to improve your UPSC Interview
Even though the interview carries 300 marks with no minimum qualifying marks,
it is the deciding factor at many times of your being within the services or out
of it and in the least matters in which service you get. However since the
interview is so personal and variable it is most desirable to do very well in
the written mains. But an Interview can make or break you so take your
personality development rather seriously and make sure to attend some mock
interviews at leading institutes.
Tips to improve your performance at the Interview
- There are generally 5 members at the board with the Chairperson seated at
the center. Enter confidently and greet the Chairperson, who will probably
welcome you, and pleasantly nod at other members. Wait till you are asked to
- Intelligent listing is the mantra, and for this maintaining eye contact is
very important. You should not glare but all the same appear attentive and
do not glance at other members, it can be very distracting for the
interviewer. However if some other member asks you anything, look at that
member and answer and turn back to the first - this is what we do in normal
- Do not fidget or throw your hands around, or shake your head. Less amount
of movement does not mean you should sit unnaturally stiff. Your posture
should be attentive and relaxed at the same time. Do not crouch/bend forward
or place your hands on the table.
- Cut your answer short to the required patience shown by the member talking
to you. They usually like to talk more, so listen carefully and think for a
few seconds before you start answering the question. This will show that you
are organising your thoughts in mind before starting to speak.
- Leave some room for difference in opinion. Do take a stand, but do not
look adamant or unwilling to appreciate the board's opinion.
- Use couple of words from the question while answering any question. It
shows you have listened to the question carefully. But at the same time
limit the use the technical jargon.
- Listen very carefully. Come to the central issue of the enquiry
immediately. Wild guessing or speculation are a complete no no.
- Do not start evaluating your performance while still inthe interview. Even
if you have committed mistakes in the beginning, do not think that you have
already lost the game. They are looking for warm, sensitive respectful and
attentive youngsters. They know you are good or you would not have come so
- Talk humbly about your achievements and hobbies. You may have mentioned
some hobbies in the form without serious background in them, but before the
interview it would be useful to pick up some basic info on the hobby.
- Say less to convey more. Less is more these days as per the minimalist
creed. Argue logically and generalise correctly. Do not try to read too much
between the lines.
- Remember, while answering any question, what is easy to see is easy to
miss. We often tend to miss the obvious and go for some non-crucial aspect
of the subject.
- Get up to leave only when the chairperson asks you to, not because you
think everyone has asked a question. Similarly, even if someone has not
asked a question and the chairperson asks you to leave then please leave.
Some members do not ask questions at all, due to various reasons like
- Before leaving politely thank the chairperson and nod at the others
politely. Avoid saying "Have a good day sir". A "Thank you
Sir/Madam" is enough.