The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam is widely regarded as one of the most challenging competitive exams in India. Every year, Lakhs of applicants sit for this examination, but only a select few 0.2% are able to make it through the final selection. To crack this exam, aspirants require a well-planned strategy, a strong foundation of knowledge (crucial subjects and general awareness), prominent Social Skills, and a deep understanding of the exam pattern and procedure.
To prepare for the IAS interview, it is important to familiarize oneself with the types of questions commonly asked. While the specific questions may vary, there are certain common themes and areas of focus that are usually explored.
IAS Interview Questions
IAS interview questions often cover a wide range of topics, including current affairs, national and international issues, governance, ethics, decision-making abilities, problem-solving skills, personal background, and aspirations. Through reading interview experiences, aspirants can familiarize themselves with the nature and scope of these questions. This exposure helps them develop a comprehensive approach to addressing such questions effectively during their own interview.
Although some of the interview questions may be specific to your application profile, it is important to answer them accordingly. Also one can take reference of the UPSC Previous Year Question Paper in order to get an idea of the difficulty level of questions in UPSC.
IAS Interview Process – UPSC 2023 – 24
The IAS interview is the final round of the Civil Services Examination which is conducted by UPSC(Union Public Service Commission) in India. This Round is for testing the personality of a candidate. The IAS interview process assesses a seeker’s suitability for a career in the civil services by assessing their internal alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety, and depth of interest, capability for social cohesion, and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity.
Here is a Brief Overview of the Interview Process for the Exam:
- Interview dates are usually announced on the UPSC official website and held generally held from February to April.
- Call letter issued by UPSC to candidates who have qualified for Mains Examination. This call letter was cross-checked by the security in front of the interview venue to cross-check your identity and check the name on their list.
- The venue is held in UPSC Office and most time location is the UPSC office in New Delhi and Candidate has to reach the location before the given time so the candidate gets time for verification.
- Board members are experienced and unbiased experts in various fields who conduct the interview and they are given the numbers of the panel and the sequence number of the order in which they appear before the panel(board members). For example, Candidate must appear before panel number 5, so for that panel, he/she will be going as the 3rd individual for that session. They generally don’t disclose the name of the panel chairperson at that time and no one needs to ask this to any panel.
- Interview panels generally take 30 mins for the proper interview process and it might take time for other interview verification processes. the candidate usually reaches the venue 1hr before the forenoon session and after the completion of formalities the candidate is asked to appear in front of the panel.
- The interview panel can ask several questions that are related to your introduction, hobbies, education, knowledge of national and international issues current affairs, general knowledge, work profile, and even your background. The IAS interview question is generally based to check the candidate’s personality traits, communication skills, leadership qualities, and knowledge of various issues and whether they fit your intellectual personality.
- The panel evaluates the personality trait of a candidate and their suitability for a career in civil services.
- Results are announced on the basis of the candidate’s performance in the main exam and the interview round.
IAS Interview Questions – UPSC
By asking questions from different areas interviewer want to know about the candidates’ knowledge, articulate and intellectual thinking. Be honest and confident in your answers as they seek a candidate who can serve genuinely to people of India. The IAS interview faced by Civil Services aspirants follows a similar pattern of questions which are generally based on the UPSC Syllabus . Here are some of the categories of questions generally asked in the IAS interview.
IAS interview question on Introduction
Candidates should prepare more alternate logical solutions similar to queries about self-introduction in the IAS interview, which are often open-ended and clear.
- Tell us about you briefly.
- Tell us about your hometown.
- Tell us about your family.
- What are your weaknesses and strengths?
- What inspires you to pursue a career in the civil services?
IAS interview questions on Education
Be humble and truthful in your answers as the interviewer want to know about your qualification and the latest trends in education. However, you need to prepare more questions regarding your education and qualification. Here are some examples of types of questions generally asked by the panel.
- Can you tell us about your educational qualifications?
- Which is your favourite subject and why?
- Why do you choose “XYZ” college?
- What King of the project did you do during graduation?
- Would you call yourself an average student? why?
IAS interview questions on Current Affairs
It is important to know about current affairs in an interview. The IAS interview questions are generally asked about the latest topics so Reading newspapers, watching the news, and listening radio to get daily updates are important. You need to have knowledge about the latest current affairs and knowledge about the latest trends and technologies. Here are some examples of the same.
