Civil services personality test

Civil services personality test

In spite of attractive pay packages and flamboyant life styles offered by private sector, over one lakh aspirants every year compete for the prestigious civil services exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) with a passion to contribute to nation building. The results of civil services exam are just out and aspirants have started recouping for the final stage of selection i.e.

In spite of attractive pay packages and flamboyant life styles offered by private sector, over one lakh aspirants every year compete for the prestigious civil services exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) with a passion to contribute to nation building. The results of civil services exam are just out and aspirants have started recouping for the final stage of selection i.e., the personality test.

It is so called because, unlike any other interview, which more often tests a candidates knowledge, UPSC personality exam on the other hand tests a candidate holistically viz., his attitude towards civil services, views on specific current issues, details about home state etc., in other words it is a friendly improvised conversation and as per many analytical questions, there are no absolute correct or incorrect answers.

The personality test generally starts with the candidate entering the room where the board assembles. A UPSC member will be the Chairman of the board. After following the requisite etiquette, the interview board normally tries to make the candidate comfortable with simple questions related to the candidate’s journey to the place of interview, his qualifications, his background, present occupation if any, etc. The board then delves into other aspects like contemporary happenings at the national and international level.

  • The candidate should be well versed with local, national and international events. The questions could range from specific international developments like combating terrorism-Islamic State (IS), America’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan to China’s Maritime Silk Route and its impact on the economy of various countries. The focus should be on economics at the international level viz. IMF, WTO, and environmental concerns.
  • Specific India related issues and its foreign policy shift to enlighten national interest could figure in the interview. For example, India’s role in protecting Indian professionals and workers living abroad.
  • National issues include alternative politics, freedom of speech and expression, and legislature-judiciary confrontation can be expected.
  • The questions could also range from a candidate’s choice of optional subject in civil services exam to the subjects he studied at graduation level. If the candidate is pursuing any occupation or higher education, questions may be expected on the nature of job and why he wants to move to civil services etc. Situation based questions may be asked viz .,if made finance minister what steps will you take to dig out black money ,disaster management skills during disasters, communal riots, corruption related issues etc.
  • Questions could be based on service priorities put up by the candidate in the detailed application form (DAF). Sufficient time should be devoted to gather necessary information about past educational institutions, renowned personalities from their native place, historical and social data of native district etc. (For candidates from Andhra Pradesh concentrate on Amaravathi and capital region development authority and for candidates from Telangana concentrate on developmental prospects) Above all, personality traits of the candidate are keenly watched. The body language speaks more than words. Care should be taken to get best personality out on the day of the interview.
  • The hobbies mentioned in the DAF should be thoroughly focussed and in depth questions are expected from it. This being an often neglected area, sufficient care should be taken to know the fundamental concepts related to the hobbies
  • mentioned, be it a sport, music, philately or even reading books. If there are any breaks in education or
  • career, well thought answers should be prepared to explain the relevant lull periods.
  • The board will appreciate honest and non-adamant attitude. If you want to differ with board’s opinion, say it firmly with politeness. The candidate should avoid criticising the government. He however can put forward his own suggestions with proper substantiation. Stress test sometimes could push a candidate to a corner. The board could create deliberate stress situations to judge candidate’s reaction under unforeseen circumstances.
  • Also, one may consider attending few mock interviews organised by standard coaching institutes’. While all aspirants work hard, the winner is generally the one who gives value addition to the answers with presence of mind. The base of every answer should lie on the ideal of social justice.
  • One's attire on the interview day should make the candidate comfortable physically and mentally. Generally candidates feel that their English (or of any other regional language) should be of very high standards. As a result, they are misled and indulge in flowery language with unnecessary complexity .The stress however, should be on simple words so as to convey one’s own opinion in an effective way.
  • Confidence plays an important role in the interview. Non-verbal gestures like eye contact, nodding head, and moving your hands to express yourself should be well balanced. Frequent moving of legs should be avoided at any cost.
  • On the whole, it is an effort which is worth all the hard work at the end. Having good night's sleep before the interview day , reducing stress by pleasant morning walk, reading the news paper on a daily basis(preferably two national newspapers) are essential. Finally, the goal should be to present your ‘best personality’ on the day which will be a memorable experience forever.

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Here are important areas which a candidate must brush up before appearing for the personality test

1. Increasing NPA’s (non-performing asset). Mechanisms already exist, what are the steps to be taken by the banks to reduce the mounting NPA’s

2. Make in India. How make in India would improve investments into the country and boost the Indian economy

3.Digital India, National Optical Fibre Network, challenges associated with implementing digital India, Utility of Digital India

4.Smart cities, Is India ready for Smart cities. International

collaboration in building these smart cities

5. Infrastructural bottle necks. Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyothi Yojana, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Pradhana Mantri Sinchai Yojana, Inland water ways, ports, rail connectivity to the last mile etc

6. Insurance penetration. Insurance bill, increasing of FDI in insurance sector, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyothi Bheema Yojana.

7.Last mile financial inclusion. MUDRA Bank

8.Soil Health Card Scheme.

9.Eighty years of RBI. Role of RBI. Its major achievements. Challenges ahead.

10. Demographic Dividend, Demographic Deficit. National Skill Development policy

11. Financial Inclusion JAN DHAN YOJANA and its impediments

12. Women Empowerment, Women Reservation Bill, Beti Bachao Beti padao, Reasons for adverse Sex Ratio, Sukanya Samruddi Accounts, Project HIMMAT in Delhi, violence against women.

13. Freedom of Speech and Expression, Banning of India’s daughter documentary, Striking down Section 66-A of IT Act, Perumal

Muragan’s Madhuro Bhagan issue, AIB Roast issue, Sanjay Barua’s The Accidental Prime Minister etc.

By:Mallavarapu Bala Latha

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