General Guidance


The IAS exam or the Civil service exams are one of the toughest exams conducted by the UPSC in the country. It needs utmost dedication, clarity and commitment towards this prestigious exam. Here are some tips for you to follow.

  • First, you must become familiar with the UPSC pattern and the syllabus of the IAS exam and accordingly schedule your own preparation. This you have to do much before the filling up the form to write the exam. You can commit to take the exam only after you have acquired certain grip over the syllabus and the pattern of the exam.
  • Preparing the syllabus threadbare and solving old question papers is a must, but not an end in itself to clear the IAS exam. Hard work is essential for preparation but should be in the right direction and aimed at mastering the UPSC exam syllabus. You must gear your preparation and implement your study schedule after giving considerable thought to the pattern of the UPSC exam.
  • Civil Services exam is not a short term process, in fact it is a yearlong cycle that completes the three tired exam. Most of the times just one attempt is not enough, so you must be prepared to take a call on the number of attempts you may like to dedicate to this exam.
  • In such case, it is essential for you to set your target time frame of getting through the IAS exam and accordingly follow your preparation regime with outmost dedication.
  • The UPSC exam schedule is stretched for a long period stress is something that is bound to grip you during preparation for the exam. To overcome it you must indulge in fun activities with friends and family and also by following some active sport. This will keep you rooted through the tough times preparing for the IAS exam.
  • Civil Services exam preparation is a continuous process and it is important to stay motivated all through the exam process. No one can stop you from achieving the goal of becoming an IAS officer, if you have the zest and the zeal do so, and you honestly prepare to for this coveted UPSC exam.

“It Is difficult to succeed in Civils”

It is a common syndrome – and opinion of many a competitors. It is only a misconception. Hard work and dedication are important. Mostly the candidate collects lot of material available on the subject. But he fails to understand what UPSC expects from them. Without proper understanding there is no use in collecting information. He will not be in a position to read it and keep it in a proper method for digestion. They worry mostly about the material which they do not read. Better take the advice of seniors friends & lecturers. Select good books. Constant reading, understanding what is read, communication skills (written & oral) are important. Knowledge of the subject helps in preliminaries and effective communication helps in personal interview and to gain command over the subject.

Allot more time for optionals :

Daily 15 hours study is suggested. Since more number of marks are allotted for general studies, 60% time is to be allotted for them If the preliminary optional is selected for main optional also preparation will be easy. Have a thorough study on the different concepts in the syllabus. Follow your own methodology to study and memorize. To get more marks in General studies one has to read standard books two to three times. Have a time frame accordingly. Allot time slots for revision also.

In the prelims –General studies, current affairs are vital. Reading of news papers will help. Analyze yourself which is good or bad. While reading the news, frame questions in mind. The main concept of optional is to be studied minimum 10 times for total understanding. Read the previous question papers so that you can have a through knowledge. When you complete preparation for optional, practice many number of model papers with in the time frame of UPSC exams. It gives an idea to analyze your strengths and weakness, as well as speed in writing.

Selection of optional is also vita. Based on individual aptitude and information available, it is to be chosen. When you choose optional at least two years preparation is needed. Do not get bored. Love the subject. Preparation for Civils is like a marathon race. to win over one shall have dedication, love for things and patience.

Suggestions :

  • Make it a habit to read quickly – 12 to 15 pages in an hour.
  • If you can answer 85 to 90 questions in prelims General Studies, you are sure to win. Try this line.
  • Do not get disheartened. There are people who did not succeed even after 5 yrs preparation.
  • Do not loose hopes if you fail in first attempt.
  • Have complete knowledge about the various Government committees and reports submitted by them.
  • Get relaxed when you feel fatigue.

These are only tips. Have your own method to prepare Good Luck.

Books to Read :

While preparing for the examination for jobs and personal interviews it is your choice to read different books and journals. It depends upon the resources you have and the library facilities you have in your Town/City/Office. General Knowledge books are plenty in market. Manorama year Books and India 2013 (Published yearly by publication division) have lot of information. Lot of career oriented Magazines besides Employment news in English and Rozgar samachar in Hindi and Yojana (Published by publications Division, Govt. of India a monthly in English, Hindi, Telugu and other languages) are available. The issues contain lot of useful material for candidates appearing for competitive examinations.

Maintain a Note Book :

Take a note book of 200 to 300 pages. Allot 10 pages for each section and go on jotting down notes on different subjects.

Chapters can be:

1. Current topics

2. Parliament.

3. International Matters.

4. Literature (Regional).

5. Science & Technology.

6. Sub oriented matters.

7. National Awards.

8. National Sports & Games.

9. Governors of different states.

10. Central Ministers and so on.

Minimum time you have to prepare vigorously is 3 months (90days). During the period read important National dailies. In English /Hindi/Regional languages and go on updating the information. Salient points are to be noted down. On 31st December of every year chronology of events will be published. Keep a copy of it for reference.

Editorials :

Make it a habit to read Editorials of main English dailies – Hindu/New Indian Express/ Times of India/ Hindustan Times etc. Note down the major points discussed in the editorial. Similarly in the edit pages articles b eminent writers appear in different issues. They include articles by Mr.Inder Malhotra, Prem Bhatia, B.G. Vergheese, Kuldip nayyar, etc. Keep a watch on Sunday special articles. Reading is a habit. Depending upon your taste you can cultivate assimilating the information.

Listen to Radio :

With the advent of hundreds of channels on TV, All India Radio has become out dated. But the programs like spotlight broadcast at 9.15pm every day by Delhi station of All India Radio at national level, contain discuss in of current topics. At 9.30 pm on Sunday current affairs is broadcast. Listen to them to update your knowledge. Copies of the broadcasts are available at All India Radio. Obtain them if possible.

Journals :

Weeklies and fortnightly dealing with political matters publish items on current topics. Have a detailed note on the issues and jot down in your note book for ready reference before going to the emanation Hall/ Personal interview. Let us take an example.

  • Womens’s Reservation Bill in Parliament:
  • History of the introduction of the bill b different Governments.
  • Stand of different political parties
  • Passing of the bill in Lok Sabha in March 2010.
  • Future of the Bill still hanging.
  • Pros & cons.

Similarly you can list out 1 to 15 current topics and note sown the ponion of senior editors / seasoned politicians / leaders in parliament. While replying the question in Examination the opinion of eminent personalities if quote, is well taken. Avoid controversies. Be prepared to answer the typical questions – what your personal opinion?

