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Tips to prepare Civil Judge /Judicial Officer Interview

Interview materials PCS-J, important point of interview materials

Interview preparation does not require one to stuff oneself with facts, the ability to analyze and to critically examine an issue is what actually counts. Facts you may not know and there is no harm in saying so to the Board but you must be able to think laterally and analyze all dimensions of the topic under consideration. Speak honestly, truthfully, and with modesty. Understand the questions before answering them and do not hesitate in seeking any clarifications about the question if you have any doubts. Many a time your answer gets misinterpreted, do clarify it. Framing your own questions and answering them (especially recording them onto a tape and listening to them) is a very useful technique. It is extremely helpful in making a correct choice of words while answering a question.


Given the extremely short time (25-30 minutes) in which your personality is assessed, it is your responsibility to bring out your very best in front of the board. This should be done in a very modest way and you should not appear to be boasting. The risk in bearing yourself in front of the board is that you will also be exhibiting your weakness. So do it in a well-planned way.

Preparing for the Process:

  1.  Know Yourself
  2. Game of Elimination
  3. Ability to communicate is the key: Verbal and Nonverbal
  4. Say what you want to say and not what you don’t want to say: Choose the right words.
  5. Direction of Interview. More often than not decided by you
  6. Sell Yourself. Why you? Why not the others?
  7.  Know the Organization you want to join.
  8. Clarity of aim. Why Judge?
  9. Brief and to-the-point answers are better.
  10. It’s OK to be nervous.
  11.  If in doubt seek clarification before answering a question.

A delicate balance of traits:

  1. Self-confidence
  2. Warm personality
  3. Smiling and pleasant without overdoing it.
  4. Sincerity which reflects keenness and desire to learn.
  5. Conviction and firm stand without being argumentative.
  6. Willingness to admit mistakes without making a mess

Avoid Absolutely:

  1. Arrogance
  2. Bad body language
  3. Casual Attitude
  4. Any obnoxious loud distractions: Gaudy or Jangling Jewellery, Outlandish watches, Cell phones, or any alarms set on your watch which may accidentally go off.
  5. Picking up arguments with any board member
  6. Trying to score an ideological point
  7. Becoming cynical and critical of the system
  8. Criticizing individuals, organizations, or institutions condemning them when you are not fully aware of the facts
  9. Excessive hand movement or body Movement
  10. Fidgeting and Leg-shaking
  11. Extreme viewpoints
  12. Making any sweeping statements

Must Do:

  1. Dress for Success: Formal Dressing: Men: Full Sleeve Shirt, Formal Trousers, Black leather shoes, Tie if you wish. Women: Sari (avoid Garish ones, preferably a light-coloured one), minimal jewelry, light make-up, if necessary, Well-groomed hairstyle, Clean, trimmed fingernails, No nail polish, Minimal cologne or perfume, Empty pockets—no bulges or tinkling coins, No rings other than a wedding ring.
  2. Positive attitude and faith in the System: No CYNICS wanted in services.
  3. Openness to ideas
  4. Pleasant personality
  5. Sit upright, do not slouch
  6. Remain thoroughly professional throughout the interview: Keep your cool no matter whatyou are asked or said.
  7. Utmost regard for the board and no bias against them, no matter what you have heard about them.
  8. Ability to analyze situations in all their entirety
  9. Moderate views are essential
  10. Even if you know the answer, pause to formulate your reply rather than speak out immediately. Remember you are not on a rapid-fire round or a Quiz Show.
  11. Be honest, Smartly Honest: Put a positive spin on the truth.

Practice Non-Verbal Communication also:

(i)  Eye Contact is Very Important!

Looking away while listening shows a lack of interest and a short attention span. If you fail to maintain eye contact while speaking, at a minimum it shows a lack of confidence in what you are saying and at worst may send the subtle message that you are lying. Do not just assume you have good eye contact. Ask. Watch. Then practice. Ask others if you ever lack proper eye contact. If they respond that they did notice, ask if it was during speaking or listening. Some people maintain excellent eye contact while listening, but lose eye contact when speaking. Or vice versa. Next, watch yourself on videotape. It does not necessarily have to be your mock interview; in fact, if you were videotaped informally (that is, you were not aware you were being taped), this will provide even stronger evidence. then sit down with a friend and practice until you are comfortable maintaining sincere, continuous eye contact.

(ii) Facial Expressions: –

It is indeed fascinating to observe how many individuals remain completely oblivious to the sullen, confused, or even mildly intense, vehement, piercing, or chaotic expressions adorning their faces throughout the entirety of an interview. Take a good, long, hard look at yourself in the mirror. Look at yourself as others would. Then modify your facial expressions—first eliminate any negative overall characteristics that might exist, then add a simple feature that nearly every interviewee forgets to include—a smile! Not some artificial grin, but a true and genuine smile that tells me you are a happy person and delighted to be attending the interview today. You do not need to keep the smile plastered on for the full interview but remember to keep coming back to it. Think about—who would you rather spend thirty minutes with?

(iii) Posture: –

Posture sends out a signal of your confidence and power potential. Stand erect, walk erect, and most of all, sit erect. Height is not what’s important, posture is. When standing, stand up straight. When you are seated, make sure you sit at the front edge of the chair, leaning slightly forward, moving within an overall range of no more than 10 degrees back or 20 degrees forward, intent on the subject at hand.

