The USPC civil services exam is conducted in three stages – the UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains and finally, the UPSC Personality Test aka the board interview. The first two stages test your knowledge and your ability to express that knowledge in writing. But the last round is a test of your personality, in the UPSC’s own words. Here, you will be assessed on various parameters like your overall personality, attitude, ability to handle stressful situations, mental strength, ability to verbally express thoughts and opinions, etc. Many candidates shudder at the thought of facing the daunting UPSC board whose members are professionals with tons of experience behind them. This article focuses on profile-based interview questions in the UPSC personality test.
What are profile-based interview questions?
In the IAS interview, a lot of questions that the board asks will be profile-based ones. This means that they ask questions pertaining to your profile (they will have your profile as you had filled in the DAF with them). Your profile is basically a combination of three things:
Profile: Location/Hometown, Academic background/Work Profile, and Extra-curricular activities/Hobbies
Location/hometown based questions: Here, they can ask about the socio-political and administrative set-up and problems faced by the region. This can include your state, district or city/village. They can also ask about any unique features/establishments in your area. Also, they can ask you about possible solutions to those problems. They will ask you to assume the role of the Collector, DSP, etc.
Academic background/work profile based questions: Here, they will ask questions based on your education. If you are an Economics graduate, they can ask about how you will enhance commerce in your area or country. If you are a doctor, they can ask about the situation of certain diseases in the country. They may also ask about the condition of eradication of any disease, etc. In case you are a journalist or have qualified to be one, they can ask about the freedom of press and censorship, etc.
Extra-curricular activities/hobbies based questions: Here the board asks about your stated hobbies. This is why it is important not to make up a hobby and actually cultivate one if you don’t have any. If you play any sport, they can ask about any current affairs in that arena.
How to tackle profile-based interview questions?
- Start preparing for profile-based questions early on itself. Don’t wait for ten days before the scheduled interview.
- When you prepare for current affairs through newspapers, start reading about your profile-based issues.
- Don’t lie about your profile in the DAF or in the interview. Be honest and this will not backfire.
- You must study specifically for profile-based questions since the board is sure to ask them at the personality test.
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