Even though the interview carries 275 marks with no minimum qualifying marks, it could be the deciding factor at many times of you being in the merit list or getting the service your choice.
However, since the interview is so personal and variable, extra preparation is required for this crucial test. So take your personality development seriously and make sure to attend some mock interviews at the leading coaching institutes.
The Civil Service Interview is held in the UPSC Office at Dholpur House, New Delhi. There are multiple boards' headed by a chairman and other members.
The list of board being faced by individual interviewees is given out at the time of declaring the dates of the interviews.
The interview questioners is given to you at the time of your interview or personality tests. So candidates are however advised to go as early as possible as lengths of interview are not fixed and your turn may come before you expected.
The UPSC interview board marks are not disclosed immediately but come with the final results.
The civil service examination interview result, along with the marks of the mains exam can determine your rank for allotment of the IAS and other services.
The minimum interview marks are fixed at 45. You cannot get less than that but to get a good ranking for a better service allotment, one should strive to get at least 200 and above marks. The interview marks are very important in getting the coveted IAS.
There are generally 5 members at the board with the Chairperson seated at the centre. Enter confidently and greet the Chairperson, who will probably welcome you, and pleasantly nod at other members. Wait till you are asked to sit.
Listening patiently and maintaining eye contact with the board members is the mantra to get good marks in the interview. You should not glare at the board members but at the same appear attentive. While answering do not glance at other members, as it can be very distracting for the interviewer. However if some other member asks you anything, look at that member and answer and turn back to the first.
Do not fidget or throw your hands around, or shake your head. Less amount of movement does not mean you should sit unnaturally stiff. Your posture should be attentive and relaxed at the same time do not crouch/bend forward or place your hands on the table.
Cut your answer short to the required patience shown by the member talking to you. They usually like to talk more, so listen carefully and think for a few seconds before you start answering the question. This will show that you are organising your thoughts in mind before starting to speak.
Leave some room for difference in opinion. Do take a stand, but do not look adamant or unwilling to appreciate the board's opinion.
Use couple of words from the question while answering any question. It shows you have listened to the question carefully. But at the same time limit the use the technical jargon.
Come to the central issue of the question immediately. Do not make wild guessing or indulge in speculation.
Do not start evaluating your performance while still in the interview. Even if you have committed mistakes in the beginning, do not think that you have already lost the game. They are looking for warm, sensitive respectful and attentive youngsters. They know you are good or you would not have come so far.
Talk humbly about your achievements and hobbies. You may have mentioned some hobbies in the form that you have filled so before the interview it would be useful to pick up some basic information on your hobby.
Say less to convey more. Less is more these days as per the minimalist creed. Argue logically and generalise correctly. Do not try to read too much between the lines. Remember, while answering any question, what is easy to see is easy to miss. We often tend to miss the obvious and go for some non-crucial aspect of the subject. Get up to leave only when the chairperson asks you to do so. Similarly, even if someone has not asked a question and the chairperson asks you to leave, then please leave. Some members may not ask questions at all, due to various reasons and this should not bother you.
Before leaving, politely thank the chairperson and nod at the others members politely. Avoid saying "Have a good day sir". A "Thank you Sir/Madam" is enough.