What are the common mistakes students are likely to make during IAS interview?


Before coming to the Interview location in Dholpur house, one must visit the venue before the interview date so that no mishap takes place on the day of the interview. Prefer a comfortable vehicle to reach to the destination even if it may be expensive.

Try to arrive at interview location at least 15-20 minutes earlier than the interview schedule mentioned in the UPSC call letter. Those who live in Delhi may not have much problem in arriving at the interview location, which is the UPSC building known as Dholpur House, located at Shahjahan road, New Delhi, as they must be familiar with this famous place. Those who are coming from far off places to attend the interview should plan their journey in such a way that they reach the city sufficiently in advance. Before arriving at the interview location, ensure that you have the following items, which will be required during the interview process: Interview call letter, all educational certificates, mark sheets and testimonials in original as well as their photocopies, your passport size photographs (3-4 copies), a folder/portfolio bag to keep the above items, etc.. After reaching the venue of the interview, contact a person at the reception/UPSC gate who will let you know to whom and where you have to meet to complete the pre-interview activities.

Common Mistakes Before and During Interview

Candidates may commit some mistakes during the interview process inadvertently or out of habit. Some mistakes can have significant impacts on the interview, the outcome of the interview and marks.

Mistakes can creep at various levels:

· While creating the first impression.

· While the board probes you and questions you.

· While the board scratches you to bring up your inside, you may tend to become contradictory.

· Your habits, which you have acquired over time and have got cemented, overpowers over what you have to present.

Some mistakes may not appear to be significant in the first instance, but all such mistakes count up and reduce your chance of being successful. Even if they subtract 5-10 marks that you were likely to get, this may become significant in getting the service of your choice, the cadre or anything. You can follow the following guidelines to protect yourself from such mistakes.

Mistake Students Make Before Interview

Wait for the Mains results and then decide to prepare for the interview, as if they can transform their personality and perspective in a week or a month. Some candidates may bring about a cosmetic change in their personality, but with the attendant danger that if they are probed, they will reveal it inadvertently. The excuse that the students give for not preparing for the interview is that it is just out of 275 marks and Mains were for 1750 marks. But remember, finally to qualify for IAS, and to become a topper, the interview marks are very crucial as the Interviewer decides whether you are fit for going ahead to join the services or that you should be cut to size.

Spend most of the time understanding yourself, and expanding your knowledge base. In this context, there are two things that are to be considered; one, knowledge is not the only facet of your personality, attitude and perspective can be as much significant; two, the students forget that their knowledge has already been tested in the Mains Exam. Interview is about your personality and every facet that makes your personality-empathy, perception, perspective, communication, balance of judgments adherence to constitutional values and……many more.

During the Interview

Do not brag about your qualities too much

The more you appreciate yourself, the less you get appreciation. Let your qualities speak about you themselves. It may happen that if you brag about your qualities too much, based on your DAF, it will raise expectations of the interviewers and they would evaluate you against those raised expectations, which can be really disastrous for you at the end.

Do not bluff

Do not bluff the board or tell a lie at any stage of the interview. In cross checking, it will be revealed and not only will it go against you, you will be summarily rejected.

Do not criticize

If you are already in job (govt. or private) or are selected in allied services do not criticize your present employer/organization. Similarly, there should not be any criticism of your academic institution or persons related to it. In fact, criticism of any type is taken as a negative approach and is not appreciated. Ethically, you cannot criticize anything in this world.

Do not be judgemental

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Do not take a regional or local perspective or make your opinion on that

Taking a hard core regional/religious stand in the interview shows a sectarian vision, a narrow perspective, and a blinkered vision. The requirements of UPSC now are to select someone with a nationalistic disposition, global and multidimensional perspective and an open, eager mind having a high degree of receptivity.

Do not show any restlessness

Do not show any type of restlessness even if your interview is not proceeding on the line of your expectation. Try to reset the situation according to your expectation and by your strength. If you can try to be as normal as you can, recollect your calm, accept your limitations and move as per your strength. If you cannot, they themselves would do; you must have enough patience. They sometimes check your mindfulness and patience during unfavorable and tough times. So take it in stride.

Do not show any desperation

Do not give any indication, either verbal or non-verbal, that you are very much desperate for this career and that you are the best candidate suited to this job. Desperation of any kind is not liked. If you do well in the interview, you will be offered the position.

Learn to say no in varied ways

You can always give an answer in negative, saying that you do not know, but do not repeat this line too often, if you do not know the answer. Remember, there are several ways of saying no, rather than only one way.

Avoid Negative body language

Your body language determines the first chemistry that you develop with the board. As in any other circumstance, this is the first step towards having a good interview. While adopting positive body language is important, it is equally important to avoid negative body language during an interview. No one tries to have a negative body language, sometimes they are not aware of a negative body language. Consequently, a guard is required for any negative body language. Taking guard against negative body language is required because in many cases, body language emerges from one’s subconscious mind. Therefore, you are required to know negative body language so that you can take precautions against them. In general, there are some aspects of body language, which are negative and may emerge unknowingly.

1. Playing with one’s hair,

2. Touching or rubbing chin or nose frequently,

3. Biting nails,

4. Pulling or tugging of ear,

5. Rubbing back of head or neck,

6. Moving palm on the table top,

7. Many inappropriate body gestures and postures like looking at the interview room decoration or other eye-catching elements, avoiding eye contact, putting hand on the table, putting back on the chair in relaxed manner, waving foot, hands clasped behind back, palms closed, etc. give impression of a lackadaisical approach.

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