How to give the civil service exam interview?

Now, if you have got though all the 9 papers of the mains exam well, you should get your interview call by about March or April. In the interview, your confidence, personality and understanding of the world is judged.

The interview is quite subjective. We cannot give any definite advise about how you can prepare for it. It would definitely be good if you read some book about how to prepare and deliver an interview.

Here we have provided for you a huge compilation of “tips” given by civil service exam toppers like Mr.Sorabh Babu Maheshwari, Ms. Manju Rajpal, Mr. Santosh Kumar Misra etc.

Here is what they think about the interview and how they think you should deal with it:

"Questions posed before a candidate by the interviewing board are very well framed and answers to them should be made taking into consideration all possible views and a balanced approach is expected from a candidate."

"One should prepare for the interview with a group of 3-4 people as the preparation for Interview cannot be done in isolation. Personality is a life-time asset and expecting miraculous changes in personality in a span of a few days or weeks is not possible. Yet, efforts can be made to overcome major deficiency and polishing of views and opinions."

"Remember, non-awareness of something should be admitted with politeness. It is okay to not know something!"

"If at any point of time, you could show that your approach is flexible the world is yours."

"It is better to say 'No' than to bluff around. Those interviewing are highly experienced persons and know much better than us."

"If the question put is not clear to you, politely ask for more information. It is not the factual knowledge but your views which are on test in the interview."

"Always observe interview etiquette and be honest, polite, convincing an modest. Arrogance, rigidity, flicking round the issue should be avoided."

"When preparing for the interview, keep in mind that no Training institute can improve your personality! Some of these institutes can be helpful if they conduct Group Discussions and Mock Interviews"

"General Do's & Don'ts for the Interview:

  1. Be utmost respectful to the board. They are usually very senior and learned people.
  2. Have no biases for any Board . Don't go by any stories doing rounds in your campus corridors.
  3. Never make any sweeping statement
  4. Accept your mistakes boldly."

"Interview preparation does not require one to stuff oneself with facts, ability to analyse and to critically examine an issue is what actually counts."

"Speak honestly, truthfully and with modesty. Understand the questions before answering them and clarify the points if you did not understand them. Many a time what happens is that your answer is misinterpreted, so do not hesitate in clarifying it."

"Framing your own questions and answering them (especially recording them on to a tape and listening them) is a very useful technique, if you don't feel confident. Otherwise also it is extremely helpful in making a correct choice of words while answering a question."

"Reach the Exam centre well in time, so some deep breathing to maintain your cool and be charming during the interview."

"Interview preparation is not just a matter of a few days - your whole personality counts. Still you must acquaint yourself with your home State, district your college, your hobbies, general concepts of Public Administration, etc. also you can brush up the Mains GS material like Polity, Economy, History, etc."

"Interview is more of a psychological test than just content based. But along with good communication skills and self-confidence, good knowledge base gives you an upper hand."

"For the Interview read as many newspapers and as many magazine as possible. Discuss with your friends. Take mock-interviews. Try to find loop-holes in your arguments and plug them. Form your views on various subjects in a very logical and rational manner supported by data whenever necessary. Do not get nervous."

"Do not get nervous before the Interviews. Improve your communications skills by giving mock-interviews. These will also open you up. Ask your friends to grill you, so that you can face pressure from the Board easily."

"Always pause a bit before answering even if you know the answer. Do not give a hasty reply. Answer in an orderly and logical fashion an always look into the eyes of the interviewer while answering. Be polite and courteous."

"Don't be argumentative. Be consistent in your views, i.e. just don't change your views because of the fact that the Board is differing with you. Remember that they are only testing you and often even try to provoke you. Give balanced answers and avoid taking extremes."

"The most important thing to know about the Interview is that it is not a question-answer session and what they are looking out for is different aspects of one's personality. As far as possible, the answer given should reveal a particular aspect of one's personality and attempts should not be made to present a make-up appearance or politically correct answers. There is no harm in taking extreme views if one is able to justify them."

That is the complete compilation of all the tips on facing the interview provided by the IAS toppers. Now, finally, let us look at a sample study plan as suggested by an IAS topper…

Next - Preparing a study schedule! >>

<< Previous - How to prepare for the Mains Exam?

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Table Of Contents

  1. How to become an IAS/IPS officer? - Introduction
  2. Civil Services Exam - FAQ
  3. Pattern of Civil Services Exam
  4. How to prepare for the "Preliminary Exam"?
  5. How to prepare for the "Mains Exam"? - Part 1
  6. How to prepare for the "Mains Exam"? - Part 2
  7. What to do in the Interview?
  8. Preparing a study schedule!