The answer should be

  • Clear cut opinion on the subject.
  • So and so has objected / accepted. I agree with him/ I don’t agree.
  • Historical perspective.
  • Persons mainly associated with the subject.
  • Public Opinion.

Cultivate Writing Habit :

During the preparations make it a point to have a drill of writing mock examinations at your leisure time. It gives confidence, speed, thinking power, thought process, time consciousness. Start the exercise. On a particular Sunday have a good breakfast. Take the previous year question paper. Sit down tightly at the desk at 9am. Keep watching your pace of answering. Time allotted is Three Hours. Phase out time for all the questions. Go on writing as if you are in the examination hall. Don’t verify books, do the exercise once a month to know your strengths an weakness.

Check list

  • Verify the replies later. Find out the discrepancies by yourself.
  • Time allotted is 180 minutes. Last questions also shall have at least 10minutes time. So speed up
  • Give sub headings, and Main Headings.
  • Give quotations, statistics, facts and figures, pie diagrams

Leave 5 minutes for last minute revision.

Examination Hall – Points to Remember :

Spend 1st 3minutes to go through the question paper.

  • Read all the instructions at the top – time given, compulsory questions, choice given.
  • Select your choice questions.
  • Instructions to be followed. Hall ticket number to be written.
  • Give page number for answer sheets.
  • Put question number properly on the answer sheet.
  • Read the question carefully.
  • Find our the implications in the question.
  • Think for a while before start answering.
  • Indian ordnance factories service,Group “A” (Assistant works manager Non-technical)
  • Keep your mind cool.
  • Keep silence for at least an hour in advance.
  • Don’t watch T.V Serials.
  • Take light food.
  • Don’t strain yourself.
  • Avoid hurrying up to examination hall.
  • Reach the examination center 30mins in advance.
  • Go through the notes you have prepared
  • Check your pocket before invigilator checks.
  • Go to washroom 15mins advance.
  • Sit quit and calm in the examination hall – 10 min ahead.
  • Verify your Admit Card number and write down.
  • Don’t get nervous.
  • Don’t feel that question paper is difficult.
  • Don’t feel that questions are out of syllabus.
  • Feel that other candidates are also sailing in the same boat.
  • Space out answering schedule as per time available.
  • Check up answers at the last.
  • Leave last 5min for overall review.
  • Relax, Relax and Relax.
  • Start answering.
  • Watch the time
  • For 3hr duration – [5 questions.] Answer each question in 30 to 35mins.
  • Avoid last minute answering.
  • Go through the answers at the end for 10 minute.
  • Add last minute ideas at the bottom.
  • Visible hand writing.
  • Paragraph division and subheading.
  • Add questions / Facts & Figures.
  • Page numbering of answer sheets.
  • Avoid repetition of same matter in the subsequent answers.
  • Don’t write what all you know.
  • Write whatever is needed.
  • Do not pose your self as if you know everything.
  • Do not give statistics unnecessarily.
  • Use color pens to highlight.

Among the essay questions write the first question which you feel confident. Don’t write answers for the last two questions in a hurry. During the valuationyhour mediocre knowledge will be noticed. All pages ashall have sub headings, main headings. Example : Causes for French revolution.

1. Political 2. Religious 3. Social and 4. Economic causes.

These points may appear childish at your age. But keep a watch on all the points to be sure of your success in the examination.

Comparative Grading:

Answering all the questions well is not the criteria. The following points will be judged during evaluation by examiners. Comparative Grading / Highest score.
In the candidates are say 25000
Persons required for selection: 1000
Persons called for interview: 1: 2 ratio : 2000

So among the 25000candidates, persons with highest score will be called for personal interviews. Candidates with highest marks up to 2000th rank are selected for interview. In this scenario candidate has to impress upon the evaluators in such a way that his way of answering is the best.


  • Best presentation.
  • Analytical approach.
  • Reasoning
  • arguments on the both sides.
  • Good Beginning.
  • Neat closing Remarks.
  • Quotable quotes
  • Facts & Figures
  • Legible hand writing.
  • Approach to the subject.
  • Knowledge about the subject
  • References quoted.
  • Scientific thinking.
  • Minute details

While valuing the answers, marks will be awarded depending on the way of presentation. The candidate is judged by his answers. No direct contact is there between the candidate and the examiner. Normal practice is they will not go through word by word, sentence by sentence. The total approach his taken into consideration for essay questions and paragraph questions.

Positive Attitude

While attempting for a job do not be pessimistic. If You always think that you are unemployed your confidence will shake. Unemployment is a phase in your life and you shall be able to overcame that temporary phase. With positive attitude and through hard work one should attempt. Success reaches him.

Defeat & Fear

Fear is behind a defeat. Alexander did not loss hopes in conquering his enemies. Failure is a stepping stone for success. Confidence is more important. Confidence is more important in any walk of life. Efforts shall supplement confidence. If you start fearing you will be losing the opportunities. In case you are deeply immersed in personal failure and attempts, definitely you will not succeed. Failure and success are not in our hands. Not getting call letter and failure in interview is part of the game. One who attempts without any fear is sure to succeed.

Don’t be proud

In case your in the midst of a problem and in need of a help don’t feel shy to ask for help. Discuss the problem with them. In case you are indifferent, the opinion about may change. People around you in the society may be willing to help you in getting the job. Instead of proceeding with confidence request them for help. Identify the persons and make an earnest request for help

New skills

Acquisition of new skills will give you strength. People more intelligent and more qualified are competing with us. Do not for get the basic of fact. It is not easy to overcome them unless we acquire new skills required for the job – technical or academic. Learning more about the job and its requirements is most important. With the invention of computer knowledge the entire world is in a web. Acquire ore skills with ease. Be a student for ever. Acquisition of mere degrees from universities with high percentage of marks is not only the criteria, though it is essential. In competitive world your basic knowledge + something more will help.

Career planning

What is career? Occupational psychologists describe is as a ladder of occupations showing upward mobility. After completion of education one joins an occupation initially and moves up further throughout his employment. It can be from one occupation to the other or in the same job. The process is known as CAREER. Career planning is setting up an ideal and an appropriate career based on the course of studies. It shall commensurate with the basic aptitudes, personality traits, and work style and work preferences. It is again based on acquired skills,self confidence, adjustment level and emotional intelligence levels etc.

