The Personality Test is the third and the final stage of the UPSC exam and marks obtained in it (along with the marks in Mains) are taken into consideration for preparing the Final Merit List.
The following traits are tested in the UPSC personality test:
- clarity of expression
- grasp of narrative or argument
- reasoning ability
- appreciation of different viewpoints
- awareness and concern for socio-economic problems
- range and depth of interests
- ability to interact with people.
Also rated are a candidate’s intelligence, presence of mind, honesty, general awareness, and leadership skills.
If you are a civil services aspirant, you might have read many articles on what to expect and do in a UPSC interview. This article tells you what not to do and the things to avoid in an IAS interview. Read on for more.
Things to avoid in IAS interview
- Don’t lose time
It is recommended that you don’t wait until after the UPSC mains results are announced to start preparing for your personality test. Grooming yourself into a well-rounded person takes time and cannot be done overnight. So, start your interview preparation early.
- Don’t lie
When you answer a question, don’t lie. You will get caught. Give only truthful answers regarding your personal details and hobbies, etc. Remember you have to justify what you say.
- Don’t panic
Facing the UPSC board can cause even the bravest person to go weak in the knees. If you are well-prepared, there is nothing that can’t be overcome. Read about possible interview questions and prepare answers based on your DAF. At the interview, stay focused and answer questions. Be yourself and don’t worry about the results. Practice breathing exercises. A few questions are meant to stress you out. Remain calm during that time and answer to the best of your abilities and knowledge. It is okay not to know the answer to a question.
- Don’t stop reading newspapers
Once you are done with the UPSC prelims and mains don’t go into ‘relax’ mode. Continue good habits that you had inculcated during your UPSC exam preparation. Don’t try to study anything new now but read the newspaper and be up to date on current affairs. You can be asked on the latest happenings.
- Don’t fake it
Don’t portray an image of yourself that is fake. The UPSC board members are experienced people and they will see through you. BE YOURSELF.
- Don’t blabber
Listen to the question carefully and answer with measured words. Answer to the point and only what is asked. Don’t blabber. It shows unsure knowledge and a lack of confidence too.
- Don’t speak hastily
Always take a few seconds before you answer. Organise your thoughts and then put them into words. In your haste, you might say something which you might regret.
- Don’t argue
You might disagree with a panellist on any issue. But avoid arguing with him/her at length even if you think you are right and feel strongly about the issue. Arguing unnecessarily shows a rigid nature.
- Don’t crouch
Sit upright and don’t crouch or lean forwards.
- Don’t be arrogant and behave disrespectfully
When you express your thoughts, don’t be arrogant even if you are sure about yourself. The board members are much older and experienced, and they expect humility and respect.
- Don’t talk too much or too little
Talking too little shows lack of confidence and/or knowledge whereas talking too much shows nervousness. Avoid both.
- Don’t beat around the bush
Always answer to the point. If you are unsure of an answer, tell them so. The UPSC board appreciates honesty.
- Don’t have negative body language
Have a pleasing personality and a positive body language. Your persona should indicate a person full of positivity and hope. Remember, positivity is infectious.
- Don’t fidget
Fidgeting indicates nervousness and it can also distract and irritate the interviewers. So, remain still and calm.
- Don’t wear inappropriate clothes
Wear formal and decent clothes. It shows professionalism and seriousness.
- Don’t laugh unnecessarily
Even if a board member cracks a joke, avoid laughing too loudly. You can smile but avoid laughing. Also, avoid cracking unnecessary jokes. You are not there to make friends with the board.
- Don’t brag
You can talk about your qualities and achievements but be humble about it.
- Don’t criticise
Avoid criticising the government or the various establishments, or even the private sector for that matter. Always give only suggestions or possible solutions when asked.
- Don’t interrupt
Never interrupt a board member when he/she is speaking.
- Don’t give negative views on race, politics or religion
Always give balanced views on issues. Discuss the pros and cons.
- Don’t give long introductions
Keep your intro precise.
- Don’t indulge in technical jargon
Unless specifically asked don’t indulge in technical jargon. Remember, the UPSC board doesn’t like to be told you know more than them!
- Don’t go in with a negative mindset
Don’t speculate or concern yourself with the name of the panel chairperson or how a particular panel is conducting the interview. While it’s true that some panels are tougher than others, the broad guidelines remain the same and going in without any negative bias towards the panel is the pragmatic way.
- Don’t be too subservient
Maintain a sense of dignity and don’t be too acquiescent.
- Don’t leave the hall until you are asked to
You will be told by the board when the interview is over. Leave the interview hall only after being asked. And say, ‘thank you’ before leaving.
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss