What to Avoid During the UPSC Civil Services Interview

The UPSC Interview (also known as the Personality Test) is the third and final stage of the UPSC exam, and the marks obtained in it (along with the marks obtained in the Mains) are used to prepare the final merit list for the IAS Exam.

If you are preparing for the Civil Services Exam, you may have read numerous articles on what to expect and do during a UPSC interview. This article discusses what not to do during an IAS interview. Continue reading to learn more.

Perfect UPSC Interview Qualities:

It is important to understand what the UPSC board looks for in a candidate. Before we get into what to avoid during the interview, the following characteristics are assessed during the interview:

  • Expression clarity
  • comprehension of narrative or argument
  • Ability to reason
  • appreciation for various points of view
  • Concern and awareness of socioeconomic issues
  • The breadth and depth of one's interests
  • The ability to interact with others.

A candidate's intelligence, presence of mind, honesty, general awareness, and leadership skills are also evaluated.

Things to Keep in Mind and Avoid During an IAS Interview 

  • Do not waste time.

It is advised that you begin preparing for your personality test as soon as the UPSC Mains results are announced. Grooming yourself into a well-rounded individual takes time and cannot be accomplished overnight. Begin your interview preparation as soon as possible.

  • Do not tell lies

Don't lie when answering a question. You will be apprehended. Give only honest answers about your personal details, hobbies, and so on. Remember that you must prove what you have said.

  • Don't freak out.

Even the most courageous person can go weak in the knees when confronted with the UPSC board. Nothing is impossible to overcome if you are well-prepared. Read up on potential UPSC interview questions and prepare responses based on your DAF. Stay focused and answer questions during the interview. Don't worry about the outcome; just be yourself. A few questions are designed to make you nervous. Maintain your cool during this time and respond to the best of your abilities and knowledge. It is acceptable to not know the answer to a question.

  • Continue to read newspapers.

Do not relax once you have completed the UPSC prelims and mains. Maintain the good habits you established during your UPSC exam preparation. Don't try to learn anything new right now; instead, read the newspaper and keep up with UPSC Current Affairs. You may be questioned about recent events.

  • Do not fake it.

Don't project a phony image of yourself. The UPSC board members are experienced individuals who will see right through you. EXPRESS YOURSELF.

  • Don't say anything hurriedly.

Always pause for a few seconds before responding. Organize your thoughts before putting them into words. In your haste, you may say something you later regret.

  •  Avoid arguing.

On any topic, you may disagree with a panelist. However, even if you believe you are correct and feel strongly about the issue, avoid arguing with him/her for an extended period of time. Arguing unnecessarily demonstrates a rigid personality.

  • Avoid being arrogant and disrespectful.

Even if you are confident in yourself, don't be arrogant when expressing your thoughts. The members of the board are much older and more experienced, and they expect humility and respect.

  • Don't over- or under-communicate.

Speaking too little demonstrates a lack of confidence and/or knowledge, whereas speaking too much demonstrates nervousness. Both should be avoided.

  • Don't skirt the issue.

Always respond to the point. Inform them if you are unsure of an answer. The UPSC board values candour.

  • Avoid using negative body language.

Have a pleasant personality and a positive demeanour. Your persona should project a sense of optimism and hope. Remember that positivity spreads.

  • Avoid fidgeting.

Fidgeting is a sign of nervousness and can distract and irritate interviewers. So, stay calm and still.

  • Avoid excessive laughter.

Avoid laughing too loudly if a board member cracks a joke. You can smile but not laugh. Also, refrain from making unnecessary jokes. You are not there to make friends with the members of the board.

  • Do not boast

You can talk about your qualities and accomplishments, but keep it humble.

  • Never criticise.

Avoid criticising the government or any of its institutions, or even the private sector. When asked, always offer only suggestions or potential solutions.

  • Don't interrupt anyone.

Never, ever interrupt a board member who is speaking.

  • Don't express negative opinions about race, politics, or religion.

Always present a balanced perspective on issues. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

  • Don't go in with a bad attitude.

Don't speculate or be concerned about the panel chairperson's name or how a particular panel conducts the interview. While some panels are more difficult than others, the general guidelines remain the same, and going in without any negative bias toward the panel is the pragmatic approach.

  • Don't dress inappropriately.

Dress formally and appropriately. It demonstrates professionalism and seriousness.