Interview Preparation

As I outlined in my other post , I attended mock in 2016 at as many places as I could since I was nervous. My experience was mixed. On one hand it made me comfortable with the interview process but on the other hand I became too conscious of myself. I scored 173 finally in B S Bassi Sir’s board. In 2017, since I was undergoing training at NPA, I didn’t have much time to prepare and mocks. So I gave just one mock. I still scored same marks i.e. 173 in Bhonsle Sir’s board.

In nutshell, My opinion is that you should give at least 3-4 mock interviews properly

Regarding preparation

  • I started reading two-three newspapers 2-3 week after mains – The Hindu/Indian Express+Livemint/Business standard/Economic times+HT/ToI.
    • I use to jot down important news from these papers either in evernote or in a notebook.
  • Your DAF. Each and every word should be carefully pondered over. Prepare possible questions on it.
    •  For example – “Ambassador of Change award for social service”. Possible questions could be about ambassador car, the post of ambassador, type of changes, etc. I know I am stretching it a bit too far but you never know what a interviewer think of after looking at a certain word
    • Another example – My hobby is photography.  So they asked me “You do photography? What Kind? Why not wildlife? What equipment you would need to do wildlife photography?”
  • General question
    • Why do you people want to join IAS and what will be your choice if you’re getting IPS again and why?

What happens?

  • It is a 25-30 min interview with 5 board members.
  • The chairman starts the interview and after 4-5 mins asks one of the members to carry on.
  • There may or may not be a psychologist. One can’t guess.


  • This is a test for your personality and not knowledge. But as Ayush Sir has said in one of his videos – what may be knowledge for you may be personality for UPSC board member. For example – They may ask who is CDO of your district? What is the literacy rate of your district? If you don’t know answer to these basic yet crucial questions then you are in a bad soup. It reflects bad on you that as a person interested to be in public service and who is expected to be well versed with general knowledge of things around him doesn’t know even this much.
  • You are not expected to know answers to all the questions
  • Always smile. While entering, while answering, even if you don’t know the answer, while leaving. Shows a pleasing personality
  • Be humble – Like a cow. You are not perfect and can never be. Accept your weakness. Also start practicing use of “sir”
  • Be prepared to say No if you are not sure of an answer. In my opinion a No is a better answer than “I think it could be” or “I guess”.
  • Work on your communication skills- especially if you have a habit of using filler words like – “you know”.
    • You can video record yourself and analyse it
  • Candidates who’ve gotten into arguments with the board have seen their marks reduced.
    • dont correct a board member
    • don’t be anti establishment
  • Selected aspirants usually hover around 55-70%. But there are always exception.
  • Ask for “May I sit down” if not asked to.
  • No answers in binaries – yes/no – unless very sure? for e.g. – you wasted a seat at IIT?
  • Try to use ‘our country ‘ or ‘our nation ‘ as many times as possible
  • Voice level should be sufficient to make it hear to everyone
  • Appropriate answer and not correct answer is required
  • Always take a position that administration would take
Strategy articles that I’ve referred to
Transcripts collection I’ve referred to

Evernote collection – It also contains notes on Rajasthan, Delhi, electrical engineering, forestry, physics etc

Rajasthan related material besides Evernote

Rajasthan Adhyan (1-4)


Other related material


All the best!


One thought on “Interview Preparation

  1. Yes. Not all notes mentioned in table of contents are shared. Idea here is to give a glimpse and base for how the notes can be structured.

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