(iv) Gestures: –

Gestures should be very limited during the interview. So please don’t use artificial gestures to try to heighten the importance of the issue at hand. It will merely come off as theatrical. When you do use gestures, make sure they are natural and meaningful.

Common traps to avoid:

  1.  The Pause Trap: Know to stop when your answer is over. Never try to fill the silence
  2. The Stress Trap: Maintain your cool and stay composed. Do not get provoked.
  3. The “Heads I Win and Tails You Loose” question: Interviewers frequently ask candidates, “What are your weaknesses?” Some of you may feel the urge to highlight a weakness like “I’m a perfectionist,” and give it a positive spin. Interviewers are not impressed, because they’ve probably heard the same answer a hundred times. If you are asked this question, highlight a skill that you wish to improve upon and describe what you are doing to enhance your skill in this area. Interviewers don’t care what your weaknesses are. They want to see how you handle the question and what your answer indicates about you. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: “I am always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters, which I find very helpful.” “Some workload and no time for family isn’t it an injustice to your family?” “I’m fully committed to performing my job, well. My career is important to me, and I have a strong support system at home.”

Finally Remember:

  1. Exam is not the end of life if you could not succeed, but it would be a great beginning if you can (succeed).
  2. After your best shot, have faith in God. But do start preparing for the next round.
  3. Be patient and maintain your pace. This examination is all about tenacity and perseverance. Don’t lose heart and work hard. Your efforts are bound to succeed.

Certain questions on Introduction about yourself –

  1. Tell us briefly about yourself.
  2. Tell us about your hometown.
  3. What is the meaning of your name (first name/ surname)
  4. Tell us about your family

Aspirants should prepare 30-40 second coherent responses to answer open-ended and straightforward questions related to self-introduction in the interview. These questions are merely setting a baseline i.e. the eminent board will use the information you give to ask follow-up questions.

Interview Questions on Education

  1. Which subjects did you study during school/graduation and do you think they are relevant to life in administration?
  2. Which subject was your favorite/least favorite?
  3. Why did you choose ‘xyz’ college/school?
  4. What kind of projects did you do during school/graduation/PG?
  5. Would you call yourself an average student? Why?

The basic educational qualification for the PCS-J exam is graduation. Bluffing your way out if you don’t know the answer to a particular question in the interview is not advised, regardless of whether the questions are oriented toward your graduation subject or the latest trends in the same. It’s better to be humble and truthful.

Interview questions on Current Affairs

1. What are today’s headlines? :-

Few important issues in the news about India/your state/your hometown in the last few months Reading newspapers and following the daily news is important from the Interview perspective as well. The interview questions can refer to the latest news topics. Try to avoid giving one-dimensional opinion/information unless the question is relatively straightforward. (for e.g., What does the term ‘Petrodollars’ mean?)

Interview questions on Work profile

1. What were your roles and responsibilities at your job?

2. Why do you want to become a Judicial Services officer?

Be prepared to answer questions about any gaps in your work history and how your previous experience is going to help in your career as an administrator.

Interview questions on Optional Subject

1. Why did you choose ‘xyz’ optional?

2. Why didn’t you pick your graduation subject as your optional?

Also, you might face some questions in the interview related to topics/theory/contemporary issues based on your optional subject.

Interview questions on Hobbies

Here, the nature of the questions varies depending on the hobbies you have listed. For those who have listed sports as a hobby, the Panel has asked questions about famous sports persons or/and the latest results.

Interview Preparation Strategy

1. Keep following current affairs

2. Prepare a list of possible questions that can be asked based on your Resume /Information provided to the Board

3. Practice answering questions in front of a mirror

4. If possible, record yourself as you answer questions during the practice session

5. Brush up your knowledge on your graduation subject

Key points to avoid in the interview (Points to remember before the Interview)

1. Don’t stress out on the day before the Interview. Better be rested and calm.

2. Don’t try to bluff your way out. The interview is unlike any other interview you have encountered before, so don’t try bluffing strategies.

3. Don’t be concerned about theoretical questions. It is more about how you approach any question which is being asked to you.

4. Don’t argue with the panel members. It is a discussion but candidates should maintain decorum at all times.

How to prepare for questions on Current Affairs?

Broadly, the type of questions asked in the general awareness section can be divided into two:


The static portion pertains to that section of the PCS-J syllabus or other exams syllabus that doesn’t change. For instance, the Revolt of 1857, the physical features of India, etc.

The dynamic portion pertains to current affairs. The best bet to cover current affairs is the daily newspaper and following credible sources like Press Information Bureau (PIB) and Yojana Magazine.

A good understanding of Current Affairs is central to success in the exam, Government exams, or any competitive exam. The current affairs span subjects like history, geography, economy, environment and ecology, polity, science and technology etc.

Candidates should remain updated on current affairs that create headlines nationally as well as internationally. In fact, recent trends have shown that the static and dynamic portions of current affairs syllabus have significant overlap. The probability of encountering unexpected questions from current affairs in the traditionally static portions of the syllabus is quite high.

Read Also: UPSC CIVIL SERVICE-IAS Exam Eligibility, Exam Pattern, And Syllabus, Booklist For UPSC CSE Complete Details

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