At Several platforms usefulness or utility of an IAS Interview is discussed after rigorous Prelims and IAS Mains examinations. But the IAS preliminary and mains examinations are conducted to test candidates’ academic and general awareness with regards to a diverse range of topics; on the other hand, IAS Interview like any other recruitment test the personality and temperament of the candidate.
The candidate will be interviewed by a Board with the objective 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 a candidate. Broadly speaking, this test is really an assessment of not only his intellectual 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 judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
The technique of the interview Of IAS Exam is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
This interview Of IAS Exam is not at all intended to be a test specialised or general knowledge of the candidates, which has been already tested through their written papers. It is 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, to be well versed about his/her surroundings.
Importance Of Mock Interviews Of IAS Exam
Interview Of IAS Exam is final stage of your journey and it is definitely the game changer. Unlike the other 2 stages of Civil Services Exam, Interview stage does not have any defined syllabus. That is why you need guidance to crack this stage.
First impression is last impression! The moment you enter the interview room, you will be judged by the board of competent and unbiased observers. Your walking style, your dressing sense, your body language, your communications skills, your overall personality will be judged. Make sure to keep yourself formally dressed and work on your body language well.
Hence it is serious advice to take atleast 2 to 3 IAS mocks before you face the final interview. There are many IAS coaching institutes which provide mock interview and prepare you for the final quest. Coaching Institutes which conducts such mock interviews maintains the atmosphere which is akin to the actual UPSC interview with the panel of experts including ex or serving officers, psychoanalysts, well experienced academicians and other subject experts who closely examine the candidates and prepare them for the final interview round. Remember that the real perspective of IAS personality test is not checking your General knowledge; it is something more than that.
- Teaser with Eminent Pesonalities: Academies conducting the Mock Interviews ensure that the panel members are eminent personalities from the Civil Services Fraternity. The panel of experts includes currently serving bureaucrats &top retired IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS Officers, Senior Psychoanalyst, renowned academicians and highly qualified professional from different fields. The highly esteemed panel with rich experience in different fields will scrutinize you & your personality through the eyes of your DAF & their expertise at handling the nurturing Administrators. They will ensure you manifest the right most administrative traits in your actions & take that confidence at par before addressing the actual UPSC board.
- Real time environment: A few prominent Academies conduct interview in an ambience which is akin to the actual UPSC interview to provide you with the realistic environment and experience. This ambience could be a 5-star property or the set-up similar to that of the UPSC CSE Interview set-up. This is done so to give you an experience of the actual interview and help you develop the required focus and confidence to face the esteemed panel at the Interview.
- Questioned To Improve: Mock Interviews are the best place to be questioned on the UPSC pattern and not be judged for what you are. Examiners will not judge but question you on your personality & interests, topics of National & International importance, Logical reasoning over imaginary situations, etc. and critically assess you on the grounds of personality, general knowledge, and ethical standards. They will even hint you at the major shortcomings which may pull you down at the final interview round.
- Built Traits With Experts: As mentioned above, experts sitting at the Mock Interviews are eminent personalities from the Civil Services Fraternity so as to analyze you not just on the grounds of UPSC but also frame you in situations they could have faced during the course of their Job and allow you to bring out the best possible solution or reasoning to actions in that particular situation. Such discussions are enriching for an aspirant to think from an administrator’s perspective. Apart from this, the post interview panel discussion with the esteemed personalities helps you polish your administrative traits and thought process automatically turns to think like a civil administrator.
- Performance Analysis: Panel discussion at the post interview performance analysis is a great benefit for Civil Services Aspirants to rectify the loopholes and their weak sections to be worked upon. Examiners will scrutinized your performance in the initial stage and will give you a thorough feedback and valuable suggestions on right ways of presenting the answer, keeping write body language, and other ways to enhance their performance at the final quest and also the highlight the areas you need to focus on.
