IAS Interview Questions: UPSC Interview Questions with Answers

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

IAS Interview Questions are more like a discussion between the UPSC Panel and the candidate. The IAS Interview is the third and final stage of the UPSC Exam. Candidates who have cleared the UPSC Mains are called in for the UPSC Personality Test/Interview. IAS Interview Questions range from diverse topics such as the candidate’s DAF, Current Affairs, and opinion-based questions, to name a few. Tackling the UPSC Interview Questions is a completely different experience altogether, but if a candidate is confident and cool in his/her approach, the IAS questions can be dealt with easily.

The IAS Interview is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission at the Dholpur House, New Delhi. This article shares important tips and tricks to ace the UPSC Interview Questions and also answers some of the relevant and most frequently asked interview questions during the personality test.

IAS Interview Questions

The UPSC Prelims and Mains exams are conducted to test the candidates’ academic and general competencies, but the IAS Interview is conducted to test the candidate’s personality and temperament. The UPSC Interview ensures what service will be allocated to you according to the marks obtained and also plays a decisive role in the final selection. That’s why candidates need to be fully prepared for the IAS Interview Questions with Answers.

The UPSC Interview generally checks the personality traits and thinking, as well as the situation-handling capabilities of the candidates. The interview panel consists of eminent scholars and senior bureaucrats such as IAS, IPS, IFS, and IRS. The IAS Interview questions range from different dimensions, such as place of birth, interest, issues related to the candidate’s home state, current and national issues, and more. We will discuss the types of questions asked in the UPSC interview.

UPSC IAS Interview – Overview


Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110069

Dress Code

Basic formals (dark trousers with a light-coloured plain shirt for men and saree or ‘churidar’ for women)

Maximum Marks



Two sessions per day as mentioned in the candidate’s call letter, Forenoon session: 9:00 AM onward, Afternoon session: 1:00 PM onwards


30-45 minutes per interview


1105 (2023 cycle), 861 (2022 cycle)

DAF-Related UPSC Interview Questions

The DAF is the Detailed Application Form filled out by the candidates who have cleared the Prelims and are sitting for the Mains Exam. Before the Mains, candidates need to fill out the Detailed Application Form. The candidates need to be extremely careful while filling out this application form, as the majority of the IAS Interview Questions are related to it. Before the Mains, candidates fill up the DAF-1, while for the Interview, they need to fill out the DAF-2. It consists of 8 parts, and candidates need to fill up each part. The UPSC Interview Questions that can be asked from the Detailed Application Form include:

  • What is the meaning of your name?
  • Importance of your place of birth (historical importance, if in the news currently)
  • IAS Interview Questions are also related to Educational Qualifications, such as on subjects studied during graduation or post-graduation. For example – Would you call yourself an average student? Why?
  • Basic and conceptual questions on your Optional Subjects. The IAS Interview Questions could range from ‘Why did you choose ‘xyz’ optional? OR Why didn’t you pick your graduation subject as your optional?’
  • If the candidate is employed during the time of the interview, questions related to the job profile and responsibilities can be asked by the panel members, such as ‘What were your roles and responsibilities at your job?’
  • IAS Interview Questions could also be asked on the service preference, such as why IPS Officer over IAS Officer, IRS Officer over IPS, or IFS over IAS and IPS.
  • The hobbies and interests section is an important part of the DAF, and questions are asked from the section. It is always advisable to write the truth regarding the same and not make stories. On the basis of hobbies and interests, UPSC interview questions that could be asked may range from – ‘What do you like to cook? What is your opinion on packaged/processed food? What are the different types of cameras? What do you think of Indian writers in English? What is the difference between painting, drawing, and sketching?’ etc. as the case may be.

General IAS Interview Questions

Success is always hard-earned. The same is the case with the UPSC Exam. Reaching the Interview Stage is in itself a big accomplishment. The General IAS Interview Questions could be multidimensional. The interviewer can ask you substantial questions about your traits, characters, etc. The questions could be as follows:

  • Without telling your name, give a brief description of yourself
  • Why do you want to join the Civil Services?
  • What has the UPSC preparation taught you?
  • Who is your source of inspiration, and why?
  • What is more important, hard work or intelligence?

Current Affairs-based IAS Interview Questions

Current Affairs for UPSC is a highly crucial section. It has weightage in all three stages of the Exam. Students should focus on Current Affairs and watch Current Affairs Videos to understand relevant topics in great depth and detail. For Interviews, the panel always tends to ask questions on Current Affairs and assess the candidate’s capabilities. IAS Interview Questions from Current Affairs can range from:

  • Who founded The Olof Palme Memorial Fund? What is its objective?
  • Should civil society take part in politics?
  • Are you aware of any world university rankings? Why there are no Indian universities in the top 10?
  • Should India get a permanent seat at UNSC? If it does, then won’t it lose a chance of getting an Indian to become the Secretary-General?
  • What is a green building, its components, benefits, etc.? What are the steps the GoI has been taking to incentivize the construction of green buildings?
  • What measures are required to transform India’s road mobility?
  • In the context of the Smart Cities Mission, what are Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs)?
  • Tell me about AFSPA, have you heard of it? Should we repeal AFSPA?

