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How to Prepare for IAS Interview

Last Updated - August 23, 2017

IAS Interview is the most crucial and final qualifying round of IAS Exam. The candidates can prepare for the interview process through various preparation books, online videos or various study material available online. The candidates have to be confident and answer the questions precisely.

The interviewee can ask introductory questions and questions based on subjective knowledge of the candidate. There are questions from various topics of general awareness so the candidate has to stay updated with the latest events. Do not forget to carry the documents required as carelessness will lead to negative marking and de-selection.

IAS recruitment process involves three stages viz. The preliminary test, Main test, and Personal Interview. Out of all the three tests, the Interview round is the toughest and difficult to qualify and there is no particular syllabus to follow for the same, but there are few tips that could definitely help a lot to qualify this stage. Here in this article, we have discussed all the possible ways to clear the IAS personal interview round with flying colors.

IAS Preparations tips for Interview

Personal Interview is always unpredictable, but there are some tips and points that must be kept in mind while appearing in any interview and we have listed those key points below.

  • Confidence: The key to crack any interview is confidence, but overconfidence could spoil all your efforts, so you need to be alert and try not to be over-confident during the interview. It could give a negative impression on the panel of judges.
  • Positive attitude: Interviewers look for positive attitude, ability to make the correct decision, etc. in the candidate.
  • Body Posture: Keep your body posture straight and strong during the interview. It gives an impression of alertness and activeness. Try not to be as stiff as a robot.
  • Keep Calm: Try to be calm and compose while giving your interview. Do not get over excited or loud while giving your answer. Keep your tone soft and audible while answering any question.
  • Keep smiling: Keep a subtle smile on your face during the interview, but don’t laugh it will show your positivity towards any situation.
  • Perception and Principle: Be very clear and confident about your principles and perception, these will be tested by the panel in the interview.
  • Hobbies and Interest: Prepare yourself for questions related to your hobbies and interest, give only genuine answer.
  • Answer precisely: Try to precisely answer every question with all the relevant data. Avoid giving lengthy answers and unnecessary details.
  • Increase Communication Skill: Good communication skill helps a lot to crack any interview. Organize mock group discussion or interview sessions with friends/ family, it will help you to build your communication skill and confidence.
  • Stay updated: Keep yourself updated on the current happenings around the world. Make it a habit of reading newspaper, books, magazines, journals, etc. and increase your knowledge about the world.
  • Know yourself: It very important to have knowledge about yourself including name, city, school, college, state, culture, etc.
  • Optional Subject: Prepare your optional subject thoroughly with the reason why you have selected the particular subject.
  • Prepare for situational question: Be ready for real time situational questions and work on your decision making skill, it will help you to answer such questions.

Dos and Don’ts

Avoid the following practices during the IAS personal interview round, it will save you from the failure.

  • Don’t look gloomy or lethargic, try to be cheerful and keep smiling during the interview.
  • Try not to use the sentence like “I am Sorry”, “That’s right”, “Quite obvious”, “As you know”, etc.
  • Don’t give lengthy explanations, try to be precise and to the point.
  • Avoid using technical terms or expressions until you are not asked any question related to the technical field.
  • Try to be polite while proving your views to the board with proper logic.
  • Try to show your concern towards the society and people in your answers when required.
  • Don’t give emotional answers, try to be practical in your approach.
  • Always have an expression of optimism in your answers.

Check IAS Preparation

Questions asked in IAS Interview

Here we have mentioned few questions which were asked in the IAS interview. Candidates will get the idea about the type of questions asked in the interview.

  • “Is there any law in Physics that is relevant to administration?” This question was asked to a candidate and he answered “Yes. Newton’s Third Law of motion, that says every action has equal and opposite reaction”. He scored 80% in the interview.
  • A (MSc agriculture) candidate was once asked: “What are the problems wheat cultivation is facing in your state?” The candidate answered, “Problem is not related to the agronomy, but it is related to the lack of seed bank in the state”. The candidate cracked the interview.
  • Candidates are asked questions related to their name, any prominent personality who share the same name?
  • Questions are asked related to hobbies.
  • What is the reason behind your choice to pursue a career in civil services?
  • Questions related to your field (like if you are an engineer, teacher, doctor, etc.) and how would you use your experience and knowledge in the civil services?
  • What type of services you are interested in?
  • Questions are generally put up on your form also, so better go through your form thoroughly.
  • Questions related to the organization or institution you have been to.
  • Situational questions like “If you were the DM of a city what actions you would have taken for women safety?”

IAS Preparation Books for Interview

Candidates can prepare for IAS Interview through various preparation books containing the questions related to the interview or information about latest events around the world. Here is the list of some important books for IAS interview preparation:

The UPSC Interview – Knowracle PublishersImagining India – Nandan Nilekani
Civil Services Interview: How to Excel – By Madhukar BhagatIndia’s Struggle for Independence
Crack Civil Services in First Attempt – Divey Sethi IRSIndia 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium – APJ Abdul Kalam
Aap IAS Kaise Banenge – Dr. Vijay AgrawalPax Indica: Shashi Tharoor
Interviews: The Last Hurdle – Unique PublishersIndia After Gandhi: R.Guha
How To Become An IAS – Dr. Vijay Agrawal-

Documents required in IAS Interview

Aspirants are required to fill and submit the following documents in front of the interview board during the IAS personal interview round. These forms are available on the official website of UPSC i.e.

  1. Questionnaire Booklet

The questionnaire booklet has following details to be filled and is completed by the interviewer analyzing the background information of the candidate.

  • Applicant’s background
  • Working Experience
  • Previous attempt of civil services exam
  • Qualified any competitive exam
  • Educational details
  • Background of Parents
  • Attended any coaching
  • Optional subject Selected
  1. Attestation Form: Candidates are required to fill their education, nationality, residence, etc., related information on the attestation form and get it attested by any Gazetted officer.
  2. Certificates: TA, OBC certificate proforma, SC/ST certificate proforma, Physically Handicapped Certificate, Undertaking, Proforma of Hailing.



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