox holes?
activism is yet another new dimension. Now, a few high profile cases against
the AIS get so much adverse publicity that it becomes a feed forward mechanism
for the judiciary to indulge in more activism.
Waldo Emerson said “the only person you are destined to become is the person
you decide to be.” The destiny of civil servants is in the conduct of its own
brethren. Unless we steadfastly return to the old edicts of professionalism,
anonymity, integrity and neutrality, the evanescent goodwill will be completely
need of the hour is silent hard work. One should leave the system unheard,
unsung and unwept and while in the system one should be free, fair and frank.
is worth recalling the most famous ‘Pogo’ quotation: “we have met the enemy and
he is us.” The civil servants we wish ‘to be or not to be’ are within us.