The UPSC has finally disclosed the interview and mains marks. More than775 in mains and over around 175 in PT is must for harboring any hopes of getting in the administrative services.
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.
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, Catch-phrases, Beating around the bush, tone, pitch, pace, etcetera.
An indispensable exercise to master the movements of the tongue and bosy 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-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
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
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
Journeyman Pictures- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM2YmsRUeIbRkqjgNm0eTGQ
Nature video- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7c8mE90qCtu11z47U0KErg
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