UPSC Interview Techniques by Ravindranath Patil IPS

UPSC Interview Techniques by Ravindranath Patil IPS

The Alchemist Story

“What’s the world’s greatest lie?”, the boy asked, completely surprised.

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by the fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie”

The Success Chart

Cardinal Principles of Interview

  • Interview is an attitudinal battle. If u feel u can, u can.
  • Interview is a performance test rather than a personality test. (Tendulkar - Hota)
  • Interview is a selection process, and not an elimination process.
  • Principle of favourability works: Mumbai Local Train Theory.

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Qualities of An Interview Candidate

  • Knowledge
  • Confidence
  • Politeness
  • Effective Communication skill
  • Leadership Qualities
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Analytical ability
  • Decision making skills
  • Balanced outlook

Test of Knowledge

  • Precise answer v/s Beating around the Bush
  • Correct answer v/s Bluffing
  • Confident answer v/s Fumble
  • Answer v/s Apology

Knowledge: Points to remember

  • Lack of knowledge is no sin
  • Omniscience is a myth
  • One question may have different ANSWERS, each being correct
  • The expression of knowledge, i.e. Communication Skills matter more
  • Application of Knowledge to
  • Everyday life
  • To the civil services

Test of Confidence

Body indicators:

  • Posture
  • Eye Contact
  • Apologetic/ nervous
  • Shaking of hands

Verbal Indicators

  • Tremors
  • Give up
  • Reversal of Stand
  • Haste

Tips for Confidence

  • Wash your face before the interview
  • Press your legs down- posture improve
  • Breath control
  • Recall positive events in the past
  • Control of hand movements
  • Rotation of looks and Corner look
  • Patient Listening

Test of Politeness

  • Loud voice.
  • Listening v/s Interrupting
  • “No Sir”, “But Sir” :Overruling the members
  • Superiority complex: “My Expertise”, “My knowledge in this field”
  • Stubborn attitude/ Arrogance
  • Body posture and expressions

Politeness: some tips

  • Respect the age of Panel Members
  • Acknowledge their greater experience, exposure and expertise
  • Be an active listener
  • Use soft words
  • Show willingness to accept your mistake, if proven to be wrong

Test of Communication Skills

  • Repeated fumbles like “Aa…aa”
  • Low voice/Extra-loud voice
  • Undue haste
  • Search for words
  • Impropriety of words (Nana Phadanvis)
  • Non-verbal communication (e.g. shrug)

Tips for better communication

Mug up important phrases:

  • IF don’t know: I’m sorry, I’m afraid, I should confess, I am cornered, I need to learn more etc.
  • IF opinions differ: Based on my limited exposure I feel that; With due regards to you sir, I sincerely feel; I beg to differ
  • IF confused: Pardon sir, am I supposed to answer this or that?, My apology sir, I couldn’t hear the question properly.

Leadership: Balanced outlook

  • Remember, balanced outlook doesn’t mean no outlook
  • Never speak as a philosopher
  • Blame game “They should do” – Rather say what “We should do”
  • Use soft words if comments against the government

Analytical ability and Decision Making

Analysis: break up

Two types of Questions in the Interview

  • Straight Forward Q. – Come to the point, “pakshi Phalasi Zombe Jaisa” Jyaneshwar
  • Complex decision making Q.:
  • Take a pause, think
  • Divide the question into parts

Analytical Ability: Contd.

Two ways of Answering:

Give opinion first and then justify:

When opinion is easy/known/prepared

Justify first, and then opine

When opinion is complex and is testing one’s religious/ethnic/political affiliations.

Analytical ability and Decision Making

Division Criteria:

  • Positive- Negative
  • Internal -External
  • Political, Social, Economical
  • Government- People
  • First-Second-Third
  • Bright Side-Dark/Flip Side

I shall not allow the problems to become my masters;

I shall become the master of the problems and defeat them, and succeed.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

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Courtesy: YASHADA​