Questions asked in the UPSC Personality Test/Interview

UPSC Interview

The UPSC exam is a tough nut to crack. However, with a lot of preparation and constant motivation, hard work, persistence, perseverance, consistency, and a positive mindset, you can do the unbeatable.

The final stage of the UPSC exam is always the personality test or the Interview that is usually conducted by the eminent examination panel to know more about you personally, and learn more about your thought process, your mindset, your presence of mind and many other things about you.

Basically, interviews are conducted at the end of the UPSC exam to assess your suitability for the job of a public administrator. Being the most critical stage of your examination process, it can either make or break your dreams of making it through.

Therefore, it is better to be prepared holistically, with a broad range of topics in mind and with complete preparedness in terms of your overall demeanor.

In this article, we will be sharing the wide range of questions that are usually asked by the UPSC panel to gauge a candidate’s suitability for the job.

Types of questions in the UPSC Interview or Personality test

On a broader level, you can say, the questions can be asked from the following categories:

Profile related or Introductory questions

Generally, the Interview would begin with the mandatory question of tell me about yourself, for which you have to be prepared thoroughly and limit your answer to a 30-40 second coherent response. The other questions that you might have to answer would be:

  • What do you like about your hometown and what you don’t?
  • Which college did you graduate from?
  • Tell us more about your family members
  • Why did you choose to pursue a career in Public administration?

Questions based on your previous work profile

Here you will have to make sure to prepare well if you have any gaps in your profile. You need to explain and justify the same with more confidence. 

They can ask you questions on this one such as:

  • Where were you working before?
  • What were your roles and job responsibilities there?
  • Explain work gaps if any.
  • Why did you quit your job and want to pursue IAS?
  • And probably some job related questions.

Hobby related questions

Well, this one completely depends upon what you have mentioned in your DAF (Detailed Application Form) and based on those details, the panel will ask you questions related to that field. So, if you have mentioned singing as your hobby, they can even ask you to sing. Or if you have mentioned reading as your hobby, they will ask you to discuss various famous, prize winning authors, or even some detailed questions on the same related to latest news on books and authors.

Academics or educational background related questions

  • Why did you choose a certain subject for your graduation? etc.
  • How can you relate the subjects that you took up to life in public administrative services?
  • What made you choose a particular school or college?
  • Which was your most favourite subject and which subject you didn’t like to study at all? And Why?
  • What kind of student you were in your academics, average, weak, or intelligent?

Current affairs related questions

For this section, it goes without saying that you need to be up to date with your knowledge as regards the current affairs section, especially by reading news on a daily basis. 

The questions asked in this segment can include:

  • What is the latest news on so and so topic?
  • Did you read today’s newspaper?
  • More detailed view on some latest news related to your state, hometown, or even India for that matter.

Questions related to your optional subject selection

Here you can expect questions based on your optional subject that you selected for your UPSC mains. At the same time, they can ask you to explain the real reason why you chose the particular subject as your optional.

Also, if it is different from the one that you graduated from, then they might ask you to provide an explanation for the same as well, as to why you didn’t choose your optional subject ever as your graduation field.

Situational questions 

This is the most critical part of your interview, where based on the situational questions, the panel basically determines or assesses if you are truly worth the job, with questions such as:

  • What would you do if a riot breaks out in your city when you are the collector there?
  • How can a man stay alive for up to 8 days without sleep?
  • Detailed questions on the type of job role you have opted for and situations based on that job role.

Behavioral questions

These types of questions can help assess your behavior based on your answers, to see how you react in certain situations. 

Qualities on which they will judge and assess you in the Interview

  • Logical exposition
  • Judgment on various issues and circumstances
  • Overall alertness
  • Assimilation of topics
  • Power of absorption and integration of scenarios and information
  • Balanced viewpoints or perspectives
  • Leadership qualities
  • General awareness
  • Social etiquettes
  • Complete personality 
  • The ability to fathom and come up with solutions with complete presence of mind

Apart from these questions asked in the UPSC Interview, you also need to be prepared with a few questions of your own to be asked to the panel, if at all they ask you to ask them anything.

Also, you need to be prepared confidently, with ample rest taken the previous day, appear with a relaxed yet confident attitude, prepared with all the knowledge and more presence of mind. This will definitely be the key to success for your interview.