The last obstacle for an IAS aspirant is to clear the interview round. The IAS interview is officially called the UPSC Personality Test. It is a test of personality and not just knowledge. In this final round, candidates have to face questions from the panel members of the UPSC board.

Candidates must clear Prelims, Mains, and the Personality Test/Interview. They may also face some tricky questions in the interview (275 marks) that tests candidates’ knowledge, mental calibre, reasoning ability, spontaneousness among other things. This article will tell you about the IAS tricky questions with answers

Tricky Questions Asked In IAS Interview and their Answers

The UPSC interview questions test the candidates’ mental acuity, general awareness, social etiquette, and overall personality. The questions in IAS interview are not meant to solely ascertain theoretical knowledge so instead of mugging up, candidates should focus on their soft skills. A few of the broad categories of questions in the IAS interview that every candidate can look forward to getting asked are:

  • IAS interview question on Introduction
  • IAS interview questions on Education
  • IAS Interview questions on Current Affairs
  • IAS interview questions on Work profile
  • IAS interview questions on Optional Subject
  • IAS interview questions on Hobbies
  • A few instances of tricky questions that could be more roundabout and vague.

In this article, we will focus on the last kind of questions and how to answer them. Let’s look at examples of these brilliant UPSC questions.

Also Read: IAS Interview Questions and Answers: Guidelines to Answer IAS Interview Questions

Brilliant UPSC Question

Q- Science or technology: what came first?

It is a question from the 2014 UPSC interview: “Difference between science and technology? And, which came first?”

Simply put, technology is the application of science. The debate over which came first continues with some claiming science came first, others arguing it’s technology, and some saying both go hand-in-hand. There are equal debatable points for both. As long as you can cite evidence that supports your stance, you can answer it however you want.

Q- ‘What happened when the wheel was invented?’

In one of the IAS interviews, the interviewer asked: “What happened when the wheel was invented?”

The candidate, who was also selected, simply answered, “It caused a revolution.” The interviewee decided to use a “pun” and give a two-level answer, conveying the wheel’s basic function (revolution) and also that the invention led to a revolution.

Tricky Questions asked in IAS Interview

The third question is: “If a red house is made from red bricks, pink house… from pink bricks, blue house… from blue bricks, and black house… from black bricks, then what is a greenhouse made from?”

Answer: Greenhouses are made of glass. Sometimes, interviewers may try to confuse the candidates to test them; but, candidates can give the right answer using their common sense.

UPSC Questions that are Intended to Test the Candidate’s Mental Alertness

“In a field, a farmer has 4 haystacks and 5 haystacks in other fields. If he combines all stacks in the centre of the field, how many haystacks would he possess?”

Answer: After combining all haystacks, he would have only one haystack. For such questions, candidates should not get into details or calculations but just understand the question properly before answering.

Also Read: 20 Amazing Tips for IAS Officer Interview Questions Preparation

Preparation Tips and Strategy for Interview Round

  • Keep following current affairs
  • Prepare a list of possible questions that can be asked based on your DAF
  • Practice answering questions in front of a mirror
  • If possible, record yourself as you answer questions during the practice session
  • Brush up your knowledge on your graduation subject
  • Don’t stress out on the day before the Interview. Better be rested and calm.
  • Don’t try to bluff your way out. The IAS interview is unlike any other interview you have encountered before, so don’t try bluffing strategies.
  • Don’t be concerned about theoretical questions. It is more about how you approach any question which is being asked to you.
  • Don’t argue with the panel members. It is a discussion but candidates should maintain decorum at all times.


Even brilliant students who perform very well in the written exams are petrified when it comes to facing the interview. The format is no doubt different, but the formula for success is the same. You work hard and work smart; don’t ignore preparation; you practice mock interviews, and stay calm – you will find that overcoming this last obstacle will also be a smooth ride. So do not despair at the last step but work towards your goal just like you had been doing so.

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IAS Tricky Questions with Answers: Tricky Questions Asked In IAS Interview and Preparation Tips
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IAS Tricky Questions with Answers: Tricky Questions Asked In IAS Interview and Preparation Tips
The third and the last step for UPSC is the Interview round. Read about the top tricky questions asked in the interview and how to answer in the interview round to crack UPSC.
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UPSC Pathshala
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