How Interview Guidance is Conducted at Ensemble

How Interview Guidance is Conducted at Ensemble


Where one sentence can change your fortunes in interview, we train you to use every word, the meaning of these words in the context and their arrangement, your every sentence, as per the board and perfect you in every expression.

The personality test seeks to address many problems that the candidates face and to answer many questions, which sometime the candidates may not come to know at all. These questions are—

  • How is IAS Interview Different during that particular year?
  • How to explore your personality?
  • How to know your Shortcomings? How to convert them into your Qualities?
  • Area of Interview
  • How to make Impact of your Physical presentation?

Every year, Interview is very decisive as the scoring in Main Exam is expected to be different. It is because of the shift in the governance, a change of government a change of the government policies and a paradigm shift in the thinking of the people brought about by an exploring middle class and their consequent transitional thinking, which the aspirants have to govern.


Personality means knowing “self”- Your own view regarding your making, regarding your line of thinking, regarding your communication skill, your weakness & your strength.

The personality test mentoring process aims to bring about a two way transformation process:

(a) Cosmetic changes if the candidates so desire by subtle transformation in their appearances, views, some perceptions, attitudes, outlook and etiquettes so that they become winners in that 30 minutes of time.

However the process has an inherent limitation in that if the candidates are probed slightly deeper, they are likely to expose themselves and start exhibiting inherent contradictions that they are made of.

(b) The inner transformation involving thought and perception transformation of the candidates is sought to be brought out in such a manner that the candidate can handle anything, any type of question, any tricky situation anywhere. It involves knowledge up gradation, improving analysis level, understanding self, understanding the minds of the interviewer adapting to the changing meaning of words of the interviewer and developing an ability to convert weakness into strength.

This is sought to be done in three ways:

I. Subjecting the students to an extensive lecture series. This well be beneficial to all those students who seek to specialise themselves in particular topic. (SOIL)

II. Asking the students to undergo a complete transformation programme that will chisel the personality in its entire dimension for this particular Interview Session of 30 minutes. (TTP)

III. Testing the candidates before UPSC tests them in a Simulated Interview Training (Mock Interview) Session having a composition similar to that of UPSC board. There will be several boards with different characteristics and composition to test and correct different facts. (SIT)

IV. Help the students get as many answers to their question as possible, and that too, to a variety of questions. (QIQA)

V. Organise a Live Demonstration of varieties of Interview, such as Structured, Unstructured, Lead Interview and Stress Interview in front of Mains qualified candidates. (LIVE INTERVIEW)

Total Transformation Programme

The programme is based upon the assumption that the candidates have been already tested for their knowledge of GS and optional subject to a large extent. (This is what UPSC directly conveys through its Notification) To a larger extent candidates require organization of their thoughts and information, which could be expressed rationally in front of the learned board jury. A coherence in thought casts an impression of the personality of the candidates and also shows his/her integrity, consistency and commitment toward various issues, toward himself and towards life altogether.

Session Structure Features:
  • Self understanding and presentation
  • Basic etiquettes, manners in front of the board.
  • Alignment of Attitude
  • Perspective Perfection
  • Fusing Expression with assertiveness
  • Ways to say 'no'
  • Gaining diversity of expression.
  • Leading the board to a question
  • Understanding the psyche of the interviewer
  • Differentiating, dialogue, debate and discussion
  • Winning a discussion
  • Enhancing the level of communication.
  • Perfection of reply
Aims and Objectives

1. The foremost objective of TTP is to develop the candidates' skills that can convince others. In this regards TTP provides for 4 day session of extempore public speaking and public debate session.

2. The topics for oration would be announced beforehand but assignment of topic shall be entirely on random lottery basis.

3. During speaking over the given time, the candidates are required to interact, answers the queries and reflect upon the suggestions made by the audience.

4. The audience shall comprise of candidates appearing for the same interview.

5. Besides, a three to four member observer panel of experts shall monitor, coordinate and anchor the entire session.

6. The scoring shall be done by averaging the marks secured from the observer and from the audience.

Programme Content

There are three stages of this programme.

Awareness Stage

The second stage will be based on the assumption that the candidate has undergone through various topics and has the ability to comprehend the various dimensions of the topic

Public Oration and Debate

The 2nd stage comprises of Public Oration and Debate where the idea is to test. Public Oration and Debate Comprises of three broad parts.

