The interview round is the third stage of the UPSC qualifying exam. It is a vital stage to successfully become an IPS officer. All aspiring UPSC candidates who have cleared the UPSC Mains Exam appear for the interview round. The interview panel consists of 5 members who are the senior IAS officers. The interview round is designed to test several personality traits of the candidate that includes:

# Leadership Skills And Social Traits.

# Mental Alertness And Clear Thinking.

# Balance In Judgment And Moral Integrity.

# Social Traits.

# Critical Thinking And Decision Making.

# Varied Interest.

Understand in Detail in the Below Section!

The above mentioned are some of the personality traits that are aimed at the IAS officer. However, the UPSC panel conducts a detailed interview based on the submitted application form of the candidate. The questions are based on the place of birth, state, current affairs, hobbies, etc., to get an insight into the thoughts and interests of the aspirants. The focus of the evaluation is not to judge the knowledge of the candidate but to assess whether they are suitable for the career as a civil servant.

The interview round varies according to the field the aspiring candidate has selected for themselves, like IAS, IPS or IFS. IAS is a popular field. Many candidates aspire to become future IAS officers of the nation. However, IPS is also not far behind as the desired field by IAS candidates.



IAS officers are responsible for policy formulation & implementation and public administration. The post of IAS officer is known to be superior in terms of other civil servant offices. IAS officers help in Public Administration and formulation of policy. IAS is the administrative head of all departments in the central and state governments. The training of IAS officers is conducted at LBSNAA in Mussoorie. The work of an IAS officer is to guide the ministers on various issues, maintaining law and order, supervising the implementation of policies of state government and central government, revenue matters, and overseeing the expenditure of public funds.


IPS officers have their charm with uniformed service that makes them stand out from the crowd of other civil servants. They specialize in the field of investigation and public administration and have created a brand identity for themselves. The main offices like RAW, CBI, etc., are under the leadership of IPS officers. IPS officers have massive direct powers along with discretionary power to arrest anyone in the country. IPS officers have to deal with the citizens of the country directly. They are responsible for maintaining peace and prosperity in the country.

Difference Between IAS and IPS Interview

UPSC candidates wanting to pursue IPS as their first choice have one question: will there be any difference in UPSC interview if the first option is IPS. There is no separate interview for the post of IAS and IPS after clearing the UPSC exam. After the interview allotment of the IAS post, the IPS post takes place. During the interview round, if the candidate aspires for the IPS exam, they are questioned for reasons for joining IPS, reforms in IPS, and the name of some IPS officers in their districts. After the appointment of a top-ranking IAS officer, IPS officers are confirmed to be an officer. The judging panel also inquires about steps for maintaining peace and prosperity in the country. However, different types of services in UPSC depend on three factors like candidate’s preferences, rank and vacancies of various services with the government. Panellists will keep asking questions unless and until they get a clear choice over the candidate’s personality.

There is no so-called structure for interviewing for IAS or IPS. The questions are such that they evaluate all the qualities of the candidates to ensure that the candidate is the right fit for the post of civil servant job.

Personality-test Interview Guidance

After successfully completing the UPSC main exam, UPSC conducts an interview that requires confidence and adequate skills to ace the interview round. The interview comprises a panel that judges a candidate’s analytical and problem-solving skills, ability to handle difficult questions or situations, mental awareness, and social conduct. These qualities are essential for a candidate for holding the post as a civil servant in India. The interview round is not a casual event, and hence the candidate must put tremendous focus and dedication during the UPSC preparation to clear the interview round successfully.

The candidate has to face the panel of highly qualified retired professionals who have vast experience in their respective fields. The candidate must take the interview seriously and prepare for the interview by being polite in speech, formal and respectful. The interview is not only an assessment of intellectual skills but also social traits and interest in current affairs. The interview is not conducted in cross-examination but is guided intrinsically through the purposive conversation. Therefore, the post of IAS, IPS, IFS and others depends upon overall marks along with an interview.

Tips to Ace UPSC Interview

Here are some tips that you should keep in mind before appearing for the UPSC Civil Services Interview:

#1.  The candidate should have a proper sleep before the interview. The candidate should have a light breakfast before going for the interview.

#2.  The candidate has to dress appropriately in presentable attire and should have confidence and self-esteem. The clothes should be well ironed and should not look shabby. Shoes should be polished and clean.

#3. Gather information about the board beforehand. Read & understand about the panel to understand the question better during the interview.

#4. Be confident during the interview. The candidate’s body language, way of talking and sitting also play a vital role in the interview.

Want Some more Tips?

#5. The candidate has to greet the chairperson after walking into the interview. However, acknowledge other members of the panel as well.

#6. The candidate has to be attentive and mentally alert. The candidate should maintain eye contact with the interviewer and also while delivering the answers to them.

#7. The candidate should answer the questions asked during the interview from the perspective of a civil servant and not like a citizen. Therefore, the candidate should acquire immense knowledge about the country and world while preparing for the interview. It will help build a unique perspective.

#8. Do not hesitate to tell the interviewer that you do not know rather than making up the answer and getting stuck to it for too long. Give the answers concisely, and boasting of answers should be avoided. Quoting facts that you are unaware of should be avoided to a great extent.


So to conclude, there is no such difference in an interview between IAS and IPS. The judging panels do not differentiate between candidate interviews but rather evaluate their skill and knowledge for suitable services that they have opted for.

UPSC Pathshala is an innovative online class that prepares the candidates for clearing the Prelims and Mains Exam and Interview round. The institute provides high-quality online videos and classes to the students with personal mentors to provide tips and tricks to successfully ace the interview round in the UPSC exam. UPSC Pathshala also uses the latest technology for 24/7 student assistance.

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Does the Interview Round Differ When IPS is First Choice Instead of IAS? Here’s the Answer!
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Does the Interview Round Differ When IPS is First Choice Instead of IAS? Here’s the Answer!
As an aspiring IPS, candidates have a question; will there be any difference in UPSC interview if the first option is IPS. This article will help you find the answers to it.
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UPSC Pathshala
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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