Personality & Interview Strategy


Interview or the Personality Test is the final lap of the Civil Services selection process. It carries 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). Marks obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written examination) as well as Interview would determine their final ranking. Candidates will be allotted to the various services keeping in view their ranks in the Examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various services and posts.

  • The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them are cord of his career. He/she will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of acandidate.Inbroadtermsthisisreallyanassessmentofnotonlyhisintellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness; critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
  • The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal them ental qualities of the candidate.
  • The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialized or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both with in and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.


The Interview Round

Though it carries only 275 marks, one can not afford to take it lightly, because a candidate’s selection or ranking is likely to be affected by the marks that he/she gets in it. This test is not a cross-examination of the candidate, but some thing which appears between the twilight of a question-and-answer session and a purposive conversation.

Well, let me tell you that the most important part of the interview is “you”. Everything else that goes on in an interview is peripheral or secondary. Talking about oneself is not easy for any one in such a situation. Yet, that is what precisely you are required to do in an interview. Your achievements, interests and vision are what you must be ready to talk about in a clear – headed manner.

An interview is a celebration of “you” from start to finish.

The interviewers usually have two major enquiries in their mind: (a) the personality issues and (b) the knowledge base of the candidate.

Now, in case of Civil Services Examination the knowledge aspect is taken care of by an elaborate written examination which is already over by the time you go for the interview. What remains to be evaluated is the personality aspects of the candidate, and it is for this reason the interview has been, at times, also called the PERSONALITY TEST.

The Personality of a person has been variously defined to include a vast number of qualities of head and heart. The personality of any person is the sum total of what one has experienced, seen, heard, read or felt from the very moment one starts being aware of one-self in the society.

In short, what UPSC is looking for in acandidate is a person of substance who has the intelligence and courage to take on any job and give his/her best to it without fear or favour. Briefly, they are looking for a person who will hold his / her ground and stand by his / her colleagues in difficult situations with complete sincerity and commitment.

Finally, remember that winning is an event, but being a winner is a spirit. To win, you will have to understand the spirit of deserving something before getting it. The mantra for success in an examination like Civil Services is to cultivate the real ‘joy of learning’ as a pre-condition for any learning to have an impact on your mind.

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