  • One part has to be played by the Speaker (the candidate himself) who will remain at the centre of attention of the audience.
  • The other part has to be played by the audience who shall critically appreciate the points and comments made by orator. The audience shall also be benefited with unfamiliar and novel ideas of their fellow orators by which they will expand their canvas of understanding.
  • The third part shall be played by the observers who shall scrutinise the role of both orator as well as the audience and may intervene as and when required to smoothen the conversation.
Benefits of public Speaking Session
  • The candidates would get to know about their true performances from multiple observers.
  • The candidates will be benefited from multiple views of the fellow mates and break free from the problem of stereotypic thinking and myopism.
  • The candidates shall overcome the fear of expression and also learn the right way to express their views without inviting much argument.
  • The candidate shall learn the difference between asserting and arguing while placing their view opinions.
    • Coherence, substance, analysis that the candidate's show towards the topics/issues.
    • The basic idea behind the programme is "If you can convince many, you are sure to convince few".
    • The candidates may buy additional time provided the audience allows for that. Hence, candidates must learn the art of holding on the interest of the audience in his/her communication.
  • The candidates may buy additional time provided the audience allows for that. Hence, candidates must learn the art of holding on the interest of the audience in his/her communication.

Benefits of public Speaking Session

A series of intellectually stimulating lectures designed in such a way, that students can answer anyquestions on it.

The lecture series will be delivered by the best known authorities on that subject, who have an impeccable reputation and belong to country's who's who of policy making.

The purpose is to equip the interviewer with deep insights to such an extent that he/she is able to engage the interviewers in conversation. These lectures will be given by the best known authorities in their field in India, that includes

Retired Academicians, Bureaucrats and policy makers

Sitting authorities in government, who are doing outstanding work for their department and country and are in the midst of the field.

Some of the distinguished speakers include
  • PadmaSri Prakash Singh (Retd. DGP, UP)Authority on Police reform and an advisor to UPSC
  • Sri Balmiki Prasad Singh, Former Home Secretary, Cultural Secretary, World Bank Representative from India, and Former Governor of Sikkim.
  • Sri A. K. Mago, Former Chief Secretary Maharashtra
  • Sri B. L. Vohra, Former DGP Tripura.
  • Sri V. Ohri ,Retd IRS Officer.
  • M.F. Farooqui, Ex Secretary, Ministry of Forest and Environment and Ministry of Telecommunications, Govt of India.
  • Sri Noor Mohammed, IAS, (Retired Commissioner Election Commission on Electoral reforms.
  • Sri M. P. Singh Worlds foremost Political Scientist.
  • Sri K.Siddhartha, noted Earth Scientist and International Speaker.
  • Other Contemporary topics - through Notice Board Information, Interview & Video clippings.

The series will be of continuous duration and will be diffused through wensite and facebook page of Ensemble and EEE. Some topics by other dignitaries will be added and announced later. The dates and topic will be displayed on notice board and website.

Simulated Interview Training (Mock Interview) Panel

Interview and Mock Session

The Mock Session, Formal and Informal Cover up area of Interview includes -

  • Personal Area
  • Knowledge Area - Their application in civil services
  • Hypothetical Area – To Test Your Job Suitability
  • National Issues
  • International Issues
Interview and Mock Session
  • The 1st stage will be focussed towards the general assessment of overall organisation, knowledge and personality of candidates, subsequent to which the individual candidates shall be given specific feedbacks.
  • The 2nd stage comprises of finding improvements or deterioration whatever the case may be, and providing suggestion required. In the 2nd stage the candidates are likely to face tricky questions.
  • The 3rd stage comprises of Personality Assessment and may include stress interview to evaluate the stability in psyche of the candidates. Also, there shall be full dress rehearsal with an emphasis upon the creative aspects of the candidates and maturity of his/her thought process.
  • After the Interview session, the candidates may prefer to meet all the board members collectively or individually to any one of them for further enrichment of their personality.
  • Systematic Guidance sessions to include every fact of interview including language, body language, expression, perception management and reply perfection.
  • Very short and crisp material on current affairs for maximum no. of topics to be used as a ready reckoner.
  • List of the most important topics and a corrective discussion on them.

