IAS Interview Guide 2022 With Tips & Tricks

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The Civil Services Examination, commonly known as the IAS exam is conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The main goal of this examination is to fill the seats of various prestigious positions in the highest paying government jobs in India. IAS exam is said to have an intense syllabus that is equally challenging and eye-opening. Students take years to crack the whole exam which comprises Prelims, Mains, and Final Interview or Personality Test. UPSC IAS Interview will be conducted from 5th April to 26th May 2022. Candidates should be aware of tips & tricks on how to crack the UPSC IAS Interview as it is the final stage of the Civil Services Examination. In this blog, we will take a brief cover of the tips and tricks to crack the IAS Interview.

What is the UPSC IAS Interview Test?

The final stage of the Civil Services selection process is the interview or personality test. It is worth 275 points (with no minimum qualifying marks). Candidates’ ultimate ranking will be determined by their performance in both the Main Examination (written examination) and the Interview. Candidates will be assigned to various services based on their performance in the examination and their declared preferences for specific services and positions. The following is the focus of the interview, as specified by UPSC in its notification: The nominee will be interviewed by a Board that will have a record of his or her career in front of them. He or she will be questioned on a variety of topics. The goal of the interview is for a panel of competent and impartial observers to assess the candidate’s suitability for a career in public service. The test’s goal is to evaluate a candidate’s mental ability. In general terms, this is an assessment of not just his academic talents, but also his social qualities and current events interest. As a result, the interviewers are concerned about two things: the candidate’s personality and his or her expertise.

UPSC IAS Interview Process

The IAS Interview questions are more akin to a conversation between the UPSC board and the candidate. An IAS interview typically lasts around 20 minutes, and hopefuls are asked questions on a wide range of topics. The UPSC IAS interview panel might be intimidating, but with the right facts and knowledge, a candidate with confidence and the right soft skills can easily ace the interview.

The following is a first-hand description of the UPSC IAS Interview experience for aspirants:

  • Candidates normally arrive at the site with some time to spare, and the security guard in front of UPSC organizes them into a queue and does preliminary verification (cross-checking the candidate’s name on their list with the interview call letter). It is advised that you bring some form of government-issued identification with you.
  • Candidates must check-in their luggage and cell phones after being ushered within the UPSC’s hallowed gates by security. The candidates are then forced to sit in an entrance hall where their credentials (educational certificates, caste certificates) are verified. Typically, the process is painless, and the personnel is kind and willing to assist. Newspapers, tea/water, and cookies are also available for the candidates. In addition, candidates are given a questionnaire to complete (basic background information for UPSC’s research and analysis).
  • The candidates are given the number of the panel and the sequence number of the order in which they will appear before the panel once the papers have been submitted. For example, a candidate may be instructed that he or she must come before panel number 5 and that he or she would enter as the third person for that session. They don’t reveal the panel chairperson’s identity at that time, therefore it’s meaningless to inquire.
  • The applicants are then brought to a vast circular hall in the center of the building complex, where they are noticeably frightened. The contestants are seated and grouped according to their panel number (all the people scheduled to appear before panel number 5 will sit in a group and so on). A few staff members will also be handing out paperwork for out-of-town applicants’ travel reimbursement (they refund for train travel in 2nd class).
  • A panel of five to six applicants is interviewed in one session. As a result, the hall is initially extremely filled (5-6 panels in all, hence 30-35 odd candidates sitting and waiting). An interview usually lasts approximately 20 minutes, although there is no set time restriction, and some have described being a part of interviews that lasted up to 40 minutes.
  • Candidates make their way to their separate panels one by one (after another security check-in in which they must leave any remaining documents/papers/pen). A staff member usually escorts one from here to the panel chairperson’s room.

IAS Interview Questions

There are several different types of questions that you can be asked during an IAS Interview. It doesn’t always depend on the questions you went on to prepare. IAS Interviews are known as some of the scariest for a reason. They are extremely unpredictable. You might be asked a lot of questions on different topics, different questions on the same topic, just a few questions, or maybe follow-up questions on the first question. You can never know what is going on in the mind of the interviewers. But don’t worry, you can also go prepared the best you can. So, here are some questions that can be asked in the IAS Interview. 

Introduction Questions

  • Tell us about yourself
  • Where is your hometown
  • Tell us about your family
  • What does your name mean?

These questions are fairly easy to answer as it is only about your own life. However, there are chances that you may be asked follow-up questions related to these questions. For example, if you mention your hometown as X, you might be asked ‘What is most famous about your hometown?’ as a follow-up question.

