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General Overview:

UPSC Personality Test/Interview is the last and final stage of the civil services examination. The Personality Test is not a test of knowledge (they have already tested it in Mains and Prelims) but your innate personality. The process of the UPSC Interview lasts for about 30 minutes and carries 275 marks out of the total 2025 marks. This half an hour process can change your life and fulfill your dream of becoming a civil servant. The final merit list is prepared based on marks scored in the mains examination and The Personality Test. A high score in the interview round can be a huge benefit to the candidates and increase their rank and chances of getting better service.

Understanding the true nature of the interview:

The ultimate objective of conducting an interview is to determine the suitability of the candidate’s potential in administrative skills. The panel members are not there to test a candidate’s knowledge but to assess a candidate’s personality for Civil Service. They evoke different characteristics/traits of your personality through questions, counter-questions, hypothetical case studies, etc, and assess you based on your approaches during your response, presence of mind, body language, etc. Never think that board members are meant for eliminating you or to demean you. You should have a positive mindset.

Why do candidates generally feel uneasiness about for preparing the UPSC interview?

  • No defined syllabus, unlike prelims and mains exams.

  • The members of the interview panel are drawn from diverse academic disciplines, they probe questions from their domain and that becomes challenging..

  • Interview Preparation Strategy

    Aspirants should not wait for the results of the mains examination to start their preparation for the Interview. They should start working on their personality as soon as possible. Self-assessment is very important to prepare for the interview. Candidates should assess their strengths and weaknesses and should work upon them accordingly. Preparation for UPSC Interview should be comprehensive, topics such as Optional Subject chosen for mains, educational background, place of residence, a reason to become an IAS/IPS officer, content written in the Detailed Application Form (DAF), and current affairs should be prepared thoroughly. Most likely the questions are asked from these topics only. Following are some basic information on how to prepare for these topics:

    Importance of Mastering DAF in UPSC Interview Preparation:

    Candidates who clear the prelims exam are required to fill up the Detailed Application Form (DAF). It is like your biodata which is shared with the interview board members and contains all your personal and professional information. Contents such as your place of birth, subjects in graduation, optional subject, details of the college, professional experience, interests, and hobbies are all mentioned in the DAF. Candidates are advised to take extra care while filling their DAF. It is very important to know each and every element of your DAF thoroughly as it gives panel members scope to ask questions about you. Here are a few tips:

      1.   A candidate must have a detailed knowledge of each and every word mentioned in DAF. For example, in case of the candidate Name-Any famous personality with the same name, the meaning of name/surname
      2.  Be aware of the personalities for the sports or hobbies that the candidate wants to pursue. There is no need to do a Ph.D. in sports or hobbies but your interest must reflect your curiosity on the subject.
      3. It is always advisable to have a hobby that reflects the trait of your personality. For instance, doing yoga or meditation reflects your spirituality.