India’s best and the most diversified panel

The panel is made of exactly the same composition with a similar structure as that of UPSC, and it comprises of an academician, a bureaucrat, a psychologist, a defence personnel and a Mentor. The board comprises a three to four member group headed by retired members of UPSC. The panel for interview is richest in the country and comprises of

  • Sri A. K. Mago, Former Chief Secretary Maharashtra
  • Sri B. L. Vohra, Former DGP Tripura
  • Sri V. Ohri ,Retd IRS Officer
  • M.F. Farooqui, Ex Secretary, Ministry of Forest and Environment and Ministry of Telecommunications, Govt of India
  • Sri Noor Mohammed, IAS, (Retired Commissioner Election Commission on Electoral reforms.
  • Sri M. P. Singh Worlds foremost Political Scientist
  • Sri K.Siddhartha, noted Earth Scientist and International Speaker
  • Sri N. K. Singh, IPS (Ex Jt Director, CBI)
  • Sri Trinath Mishra(IPS, Ex Director CBI), Advisor to UPSC
  • Sri Amitabh Rajan(IAS Ex Secretary MHA),
  • Shri Ajay Kumar Thakur (Retd.I.A.S)
  • Sri D. P. Vajpayee (Political and Social Activist)
  • SmtAditi Jain Anil, Educationist & counselor
Method of involved in SIT

Each board member is provided with a framework to point out to the candidates, what they observe is the reflection of the candidate to the board. These criteria are exactly the same as prescribed by the UPSC. Four of our board members are same as that of the UPSC board members are the board composition same as that of UPSC.

How is SIT at AAG different from any other Mock Interview Boards

  • Every candidate is given a feedback that is the most extensive in the entire coaching industry. This is largely because all the members are drawn from the same genre as that of the UPSC or some have served the UPSC in that capacity as well.
  • The candidates have a choice to pick up the type of Interview they want, whether stress interview, lead interview, or structured interview, or they can ask the board members to also to suggest them their point of weekness to take a type of Interview.
  • The candidates can request to expose them to different boards as each board is different, going by the diversity of our panel.
  • The candidate additionally can pick up their video recordings as well.
  • The additional advantage is in terms of the personalized meet the candidate can have with each one of the board members for turning their weaknesses into strength.

Besides, the above-mentioned programs, Ensemble will also organize separate sessions on

a. State specific problems and issues discussion such as on Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh to begin with by the best known authorities and niche people who have been in policy making in those states.

b. Subject specific discussion that includes analysis and discussion of all possible questions that may be asked from specific subjects like Geography, History and Culture.

c. Hobby specific discussion that includes discussions on Cricket as a hobby, Film as a hobby.

Topics and associated Authorities

TamilnaduM. F. Farooqui, Ex Principal Secretary Tamilnadu
MaharashtraA. K. Mago, former, Home Secretary, Maharashtra
BiharDr M.P. Singh (Scholar)
Uttar PradeshManoj K. Singh IAS, serving IAS officer
GeographyK. Siddhartha (Scholar)
History and CultureK. Siddhartha, V. Sahai, (Scholar)
Political ScienceDr M.P. Singh (Scholar)
International AffairsK. Siddhartha (Scholar)
Social trendsK. Siddhartha (Scholar)
CricketK. Siddhartha (Scholar)
FilmsManish Choudhary, Researcher on India films

Quality Improvement through Questions and Answers (QIQA)

Mock Interviews and their limitations

Mock Interviews gives a student a first hand experience of what it is to be presented before an interview board. It is necessary but not sufficient. This is because one 30 minute of mock session is not enough for 30 minute at UPSC personality test. While AAG went on to interview 50 candidates in five days, the board and the panel whichwas always having one former member of UPSC, it observed certain things about the candidates.

1. 30 minutes is too less a time to bring about a major reform in the candidates who require such a reform. For cosmetic changes it is very good.

2. In 30 minutes the number of questions are only limited and not very diverse, despite the best efforts of the board and the panel.

3. The candidate is obviously not tested on a variety of questions.

4. In 30 minutes the candidate may show only one part of the personality, while the other part goes completely unnoticed by the board as the candidates will only show the best part of their personality. In case the board scratches that part it may reveal something else.