Steps in career planning

  • Gain better understanding of aptitudes intrinsic interest personality traits, selfconfidence, adjustment status and psychological hurdles affecting career.
  • Find out the career related aptitudes.
  • Discover occupations that match the course of studies and other competencies.
  • Know the people working in such careers.
  • Know the work preferences in such occupations.
  • Know the personality traits of facilitating such occupations.
  • Know other competencies needed in the work environment.
  • Visualize whether these adjustments will result in stress satisfaction.
  • In case of readjustment work out transferable skills.
  • Know your emotional intelligence levels.

The next step is to analyze compiled information about occupational options. It includes working environment and conditions training and other qualifications, advancement opportunities, advancement opportunities employment trends, future job out look. Compensation and other incentives. Decision making is another step. Taking the experience of a career counselor is important. Execute the career plan by undergoing the course of studies – taking effective steps.

If any readjustment is warranted is another step.Significant factors which play prominent role in career planning and development are to be understood. Aptitude are pointers for symptomatic performances. They determine the attainment levels as well as types of activities, every occupation requires different levels of aptitudes.

Importance aspects

Unique achievement
Long term involvement.

Personality patterns will also decide the selections choice. Balanced personality will go a long way in deciding the career matching. Extrovert personalities are preferred for jobs involving people in interactions. Introverts are considered in fewer interactions with people. Neurotic patterns in general are suited where quick actions are needed. In case the personality traits do not match with the job, it may lead to problems in execution. This personality measurement is done through personality inventories and projective techniques.

Confidence level

Lack of self confidence is the cause of failure. One may be successful in academic records but self confidenceis more pivotal. The quality of mind or spirit will enable the person to face difficulties. It is the indicator of self confidence. Generally lack of competence, physical disabilities, inferiority complex and negative attitudes are responsible for low confidence. One has to overcome this weakness in building up self confidence.

Interview preparation:

At Infosys, at most care is taken to ensure their main entrance gates are clean and tidy. Weekly checks are done to monitor the same. It is important to understand why such importance is awarded to something as basic as the entry points. According to the Infosys management, Infosys entry points are the first touch points for the customers, partners, suppliers, and prospects visiting their campuses. Hence, forming the right first impression take center stage. Similarly, resume is the first step in the long, daunting of finding a job and we want you to share similar thought about the same.

ZERO Size Resume:

ZERO Size is the new fashion statement. Female actors in the movie industry are going gaga over ZERO sixe, Zero size represents slim and trim. You need to remember that resume is not your auto biography. Resumes also have gone slim from slim form 4-5 page resumes to 1 page resume. Writing long, elaborate resumes are a thing of the past. Today employers/HR personnel don’t have time to read long resumes Large companies like Accenture, Infosys, Microsoft browse through more than a 1000 resumes to shortlist 1 candidate for job offer. Considering most of these companies run with skeletal thin HR teams there is very high likelihood they of time to browse through all resumes. Hence, writing a crisp & short “Zero size” is very important. In this chapter, we try and help you distil your experience into what we call KISS (Keep In Short and Salesy) approach. Anything more than a page is a BIG NO in a world that has moved from Test Cricket to T20.

Do you know?

Resumes on an average get about 15-20 seconds attention time.

Anatomy of Resume:

Consider resume like a self – advertisement. Think of yourself as the product you would be selling through this advertisement. While you don’t need to oversell, you need to capture all the USPs (Unique Selling Points) about yourself in the resume. Advertising as we all know is not a science. It is an art and here in this book we will help you master that art. It is all about branding yourself for a rewarding corporate career. You should use the resume as a way of differentiating yourself form the JANATA (CROWD). Employers need to feel compelled and attracted to call you for an interview liking at your resume.


This section of the resume should cover your first name & last name, address and contact details. With social networking like Linked In, Face book becoming popular there are multiple ways in which you can be contacted but you should avoid providing all the detail and stick to providing a contact number where you can he easily reached. You can provide the office desk number, if you are working and your company provides DID(direct inward dialing) facility and the call doesn’t land with the receptionist. Since, you are normally contacted during business hours, it is suggested to provide mobile number and personal email ID. You should also add a scanned passport photograph in the heading. Your need to find a job is much higher than the employer’s need to find you. So, it is very important to be easily accessible to the prospective employers / HR managers.

Did you know?

Amitabh bachan known for his rich & stellar voice was rejected by All India Radio when auditioned. He later went on to become superstar of Indian Bollywood.


This section needs at most care when writing the resume. It is better to drop this section from the resume if you are not clear about what specific job you are applying. A good objective is a way of telling the prospective employer your goals. We encourage using buzzwords and motherhood statements here ONLY when you are comfortable to deal with questions that mighty come up during the course of interview. Avoid ”copy – paste” objectives from sample resumes listed either in this book or elsewhere. How many of us have not used something like below while creating our resume for our first job.


This section forms the heart of your resume. For those who are applying for their first job you can always use the project experience from your Engineering/MCA. Experience should always be listed in reverse chronological order. Most recent experience should be listed first and then previous experiences. Experience should include the duration title, role in the organization/ project, size of the organization project, name of your employer city / country and accomplishments.


Interviewer: You have listed Oracle as your area of expertise Please take us through your experience working on Oracle.
Interviewee: Oh…. Is that in my resume? Aaahhh… Can I have a look at it?


Know every inch of your resume. Feigning ignorance about facts stated in YOUR resume puts a questions mark on your honesty and credibility.

Education/ Certifications :

This is the next most important element of the resume after experience and hence should appear after your experience. A lot of companies give importance to education background. Companies like Infosys would like to see distinction and above percentages (75%) all the way form secondary class (10th); while some IT companies only hire Engineers or MCAs for their software development division. Hence it is very important to capture the right amount of detail. You should specify the board/university, years of completion, percentage/ grade, and Special subjects. Committee also encourages you to club your certifications in the same section. Certifications like project management (PMI) or technical (Oracle, Sun, Microsoft) or any others should be captured under the same heading.

Did you know?

Beethoven was considered “hopeless” at composing music by his teacher. Rest is history.


This is last section of your resume and should have all the punch to attract the attention. You can talk about any publications, speakership, and any prizes won in sports In this section. For instance, Papers/ articles in magazines, journals, conferences should be listed here. You should also specify the conferences at which you have presented your paper. You should also capture the awards you have received in this section. Awards at company level or by external agencies provide the right ammunition to your resume.


