Tips to improve your performance at the IAS/UPSC Interview
There are generally 5 members at the board with the Chairperson seated at the center. Enter confidently and greet the Chairperson, who will probably welcome you, and pleasantly nod at other members. Wait till you are asked to sit.
Intelligent listing is the mantra, and for this maintaining eye contact is very important. You should not glare but all the same appear attentive and do not glance at other members, 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 - this is what we do in normal attentive listening.
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.
Listen very carefully. Come to the central issue of the enquiry immediately. Wild guessing or speculation are a complete no no.
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 without serious background in them, but before the interview it would be useful to pick up some basic info on the 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, not because you think everyone has asked a question. Similarly, even if someone has not asked a question and the chairperson asks you to leave then please leave. Some members do not ask questions at all, due to various reasons like limited time.
Before leaving politely thank the chairperson and nod at the others politely. Avoid saying "Have a good day sir". A "Thank you Sir/Madam" is enough