5. It mostly helps candidates with a practice and who are already prepared with the interview.

6. Allows development of limited communication ability.

What the candidates require?

AAG began its SIT (Mock Test) on the assumption that the students will be able to do justice to them and some students have done so as well, but this cannot be said of all of them.

The board with all its experience feels that

1. The candidates alas should have been tested for 25-30 hours with an amazing range of questions, which is not possible in a 30 minute mock Interview

2. The candidates must be also subjected to different types of personality test sessions- stress interview, lead interview.

3. The candidates must know all the type of questions that can be possibly asked

4. The candidates must imagine all the type of answers that can be given, which is suited to their personality and which the candidates can defend.

5. The candidates must get maximum exposure to indepth analysis of some burning contemporary topics, and also on some specific topics in detail.

The candidates have to prepare in a more comprehensive manner.

What is the Question And Answer Session

The Question And Answer Session organized by AA&G (under the aegis of Ensemble) is designed to provide student an enriching experience about the various possible questions and their answer that can be asked by UPSC.

1. The session shall be of either of one day for 10-12 days OR4 hours for 3 days in which more than 600 possible questions (not topics) shall be dealt.

2. The primary focus is to equip student with smart and witty answer to questions and the wording would be such that it will fetch maximum marks and an enhanced image for the interview and also eliminate any chance whatsoever of offending to the board.

3. You shall be enriched in the manner as per your personality entails, when you don’t know the answer.

4. PANEL FOR QIQA The session shall be conducted by an advisor to UPSC, a secretary level IAS officer, and Sri K. Siddhartha (, the Earth scientist from Academics.

What will be done?

1. The candidate will be asked to come prepared with DAF and Current Affairs topic.

2. The candidate will be asked all possible range of questions and will be corrected on the answers that they will give, instantly.

3. The mentor will invite a team to answer questions with differing ranges.

Benefits of Question and Answer session

After having attended this session

1. One would be able to feel confident to attend the UPSC interview.

2. One would be relieved of accumulating such vast information and variety of information in a very impressive manner in the minimal time possible.

3. One would get additional time to work on their weakness

Thus, in a nutshell, this shall ease time load and make you feel relax when it is needed the most. The test of personality is to test your temperament and attitude, and it would be suicidal if one is restless, impatient, and confused. Allow us to take care of your problems by reforming you, your answer and your personality.

This is the purpose for which AAG has been established under the aegis of ENSEMBLE (

Live Interview Session

Many students are restless and have endless queries about the Personality Test conducted by UPSC. The most common queries are-

  • How is that, the interview is conducted?
  • Who can be the panel members and how do they think?
  • What questions do they ask?
  • Do the students need to give answers to all the questions?
  • What to do if I cannot answer many questions continuously?
  • What is the scope and dimension of questions asked?
  • Do I need to prepare my graduation subject entirely, and afresh?

The Live Interview Session is a stimulating experience for not only these queries but to almost all queries related to Personality Test. The students are going to have an opportunity to witness an interview of a candidate in front of a classroom and with a panel comprising –

  • A former member of UPSC
  • A Bureaucrat
  • An academician
  • A Psychologist

There will be three to four such interviews and of different types-Structured, Non Structured, Lead Interview and Stress Interview. After the interview of 25-45 minutes during which the candidates will be posed a variety of or in depth questions. After the session, they will be given in depth review of what can be assessed of their personality in those 25-45 minutes, and how is it that it can be improved on the basis of suggestions.

The benefits of this session are-

  • The real-time change in body language of board and candidate would know one as interview progresses.
  • One may get to know where one gets struck and how is the way out.
  • One will be able to experience an interview exactly like being an invisible person in the UPSC Interview.
  • By identifying themselves with the Interviewee, the aspirant can know what type of body language is not good, what common mistakes one make, how they talk, sit and walk.....
  • It will give the first timers an opportunity to see interview as a learning process and prevent making some mistakes, which otherwise they will not.
  • So, all in this entireexercise, not only makes one acquaint with UPSC Personality Test, but give an enriching experience to reduce ones restlessness with respect to the UPSC INTERVIEW.