- Self-evaluation: Interview session(Interview + Panel Discussion) is video-recorded and a DVD of the same is provided to the candidate so that the candidate can view their own interview and self-evaluate their performance in the comfort of their home and at a much relaxed state while also understanding what was highlighted by the interviewers & why. For instance an examiner might share a point you should have said while answering but only at a relaxed state of mind you might realize that you knew the answer better but just couldn’t say or skipped over a point for some particular reason (that could be nothing major but nervousness). Find out your reasons of skipping over the crucially important points while self evaluating your performance and ensure you work on them under guidance of someone who will help you make the needful corrections. In this particular case you might want to write those skipped over points and place them at a place close to your study table or a particular section of the house where you dwell the most. And practice these talk sessions with someone elder or experienced to win over your nervousness as well.
- Lessons other aspirants: While at the Interview location, candidates waiting for their chance can watch live interviews of other candidates. This helps them learn from others’ mistakes and practice the right techniques before facing the panel.
Interview Score-Being Game Changer Of IAS Exam
Lets do illustration with example. UPSC 2016 Toppers’ List gives an idea about the pivotal role played by UPSC Interview on deciding the ranks of the candidates. The IAS topper of 2016 secured 927 marks in the written exam. She scored 193 in the interview which brought her total to 1120 marks, securing her the top rank. The third ranker had secured 936 marks in the written exam but scored 165 in the interview which pushed him to the third rank with a total of 1101 marks. So interview score matters a lot.
Low interview score hinder them from getting the service and cadre of their choice. Apart from the role that scores play in deciding a candidate’s fate, the unpredictable nature of the UPSC interview also makes it a crucial round, one that the candidates should not neglect.
Highlights on IAS Interview are:
- Question asked will be focused on general topics mostly.
- The major focus in the UPSC Interview is to judge the mental eminence of the candidate.
- Candidates will be evaluated on everything – skills based on leadership, attitude, taking initiative, etc.
- To crack the UPSC Interview, candidates should prepare well and handle every question tactfully.
Points to remember for interview of IAS Exam:
Generally, candidates who get the interview call are the most competent of the total number of applicants and also who have performed extraordinarily well in UPSC Mains.
- A candidate who is not selected in the final list, has to go through the entire process of UPSC Exam from the beginning. Hence, UPSC Interview plays a significant role.
- Taking another attempt in UPSC Exam takes one or more year. So it is advisable for candidates that if they clear UPSC Mains, they should prepare for UPSC Interview with utmost honesty.
- Unlike CA, ICWA, CS exams where even clearing some stages gives scope to candidates to find a place, IAS Exam can be said to be cleared only if you are through with all three stages.
The Personality test will be scored on the basis of the following factors:
- Mental alertness
- Critical powers of assimilation
- Clear and logical exposition
- Social traits
- Interest and knowledge of current affairs
- Balance of judgment
- Variety and depth of interest
- Ability for social cohesion
- Leadership skills
- Intellectual and moral integrity
Common Questions and Assessment
The UPSC panel members can ask questions related to the detailed application form of the candidates. The questions can be on the candidate’s place of birth, interest, issues related to their home state, current national issues, and more. During the questions, the panel tries assesses whether the candidate answers like an Indian national or with a regional mindset. Hobbies and areas of interests also play an important role during interview. If the candidate's hobby is gardening. Then, questions related to soil, vegetables, herbs can be asked. Besides, questions related to the professions of the candidates could also be posed. For example, if the candidate happens to be an economics professor, he/she could be asked about International economics/ economy of the country. While the candidate answer the questions, the members of the panel observe how the candidate responds to each question.
Panel also creates questions based on certain situations. For example, they may give a situation like earth quake, floods and ask the candidate to respond to it in the role of a district collector. Members might also ask tricky questions in order to evaluate mental alertness and the ability to think logically.
In end, you need to prepare for this stage with zeal, so as to gain most of this examination. You need to take guidance and Mocks are most important to crack this stage of IAS Exam.