The time after the completion of the UPSC Main exams is the most precarious period for the aspirants. Here comes an uncertain situation, where you are unable to decide if you should begin your IAS interview preparation or begin with your studies for prelims. The best way is to move forward, stay optimistic and begin with your IAS interview preparation, so that you have enough time to work upon your preparation that is required to emerge victorious in the final stage of your IAS journey. UPSC refers to the interview stage of the civil services examination as ‘Personality Test’ and there is a good reason for this. UPSC explains that the interview is not a cross-examination technique intended at testing the general knowledge of the candidate. Through the interview stage, UPSC is trying to ascertain a candidate’s personality traits and qualities and see if they are a good fit for the civil services. In order to crack the UPSC Personality Test, you need to develop an appealing and pleasing personality and have traits required to perform the duties of an IAS officer. These may include mental alertness, social assimilation, focused approach to problems, moral integrity, honesty, socio-economic awareness and leadership qualities. Here are a few tips to help you with the same:
- Keep the newspaper handy- Reading the newspaper religiously will help you become more aware of the important things happening around the world. You will learn to form your own opinions and connect the dots between seemingly unrelated things. You’ll also have a lot more to talk about at the interview.
- Take up a hobby- As opposed to the common idea having a hobby is not an utter waste of time and money. Having a hobby will not only help you sharpen a skill but also help you be a more interesting person. Also, a candidate who is not boring is more likely to get hired.
- Read books- Reading has innumerable benefits. However, to name a few it helps you develop your verbal abilities,knowledge, imagination and focus. Reading also improves your concentration and memory.
- Mental Alertness- There are a lot of questions in the interview to check a candidate’s mental alertness as it is a prerequisite for the civil services. One simple way of achieving mental alertness is by building associative relationships between things. For example, if you are reading a news story, try to identify all the important aspects related to it and its connection with the other events that are happening around us. Through questions that pose a query to your mental alertness, the interviewer is not trying to test your knowledge, but wants to know how smartly can you answer a simple question.
- Take mocks- It is desirable that you go through some sessions of mock interviews before stepping into the real interview. A mock interview is the duplication or simulation of an actual interview. Therefore, it is conducted in a same way as actual interview is conducted. The basic objective of a mock interview is to give an interviewee feeling of an actual interview. This feeling emerges because the mock interview is conducted on similar conditions or creating the similar environment to that of the UPSC.
It is very important that the candidates prepare for the interview with equal i zeal as they do for the prelims and the mains, the personality test plays a crucial role in not only obtaining success but also achieving a higher rank. Like in the written examination, where an essay carries 200 marks this small but important segment can undoubtedly give you edge over other candidates. Likewise, the personality test will make you stand out.