Interview Demeanours: A Guide to Excelling in UPSC Interview

Interview Demeanours

UPSC Interview is the third and the final stage of the UPSC Civil Services Examination. It means that a candidate appearing for UPSC Interview has a fair chance of making it to the final list. Thus, it is advisable for the candidate to pay attention to some less talked about but really important spheres of UPSC Interview preparation so as to ensure final selection with a good rank.  

Demeanour is one area which is noticed quite closely by the Interview Board in order to judge your overall performance. However, this sphere of UPSC Interview preparation is very less talked about. This article of NEXT IAS aims to throw light on this area by discussing some of the most important elements of good interview demeanours to follow in UPSC Interview.

Dress Code for UPSC Interview

As you inch closer to your goal of becoming an IAS officer, it is the time to make the best and lasting impression on the Interview Board. The right attire sets the tone for a positive first impression.. Thus, it is important to understand and adhere to an appropriate Dress Code for the UPSC Interview.

The most recommended Dress Codes for male and female candidates are:

  • Males: A formal suit of dark colour such as navy blue or black, a formal and light coloured shirt, a necktie of a colour that complements your suit, and formal & well-polished shoes.
  • Females: Formal Indian attires such as Saree or Salwar Suit of light colour. 

Entering into the Interview Room

Knock the door, make a gentle push to open it partially, and then seek permission to enter the room. Once you have entered the room, greet the Interview Board with a polite Good Morning/Good Afternoon.

As you walk towards the Interview Board, maintain your body posture to exude confidence and composure. Make sure that your body posture does not reflect either nervousness or arrogance.

Greeting the Interview Board

As you reach near the chair, maintain eye contact with each member of the Interview Board and greet them individually with a warm smile on your face. This polite and respectful demeanour of yours will set a positive tone for the conversation ahead. 

Sitting Posture in UPSC Interview

Once done with the greetings, it’s time to take your seat. Ask for the Board’s permission before you take your seat. Throughout the interview, you have to ensure that your sitting posture reflects confidence, humility and attentiveness. 

Best posture to take is sitting upright with both your hands put on your thighs. However, care is to be taken that you don’t look stiff. At the same time, it is also to be noted that you don’t slouch at any point of time during the whole interview. 

Body Language in UPSC Interview

If not more, physical communication is as important as verbal communication when it comes to the UPSC Interview. In order to assess your personality, the Interview Board assesses various elements of your non-verbal communication. Some of the key elements of non-verbal communication that you should incorporate into your interview body language are:

  • Regular eye contact with each member of the Interview Board.
  • Appropriate facial expressions that complement the conversation going on at the moment. 
  • Smile on your face as much as possible. However, it has to be taken care of that your facial expressions must reflect seriousness and gravity when the situation demands so. 
  • Head nodding as and when necessary. However, care should be taken that it doesn’t become excessive as it might reflect nervousness. 

It is also to be noted that there are some things that you should NEVER DO during the UPSC Interview:

  • Crossing your legs – it shows disrespect to the Interview Board. 
  • Crossing your arms – it conveys that you are either anxious or resistant. 

Hand Gestures 

One should use appropriate hand gestures as per the need in order to enhance communication. However, it is to be noted that excessive or inappropriate use of hand gestures may be distracting for the Interview Board. So, the candidate is advised to make sparing use of hand gestures, which are subtle and purposeful. 

Please pay special care that while making your hand gestures you do not raise your hand above the shoulder level.

Coming Out of the Interview Room

As the interview concludes, you have one last opportunity to showcase your good demeanours. So, before you proceed to exit the interview room, thank the Interview Board for their time and the opportunity given to you. Now, proceed to exit the room with the same confidence and composure that you entered with. 

While opening and closing the door, make a gentle pull/push and ensure that it doesn’t create much sound. 

While knowledge remains undoubtedly the most crucial, one can enhance one’s interview performance by incorporating these tips in one’s interview demeanours. Overall, the key is to convey your confidence and humility through your verbal as well as non-verbal communication. 

We wish you all the best for your interview!


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