Interviewer: Tell us about your achievements.
Interviewee: I have got double promotion when I was in class III to class VI


You should avoid quoting examples that are irrelevant or too old for someone to appreciate what you are saying.


References give credibility to your resume. You should include reference of your boss in previous/current organization, customer you worked with HR head or executive management staff in your previous/ current company. References need not be included in the resume to save space and restrict the resume to 1 page. You can either say “References available on request”.


You should avoid mentioning your salary details or your expectation from the new job in the resume. You can always keep this for a face to face discussion later. If the job Advt. You are applying for has clearly asked you to mention salary details then you don’t have a choice. Even then you can always make a brief mention in your cover letter.

Ability and Aspiration:

What are your abilities? For instance, if you are in software development field, are you up to date in your programming skills? Are you a java / J2EE resource with knowledge of what is latest in that space? Did you undergo trainings in Web Services, SOA, Rich Internet Applications? Are you certified in Java/J2EE architecture?

What are your aspirations? Are you currently with a small company and want to move a Multi National Company? Are you currently an Oracle developer and would like to work for Oracle directly? May be you are in a small town and would want to move to a big city like Bangalore or Hyderabad? is your aspiration to go to the USA and work there?

Definition of right job would depend on your ability and aspirations.

Great golfers don’t hit the ball with eyes closed but take time to consider exactly where they are going to hit the ball, taking into account how the contours of the course will affect the way ball will bounce and roll. In essence, it is called “walk the golf” course . In our parlance, it should be “talk to yourself” to understand our abilities and aspirations.

Self Analysis:

Before you attend an interview, you should perform self analysis of yourself. As a candidate applying for job, interview is a process of selling yourself to the company. You as the sales man should know your strengths and weaknesses very well.

How to know your strengths?

An easy way to assess your strengths is to think of those tasks that you excelled doing, those you enjoyed doing, those that were appreciated by others, those that gave you pride of achievement and inner satisfaction. It could be about organizing, fast decision making, planning, team building, innovation or ability to take pressure at work.

Few examples

Got 100 out of 100 in applied mathematics paper in my Engineering.
My paper on “ Project management in uncertain times” got selected for a conference in the USA.
First prize in Table tennis championship a college level.

Do it yourself:

Spend 10 minutes thinking of your strengths and write them down.
Now that you have jotted down your strengths and achievement, you should now take the next step of detailing them out by asking yourself the below questions.
How did you get involved?
What actions have you taken to nurture and improve the skill?
if you won prize in Table Tennis championship, this how you would go about analyzing the same.
How did you get involved.
I started playing TT when I was in my 7th class. I like the game very much. I enjoy playing TT and good a top sin serves.
What actions have you taken to nurture and improve the skill?
My dad saw my game in 10th class and put me under a coach. My game has immensely improved after that. My brother also plays good TT. Playing with him also has made me improve my game.

Do it yourself:

Spend 10 minutes analyzing your strengths and achievements as shown above
How to know your weakness? A weakness is something that you are not good at. These are those tasks that you tend to get defensive over and don’t have any interest in performing them. There is a sense of loss of confidence when performing them.
Few examples
Bad at time management
Poor at communication

Do it yourself:

Spend 10minutes thinking of your weaknesses and write them down.
Now that you have jotted down your weaknesses, you should now take the next step of detailing them out by asking yourself the below questions
What do you not like about the task?
What effort have you put in overcoming the above weakness?
If you are poor at time management, this how you would go about analyzing the same
What do you not like about the task?
Being a manager, I have meetings to attend and some of the meetings overshoots and I then end up reaching late for the other meeting I could also be that I get unscheduled requests to meet team members and address their problems or unexpected issue that need immediate attention.
What effort have you put in overcoming the above weakness?

I have now attended a course on time management. I send out the meeting agenda with discussion points in advance and requests the members to come prepared. I have asked my team members to meet me only during 1500hrs to 1700hrs of the day to discuss any problems, that way I get to focus on my work during test of the day

Do it yourself:

Spend 10minutes analyzing your weakness as shown above.

Common Sense:

Interviews are stressful situations and research shows that when you are under stress you tend to lose your common sense and answer even questions that are simple and easy to answer incorrectly. You don’t believe us. Take the below test and we ask you to perform the below steps before taking our interview questions. Assume you are facing an interview and you have to answer next questions “only” after you have answered the previous

Q1: What do you put in a toaster?
If your answer was BREAD then you obviously got in wrong. If your answer was bread, please move on. This questions was intentionally made easy. Like all interviews this also started with an easy one. We want you to relive your interview experience.
Q2: Say “Silk” five times. Now spell “Silk”. What do cows drink?
If you Said Milk then take a break before you take the next question.
Q3: There is a very tall coconut tree and 4 animals (Lion, Monkey, Giraffe, and Squirrel) . They decide to compete and find out who is the first to get a banana off the tree.
If you said Giraffe or MONKEY or Squirrel the answer is WRONG, LION is obviously also WRONG. Coconut three doesn’t have bananas.
Q4: If a red house is made of red bricks, blue house made of blue bricks, pink house made of pink bricks & black house made from black bricks. What is green house made from?
If you said GREEN, go watch a movie, read some jokes and come back. Green houses are made from glass. ALMOST everyone fails these tests, If you have answered all these basic questions correctly then you are among the 5% individuals who apply common sense even in stressful situations.

Soft skills and assessment:

Interviewers are known to use different tools and techniques to evaluate candidates around soft skills and behavior. As they say attitude of the candidate drives his behavior on the job. Unfortunately, that is the most difficult thing to judge for an interviewer. Interviewer hence might use STAR or BEI (Behavioral Event based Interview) technique. We have provided ample questions and answers in the 101 section that deal with this technique.

Interview process is like an iceberg. In other words, we only see 10-20% of the iceberg above the sea level and the rest 80-90% is below the sea (invisible to naked eye). It is the other 80-90% (candidate’s attitude, ethics, motives & beliefs) that drives the other 10-20%. Applying the same analogy to interview selection process, interviewer will use the 10–20% and predict candidate’s future behavior based on that 10- 20% assessment made in the interview. There is another interesting data points to prove the same. If we were to represent each letter Below with the numerical equivalent of the same (based on its position in the alphabetical sequence), attitude gets a 100 score in comparison to the others like SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE & HARD WORK.