- What are today’s headlines?
- What are a Few important issues in the news about India/your state / your hometown in the last few years or months?
- What are the major economic challenges facing the country today?
- What is your opinion on the recent farmer’s protest?
- What are your opinions on the recent changes made to the education system in the country?
- What are your views on the recent COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the country?
- Interviewers want candidates to be well-informed about current affairs and must know about the latest topics.
IAS interview questions on Work profile
The panel can ask questions regarding your previous work experience and about any gap in your work history so you need to prepare work profile questions accordingly. Here are some given sets of questions for the same.
- What are your roles and responsibilities at your job?
- Why do you want to become an IAS/IPS/ IFS officer?
- What do you think are the major challenges that civil servants face in their work?
- Can you tell us about a difficulty you had to make in your previous job?
- Can you tell us about your previous work experience and how it has prepared you for a career in the civil service?
- What do you think are the key qualities required to be an effective civil servant?
- What do you think are the major challenges that civil servants face in their work?
IAS interview questions on Optional Subject
Some questions will be asked from the optional subject and you need to be prepared for the questions related to your optional subjects. Here are some instances of the same.
- Why did you choose the “XYZ” subject as optional?
- Why didn’t you pick your graduation subject as your optional?
- How relevant is your optional subject in the current socio-economic scenario of India?
- How will your optional subject help you in your role as a civil servant?
- How will you utilize your knowledge of your optional subject to address developmental challenges in India?
- How will you plan to integrate your optional subject with your core responsibilities as a servant?
- What is the scope of research in your optional subject?
- Can you give us an example of how your optional subject can be applied in a practical scenario?
IAS interview questions on Hobbies
Here, hobbies that you have listed in your DAF then questions will be raised from that, For example, if you have mentioned sports then the panel will ask questions related to sports, and if you have mentioned reading books then about the latest book you have read and what have you learned from that.
- Can you tell me about your hobbies and how you pursue them?
- How do you think your hobbies can be relevant to your work as an IAS officer?
- Can you give an example of how your hobby has helped you in your personal or professional life?
- How do you stay updated and informed about developments in your area of interest?
Tricky IAS Interview Questions Asked by UPSC Panel
The IAS interview is known for its challenging and thought-provoking questions. Here are some examples of tricky questions asked during the IAS interview, along with possible answers given by successful candidates:
Question 1: If you were to choose between being an honest IAS officer in a corrupt system or a corrupt IAS officer in an honest system, what would you choose and why?
“ As an aspiring civil servant, my primary goal is to serve the nation and uphold the principles of honesty and integrity. However, in a corrupt system, it becomes extremely difficult to bring about any substantial change. Therefore, I would choose to be an honest IAS officer in a corrupt system, as it would provide me with the opportunity to gradually work towards reforming the system and bringing about positive change. “
Question 2: Do you think reservation policies are still relevant in modern-day India?
” Reservation policies were introduced with the intention of providing equal opportunities and social justice to historically disadvantaged sections of society. While significant progress has been made over the years, certain marginalized communities still face socio-economic challenges and discrimination. Therefore, I believe that reservation policies continue to be relevant in ensuring inclusivity and leveling the playing field. However, it is also crucial to periodically review and fine-tune these policies to address changing social dynamics and promote meritocracy. “
Question 3: What are your thoughts on the commercialization of education?
” Education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of a nation. While private institutions have contributed to expanding access to education, the commercialization of education raises concerns about affordability, quality, and equal opportunities. It is essential to strike a balance between private investment in education and ensuring that education remains accessible and affordable for all. Government regulations and quality control measures can help address the negative impact of excessive commercialization and ensure that education continues to be a tool for empowerment.“
Question 4: How would you handle a situation where your personal beliefs and the government’s policies are in conflict?
“ As a civil servant, my primary duty is to uphold the Constitution and implement government policies in the best interest of the nation and its citizens. However, if I find myself in a situation where my personal beliefs conflict with government policies, I would approach the matter with an open mind and seek a balanced perspective. I would engage in dialogue with relevant stakeholders, present my concerns, and explore possible solutions that align with both the government’s objectives and my personal convictions. Ultimately, I would strive to find a middle ground that upholds the principles of justice, fairness, and the greater good.“
Question 5: If you were given the power to change one thing about our country, What would it be?
