Interviews are the most challenging phase in the whole process of UPSC. They help in scrutinizing the personality and the temperament of a candidate. It is challenging, but what makes it a tough nut to crack? It is the diverse range of questions asked in UPSC interview. Let us have an overview of what questions are the common questions in the UPSC interview and what are the toughest questions asked in the UPSC CSE interviews?

UPSC Interview Questions

IAS is the most desired exam in the country. Interviewers make sure that they hire the best of the candidates. The questions framed are such that it tests the general and academic awareness of a candidate. They can be of varied intensity.

What are the Toughest Questions asked in UPSC CSE Interviews?

Interviewers don’t expect a candidate to be omniscient. They are just looking for the aspirants that are honest, well-read, intellectual, and can comprehensively explain their answers. Let us have a look at some IAS tricky questions that might be important for an interview.

Also Read : 20 Common UPSC Myths Debunked to Help You Prepare in the Right Way

  • Self-Introduction

It is the simplest, and the most common question asked in an interview. It appears to be an easy question, but it reflects one’s personality. A lot of candidates get nervous while answering it. You need to briefly introduce yourself, stating your name, educational and professional background, and family background. The information needs to be precise and should match the resume.

  • Questions to Assess the Common Sense of a Candidate

The interviewer emphasizes more on common sense and critical thinking of a candidate. The common questions like – “Some months have 30 days, and some have 31. How many months have 28 days?”. The answer is for all months. Questions like these are quite simple to answer and sometimes become baffling for the candidates. To ace such questions, one needs to think rationally to get to the crux of the questions and answer accordingly.

  • Questions to Examine the Mental Alertness of an Aspirant

Apart from the academic syllabus and general awareness, the candidate’s mental alertness is under observation. For instance, a simple question like – “Can a human being survive eight days without sleep?”. The answer would be that a human being sleeps at night. It might appear to you as a foolish question, but it perplexes the candidates during the interviews. For such questions, a candidate need not get into the details. They need to analyze the problem statement and answer accordingly.

  • How Would You Solve the Kashmir Issue?

Sometimes political questions like these are also asked from the candidate to test their wit. Questions like these reflect the nationalistic attitude of a candidate, and how opinionated an aspirant is. These types of questions exhibit the strong personality trait and knowledge of an individual. If such a question arises in the interview, the strategy would be to share your thoughts honestly, and you can easily win the interviewer’s heart.

  • A Question like the Bay of Bengal is in Which State?

Once, the interviewers asked this simple question. Ideally, one would relate it to India’s states, but there is a trick to it. The answer to this would be a liquid state. It is related to the science concept. Questions like these expect candidates to think out of the box rather than giving ordinary answers.

What is the Objective of an Interview?

UPSC interviews mainly assess the personality and social awareness of a candidate. There is no such fixed topic to frame questions. It can be anything under the sun. Sometimes they can be bizarre and completely unexpected. A candidate’s mental alertness and logistic approach are under judgement. So, to cut a long story short, be well prepared, and don’t lose the plot while answering.

Who takes UPSC Interview?

If a candidate sits for an interview being well aware of the interviewer’s educational and professional background, they have an edge over the other candidates. Every candidate is concerned about the fact that who takes the UPSC interview? Generally, the interview is conducted by UPSC Board members which include the chairman and other board members. Knowing who is going to take the interview makes interaction easy and fruitful. It also makes one aware of the type of questions asked by the interviewer.

Where is UPSC Interview Conducted?

UPSC interviews are held in the Union Public Service Commission office at Dholpur House, New Delhi. Interviews play a major role as it is the final chance that can shoot up your scores. One should never neglect it.

What is the UPSC Mock Interview and How beneficial is it for the Aspirants?

The purpose of mock UPSC interviews is to pre-assess an aspirant’s strong and weak points before the actual interview. This is a crucial part of the whole preparation, as it helps the candidates visualize the real scenario of the interview beforehand.