In other words, to be successful in life or interview you need to have the right attitude. More and more interviewers today look for attitude of the candidate. As they say, “Attitude not your aptitude decides your altitude”

A Morning of the Interview:

A good night’s sleep should be priority before this important morning because there is much to do before 10.00AM interview. The morning hours should be focused on preparing to make an excellent first impression. There is only one chance for this to happen. Visualize positive interaction between you and interviewers and you will convey good feelings and improve the odds of a positive outcome. If you speak with anyone on the morning of the interview, make sure that the person is supportive, positive and upbeat. Pretend you are about attend a martial arts lesson on how to defend yourself against someone with a baseball bat. Get that adrenalin flowing. Be alert, feel good about yourself. Be relaxed and maintain your inner confidence. You can do it.

Get dressed for success:

Conservative clothing is in and beach things are out. First Impression are formed mostly by nonverbal communications including appearance, facial expression, eye contact, posture, and least of all, spoken words. Before you utter a single word, your appearance already has. First impressions are formed within thirty seconds, many times subliminally. According to Joanne Pobiner, Certified Image Consultant and professional member of the Association of image consultants international (AICI), “significant value judgments are made based solely upon appearance, for example, economic status, education, level of success, sophistication, integrity” credibility, likeability, and even moral character. The visual integrity of job seekers is clearly at stake.

Casual business dress often turns out to be casualty dress in interview situation. Remember that you are not yet an employee, and must go through a hazing period before you are permitted to dress like one. Styles vary by profession as well as region of the country. If you are interviewed for a job in the advertising of entertainment industries, you may be able to dress less formally than in the financial services industry of legal profession.

Check the Department’s web site or annual report of the Department/Ministry that interviewing you. View pictures of the management team. The most important aspect about you appearance for an interview is that you think you look great. If you look and feel great, your heightened self- confidence will likely make a favorable impression upon your interviewer.
– The best advice for smokers for an office position is to stop smoking on the day of interview when looking for a job. It is almost impossible to hide the smell.
– Avoid perfume or use it very sparingly. Why chance an embarrassing sneezing fit?

Get the early:

Plan to arrive at the place of interview 30 minutes before the scheduled interview, otherwise you will be stressed and lose advantage for a positive first impression. Go to the location so that you will know exactly where it is, and walk or drive to the nearest coffee shop or eating establishment and just relax for half an hour. Review your notes from the research; think positive thoughts about the upcoming interview. Before you leave the coffee shop, go to the rest room and take a last minute look at yourself, particularly you smile. That will be your most widely used weapon during the interview, so make sure there are no food remains. Arrive at the reception desk about ten minutes before the scheduled time. In an interview it is your opportunity to tell an employer what you’ve accomplished in the past and how you’ll help them in the future.

Last – Minute Preparation:

Before you leave home for the interview make sure you have everything you need. Interviewer and receptionist names, address, telephone number, and directions to the place are critical. Take a note pad and vary ballpoint pen. Bring three copies of your resume, but offer it only if asked. The notepad and selected reference material about the department should be placed in a folder. Buy the morning news paper and read the Headlines and the current affairs sections for interesting, non-controversial stories that might be brought up in the course of conversation.

Get ready to fearless interview:

Knowing your strengths, provide concrete examples of those strengths, building the lasting confidence to present yourself and your skills in the best possible light.
– What interviewers are really looking for?
– How to charm your way into the interviewer’s heart in the first 20seconds of the interview.
– How to express your strengths and skills with power and laser like precision.
– How to handle even the most difficult questions
– How to use body language in your favor.
– The most importance questions to ask the employer.
– How to be a master at negotiating your salary.

Body languages:

We give away a lot of information about ourselves quite unconsciously – in tones of voice, in small movements, in our posture and personal distance, often that information will indicate our emotional state, or how we feel about something. So being sensitive to the cues can be of real assistance to people in the helping professions.

Listen carefully the questions. Your replies should focus on your position to meet the needs of the job. Good listening is more important, that simply interrupting the interviewers. Pay full attention. Establish good eye contact and nod after every statement from the interviewer.
Unknowingly you will be conveying your doubts and fear along with your thoughts. Your body language may be negative, even contradictory to your thoughts. Get well prepared with answers and do not fail to convince your interviewers.
– Disagree pleasantly. Maintain a friendly tone while replaying and keep a relaxed posture.
– Defensive body language such as folded arms or crossed legs is to be avoided
– When you are making an important point, do not stare. Look at the interviewer in the eye.
– Be comfortable and relaxed. Don’t give the impression of being tense of desperate for the job. Be alert and attentive.
– Interviewers may sometime put the candidate under stress to gauge their ability to handle the situation. It is important what you say and how you say. It will show how well you can handle a crisis.

The door of opportunity won’t open unless you do some pushing. Push yourself.

Let us go in detail item by item:

Personal Interview

Rule of the game:

Personal interview is basically an attempt to asses the mental ability of the candidate. Different recruiting agencies follow different rules of Game. Filtration at different stages after screening tests ism done meticulously. At the time of personal interviews the procedure followed is discussed here.


The largest recruiting agency in the country has a year long calendar for examinations and personal interviews. They publish the calendar will in advance and follow a regular procedure for conducting the exams as per schedule. Different centers for conducting the examinations through out the country are notified for the convenience of the candidates.

The results of the examinations are announced as per schedule and personal interviews conducted. II class rail fares are reimbursed for the candidates called for interview. The personal interview board includes one member of UPSC as Chairman and three or four advisors form different specializations to assist and advise the committee. Normally the interview will be for duration of 25 to 30 minutes for each candidate. Language interpreter help the candidate and the commission in translating questions and replies.
The shortlist of candidate will be announced through newspapers and UPSC website. The selections are made through fool proof method.

Fluency in English:

The art of communication is different. One may be fluent in his own mother tongue. He is capable in communicating in his own language. His handicap is to get the thought content translated into English.
To avoid all such complications the UPSC introduced interpreters for the benefit of candidates. Candidates have the choice either to reply fully or partly in English or to opt for mother tongue. The interpreter helps him. But the interpreter has no say in the selection process. He is like an interpreter to two Prime Ministers / Presidents of different counties. He will not be part of the policy making or agreements signed between two counties. After the interview part of a particular candidate is over interpreter is asked to leave the room for few minutes so that the members of the board can discuss and arrive at a conclusion to grade the candidate and allot marks.

Previous night:

While preparing for the personal interview, avoid overnight studies during the previous day. Mentally you may not be able to with stand next day. It may lead to confusion.