” As an aspiring civil servant, if I had the power to change one thing about our country that would be the education system.By changing our education system, we can empower our young minds, bridge social and economic gaps, and build a strong foundation for a progressive nation. I will encourage research, innovation and value-based education would be my priority. I would also focus on improvement of quality of education at every level. Furthermore,This change would have a amazing effect, impacting various aspects of our society, including the economy, governance, and overall well-being of our citizens.“
Question 6: How do you handle criticism or feedback?
“I will handle criticism or feedback with an open mind and I will stay composed and respectful. I will consider it as an opportunity to learn, take proactive steps for self-improvement, and reflect. I view feedback or criticism as a valuable learning experience I believe that handling criticism effectively helps in the professional and personal growth of a person. I strive to maintain a receptive attitude and consider it as valuable input to enhance my learning and knowledge.“
It’s important to note that these answers are just examples, and each candidate’s response may vary depending on their personal experiences, beliefs, and understanding of the issues. The key is to present a well-reasoned and thoughtful response that demonstrates clarity of thought, ethical reasoning, and a holistic approach to problem-solving.
IAS Interview Questions Preparation Tips
Preparing for the UPSC IAS interview is crucial as it carries 275 marks, which are added to the total marks to determine the final UPSC Cut Off. Here’s how to prepare for UPSC interview questions.
- Start preparing for the interview as soon as the Mains stage is completed.
- Thoroughly study your Detailed Application Form (DAF) as many questions will be based on it.
- Research your background, interests, previous employment, service preferences, hometown, and state.
- Pay attention to your body language, posture, behaviour, and appearance during the interview.
- Listen actively to the panelists’ responses after you answer each question.
- Familiarize yourself with government schemes, economic surveys, and reports such as the Indian Yearbook.
- Stay updated with general knowledge and current affairs, both national and international.
- Gather information about your hometown and current city of residence.
- Avoid overconfidence and subjective one-dimensional arguments in your answers.
- Practice mock interviews to simulate the actual interview experience and seek feedback from mentors or professionals.
In conclusion, reading the interview experiences of successful candidates is an integral part of IAS exam preparation. It can help you understand the exam pattern, learn from the mistakes of others, improve your communication skills, understand the interview process, and boost your confidence. So, if you are an aspirant for the IAS exam, make sure to read as many interview experiences as possible and learn from the experiences of successful candidates.
FAQs on IAS Interview Questions – UPSC
1. What are the most common IAS interview questions?
Some of the most common IAS interview questions include:
- Tell us about yourself.
- What are your hobbies and interests?
- Why do you want to join the civil service?
- What are your views on current affairs?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How do you handle stress?
- What are your plans for the future?
2. What are the types of IAS interview questions?
IAS interview questions can be broadly categorized into the following types:
- Introduction-based questions
- Current affairs-based questions
- Optional subject-based questions
- General knowledge-based questions
- Situational analysis-based questions
- Personality-based questions
3. How should I prepare for the IAS interview?
There are a number of things you can do to prepare for the IAS interview, including:
- DYOR(Do your research): Learn as much as you can about the civil service, the IAS, and the current affairs of India.
- Practice answering common interview questions: There are many resources available online and in libraries that can help you practice answering common interview questions.
- Develop your communication skills: The IAS interview is a test of your communication skills, so it is important to practice speaking clearly and concisely.
- Dress appropriately: The IAS interview is a formal occasion, so it is important to dress appropriately.
- Be confident: The most important thing is to be confident and believe in yourself.
4. What are the dos and don’ts of the IAS interview?
Here are some dos and don’ts of the IAS interview:
- Be on time for your interview.
- Dress appropriately.
- Be polite and respectful to the interview panel.
- Answer the questions to the best of your ability.
- Be confident and enthusiastic.
- Ask questions at the end of the interview.
- Be late for your interview.
- Dress in a revealing or unprofessional manner.
- Be rude or disrespectful to the interview panel.
- Ramble on or give irrelevant answers to questions.
- Be negative or pessimistic.
- Not ask any questions at the end of the interview.
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