IAS Interview

IAS Interview: How to Prepare for UPSC Personality Test?

IAS aspirants who have qualified UPSC prelims and mains are called for the final round of the exam—Personality test. In the third...

Written by Abhinash Chaudhary · 6 min read >
UPSC Personality Test

IAS aspirants who have qualified UPSC prelims and mains are called for the final round of the exam—Personality test. In the third and final round of the UPSC examination, candidates are assessed based on their personality. The panels of experienced judges ask questions related to the candidate’s field and subject.

The duration of Personal Interview can be as less as 30 minutes or might elongate for an hour, it depends on the panel. In this round, candidates are not only judged based on their knowledge but also their creative thoughts.

In the personal interaction round with the professionals in the field of Public service, candidates can score up to 275 marks. This can help them in improving the rank in the merit list.

Many candidates relax after qualifying prelims and mains of the UPSC examination and think they don’t need to prepare much for the Personality test. Those who do this might miss the greatest opportunity of serving their society by a whisker.

Taking the preparation of the Personality test lightly can turn into a blunder which the candidate would regret for the lifetime. You can’t slow down your pace thinking that the race is about to end. Finish the race of UPSC with a win then relax.

What to expect in the UPSC Personal Interview?

  • Personality Test is the culmination of the longest examination process of UPSC.
  • As the name suggests, the Personality Test is the assessment of the overall personality of the candidate.
  • The total marks of the Personality Test in UPSC is 275. For better rank, candidates need to score more than 60 in their Personality Test.
  • The duration of Personality is not fixed. It can last between 30 minutes to 1 hour depending upon the nature of the question.
  • The marks scored in the Personality Test is added in the merit along with the marks obtained in Mains.
  • The qualifying candidates are called for the Personality Test which is conducted in New Delhi at the UPSC office.
  • The interview panel consists of five members. One is the Chairman of the board and others are experts from various fields of the public services.

Questions which are frequently asked in the interview

Personality Test of the UPSC is the assessment of the overall personality of the candidate and also knowing about his/her capabilities as a future administrator. So, the questions mostly asked by the panel are based on a supposed situation, opinion on any ongoing social issue, and mental awareness.

  • Sometimes candidates miss out on basic questions like the meaning of their name, hobbies, and interests. Prepare these questions well because no question is more or less important in personality assessment.
  • Read your Bio-Data top to bottom. Underline those things which can form a potential question. Write possible questions and prepare them. Most of the questions are asked from your Bio-Data. So, don’t skip a single thing from it.
  • Tell us something about yourself? This is the most basic and important question. It is asked by almost every interviewer. You have to be well-versed with your introduction. Create a story of your life and elaborate on your achievements and proud moments. This question might sound cliché but it is the most important one. It helps you to make a solid first impression.
  • Though Personality test is not to evaluate your knowledge still you need to be updated with current affairs and latest issues. 
  • Know about yourself. Prepare answers on your family occupation, background, and hometown. Some basic questions about your personal life would be asked.
  • Questions about previous job experiences are frequently asked. Some questions like why you left the job, why you what to become an IAS officer, and what are your plans, are asked.
  • You must prepare answers from your optional and your graduation subject. They will check your basic knowledge
  • There is no fixed pattern for the personality assessment test. Questions may or may not be from your academics field. So, be mentally prepared for impromptu questions and answers round.

How to prepare for the interview?