  • What did you study in graduate school and why?
  • Which is your favorite subject and least favorite subject?
  • Why did you choose the school that you chose?
  • Where will you place yourself in the academic ranking of students from best to poor?
  • What job did you pursue after graduation?
  • Why did you shift from your job to pursuing UPSC?
  • What was your key role in your previous organization?

When you move past the introduction, there might be questions related to your education and work experience. You must be well aware of all the decisions you have taken. You do not need to sound the smartest in the room you are not in the front of the panel! But you do need to be confident and accepting of whatever you have done in your career.

Current Affairs and Hobbies

  • What is today’s headline?
  • List the most important events that took place in the last month in your country/ state/ city
  • What are your hobbies?
  • How do you take time out for your hobby?
  • Why did you not choose to pursue that hobby as a career? 

These questions are the ones that students fear the most. The reasoning is, that there will be a lot that you may or may not know. This completely depends on the panel if they wish to ask you these questions. Be very prepared, read a lot of news and be aware of things related to your hobbies. 

Optional Subject

  • Why did you choose this subject?
  • Why did you not choose your graduation subject as an optional subject?
  • What is the meaning of *any word in this subject*?

You must be sure of the subject you are choosing and be aware of all the details regarding it. There can be any question, from easy to tough. But your answer to these will impact the result heavily. 

Drishti IAS : English

Most Brilliant IAS Questions with Answers

Here are some of the most interesting questions and their answers for your IAS preparation. Most of these have pretty simple answers but are tricky to the mind. All you need is common sense and presence of mind. 

  1. A killer was sentenced to death and was shown three rooms. 
    The first room is on fire
    Second have guns with a killer
    The third is a Tiger who had not eaten for three years.
    What should he choose?

    A: Tiger, because if he has not eaten for three years, he is dead.
  1. Twins were born in April but their birthday is in August. How’s this possible?
    A: April is the town where they were born  (This is a simple grammar-related question.) 
  1.  How to write 23 using only 2?
    A: 22+ 2/2
  1. What are both sauce and a dance? 
    A . Salsa
  1. Why is it easy to weigh a fish?
    A. Because it has its scales

IAS Interview Round

This is the final stage before the results are declared. Known as the Personal Interview round or the Personality test, the preparation strategies for this round are so much different than the interview round.

Some students feel relaxed after the written test but more than 60% of students are more threatened by the IAS interview round as they think that speaking is not their forte. But, here we are to help those students to get over their fears with these tips and tricks.

1Let us understand the composition of the UPSC board. The IAS interview is conducted by the UPSC board to assess the candidates’ suitability for the job in civil services. The board always consists of the most competent and least biased individuals who have a record of the candidate’s career in their hands, the first time on that day.

2What are the qualities the board looks for? Every year UPSC screens candidates for selection in the IAS. Being one of the toughest exams in India, Civil Services Examinations requires rigorous training and preparation.

Officers must follow certain norms and rules to ensure the highest standards of quality in governmental activities and decision-making that cannot be negotiated with anything else. Besides this, below listed are some of the essential qualities that an IAS aspirant must possess.

  • Mental Alertness 
  • Critical Thinking
  • Political Knowledge
  • Good Ideas
  • Opinionated but not Eggheaded
  • A clear sense of judgment
  • Proper Balance of Life and Work
  • Depth of Interest
  • Physical and Mental Fitness

Sure-shot Tips for the IAS Interview Round

If you have got all these then you are good to go, if not, follow these tips that we have listed down for you to crack your IAS Interview.

The First Impression

  • It is said that “first impressions are the last impressions.” Don’t worry, it is not entirely true, if you meet someone for longer than 5 minutes, the first impression doesn’t matter. The middle impression matters the most, how you present yourself when talked to and how you behave. Not how you came in will imprint the interviewer’s mind. 
  • You had their curiosity, now you have their attention. Try to make it to their “undivided attention”

What can you do to make a good impression?

  • Greet them when you come in, as per their genders, don’t greet them unanimously. 
  • Ask before you sit down, and behave like a gentleman or woman. Ask for permissions and sit straight but a little lean. 
  • Always have a smile on your face but that smile doesn’t make you look like a baboon. 

Body Language

Your language doesn’t matter, meaning it doesn’t matter if you are speaking Hindi or English. But it matters what your body is speaking. 

What can you do to ensure a great outcome of the IAS Interview?

  • Sit straight and don’t fidget unnecessarily, they are trained professionals and can sense uneasiness.
  • Lean a bit towards them to show attentiveness.
  • Don’t cross your hands or legs as long as the interview goes on. Be alert and not relaxed.
  • Don’t linger on the desk, keep your hands in your lap and when necessary, use them in the air to make a point. 
  • Maintain a poker face in difficult circumstances, meaning don’t let your fears or predicaments be shown on your face.
  • Keep a good and healthy smile.

