Khushaal Yadav Rank – 28 CSE-2014: Demystifying Interview

Khushaal Yadav, who passed out from AIIMS in 2014, has cleared UPSC civil services exam in his first attempt and secured 28th Rank. He says he benefited from InsightsOnIndia website during his preparation. He will be sharing his strategy for this exam with you. In the below article he has shared his views on Personality Test conducted by UPSC. He is awarded 201 in the Personality Test.  

Demystifying the Personality Test

Khushaal Yadav, Rank – 28, CSE-14

The UPSC has finally disclosed the interview and mains marks. More than 775 in mains and over around 175 in PT (Personality Test/Interview) is must for harboring any hopes of getting in the administrative services. Of course, there could be outliers who will defy any sort of analysis.

Mains is straight forward Read and Revise and Presentation (More on MAINS later)

Back in the graduation days we used to have theoretical exams and practicals including viva-voce. It was then that I realised the importance of the ‘Interview Skills’. It goes without saying that one needs to have a respectable knowledge of the content before presenting ones viewpoints, but there are certain skills and a particular attitude that can go a log way into making the PT one of your strong areas.

I did not do great in the content aspect, meaning my answers were not extraordinary but being well prepared mentally and being presentable helped me score 201 and make the cut. It compensated for a below par 782 in the Mains that I managed.

State of Mind-

This is perhaps the most important part. Make or break. It would determine your rank, your service , cadre,  everything related to the UPSC CSE

It is the most essential aspect in that you are being tested for your communication, presentation, thinking, reasoning skills which are sine qua non for a prospective Officer.

Get into that frame
Imagine you are already in the job. Say, you are in a meeting with hot-shots , or addressing a Press Conference. How would you act then? This is in brief what your PT is all about. To express yourself directly, soundly, and convincingly.

The Skills take time
One does not become an orator overnight. It requires great deal of patience, practice and proper guidance. It is true for any other field. Getting into a proper shape- physical or mental is time consuming, but its a frame of mind worth getting into.

 

Simple Exercises
1)IMAGINE yourself to be into the fabled corridors of the UPSC and being escorted to the interview board. Anticipate it. The walk, the churning of the gut, that rush, that chill down the spine.
2) Mirror, mirror! Tell it all!! 
Practice speaking before a mirror. Write down  questions on a chit and draw them randomly.Think for some time, formulate your thoughts, get the necessary phrases, anticipate the possible counter questions that might follow and respond in a calm, controlled and confident manner.
3) Summarise– after reading say an article of the HIndu or the IE, close your eyes and try to summarize it in say a 100 words, recapitulate the key words. This helps not only in memorisation but also helps to avoid verbosity and brings about brevity in the responses, a desirable trait in an officer.
4) V-LOGS – Alternatively, you could record yourself and analyse the clip later, with or without friends. This helps to identify Gestures( facial/bodily), Slips of tongues, stock-phrases, Beating around the bush, tone, pitch, pace, etcetera.
An indispensable exercise to master the movements of the tongue and make them fluid, seamless and purposeful.
5) Learn from the best Turn to presenters from the BBC, Al- jazeera, CNN; world leaders- Barack Obama, PM Modi ji, Putin, Cameroon; Speakers who have honed the craft of story telling. This is in short what it is. Telling them a tale and keeping them spell-bounded. Additionally, this helps you to stay abreast with the changes in the world, to say the least.

Some Useful Resources for Interview Preparation:

The usual suspects-

RSTV, LSTV

Akashvani AIR-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdwm5QNss1TpY_whBkql0dw

Al jazeera English-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNye-wNBqNL5ZzHSJj3l8Bg

Big think-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvQECJukTDE2i6aCoMnS-Vg

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiCPv2sV_D3FqMRzzUFA2Fg

BBC NEWS-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC16niRr50-MSBwiO3YDb3RA

Big History Project –

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQsm_PPL5jZhcuoowPZDQA

Centre for strategic and international studies-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr5jq6MC_VCe1c5ciIZtk_w

