Some practical advice on tackling Personality Test Exam (
By Dr. Sumit Seth, IFS : 2005 & UPSC rank 42 )
sets is a career diplomat and is presently posted as Deputy Chief of protocol in
the Ministry of External Affairs. Anxiously we ask Seth about his secret of
success in the Civil Services Examination. In this calm composure, Seth replies,
“ To climb the ladder of success one needs a perfects blend of hard work,
sincerity, Intelligence, Perseverance, discipline, dedication and a dash of good
luck. Although there are some time-tested techniques and principles, yet there
is no midas touch or a magic formula”.
Is there any secret to understand and read the pulse of the Civil Service Exam.
Which is divided in to three stages, The preliminary, the main examination and
the interview, Seth remembering his preparation days says, “ As far as the
prelims is concerned, it requires speed, sharpness and extensive knowledge. For
the Mains the candidates should lay stress on intensiveness and depth of
understanding of the subject and his or her ability to write a coherent essay
with in the time limit. An interview is a test, where one requires a long-term
preparation in order to groom one’s personality. Pleasant demeanour,
articulation,ability to think on one’s feet, spontaneity, the presence of mind,
and the wide reading habit are some of the indispensable traits of a
distinguished and mature person”.
Sumit Seth is an alumnus of Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi.He has also
authored a best selling book for medical students, Review of Forensic Medicine,
We curiously ask Seth that what motivated him to choose the Civil Services as
his career. Seth humbly replies, “ I had the fortune of meeting some retired
Ambassadors, including the legendary late. J. N. Dixit. My conversations with
them inspired and convinced me of the career I wanted to be in.I was happy and
satisfied working as a doctor and but still left my medicine profession to be a
part of the Indian Foreign Service”.
About his experience as an IFS officer Seth says, “M y experience has been very
enriching, much more than I had expected. I have got an opportunity to learn a
foreign language(Spanish), which has added new software to my thinking process
and opened up a new world of experiences. My job requires me to travel
extensively, meet new people, and create new circles of friends across the Glob.
Above all, it gives me to a chance to do some meaningful work for my country and
feel the pride in representing India to the best of my abilities”.
As a pride of advice to future aspirants, Seth says, “Don’t join the Civil
Services for wrong reason like earning quick money, power and frame. Unless you
are intrinsically motivated you will not relish the Civil Services. So getting
selected should not be the only
Put forward a strong, persuasive and interesting case in
front of the board like a good advocate, filling up examination form before
Mains with utmost care and keeping up a copy of the same is very useful during
preparations. Appearing for mock interviews along with a video recording is a
very scientific method of polishing rough edges and improving upon one's
performance. Prepared answers to standard questions on current affairs or about
oneself are NOT the best answers . In fact, perfect answers may not fetch the
best marks. Spurting out memorised answers dictated by some one else, could br
counterproductive as they would not be in your style, the way you speak. One
should speak the way one interacts with elders in a drawing room setting
striking relaxed, free and interesting conversation with optimal formality. An
interview exam is about Image management and image projection done in a subtle
manner. Fluency in a language helps in better articulation. Being oneself is the
best tip, provided one has cultivated oneself over a long period of time not
just 10-15 days of intensive coaching before the interview.