Here are 6 personality traits that will help you score 180+ in the UPSC Civil Services Exam Interview (or the Personality Test as it's actually called).
There is no “RIGHT” personality for the UPSC Interview. However, some traits are favoured more than others.
Ability to Prioritise
UPSC Interview is not a test of your knowledge. That was Mains.
The Interview is test of your ability to make use of that knowledge in real-time.
Example: Summarise Indo-US relations. Of the 100s of possible points, talk about the 5 important ones.
Willingness to Learn
You are not expected to know everything, but you are expected to know what you don't know,
Have an open mind to learn more about new ideas, even during the actual UPSC interview.
Example: You can say, "I don't know but I will read about this."
A flexible mind
That is capable of disagreeing without being disagreeable.
Take a reasoned stand but not at the cost of telling everyone else that their stand is wrong and that they are idiots for taking that stand.
That's not how you convince people.
We all have biases. It is hard to escape them.
Yet being aware of your biases is the first step on that journey.
Example: you made an incorrect statement during the interview, and admit to the same when you realise it.
Attention to Detail
As an IAS, you will be designing policies that impact millions of people.
Hence, having a keen eye for detail is a big plus.
Example: an ability to identify edge cases in a policy to reduce inclusion & exclusion errors.
Madhya Marga to Interview success
Don’t take extreme stands. There is a flipside to every situation and showing awareness of the other side helps.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t take a stand - what you need is a reasoned stand after considering all sides.
Bonus: Presence of Mind & Wit
If selected, you will be interacting with people daily. A quick wit & presence of mind can take you far, in service and in the interview.
However, this isn’t something that is developed in a day.
Finally, this is the first of an 8-part interview prep series.
You can read all of them here once published:
That's a wrap!