The interview round is the final procedure of UPSC to shortlist the right candidate. This round carries 300 marks and your final selection completely depends upon your performance during the interview.
The questions the panel members ask are nowhere related to your general knowledge, rather they completely focus on your personality and attitude.
Usually, around 5 to 6 panel members are present during an interview headed by the chairperson. The interviews conducted at the UPSC office at Dholpur House in Connaught Place, New Delhi. Each panel member holds a specialized degree and knowledge in his or her particular field; they could be a retired judge, a lawyer, a former officer, etc.
Important points a candidate should know:
A detailed form has to be filled by the candidate before entering the room where the panel members are seated. This detailed form serves as a CV to the panel members. The questions of the panel members will be based solely on the responses of candidates on said form.
For example, panel members may look at the city from a where a candidate belongs to and may ask questions depending upon the major events of that city.
A candidate has to be thorough with the history of their city as well as important developments that took place there.
Secondly, a candidate may also be asked questions regarding his or her educational background. If a candidate is a mathematics expert or a science student, the panel can post questions based on those fields.
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Most importantly, the panel members will ask questions to test the candidate’s attitude, his/her confidence level and ability to stick to their point, which is to check their confidence level.
The panel may ask some tricky questions as well to ascertain the confidence of the candidate, which is why, rather than answering each and every question even when you are not too confident about the answer, it’s better to nicely pass the question or be genuine saying I am not very sure about the answer of this question.
The panel may also ask questions such as “What would you do if you encounter a bus accident in front of you in which a number of people get injured?”
Make sure, your answer must be from an IAS perspective and not a common man. You must be a quick decision maker here. You answer should be, you’ll call an ambulance, by which time you’ll encourage the people who are less injured to get up and help; you save other people who are more injured and so on.
There is no right or wrong answers to such questions; it’s only a matter of your attitude and your perspective.
Be honest and do not try to bluff. Listen to the panel members carefully before interrupting them in between. And always greet the chairperson first.
— inputs from AK Mishra, Director, Chankya IAS Academy
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