How to Prepare for DAF (Detailed Application Form) by IAS Jitin Yadav

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has announced dates for the personality test (PT), commonly known as an interview, for candidates who have been declared successful in the main public service examination. The PT or UPSC interview is scheduled to begin in the first week of April.

Speaking to, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Jitin Yadav said that revising current affairs as well as optional subjects is an important part of the preparation process for job interview ) I and II. Yadav said that the information entered in both DAFs should be well thought out as they could provide a basis for the questions that may be asked by the interview panel.

“You spend most of your interview time going over the information you provided in the DAFs. The interview panel understands that you made a conscious decision to disclose your personal information in the DAF and therefore expects you to defend, analyze and elaborate on any information provided,” Yadav said.

How to prepare DAF I for UPSC Civil Services job interview

Yadav said DAF I is a comparatively less focused area during the interview, unless someone has received extremely bad grades on their board exams or graduation.

“The panel may ask questions about your academic background, so it is important to thoroughly prepare your graduate subject. If your interview is scheduled for the first few days of the two-month interview schedule, it’s wiser to do a quick read of the basic concepts of your graduate subjects. On the contrary, if your interview date is somewhere in between or near the end of the schedule, I recommend using that time to prepare your closing topic,” he explained.

“If you are employed at the time of the interview or were previously employed but have quit, then be prepared to ask questions about your job role and responsibilities, history of your organization, reasons for leaving, among other things. These questions should be answered with logic-based definitive answers,” he said.

Aside from academics, he also stressed the importance of knowing the historical and geographic facts of one’s hometown and state. “It is important to keep up to date with current and past home state events. If you studied in cities other than your hometown or outside of your state, you may be asked about the reasons for moving and where the city is,” he added.

Be truthful about hobbies and achievements

One of the seemingly easiest but trickiest sections to prepare in the DAF is Hobbies and Achievements. The key to comfortably answering questions from this section is to be honest while writing down your interests in the DAF, Yadav said.

“Hobbies is one of the sections where some candidates list their desires and interests as hobbies, which usually gets them into trouble. It’s important to be honest with yourself and the panel when fueling DAF. Only write about the hobbies that you are really interested in. Completing the DAF honestly can actually get you questions from areas you feel most comfortable with,” he emphasized.

“If cricket is your hobby, the panel expects you to know the basic rules of the sport, such as B. No-Ball, LBW, the color of the balls and others. You could also ask questions about team and player rankings and records. However, if you don’t know the answer, be open. It’s your hobby because you do it in your free time. So you shouldn’t be an expert at it,” he added.

Sharing an experience of meeting a UPSC candidate, Yadav said: “One of the candidates I interacted with had listed gardening as his hobby in the DAF. Coincidentally, one of the interview panel members shared the same interest and so took him to the garden area to test his knowledge of plans. Therefore anything you mention in the DAF should be well prepared to be defended in the interview.”

How to justify service and squad preferences

This is another important section to prepare for the interview. The panel uses the cadre preferences it has made to determine whether a candidate has an Indian or regional mindset, Yadav said.

“While answering the squad-related questions, candidates must be politically neutral and patriotic. The good answers to justify the preferences are proximity to home state, addressing the social issues in a state you want to work on, or simply stating that you had to mark choices since the section was mandatory,” explained the IAS officer.

Meanwhile, candidates sometimes make unusual service preference preferences — opting for Indian Police Service (IPS) over IAS or Indian Revenue Service (IRS) over IPS, for example — and may be asked a reason for that choice. According to Yadav, one must have an appropriate explanation to justify one’s preference.

On the next day of the interview, a medical exam is done and candidates have a flat foot, vision problems like color blindness etc. then they are rejected for certain services like IPS, IRTS etc. Therefore, one must carefully review the read service entitlement terms to defend their decisions.

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