  • Read select topics.
  • Rehearse your way of replies the previous night.
  • Take the help of senior / elders during Rehearsal.
  • Sleepy early by 9 to 10pm.
  • remember statistics.
  • Avoid taking liquor (if you are in the habit).
  • Do not take heavy food.
  • Jot down some hints in a dairy to verify before interview.
  • Go through the dairy of events.

Morning of Interview Day: [The D – Day]

  • Get up early.
  • Finish your daily chores.
  • Take light breakfast.
  • Reach place of interview 1 hr in advance.
  • Check up all the relevant papers to be shown.
  • Dress up properly
  • Avoid going by crowded buses.
  • Relax, Relax and Relax.
  • Wait for your turn of interview.
  • Avoid gossiping in the corridors.
  • Avoid prolonged discussions with other candidates.
  • Do not show off.
  • Go to coffee house
  • Watch your face in the mirror
  • Check up the tie (if you are wearing. Tie is not compulsory.)
  • Check up shoe laces, if wearing.
  • Clean your face If you have eaten in the canteen.
  • Dress your hair properly/ modestly.
  • Do not go with empty stomach.
  • Keep your papers ready.
  • Have a small kit to place your papers.
  • Keep your publications ready.
  • Keep your experience certificates ready.
  • Show your degree/ qualification certificates at the desk.
  • Collect them back.
  • Fill up your travel reimbursement sheet.
  • Take 3 recent passport size photos with you.
  • Take letter from present employee, if employed.
  • Information to be updated, if necessary.
  • Do not leave the place for smoking / pissing 5 to 10 minutes before.(if necessary inform the attendant).
  • Keep a smiling face.
  • Avoid worries and last minute tension.
  • Avoid spicy food two hours in advance.

Dress code:

There is no dress code for any personal interview. You can improve your communication skills like speech, body language. Dressing is completely in your hands. There is no rule book regarding dress.

Stress code:

Avoid stress. Practice meditation. There are two cardinal dates / days in your career building.
1. The examination day.
2. Personal interview day.

Avoid Mannerisms:

This is the time when lady luck smiles on you. The 20 to 30 mt. interview is the time for you to show your capacities. Your entire future is decided on how you act your role in a prescribed game plan. It can be unlucky if you miserably fail. Avoid frequent use of “Sorry Sir, I have no idea, yes sir, No sir, Excuse me sir, kindly repeat Sir, I am not able to recollect” type of phrases. Similarly nodding the head or keeping your tongue open to express sorry, leaning on the table, laughing etc. will give a bad impression to the Board.

While entering the Board Room wish the persons sitting across the table. Occupy the Chair allotted for you with grace. Do not sit cross legged. Do not keep your legs one above the other as if you are the boss. Do not sit in a relaxed mood. Similarly do not express anxiety, restlessness at the time of answering. If you feel like taking a glass of water, if available on the table take it. Do not gulp it. Don’t take too much to drink water.

If coffee/ tea is offered do not gulp it. Take it with table manners. Pencil / pen for jotting down points can be of much help to you. When it is necessary only use them. Avoid dropping names of senior Officials / Politicians during your answers. It is not well taken. If a mention about references that you have made figure in the interview you mention the way how you know him/ her. Talk continuously In English / Telugu/ Hindi. Do not mix up all the three languages. Opt regional languages if you are shaky in answering In English / Hindi. This is a stepping stone for success. Interview is the main criteria for the board to know about you. You may be more intelligent and have scored marks well, but personal interview is to Judge your capacities. Pray God and play well.
Avoid repetition of same statistics, figures, phrases, and information. It is not important – what you know but what you communicate and how you communicate to the numbers.

Hand Shake:

If the interviewer extends his hand to greet, extend your hand. Keep eye to eye contact. Offer greeting with shake hand firmly but do not crush his hand. Your hands may be damp but it does not matter.
When you enter the interview room, wait for a while till you are offered the chair by the chairman of the Board. If there are two or more chairs vacant left out, sit direct to interviewer with great confidence.
Start smiling. Greet them by saying Good Morning / Good Afternoon / Good evening depending on the time.

Questions on your main subject:

Depending on your graduation / post graduation subject – science / arts / commerce / Engineering /, one of the member will be questioning you about the subject. In – depth interview to answer your knowledge on the subject will be conducted. This is the main part of the interview, where you can show your metal. Latest researches on the subject are to be covered in the replies. Nobel prize winners and prominent awards announced in the first arte most important. If the subjects of your graduation and post- graduation are different, coherent reasons j for the same is to be mentioned. “I did not get college seat of my choice” – will not be liked.

Names of the Journals Magazines available on the subject are to be collected and recent papers published are to be mentioned besides the Editorial Board of the journal. Replies no exceeding two to three minutes will be ideal. Do not enter into argument that your view point is only correct. “As for as my knowledge goes ” – is the best way to put forth your view.

The other member including Chairman will be observing your way of replies, your way of replies, your confidence level, authority on the subject, communication skills, body language, over action, argumentative style, over simplicity, shyness. Lack of coherence in your speech is observed by the committee as a whole. If you does not know the full answer you can admit your ignorance instead of explaining it more and creating a bad impression. You can reply partly and excuse yourself. If you do not know the answer admit that I am not aware replies supplemented by facts and figures / years / names will impress the Board. If you are not able to understand the question, you can ask member to repeat / rephrase the question. Commission will never feel it as bad. Do not say that the question is out of syllabus. For personal / oral interviews there is no syllabus. Any thing on the face of the earth can be questioned. The Board has all sympathy for the candidate and will help him to come out of his web. They may cross examine you and yet times be aggressive in questioning. Reply politely and honestly. It will pay.

Questions on optionals:

Definitely there will be a question on your optional subjects: History / Sociology / Telugu / Tamil etc. Be confident to answer. History is a vast subject and the syllabus you have studied is to be remembered. Questions on socioeconomic conditions and the impact of Mogul period are common. Supplementary questions also will follow. If you have science subjects, have updated knowledge. Reading the subject for examinations is different. But get thoroughly prepared for the personal interview. The question about Nobel Prize winners of the particular subject their contributions, the country to which they belong, year he won Nobel Prize are important to remember.

The questions why you have chosen the optional is also common. Do not reply that getting score in the subject is easy. If your graduation and post graduation are in science/ arts / engineering / medicine / Business Administration and the optional chosen is not related you have to explain in detail about reason for selecting the option.

