Civils Marathon-VIII: Tips for interview
Civil Services Mains examination results declared by UPSC enabled the candidate to attend the personality test. In fact you have reached the nearest point of the goal.
Civil Services Mains examination results declared by UPSC enabled the candidate to attend the personality test. In fact you have reached the nearest point of the goal. To succeed in the interview, you have to be mentally be prepared for the questions which they may ask you. Many of the candidates who are appearing for the interview will feel it as a Herculean task. The Detailed Application Form II which you have submitted is the Kundali of your interview.
The DAF I and II decide your fate. Be careful in filling the forms. It includes personal information, home state declaration, educational information, parental information, service preference and others. Regarding the experience you may have to be careful in filling the details, since it will be a stalemate if you have not worked in that particular area and have given wrong information. In DAFII, the cadre allocation is more important. You have to think twice before you earmark the preferences. Take the advice of seniors so that it will help you in choosing the correct cadre. The option once given is final and cannot be changed later. The supporting documents regarding your reservation quota are to be furnished. The DAFII is to be filled online and it will be in different modules. Take the printout and before you appear for the interview go through the details and form your own questions. There is no need to send a hardcopy to UPSC. Provide your email address.
Facing the interview
Mental and physical personality is God-given but one can improve it. Personality development can be attained through practice. Educational qualifications are important for career. Personal charisma is what goes out and impresses others. Personality traits in short are nothing but individualism, sociability with strangers, ability to control strong emotions and impulses and personal achievement.
An assault against anxiety
The most common fears that the people voice about interviewing can be of different types. It is blowing your own horn and it is a sign of being on an ego trip. Conservative clothing is recommended. First impressions are formed mostly by non-verbal communications including appearance, facial expression, eye contact, posture and least of all spoken words. First impressions are formed within 30 seconds.
UPSC has 10 members including the Chairman. Each member will heading an interview board along with four more experts (assessors). Normally the duration of the interview will be 30 to 45 minutes for each candidate. The candidate is given a time slot and he will be entering the arena exactly at that particular hour.
The chairman of the board introduces the candidate based on his profile to the members and makes him feel comfortable. The questions are mainly connected with the DAF provided by the candidate. So, while entering the details in the DAF one should be careful to avoid unnecessary details. During the initiation into the process of interview the chairman refers to the educational profile of the candidate. In this connection one should remember to bring out his high-profile educational background with clarity.
If he is a Science graduate and has migrated to Humanities for post-graduation, he should establish the fact and the reason for change over. After a brief dialog, the chairman will pass on the candidate to the next board member.
Among the other four members each one of them will enquire about the scholarship, mental ability, crisis management and subject expertise. The interview is not in the simple format of question-answer session. It is not a duel. It is almost like a discussion on a particular topic and the candidate should be able to explain his thoughts on the subject.
Expected style of questions
In the preliminary round, the questions will be based on your educational background. Be prepared to protect yourself and your strengths. Regarding your hometown and state, you should have full knowledge. You should know about the freedom fighters, the language, literature, social structure, pilgrimage centres, tourist places, political leaders etc. The reply should not be in monosyllables. While answering the questions the candidate has to highlight the importance of the state and its contribution to the nation.
Regarding hobbies, most of the candidates casually mention about cricket, gardening, reading, movies, walking, etc. The questions will be specific to the particular hobby and if the candidate is not able to explain it in proper way it will be a minus point. Regarding the literature of the particular language , the candidate should have basic knowledge about the literary accomplishments of the older generation and about Jnanpeeth award winners of the language. Literary trends of recent years are to be highlighted.
Questions on Current events can include
♦ Electoral college for the President of India
♦ Highlights of the annual budget of 2022–23
♦ Ukrainian crisis
♦ India's stand on Ukrainian war
♦ Role played by UNO in recent Ukrainian war
♦ The achievements of Modi government and welfare activities
♦ Effects of COVID-19 on economy
♦ Vaccination drive by the Centre
♦ DivyaKasi - Bhavya Kasi
♦ Peaceful settlement of Ram Janmabhoomi issue
♦ Peace and prosperity in Kashmir region.
♦ Double engine government
♦ Effect of recent elections in five states at the national level
♦ Your reaction to a particular crisis
♦ Contribution of Queen Elizabeth for Commonwealth nations
♦ Agenda of SAARC countries
These are only few examples. In case the answer for a particular question is not known to the candidate , he can excuse himself (with a reply of Sorry, Sir).Out of 15 to 20 questions posed during the conversation, he should be able to answer a minimum of 12 questions. The marks allotted for interview will be about 225 marks out of 275. The interview marks along with the marks of Mains examination will decide the rank of a candidate. Lady Luck should smile at that particular hour. All the best.
(The author is retired Additional Director General, Doordarshan, Delhi)