10 Golden Tips to Top in the UPSC Civil Services Examination Interview

UPSC 2019 Civil Services Mains Examination was conducted from September 20, 2019. Candidates who appeared in the mains exam should start preparing for the final stage i.e. the personality test/IAS interview round scheduled to be conducted in 2020.

Say it yourself that you have given your best in the UPSC Mains exam 2019 and you will make it to the final round and for those with the go-getter attitude here we bring the top 10 golden tips to excel in the UPSC Civil Service Exam Interview.

IAS 2020

1. Maintain personal hygiene

“He who has health and hygiene has hope and he who has hope has everything!” & “Face is the index of your mind!”


Present yourself before the UPSC interview board clean, neat and tidy. Make sure you have good haircut, clean nails, comb your hair well, maintain a smooth-shaven face and if you have beard trim it to maintain it tidily. It is also recommended to cleanse your face to remove sweat, oil, dirt and brighten your face. Also, make sure you smell good, no bad odour emanates from your body.

As it is said “Face is the index of your mind and so is your appearance which will show that you are a well-organized and disciplined person.” Hence, take care of your grooming.   

2. Be well-groomed

“Dressing well is a form of Good Manners!” & “Success favours the well-groomed!”


Dress according to the occasion. Your clothes should not be colorful or flashy. It is advised to wear a suit of dark or sombre colors.  Make sure the collar of your shirt is clean, well ironed and stiff, also check your shirt handcuffs, it should not be tattered in the ends. You should wear socks and shoes and ensure that socks are pulled up, shoes must be well polished.

And for ladies, they can opt for a descent traditional formal wear like saree or salwar suit and preferably of sober colour. It is advised to keep your accessories and makeup minimal which goes well with your attire. Not the last and the least, keep your hairstyle well maintained and it is advised to tie your hair as it will make you look neat and descent.

You make the first impression with the way you have dressed up and present yourself. If your attire creates a negative impression then your whole interview session will tumbledown. Put the right foot forward with smartly dressed to face the board, which is essential to create a favourable impression.

3. Be Polite, chivalrous and courteous

“Good Manners will open doors that even the best pick-up lines cannot!” & “Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy!”


Be polite, before entering the room, gently knock the door and politely ask “may I come in” and don’t rush in after asking, wait for the board members’ response and then enter. Go in calmly with confidence. After entering the room, greet the individual board members according to your interview session “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon”, or Good Evening. It is advised to stand to attention while greeting the board members and if there is a lady member in the board greet the lady member ‘Good Morning Ma’am, afternoon or so on.

Generally, the Chairman represents the entire board, so address to the Chairman while making eye contact with the other board members. After greeting the board members wait till you are offered a seat then thank the person who offers you seat and also thank the person who asks you to take your seat and it is advised to stand until you are offered a seat. Don’t get frustrated because you were not offered seat instead be polite and courteous as this will be of a great deal in turning the tables of the interview in your favour.

4. Avoid gestures

“Body language is a very powerful tool. Your body communicates as well as your mouth. Don’t contradict yourself!”


It is recommended to work on your body language and gesture. Sit straight and always face the board members. Do not keep shaking your knees or tapping your feet on the floor. Don’t cough often, adjust the throat every now and then or stop playing with your tie, collars or coat buttons. Do not sit informally, resting your elbows and leaning on the table. Do not yawn during the interview. In fact, you should cut out all unnecessary movements. You can and must be calm and relaxed.

10 Golden tips to top in the UPSC Civil Services Examination Interview

5. Speak politely, noticeably and audibly

“Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you and listen in such a way that others love to speak to you”!


Do not screech or mutter. Keep your tone clarity and speak words completely, do not swallow half word and emphasise the syllable wherever it is required. Speak with interest, enthusiasm and in a pleasant way that all the board members could hear you without asking you to repeat whatever you say. While speaking to the Chairman or to the members look into their eyes and speak, do not look at the roof, table, wall or the floor. Do not sound monotonous or robotic, your voice must be filled with spirit in such a way that when the board members hear you it should excite them.

Also Read | IAS Toppers strategy

6. Be attentive and look attentive

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity!”


When the Chairman or the board members speak to you listen carefully to what they say and do not ask them to repeat often. Do not close your eyes to concentrate to what they say as the board members may feel you are rude and don’t be in a mindset that they will understand you that you are concentrating. Listen carefully until they complete the question and do not interrupt while they talk. Even if you interrupt in between be polite and say ‘sorry to interrupt’ and continue to listen.

7. Avoid arguments

“The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it, raise your words not your voice!”


The board may trick you with argumentative questions, do not fall into the trap and challenge the opinion of the Board Members and try to correct their statements. Instead, express your views with thoughtfulness and consideration. Avoid criticising others or supporting an individual while expressing your opinions, keep your opinions balanced and give suggestions. Do not pin point faults of others. If you are wrong, admit it and apologise immediately. Conclude your answers or opinions in a logical manner with valid reasons. Do not be over-confident and self-opinionated.

8. Be smart and wise, not over smart

“A smart person knows what to say. A wise person knows whether or not to say it!”


When the board asks questions on your bio-data or achievements, state the fact accurately and be polite while talking your achievements. Don’t lie, you cannot fool the board members, when you do not know the answer, be frank and have the courage to tell them so. Never generalise or make ambiguous guesses. Do not waffle and while you speak, you must be able to capture the attention of your listeners. Make sure that you do not bore the board.

9. Act with confidence and wear your attitude

“Confidence is the companion of success, while a positive attitude is a mark of superior personality!”


Be confident and wear your attitude in such a way that it earns you the favourable impression of the board members. Always remember, the board member will notice what and how you say it and not how much you say. The board cannot give remarks for questions which you have not answered. Hence, make sure what you say and how you say it.

 10. Smile and be cheerful

“Use your smile to change the Board Members View; don’t let them change your smile”!


As the saying “A smile is the best makeup anyone can wear”! Look pleasant, carry yourself confidently, and wear that hypnotic makeup ‘smile’ on your face from the time you enter the interview board room till you come out. Give the feel to the board members that you are keen, attentive, pleasant and passionate. Use your smile to turn the tables in the interview round and top in the UPSC Civil Services Examination Interview.

“Begin and end your UPSC IAS Exam Interview with a smile!”


Follow these golden tips to top the UPSC Interview Round and we bet you will win the heart of the board members along with making your name in the final list of selection.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *