10+ Questions for UPSC Interview: Get Sample Answers📄

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20+ Questions for UPSC Interview

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) administers exams to select civil service candidates for organisations like the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, and Indian Police Service. For those interested in a career in public service, the UPSC’s Civil Service Exam includes a formal interview as its last component. You can prepare for this portion of the exam by going over some of the questions you might encounter during the interview. To assist you in preparing, we have provided a list of 20 UPSC interview questions along with a few sample responses.

UPSC Interview Details

Vacancies1105 (2023 cycle)
Maximum Marks 275
Duration 30-45 minutes
Timings Two sessions per day, as mentioned in the candidate’s call letter:
Forenoon session: 9:00 AM onwards
Afternoon session: 1:00 PM onwards
Dress CodeBasic formals (dark trousers with a light-coloured plain shirt for men and saree or ‘churidar’ for women)
VenueUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC), Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110069

14 OLQs Tested with IAS Interview Questions

The UPSC interview is conducted to assess candidates for officer positions in the Indian Civil Services, and the 14 OLQs serve as a framework to evaluate the suitability of candidates for leadership roles. The 14 OLQs, or ( Officer Like Qualities ) are as follows:

UPSC Interview Questions

11 Tricky UPSC Interview Questions with Answers

UPSC interview questions seem simple at first glance, but they are more tricky than you think. Here are 11 tricky IAS interview questions with answers.

Now that you have a thorough understanding of the types of questions and qualities tested by UPSC Interview questions, let’s go through the IAS Interview questions of toppers with answers for your easy preparation.

Note: All the answers provided to these IAS interview questions are general. Create your answers and make improvisations before the panellists.

How would you lift a camel with one hand?

It is a funny IAS interview question with no simple answer. “A camel with one hand does not exist, so it cannot be lifted,” you can say.

Are there any differences between vision, mission, aims, and objectives?

“Vision is the top overarching destination,” he responded. For example, the government can be visionary in terms of bringing governance to the poorest man. However, the mission is the strategy developed to achieve that vision, such as a poverty-eradication mission. Following that, aims and objectives can be both short and long-term goals or outcomes of the same mission.”
This IAS interview question was asked of Gaurav Agarwal (UPSC CSE Rank 1, 2013).

Why are we spending so much on ISRO missions while we have burning poverty in the country?

This IAS interview question assesses your social cohesion and vision. You can respond by saying that ISRO missions assist with disaster management, monitoring groundwater levels, and crop productivity forecasting, all of which indirectly benefit farmers and the poor.

Name three consecutive days without using the words “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday”

These IAS interview questions test applicants’ critical thinking and mental alertness. The answer is, “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.”

Should civil servants take part in politics?

These leadership-related IAS interview questions test candidates’ abilities, and one possible response is, “Civil servants deal with the needs, woes, and demands of the common public, so indirectly it is part and parcel of politics.”

Have you gone through any of the Vedas? Are they relevant today?

These IAS interview questions are opinion-based, and one possible response is, “Yes, Vedic teachings like ‘prevention is better than cure’ or ‘anger is the death of a good man’ are still widely used in civil services jobs.”

Say, I don’t have any knowledge about your country. Help me know it in your own words.

It is one of those crucial IAS interview questions that call for a thorough knowledge of India, its states, as well as the environment and contributing elements. You should provide an answer that highlights both the advantages and disadvantages, such as “My country is the largest democracy in the world with a diverse population of religions, the natural world, and culture. We adhere to the idea that everyone on earth is related, or “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.” We have a variety of plants and animals, but we also struggle with issues like unemployment, poverty, female infanticide, and lack of development.

If a ship sinks on the border of India and the USA, how would you bury the survivors?

It’s one of those tricky situation-based IAS Interview questions that can be answered like, “The survivors need to be rescued, not buried.”

Why do you want to join the civil service if you can do well in social work?

This is one of the logical IAS interview questions that should not be addressed in terms of one’s position of authority or wealth. Instead, respond diplomatically by saying something along the lines of, “My purpose is to serve the nation with crucial policy regulations, handling the developmental activities of both the central government and the states to bring about a larger change among the common mass.”

If you like inventing, what would you invent today?

This type of IAS interview question is based on situational analysis and can be answered with something like, “I would invent the machine that can calculate the pressure of the other interviewees sitting outside as they seem very tense.”

Many people do well in exams, but not in life. Why?

This is a leadership-related question, and the answer is that results will be slow and almost diminishing if one does not want to apply what they have learned in their own lives.

Must Read: IAS Interview Guide 2022 With Tips & Tricks

IAS Interview Questions: Category Wise

There is no set format or curriculum from which UPSC Interview questions are drawn. Since the interview is conducted by senior IAS officers and a director who makes sure to ask questions that test candidates’ public servant qualities not found in textbooks, interviewees essentially need to become familiar with the most recent Current Affairs. 

Situation-Based UPSC IAS Interview Questions

Q.1. What would you do if you woke up and found your sister lying naked on the bed?
Q.2. What looks like half an apple?
Q.3. If a wall is built in ten hours by 8 men, how many hours will it take four men to build it?

Also Read: How To Ace Your Self Introduction in Interview!

Education-Based IAS Interview Questions

Q.1. Would you call yourself an average student? If yes/no, Why?
Q.2. Why did you choose a different optional subject other than your graduation subject?
Q.3. Tell us one thing about your school/college that you came to know at a very later stage of life and that made you feel both proud and embarrassed.

Work Profile-Based Questions

Q.1. Why do you want to become an IAS/IPS/IFS officer if your current job is well-paying and you are good at it?
Q.2. Suppose a candidate has prior work experience; then, why did they leave that job?
Q.3. For instance, if you were a doctor/engineer, why would you want to join the Civil Service when you were already serving the common people?

Optional Subject-Based Questions

Q.1. Why didn’t you choose a popular optional subject and vice versa?
Q.2. Why did you choose a different optional subject than your graduation pick?
Q.3. Mention some events and issues related to your optional.

Current Affairs Based UPSC Interview Questions

Q.1. Tell us the top 5 headlines of today.
Q.2. What are your views on the present situation (For instance, the Russia-Ukraine War) going around the globe?
Q.3. State a few important events about your hometown or your state lately that we should know.

UPSC Interview Questions Based On State/District/Village

Q.1. What are your views on India’s population scenario and sex ratio?
Q.2. Was Calcutta respelled or renamed Kolkata, and when?
Q.3. Was there any historical monument or famous freedom fighter from your region? If yes, illustrate.

Tips To Prepare for UPSC Interview

After knowing and having access to questions asked in a UPSC interview, here are some tips that a candidate should keep in mind:

  1. Start your preparation early.
  2. Make sure to improve your communication skills.
  3. Do not be overconfident
  4. Relax! Keep your mind positive.
  5. Improve your body posture.
  6. Be updated with current affairs and read newspapers daily.


How to answer UPSC interview questions?

(1) Keep up with current events.
(2) Make a list of potential inquiries that could be made based on your DAF.
(3) In front of a mirror, practise responding to questions.
(4) If possible, record yourself answering questions during the practice session.
(5) Refresh your memory on your graduation subject.

What are the tricky questions asked in the IAS interview?

(1) How easy is it to weigh a fish?
​(2) How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
(3) ​What looks like half apple?
​(4) Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday?

Is the UPSC interview tough?

One of the toughest phases to get through is the UPSC Interview. The use of mental acuity is required. A candidate can only move forward if they have the aptitude and capacity to pick up new skills. 


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This was all about the “20+ Questions for UPSC Interview”.  For more such informative blogs, check out our UPSC Exams Section, or you can learn more about us by visiting our  Indian exams page.

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