The interview is a way to assess your personality and how you would fit into the role of a government officer. The maximum marks for the interview are 275. A score over 200 is considered a high score.
Interview according to UPSC is described as a process to assess the candidate’s suitability for a career in public service. The objective of the interview isn’t only about analysing your skills and abilities, but also assessing how well-rounded you are as a person; including analytical ability, lateral thinking logical decision-making etc. etc. You will be supervised by board observers who want nothing more than an unbiased judgement so they can find out if you are the right fit or wrong turn.
This test is intended to assess your mental calibre. In broad terms, this includes not only your intellectual qualities but also social traits and interest in current affairs; some examples are alertness (mental), critical powers for assimilation-clear & logical expression, and balance between judgmental capacity versus versatility.
The interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but is more of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation, which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
The interview is a long process that starts 2 weeks after the declaration of the main exam results. It takes place at UPSC headquarters, New Delhi and there are usually two slots per day: the Forenoon slot begins by 9 AM while the afternoon starts between 12 Noon to 4 PM.
The Interview Room: The board room is a space where decisions are made. The chairperson sits in the centre with other members seated two on either side, ready to take notes or ask questions when needed during an interviewing process.
The duration of the interview is typically 30 – 35 mins. The range of questions will include questions about your hobby and its practical application, Why do you wish to join the civil services? Your opinion on current or historic issues, questions about your education, optional subject, issues of your state, international relations, current affairs etc. They may also provide situation based questions and seek your opinion about them.
IQRA Institute runs an interview guidance programme “Get ready for your UPSC interview”. The programme starts in the first week of December, for the students who have given their mains exam in October month. This programme consists of 4 to 5 sessions, 2 mock interviews and a personal sitting session for the suggestions and tips.