  • Start early: The best time to start preparing for the interview is soon after or alongside the UPSC mains exam. You need to groom your personality before the interview. An early start can help you to rectify and eliminate your mistakes.
  • Give your hundred percent: A exam is not over until you get the desired result. So, qualifying prelims and mains aren’t the ends of the UPSC exam, you have to clear the final round—Personality test. When you are selected for the personality test, you have to make sure that you aren’t exhausted. So, before you begin your preparation reenergize yourself and to give your best effort.
  • Prepare your Detailed Application Form (DAF) thoroughly: Your answers in DAF should be clear and precise. Make sure that after reading your answers, the panel gets a brief of your life and family. Don’t fake anything because the panel consists of most experienced judges and they can smell the foul play. Be honest in your DAF and be ready for the cross-questions.
  • Be positive: You have to have a positive outlook about everything. Your answers should be optimistic. If you are highlighting the problems and issues of the society then make sure you come with a suitable and positive conclusion. Your answers show your attitude and personality. Be as positive as you can and let your sense of humor play a role in quirky questions.
  • Gain confidence: Your personality is sluggish without self-confidence. A low esteemed person can never recognize their true abilities and give their best. Practice in front of your family member, friend, or mirror. Keep practicing until you can control your mind to speak what you want to and not what your mouth speaks out of nervousness.
  • Eat healthy: Don’t forget to eat healthy food. Take more fiber and protein. Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated. You have to maintain your body and keep your mind fit for the test. You should not compromise with healthy food.
  • Events and current happenings: Many people suggest that you should take a break from newspapers and books after qualifying mains. I would rather suggest, keep in touch with them. Don’t completely goodbye them. You never know the mood of the interviewer. They might ask you after your take of some latest happenings that you aren’t aware of. You don’t have to know everything but be sure you know something about everything.
  • Know about yourself: The simplest questions are the toughest to answer. You never really deeply think about yourself, background, and family—it’s time to do it.
  • Facts and information about State and city: Gather as much information as possible about your State and city. It would be a plus point if you know some interesting information or have anecdote related to the question asked to share with the panelists. Make sure you have the right facts and figures. Don’t answer the question, if you don’t know the answer well.
  • Don’t argue with the panel: If you don’t agree with the opinion of the panelists, don’t start arguing with them. Calmly explain your point of view to them with strong statements and correct information but never misbehave. The might be checking your patience and tolerance. Be polite with your answers.

Things to keep in mind while you are in front of the panel:

  • Make a solid first impression: From the moment you enter the room for the interview, you have to make an impactful first impression on the judges. You should look happy, polite, and presentable.
  • Wear something elegant: Choose a comfortable dress to wear. Something in which you are comfortable and confident. You don’t need to spend too much money on interview clothes. Women can wear saree or salwar kameez whereas men can wear a formal shirt and pants. Don’t pick any flossy or sparkling colour; choose a simple and sober color for your important day.
  • Avoid being nervous: Ask yourself why you are nervous? Is it the final result that scares you or the professional panel? Whatever may be the reason for your nervousness, just remember you haven’t come this long to lose a battle from your fear. Your sweaty palms and face aren’t going to help you to crack the interview. So, keep your fear at bay and relax. Take a deep breath, remember your struggle and hard work, and answer fearlessly.
  • Work on your expressions and tone: When you prepare for the interview in front of the mirror don’t forget to notice your expressions. During mock interviews, don’t forget to ask your friend or teacher to notice your expressions and tone. Do you look disinterested when you listen? Do you speak too fast or slow? These things can be a setback for you and you might lose some marks in miscommunication.
  • Mind your posture: Sit straight, don’t fold your hands, and maintain proper eye contact with the panelists. You should maintain a good impression. So, don’t keep touching your face or arranging your hair out of habit or nervousness. You need to give up on such activities to score good marks in the interview.

A day before the personal interview

Tomorrow is the final day. You are all set to appear for the interview. You are well prepared to rock in the personality test. The adrenaline rush is so high that you aren’t eating properly or taking enough sleep. Listen, it will not help you to crack the interview easily rather you will feel weak and tired the next day.

So, here are the things you need to check a day before your interview.

Check the documents: You need to take a file with important documents like self-attested original matriculation certificate, degree certificates, 2 recent clicked passport size photographs, and the e-Summon letter.

Iron your clothes: Be ready with your dress. Iron it, find all the right match and put it back in the cupboard. Make sure the dress you need to wear for the interview is neat and clean.

East and sleep early: Don’t wake up till late in the night. A night before your personality test shouldn’t be hectic and disturbing.just relax and sleep well.

Now, go you are all set to excel in the personality test. All the best.

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Written by Abhinash Chaudhary
Abhinash Chaudhary is a Passionate blogger, Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer in India. He has been blogging since 2013 & writes about Education, Web Design, Web Development, SEO and Technology. Profile