UPSC Personality Test – What we need to know

Essential Tips for Preparing and Appearing for UPSC PT or Interview

After the two levels of rigorous hard work you finally are at last level of the UPSC exam from here on, in between you and your destination is a panel that will, within 30-40 minutes, decide your fate.


Also See : UPSC Exams


UPSC interview is not like all the other typical interview that one has to go through to get into any institution. It is one of a kind in the sense that it not only check your knowledge, which has already been tested and assured of in all levels of the examinations that but also your aptitude for the services. Even if you have ample amount of knowledge, gave right answers in the interview but your way of thinking does not match with that desired of a bureaucrat, you are out! The priority will be given to the people whose sentiments align with that of the mission of the services and aptitude and the objective with which you come to the Services.
And then comes the answers to the peculiar questions asked by the panel members which boggles the mind of candidates.  All such hacks and tricks have been brought in for you:

Also See – UPSC Exam Calendar


Personal Information:
Like all other interviews, here also there are some basic questions that will be about you. For example, panel will ask you about your hobbies that you have mentioned in the Detailed Application Form etc. A very important point here is the need to be real while filling up the form. Your skills should be valuable  for the organization but need to have a realistic quality to them.
Secondly, research all the hobbies, your optional subject etc quite well because once they ask questions from the areas you are supposedly strong in and you fail to answer, it gives a very bad impression. Furthermore, you also have to know about your School, HomeTown, State, the choice of cadre, Job, if you have done any. The aim is to establish yourself as a holistic person.

Also see – 20 Important Essay Topics for UPSC 


Body Language:
These are very important when it comes to being selected or not, your body speaks what your mouth fails to, becoming more important than the words themselves. According to Forbes magazine, "gestures with palms exposed show that you are open and willing to negotiate on a particular point, while palms turned down indicate that you are closed to negotiation. But people also automatically pronate their hands when they feel strongly about something. In fact, a definitive gesture of authority when you speak is placing both hands, palms down, on or right above the conference table." Inspect yourself for any such shortcoming, work upon it thoroughly.

Giving wrong answer don’t get you out the chance but lying does. Whether it’s about skills have or past choices, own the mistakes and make them realise that you are a changes person and want to improve. The panel members have a lot of experience and will be able to tell that you’re lying, ending your chances then and there.

Only dressing requirement for UPSC interview is that you dress up in neat and smart attire. Whatever you wear should reflect professionalism and show that you are mature enough to hold such an important post.
For girls, this might  a dress suit, a simple saree or any traditional dress which is not to flamboyant. Boys can wear a simple pant shirt or they can get in a suit. However this happens to be the least important part of the interview process. What they really want is your capacity and your capabilities and not your dressing style.

News paper and optional:
Despite having gone through the gruelling process of preliminary examination and Mains examination, you will still have to be thorough in the recent happenings and in the optional subject, because this is where you can make a difference. It is from these topics that when they ask questions you should be able to answer in the best of your capabilities. Newspaper becomes more important as it has often been seen the panel members pick up the news and put you in the given situation and enquire about what you would have done or you will do if such situation arrives in your District. When you’re in touch with paper, you know all the aspects of the issue and moreover you are able to extract instances to support your argument for any case-study that they put in front of you.

Keeping Calm and Morally Strong:
It has been seen that the UPSC panel is extremely supportive and try their best to make sure that you are comfortable but owing to the importance of the post you will be holding upon getting selected, they will still be grilling you to see your metal. What you have to ensure is to be calm and not loosing yourself to what they want to see. This happens to be the most important part,  you have to be self-assured that what you say is right. It might be wrong but that is not the point. Your self belief is what holds supreme importance, what you don’t know can be taught but if you don’t believe in yourself, whatever you will taught you might not be sure enough to implement. Further, always side with the right option. However ideal or impractical it may sound, yet if you have to show them that that’s what your agenda is. That for you there would not be compromise of means to achieve an end.

Ensuring success: Mocks
Mock interview are another way to excel in the interviews. Numerous coaching institutes call upon a former IAS, retired ambassadors or currently employed bureaucrats, for sitting in the questioning panel. they ask you questions that they think might be asked from your DAF, bringing you a lot of comfort in answering questions about yourself. Moreover, they advice you about chinks in your armour, they will notify you of them, giving you a chance of polishing them and not repeat them in the real interview.

Example questions:
Based on the memory of those interviewed, these are some of the out of the box questions asked-
1- Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday or Sunday?
Ans: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
2- Approximately how many birthdays does the average Japanese woman have?
Ans. Just one. All the others are anniversaries.

You may or may not see your name in the final list despite all the backbreaking labour that you did but As Paoulo Coelho says, "And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear", it is the never giving up that brings you success. Be brave, be honest. Happy preparation, guys!

Author: Anushka Mishra