Questions about your State: Knowledge about your native place. Native districts and the Native state are expected. Common questions:

  1.  What for is your village known for.
  2.  Prominent persons from the village.
  3.  Advantages and disadvantages in studying at a village.
  4.  Demography and social conditions of the village.
  5.  Communication facilities available.
  6.  Medical facilities available.
  7.  Irrigation>
  8.  Profession of your father.
  9. Temples/ tourist places at the place.
  10.  What kind of social activities you will take up in your village after getting a decent job.

The replies to these questions are to be supplemented with concrete examples and dates about the place. Do not reply that “I hardly stayed in my village”. Collect information about your village though you have not stayed there. Ancestral heritage is to be told. Be proud that you are from a village. The commitment to your village and your ambition to uplift communication, medical facilities of the village are to be narrated.

Supplementary can be on Rural Vs Urban Population, migration to cities, Panchayat Raj system, faction politics, democracy at gross root level, and empowerment of women, caste system. Conditions of Dalits, Atrocities by land lords / upper castes are points for discussion. The reply shall be in two to three sentences followed by certain data relevant to the answer. If you are giving percentages be sure it correlates with the facts at a glance.


Importance of your state : Population, Demographic figures, Rivers, Politicians, Political parties, Assembly constituencies, Temples / Tourist places are common. Advantages and disadvantages of smaller states, reorganizations, formation of smaller states, Telangana Vidharbha agitations, first linguistic state formation in 1953 (Andhra Pradesh) are points to be remembered.

Contribution of your state at National level in various fields – political, economical, Industrial aspects are to be highlighted. Role of Regional parties, emergence of United Front Government are to be discussed. States like UP, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamilnadu, Andhrapradesh, have specialties to be mentioned. Jammu and Kashmir have special status.
Smaller states like Puducherry, Goa have special problems. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have special status.

Administrative ser up in Union Territories like Delhi, Chandigarh is peculiar, They are directly under the control of Ministry of Home affairs for day to day administration.

Order preferences given by the candidates in civil services is point for discussion. Besides home state preference the second preference will be questioned if it is not a neighboring state.

Order preferences given by the candidates in civil services is point for discussion. Besides home state preference the second preference will be questioned if it is not a neighboring state.
Candidate shall go through Manorama year book and collect population, education, industrial figures of the state and add on information for supplementary Publication division of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Govt. of India Publishers Year book which contain lot of information containing basic material about the states. Candidates shall go through the book and jot down points for ready reference. If a candidate is from UP/ Uttarakhand he shall be able to tell about importance of Missouri and Dehradun. Missouri is the place where IAS offices are trained at Lalbahadur Sastri National Academy. It is a training pace for all Civil Servants.
Similarly Dehradun is the training Place for Indian Forest Service Officers. Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy for IPS Officers is at Hyderabad, Nagpur is the center for Indian Revenue Officers (Income Tax etc.) One shall be clear about these National Academies in the country.


Similar questions on the native district are also expected. If the district has river / mountain / temple / tourist place / Industry / Political figure do not forget to add. Tamilnadu and other Southern states are full of Temples and temple architecture. Madurai, Mahabalipuram, Knachi, Tenkasi, Kumbakonam, Tirupati, Mantralayam, Udipi, Dharmasthala, Mysore the famous deities and festival seasons are important to mention beside tourist facilities available. Industrial infrastructure available in the district is to be told.

The prominent political personality from your district included in the central cabinet and his contribution to National party are to be mentioned. Poets / artists of the area are to be remembered. Parliamentary / Assembly constituencies in the district and representatives of the area are to be mentioned.

Constituencies of Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, Mayavati, Meera Kumar, Mamata Benerjee, Lalu Prasad, etc are to be remembered. If they belong to your native place mention for how many times they are representing that particular constituency. Film stars of the area and their debut film arte to be remembered. The answer shall not be “yes / no” type. It shall be illustrative and informative.

Supplementary can be how many districts are in your state and the economic conditions of the districts. Prominent News paper / Journalists of the area, women in power are points for discussion.

Whether it is a backward district or industrially potential is to be mentioned. Do not forget to add cultural / historical importance of the District. Each district has its own specialties in various fields. The Panchayat Raj system in the district and its success are points for discussion.

Questions on General Knowledge:

This is tricky area. Candidates ability to group things, his knowledge about the worldly affairs are Judged in this segment.

Political Subjects:

Democracy and its success or failure.
Coalition Governments.
Regional parties
UPA Govt. Vs NDA Govt.

Achievements of UPA II
Role of Presidents.
Prime Ministers of the country, special mention about Dr. Manmohan Singh (2004- 2009 and 2009- 2014)
His first term achievement/ second term policies.
Names of Prominent Lok Sabha Members and Rajya Sabha Members.
Current political situation.
Main news on the interview day and its repercussions.

This is only a wish list but hundred more subjects can be added depending on the mood of the interview. To set the mood of the interview the replies shall be creative and not imaginative.

Social Aspects:

Bills presented recently in Parliament / Pending Bills. Your views on the bill or your analytical view.

  • Reservation Bill for women in Parliament
  • New Education Policy
  • Naxalism
  • Kashmir Policy
  • North East Policy or Government
  • Government Programs – Central & State, NREGP Indira Kranti
  • Constitutional amendments for social development.
  • Constitutional amendments for panchayat Raj.

Total Employees:

Normally question is leveled against the candidate who is already working in an office / organization. A typical example is given:
A candidate appeared for the selection of Station Director Post in All India Radio at UPSC. He is already working n the organization for the last 15yrs. The Chairman of the Board asked a similar question:

How many people are working In All India Radio?

(The Director General AIR was also a Member and Present)
Candidate: Sir, if my DG Permits – I will say: ‘very few people are working in All India Radio. If you rephrase it – How many people are employed, I have an answer”
Everyone in the Board appreciated his ready wit. Candidate knew the exact number of employees working say 14,000 – But it will lead to several supplementaries like how many engineers, how many programmers etc.
To avoid all such complications the candidate has chosen the reply.
But be sure to collect the information about the number of employees working. The hierarchy and who is reporting to whom and nature of your job.