Scenario-based UPSC Interview Questions

A scenario or situational-based interview is also termed a behavioural interview. The main aspect of these interviews is to test the candidate’s character and problem-solving abilities under pressure or extreme situations. The scenario-based IAS Interview Questions gauge the candidate’s ability to handle a ship in rough waters. Answering these questions can surely help you get those extra brownie points during the interview. Some examples of these questions are as follows:

  • Suppose you are posted as a District Magistrate, and there is a bomb blast in your district. As your place of posting is communally sensitive, what major steps would you take first to avoid riots and control the situation?
  • You are a senior officer at an intelligence agency working for the internal security of the country. You find out that a junior officer has been a victim of honeytrapping through social media, his phone was hacked, and confidential files were leaked. The department wants you to take strict action against him, but the officer is highly skilled and a valuable asset to the organization. What would you do in this situation?
  • You are posted as an SDM in a division of the district which has been undergoing ethnic turbulence for some time. Due to this disturbance, there are losses of lives and property. The ruling party has asked you to move that section of the population out of the area to control the situation. The order has put you in a difficult position as it goes against your own ethical values. However, not following the orders will be taken as a dereliction of duty and will put the onus on you for the loss of lives. What would you do in this situation?

Opinion-based IAS Interview Questions

Opinion-based interview questions test the candidates on their thinking ability and how optimistic are they in their approach. The purpose of opinion-based UPSC Interview Questions is to subjectively analyze how would a candidate respond in a series of scenarios. It is always challenging to answer opinion-based UPSC interview questions as there is no set answer to them. The best way to tackle these types of questions is to be positive in their approach and always suggest a solution to the issue if asked. Some of the opinion-based questions asked during the IAS Interview are:

  • What is your opinion about Harvard or Oxford opening their branches in India? Which one would you prefer – Harvard in the US or in India? Why?
  • Is promoting banking and saving habits amongst children a good idea?
  • Have you gone through any of the Shastras? Are they relevant even today?

IAS Interview Questions with Answers

The interview is a 20-30-minute discussion that can change your life. A polite, humble candidate who is calm and confident in his/her approach has the best chance to score high marks. The interview panel is not there to judge you or humiliate you. They are also human and understand the anxiety of the candidate. Most of the time, the panel helps the candidate in answering the IAS Interview Questions they have no idea about. So, the best way to tackle the UPSC Interview questions is to be calm, composed, and truthful in your approach. For ease of the candidate, we have covered some of the frequently asked IAS Interview Questions with answers below.

IAS Interview Question 1: Why did you choose IPS over IAS?

Answer: IAS officers are powerful administrative officers who control law and order in society, but the presence of an IPS officer makes a huge difference in any situation. An IPS can enforce any constitutional rule to protect the country and make the situation safe for all. Moreover, an IPS officer specializes in policing and investigation. He builds a reputation for efficiency and expertise in his chosen field and is respected by everyone.

IAS Interview Question 2: Why did you choose Political Science as your Optional Subject, despite being an engineering graduate?

Answer: Choosing Political Science as my Optional Subject had its own benefits as it has overlaps with the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and UPSC Mains Syllabus. It also helps in gaining a broad knowledge of the current things going on at the national and international levels. The Political Science Syllabus for UPSC is concise and to the point and can be covered easily by a candidate from a non-arts background.

Tips to Crack the IAS Interview

The UPSC Interview is the most crucial and decisive stage of the UPSC Exam. Candidates who have reached this stage would never like to lose the handle at the last. Here we are providing you with some of the most important tips essential while appearing for the IAS Interview and answering the IAS Interview Questions.

  • Start early – After the Mains are concluded, do not wait for the UPSC Results to be declared for the IAS Interview round; start preparing yourself.
  • Focus on DAF – DAF is the most important document during the interview. The majority of the questions do get picked up from here. Revise your DAF many times and prepare well for questions from areas like hobbies, education, work experience, service preference, etc.
  • Have a positive attitude – Do not complain or be regressive about any issue. Even if you are, have substantial proof to support your answer.
  • Have self-confidence – If you are sure about your beliefs, answers, or solutions, express them confidently, but do not go overboard.
  • Do not panic – Be composed and calm. If you do not know the answer, simply accept it and inform the panel.
  • Never lie or create fake facts – The UPSC Panel is experienced and will catch you.
  • Master the art of giving to-the-point answers and be crisp in approach.
  • Prepare your optional and graduation-level subjects in advance. The panel sometimes asks questions from these fields too.
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