Attitude and Behavior in Check

“Keep your attitude at the door when you come into my office”. Works here too. A great saying and works everywhere. Don’t come in with your preconceived notions or ideologies or your egoistic assumptions. Come in, greet them, close the gate without your back turned towards them, and be polite as much as you can.

It all depends on how bad you want it. Some tips to follow as written in the body language one. Your body language showcases your attitude and calmness. Work on it because we know most of the people here fail to work out their emotions and be professional. 

Communicate Properly

Communication consists of your ideas, your thinking, your upbringing, your mindset, and the concreteness of your mind. People lack the skill of communication the most. Being fluent, full of thoughts, and presentable, all comes under communication. 

What can you do to improve your communication skills for the IAS Interview?

  • Speak in front of a mirror daily
  • Read newspapers (already do when preparing for IAS interview and exam) aloud
  • When in an IAS interview, use your hands to showcase the depth of your thoughts
  • Be presentable with your ideas, do due diligence
  • Speak correctly and fluently, do not hesitate or fidget.
  • Just remember, a simple but full of common sense answer is usually the way to approach a difficult question. 
  • A good sense of humor and the ability to take a joke goes a long way.

Reach out to Seniors for the IAS Interview Round

“It never harms to ask your seniors or advisors for some help”. Mock tests help to prepare for the written exams but not a whole lot of manuscripts are available to ace the IAS interview round. So, read personality development books or reach out to your seniors, your guides, or some experienced person in the field of Business or Military too. 

Create a Last Good Impression

Follow the same steps you used when you came in. What else can you do to make a long-lasting last impression?

  • End at a great note with a great line or your greatest thought. A line from your favorite writer or author or any civil servant goes a long way.
  • Get up without showing your back, greet them the traditional Indian way, and shake their hands.
  • Take two steps back with still facing them, then turn back and go towards the door.
  • When shutting the door back, still turn to them and smile at them, don’t show your back. No, you won’t seem desperate just don’t give out a creepy smile. 

UPSC IAS Interview – Things To Avoid 

The IAS Interview is the final step in determining whether or not you have been selected for the Indian Administrative Services merit list. To get a decent rank, you must be careful not to make any blunders and therefore pass the UPSC IAS Interview. For further clarification, have a look at the tips below.

  • On the day of the examination, candidates are usually urged to be cool and composed. Also, don’t spend too much time revising the day before and on the day of the UPSC IAS interview test. Keep in mind that they aren’t designed to test much of your theoretical knowledge. But it’s more about how you answer each question to the best of your ability and if you’re sincere.
  • It’s also crucial to pay care to your appearance. On the day of the interview, avoid wearing a lot of makeup. Do not use deodorants or scents that are too powerful. Also, avoid wearing items that have just been sewn because they might be unpleasant.
  • If you encounter applicants that appear to have more knowledge or skill than you, don’t be alarmed. Everyone at the same IAS Interview center is deserving of being there since you are a deserving applicant.

UPSC IAS Interview – Things To Remember 

As a civil service applicant, there are a few things you should bear in mind. If you follow the suggestions listed below, the UPSC IAS Interview can be a breeze:

  • The panelists will ask you a series of trick questions to see how you react under duress. They may ask you three to four questions in a succession, and you may not know the answers to any of them! Maintain your calm and politely respond, “I don’t know ma’am/sir.” Always remember that the best policy is, to be honest. Positively answer the remaining questions.
  • Any of the panel members may interrupt you when you are being questioned about government politics. Listen patiently before continuing, and always offer the government’s position before adding any potential problems or options for moving forward in the scenario. It is just as important to listen to the UPSC IAS interview as it is to talk!
  • When all of the panelists have finished interrogating you, the panel chairwoman will tell you to depart. It’s important to remember that your exit should be as smooth as your entrance. So, before you leave the UPSC IAS Interview room, smile at the panel chairperson and the rest of the panelists.
  • Last but not least, once your IAS interview is completed, you are not permitted to return to the waiting room where other applicants are present. You should gather your stuff, complete the trip reimbursement form, and leave the civil services test facility as soon as possible.

You need to understand that during your UPSC IAS Interview, the interviewer will throw strange and uneasy questions at you but you shouldn’t lose your calm or even let them see it. If you are confused about the ideal career path that aligns with your interests or planning a career change, sign up for an e-meeting with our experts at Leverage Edu and we will assist you in making informed decisions at every step of your academic and professional journey.

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