International Issues:

This is a provocative area. Most probable questions include:

  • Decisions of SAARC countries.
  • Meetings of Common wealth countries.
  • NAM summits – Indian Participation
  • UNO conferences
  • Recent visits of foreign dignitaries to India.
  • Visit of PM / President to foreign countries.
  • Indo – China Border issue.
  • Indo – Pak relations
  • Status of Dalialama
  • Indo – Srilanka ties
  • Indo – Nepal friendship
  • Policies of Barrack Obama in 2nd term

All the questions related to International ties are to be answered, if you are aware of the latest developments. Any pacts signed by both the countries, cultural agreements are to be highlighted. Indo –Pak border issue is a burning topic. Role of Bhutto, Zia-ul-Haq, Benazir Bhutto, Gen Musharraf in Indo – Pak ties is to be understood before you answer. If you are not sure tell the Board that you are not aware of the recent events on the subject. But international issues are most commonly discussed subjects in personal interviews. Study them carefully and remember names of important personalities of each country.

Questions on Literature:

The candidate’s optional language will form a major part of the personal interview. The subject expert who is well versed in the language- Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and other 14 Regional languages will eliciting information about the literary knowledge of the candidate.

Probable Questions:

  • Prominent authors of the language .
  • Literary movements in 20th century.
  • Jnanpeet Award winners.
  • Ancient writers / poets.
  • Modern Trends.
  • Dalit movement.
  • Women writers of the area
  • Recent Sahitya Academy Award winners.
  • Prominent writings during 15th / 16th / 20th century.
  • Contemporary writers.
  • Books you like / Read.
  • Narrate few lines of your choice from any poet.
  • Have you written any articles / books.
  • Your favourite writers.
  • Short story / novel / poetry writers.
  • Prominent Daily News papers in your language.
  • Literary Magazines.

General questions:

    • Questions about your music knowledge.
    • Sports / games you play.
    • Hobbies. Reading / viewing films and cooking are general impressions be specific.
    • Languages you know (other than mother tongue)
    • Tourist places / temples you visited.
    • Diplomas / degrees you have obtained.
    • Research work you have done.
    • Cine stars you like – Male & Female. Instead of replying Amitab Bachan and Aiswarya Rai as favourites. Mention about their peculiarities / films you have seen.
    • Sport stars you like (other than cricket)
    • Cricketers you like (their game history)
    • Your teachers at primary school/ college.
    • TV Channels mostly you watch.
    • Your rating of news channels
    • Your knowledge about political parties.
    • Role of Election commission of India
    • Democratic set up – its failures
    • Unrest in youth
    • Unemployment problems
    • Constitutional provisions
    • Right to information Act.
    • Civil societies
    • Judicial activism

This is the final round where your imagination and competency are judged. Simple replies will not do. Add color to your answer. Qualify the answer. The answer can be: Tourist places visited include Kanchipuram in South. It is known for the deity Kanchi Kamakshi and famous Vardarajaj Temple.

Siva Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi are popular. His holiness Si Aadi Sankara established Kanchi Kamakoti peetam. Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal is the main Pontiff at Present. This will give an outlook about your ability to learn things.

Many more choices are probable. The interview board likes to know why you have opted for the change. Keep your mind very clear. Replies that

‘I get more salary, ‘I will get a posting in my native state’. Promotion chances are more” are the regular replies.

“I want to serve the public, I like the Job” – are spicy, be clear about your job objective. Reasoning and understanding is more important. Aim at higher goals. Set the priorities in your mind expressed clearly. You have to face valley of questions. Answers them carefully. If you falter at any stage by over enthusiasm you will be caught unaware. My parents / teachers/ friends advised me to opt for the new Job is not expected.

Questions on better opportunities:

Candidate is working and has opted for better opportunities. The scenario can be:

1 Present Post: Post being Interviewed
2 Private Job Govt. Job
3 State Govt. Job Higher pay scale / state / central
4 Central Govt. job Higher pay scale (Central)
5 Not connected with public Public Department
6 Lower Cadre Higher Cadre
7 Group B Posts State/ Central Group ‘A’ Post / State / Central
8 Civil Services Group A Better Civil Sciences like IAS and IPS
9 Public Sector Private Sector
10 Public Sector State / Central Govt.
11 Outside native State In Native State
12 Unconnected with qualifications Suited for his qualifications
13 Spouse in different services To work together with the spouse
14 No promotion Promotional avenues
15 No pension Pensionable job
16 Banking Services Regular Services
17 Night duties Regular Duties

Probable questions:

  • Why you want to have a change?
  • What are your main duties at present?
  • Presently whom do you report to?
  • How many years of service you have put in?
  • Are you Happy?
  • Why you have joined job unconnected with you.
  • Is it through state public service commission
  • Your interaction with public.
  • How your previous experience suit the new job.
  • Present emoluments
  • You prefer Govt. job since it is secure?
  • Do you opt out if pension benefits are not there?
  • Are you ready to work in rural areas?
  • Why your are leaving public sector?
  • Why do you apply for so many jobs?
  • Your qualification is different from the Job requirement
  • What are the main duties of the job you are being interviewed.
  • Your spouses is in different department. Do you want to change?
  • Whether your motive is to serve public
  • If you are given full powers as District Head what will be your priority.
  • If you are given powers of CM/PM what is your priority.
  • Are you prepared to work in North East/ J & K
  • Are you ready to work in difficult stations.
  • Do you prefer to be in middle level management or in CEO seat?

Replies to all the above questions are not structured. Basing on the situation and your aptitude you can frame the replies. Be honest Nothing pays than being honest. Lighter vein questions are to be answered with genuineness. No hoodwinking by replying – “ I want to serve the country I am not for higher emoluments” – may not click. Be honest.

Do’s and Don’ts in an interview:


  • Come at least20 minutes early to the interview hall
  • Enter the room politely
  • Address the interviewer with Good Morning / Afternoon
  • Shake hands properly – if he/ she offers
  • Take your seat with permission
  • Maintain good eye contace.
  • Don’t cut short the question.
  • Take a pause to answer.
  • Ask for clearification, in case of any doubt.
  • Be positive
  • Stress your qualification
  • Inform your read lines to join duties.


Poor grooming, showing up late, inappropriate dress.

  • Smoke ½ hr before if you are habituated. You may smell
  • Chew anything
  • Apologize for less experience
  • Ask about pay and perks unless necessary
  • Handle items on the interview table
  • Discuss personal problems.
  • Tell about other jobs you did not get.
  • Criticize earlier employers.
  • Provide information not factual
  • An answer that simply does not pertain to the question.
  • Lack of knowledge about the company / job
  • Dishonesty
  • Lack of enthusiasm / interest
  • Disparity in your resume