I am creating this thread for preparation for interview 2013.Here I am sharing my points based on my experience and wisdom.
The interview panel will usually consist of 5 members(including chairperson).Of them two members will be usually from academics.One of the academic member will be from science disciplines and another from social science disciplines.The rest two members will be usually from bureaucracy,one being IAS and another non-IAS(they may be retired or incumbent).
Please note that the interview panel doesn't have your main written score(source: Alagh committee Report).
-Get the info about academic and professional background of all upsc members from diverse sources(not from UPSC annual report only).The personality of the interviewer matters as much as that of the interviewee.You will get widely varying marks if you are interviewed by different boards at the same time on the same day.How to make sure that you get good marks irrespective of board?If you can anticipate many questions that are likely to be asked by any board.How to anticipate?Your anticipation should be based on your as well the chairperson's academic and professional background.Your answers to chairperson who will kickstart the show will set the tone of entire interview.You should speak with candour and clarity.
-Besides the chairperson,you don't know about other members.They will ask questions that might catch you off guard.They usually don't ask questions from the areas that you are not supposed to know.In case anyone asks,you can safely say "sorry" without losing marks.I was asked a question on architecture of a temple in my home state.The chairperson intervened by saying that "leave it,he is not a student of architecture).
-You can shape the interview by answering questions that might tempt the interviewer to ask certain questions from the areas you know very well. For example:my chairperson asked what are three most important challenges facing the country.I replied :socially,economically and environmentally unsustainable development 2nd internal security threat 3rd: hostile neighborhood.I was asked many questions from these areas that I could answer very satisfactorily.
-Have the definitional clarity about your academic disciplines and qualifications.I was asked by the chairperson "what is the difference between politics and political science."I have heard people being asked "difference between BE and B Tech.".
-Formulate your own viewpoints on the current topics of debate and discussion.
-Frame answers to some standard upsc interview questions like what should be the qualities of a good administrator,your role as a district collector etc.
-Identify the peculiarities in your detailed application form and summary sheet and frame your questions and answers.The chairperson holds the DAF and members hold your summary sheet.
-In coaching institutes during mock interviews,they will tell a lot of things about body language and manners you should adhere to.All these things hardly matter inside the real trial room.As soon as I entered the room I found three lady members including chairperson interspersed by two male members.I couldn't decide how to wish them.I wished one by one,mistakenly addressing "sir" as "madam" and the vice versa.I also did some mistakes while thanking them before I departed.But I got 189 marks.
-Don't overemphasize your get-up.That also hardly matters.I decided not to wear a neck tie at the last moment in the UPSC latrine,just 10 minutes before I was called.But I would not suggest others to do the same.
-Never appear overconfident about anything.Being a bit nervous is usual as well as good.
-Though your answers as well as your body language,all through your interview present yourself as a composed,judiciously decisive,amiable,sociable ,responsible and responsive person.
I would say UPSC interview is highly rewarding experience for a well prepared candidate. You will enjoy it a lot
As soon as you see your roll no on upsc site,unwind yourself a bit and get down to preparation soon after that.
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