What Type of Questions are Asked in IAS and IPS InterviewThe interview round in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Exam (CSE) is the third and final phase before clearing one of the toughest exams in the country. However, this round is completely different from the first two rounds. Here, a panel of highly qualified people will pose questions to the candidate in every possible way. Some IAS interview questions posed in this round cannot be pre-prepared, but the spontaneous answering will help evaluate the candidate’s temperament, honesty, and personality. Better known as the “Personality Assessment Round”, a candidate is put to the test rather than his knowledge in this round. While preparing for the final stage, many questions like, what are the questions asked in an IAS interview? or which type of questions are asked in an interview of IAS and IPS? pop in our minds.

Read the entire article to know more about UPSC interview questions.

How Many Questions are Asked in an IAS Interview?

There is no proper structure of the interview. In fact, there is no predetermined or fixed number of questions that are asked to a candidate. It will differ from one candidate to another. Panellists will keep asking questions until they get a clear judgment of the candidate’s overall personality.

The board members will judge the aspirant based on every aspect like honesty, take on social issues, and ability to work in stressful conditions. To give a basic understanding, all the questions asked in the interview will help the panellists assess an aspirant’s mental alertness, variety and depth of interest, knowledge of current affairs, the balance of judgment, leadership skills, and intellectual and moral integrity, to name a few. So, the questions will continue until all the qualities of the candidate are evaluated by the board members.

Some of the most frequently asked UPSC interview questions are:

Also Read: How is Public Administration as Optional in the UPSC Mains? Is Opting for it Beneficial?

Tell us about Yourself or Introduce Yourself?

This question is common in almost every interview, and UPSC is no exception.

To answer this question, start with your personal details like education, parents, siblings, native place, hobbies and tell about your profession if you are working. Board members observe everything. Be confident about your answers and do not lie or speak about something you are clueless about. If they pick up on anything like that and unfortunately, if you cannot justify yourself properly, the first question will leave a negative impression.

Prepare beforehand for this question and answer the question confidently to leave a good first impression.

Why do You want to become an IAS or IPS Officer?

This question is very common and is one of the very few common UPSC interview questions.

This is one of the crucial questions. Answer the question with utmost honesty. Additionally, speak about what made you choose this path, who or which situation motivated you to crack UPSC, what makes you keep going, and how you want to contribute to the people and system.

A clear and straight answer to this question will help panellists get an overview of your confidence, clarity, and dedication.

Also Read: What Qualification is Required for IAS? What Rank is Required for IAS?

Tell Us about Your Strengths and Weakness

Apart from knowing about you, this question also tests your honesty. These highly professional and experienced panellists will understand and are attentive to your slightest hesitations and answers. Hence, let them know freely about weaknesses and assure them that you are working towards making those your strengths and be ready to back all your qualities with logical explanations or examples if required.

Why this Educational Background?

To trick you into confusion, board members will ask you why you chose this particular education. Be prepared with an answer and relate the subjects, incidents from your education to UPSC.

Why these Optional Subjects?

Be very clear and prepared for this, particularly if your optionals are different from your educational background.

Your Hobbies

While filling out the application form, be very careful about the hobbies section because questions will definitely pop out of them. If you mentioned sports, talk about your favourite player and how he/she inspires you, or if you named any dance form, prepare about its origin, history, and importance.

Take on Some Burning or Current Issues

After clearing Mains and Prelims, you will obviously be aware of current affairs. Be prepared to put your clear opinion on the same. This question will help panellists assess a lot about your personality and thoughts. Hence, be very careful answering this question.

Excluding this handful of standard and frequently asked questions, some IAS interview questions are witty, tricky, and logical, but are asked regularly to know about certain qualities of the candidates. They are:

In Which State is the Indian Ocean?

Ans: Liquid State

Explanation: These hypothetical questions trick and confuse the candidate. Alertness is required to answer these questions throughout the interview.

What if You Found Out that You are Pregnant? (for a Female Candidate)


What if you found out that your sister is pregnant? (for a male candidate)

Ans: I would be very happy and celebrate the news with family and friends.

Explanation: Questions such as these are to see a positive side in every situation, even for shocking news.

How can You Drop a Raw Egg onto a Granite Floor without Cracking?

Ans: Granite floors are very hard to crack.

Explanation: This question is to test the alertness of the candidate.

The interviewer ordered a cup of tea. It was kept before the candidate. Now, Interviewer asked, what is before you?

Ans: Before the alphabet ‘U’comes alphabet ‘T’. Hence, the answer is ‘T’.

Explanation: The panellist ordered tea to create to confuse the candidate so that the candidate finds it difficult to answer this common-sense question.

How can a Human Live up to 8 Days without Sleep?

Ans: She/He can sleep through the nights.

Explanation: Tricky question to know the ability of understanding of the candidate.

If You Throw A Black Stone Into The Blue Sea, Then What Will Happen?

Ans: The stone will drown.

Explanation: Questions as such are to understand the thinking ability of the candidate.

Another Tricky Interview Question

 A killer condemned to death was shown three rooms. Room number one is on fire, the second had rifles with the killer in the, and the third had a Tiger, who had not eaten for three years. What should he choose?

Ans: Room number three, because three years will have died by now hungry tiger.

Explanation: These questions are to test the decision-making ability of the candidate.

A cat has three children. The children’s names are Jane, Kat, and Brady. What is the name of that cat?

Ans: The answer is available in the question asked. The Cat named is ‘What.’

Explanation: These questions test the future IAS officers’ presence of mind and the ability to respond quickly.

Also Read: IPS Aishwarya Sharma Biography: Checkout Her Wiki, Strategy, Optional Subjects & More

Tips for Interview Round

To perform well in the interview round, focus on all-around personality development and participate in as many mock interviews as you can to boost confidence, reduce nervousness, and adjust to the environment.

Since there is no restriction to the number or types of questions that can be asked, no preparation and depth of the subject are enough to pass the interview round. The whole point of the interview is to assess the candidate’s overall personality and not the knowledge. This round is most certainly not a cakewalk, but you don’t have to give the right answer to every question. Be clear about your opinions, be honest, confident, clever, and alert. Just as you reached here, crossing all the obstacles with your hard work and dedication, you shall pass this too.


To know more such valuable information about the Union Public Service Commission and civil services exam, follow UPSC Pathshala. This online platform with experienced staff, personal mentors, and lectures will help lay the path for the successful completion of the civil services exam. Don’t miss out on our free demo class to know our teaching techniques and methodology before you make the next best decision of enrolling with us. Visit our website now to know more about us.

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What Type of Questions are Asked in IAS and IPS Interview? Here’s the Ultimate Guideline
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What Type of Questions are Asked in IAS and IPS Interview? Here’s the Ultimate Guideline
What are the questions asked in an IAS interview? Know the frequently asked questions, including your introduction, hobbies, current affairs, take on social issues, and much more.
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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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