Advantages of UPSC Mock Interviews

  • Makes you well aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • It improves your confidence level and prepares you in advance.
  • It provides a real-time environment of what an interview could look like.
  • Mock interviews help an individual to recognize the possible mistakes one could make in the interview.

Also Read : How to Prepare for International Relations for UPSC? Here’s All You Need to Do

UPSC Interview Language

The medium of the language in which the candidate is giving the interview doesn’t matter. Candidates can select English, Hindi, or any other regional language. One needs to be comfortable and fluent in the chosen language. The question that bothers most candidates is that if they select Hindi or any other regional language will it affect their scores. The answer to this simple question is – No. It doesn’t matter what medium of language you are opting for. You need to be eloquent in it.

Is it mandatory for a Candidate to Choose from Hindi and English Medium of Language for the Interview?

It is also a matter of concern for a lot of candidates. According to the Union Public Service Commission in 2011, a candidate is free to choose any language, be it English, Hindi, or any other regional language. No matter if you have opted for the English language for writing the paper, and you are more comfortable in Hindi or any other regional language, you can opt for the interview. Language is just a medium of communication. What matters is how articulate a candidate is with the chosen language.

UPSC Interview Marks: Significance of the Interviews

UPSC is one of the most esteemed exams in the country. People often undermine the importance of interviews and take it lightly. Interviews constitute 275 marks out of 1750. It is as crucial as the written part. The minimum marks an aspirant needs to crack the interview is 55.

Also Read : Do Questions Repeat in UPSC Prelims and Mains? Here is All that You Need to Know!

Here are a Few Tips to Ace the UPSC Interviews

  • Devise a Strategy for Interview Preparation

It is quite important to build a plan before sitting for the actual interview. It helps a candidate to prepare thoroughly for the interview.

  • Work on Communication Skills

As discussed, no matter the language a candidate is conversing in. One needs to be fluent and well-versed in that. The interviewer looks for someone opinionated and articulate. So make sure to work on your speaking skills.

  • Maintain a Poised Body Posture

Interviews are also commonly known as personality tests, and the most minute aspect on which an individual’s personality is judged is his/her body posture or way of sitting. Similarly, in UPSC interviews the way you conduct yourself and your body posture matters a lot. Remain calm and composed, present yourself properly, do not crouch or lean back, and always maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

  • Stay Confident, even if You Don’t Know the Answer

It is a very bizarre tip, but very helpful for the UPSC interview. Interviewers often ask baffling questions and try to manipulate the candidate. The sole reason for doing this is to check how a candidate would react in difficult situations. In such scenarios, always make sure to answer honestly and confidently. They do not expect a candidate to know all the answers, you need to reflect clarity of thought and confidence, and you are good to go!

  • Believe in Yourself

Preparing for UPSC interviews can be quite tiresome for aspirants, but one always needs to have self-belief. The determination, right knowledge, and consistency can easily help you fetch good scores. Whatever is asked, answer it confidently, and be respectful. Make sure your answers are short and crisp. Lastly, stay committed to your preparation, and believe in yourself. You can easily hit the jackpot.


UPSC interviews test the personality of an individual. Interviews are somewhat daunting, but one can master them through correct preparation and self-confidence. It is not about knowing the answers, but how one conducts himself/herself while answering is counted.

“The first impression is the last impression” we all are aware of this term, and it stands true especially for the interviews. A candidate has to reflect his/her actual potential and try not to fumble, and converse well. Lastly, remember that interviewers are not trying to demean you by asking tricky questions; one needs to stay positive. Keep reading our blogs for more UPSC specific content.

Also Read : How to Prepare for UPSC While Doing Engineering?

What are the Toughest Questions asked in UPSC CSE Interviews?
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What are the Toughest Questions asked in UPSC CSE Interviews?
Worried about how to face those IAS tricky questions asked in the UPSC interview? This article covers all the nitty-gritty of the UPSC interview.
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UPSC Pathshala
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