CGP grey-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2C_jShtL725hvbm1arSV9w

CNN

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCupvZG-5ko_eiXAupbDfxWw

Council on foreign relations-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL_A4jkwvKuMyToAPy3FQKQ

Crash Course-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX6b17PVsYBQ0ip5gyeme-Q

DD news

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKwucPzHZ7zCUIf7If-Wo1g

Indian Diplomacy

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJyP-OtuzlRV-r-3vR9qQTg

IDSA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPchKmESOEs6XvhPYYS1s8w

Journeyman Pictures-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM2YmsRUeIbRkqjgNm0eTGQ

Nature video

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7c8mE90qCtu11z47U0KErg

Nat Geo-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpVm7bg6pXKo1Pr6k5kxG9A

Online Communication Skills Training-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Zb02pmVD2VA7lnx8mV4gw

Online Spoken English Course-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4Ue98XJi_0-sWFOwbWBkzQ

Observer Research Foundation-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOZnql2gYgsIvnc-8-7DmcQ

PIB –

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGn6a5SI8SNlj7WylmPD6GQ

PMO India-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDS9hpqUEXsXUIcf0qDcBIA

PRS legislative-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLz-5KdjrNZGdenYfIvt-dw

Shashi Tharoor-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1At8WvjglVCC8TfSXit9Bw
Talks at Google-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbmNph6atAoGfqLoCL_duAg

TED –

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAuUUnT6oDeKwE6v1NGQxug

The Economist-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0p5jTq6Xx_DosDFxVXnWaQ

The NYT-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqnbDFdCpuN8CMEg0VuEBqA

Upcoming PostWhat NOT to do in the Interview??

His Personal Blog

  • Learner

    Thank You sir.. Thank you Insights..

  • vani

    Sir. Thanks a lot. kindly share your questions and the answers you replied, so that we will get an better idea about PT.

  • Deep

    Thank you Sir.
    The detailed analysis of different aspects of the personality test. Just Great!!!

    All the very best.

  • madhu

    Thank you Sir

  • CS Aspirant

    Thanks a lot sir….eagerly waiting for your upcoming posts….

    All the best for your future…

  • nd77

    Wow brilliant. I am proud to have an IFS officer like you for India. You will certainly do our country proud. Thank you for sharing insights and all the Best..!

  • shobha ranganathan

    Thanks sir

  • Arjun

    he prepared for 4 years before his first attempt. Brilliant

    • Abhishek Kumar

      he is 2014 batch passout (2009-2014)

      • Arjun

        According to Insights Kushaal Yadav, who passed out from AIIMS in 2009……
        Read the first line again

        • Abhishek Kumar

          i know him more than INSIGHT 🙂 actually he joined AIIMS in year 2009

        • He passed out in 2014. It was our mistake. It is corrected now.

          Between, it doesn’t matter when he/she passed out or how many years he/she took to achieve success. It takes lots of hard work and guts to reach where he has reached. Appreciate this fact. Cynicism and sarcasm won’t help you much.

          • Arjun

            It wasn’t sarcasm sir. As someone in service though not with a good rank (irts) it was meant as appreciation to the dedication that years of hard work finally shows and nobody should lose hope. It might take a year for some and many years for others yet if someone is consistent it pays off.
            Cynicism and sarcasm was no where implied. 😛 😀

          • Danish

            Sir i am a follower of your site and highly appreciate your motivation. But scolding an aspirant with such harsh words is not right. what sarcasm sir? he was appreciating the topper’s achievement

          • mpk

            Vinay Sir, I am very much afraid about my optional though I had taken coaching for it…The main reason is,my optional is Public Admin and because many people are saying that it has been scaling for past 3 years…which I don’t know while taking it…Also,none of the Toppers in the interviews you had posted had taken that optional…it made me more fearful….

  • dona

    thaku so much sir..

  • Diehard Insight Fan

    Thank u sir for writing here…Congratulations for ur success..Plz upload your interview transcript here. Thank u INSIGHTS….