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Questions Asked In The UPSC Personality Test/Interview

The final stage of the UPSC examination is the Personality test or the Interview, that is conducted after your mains.

This stage is considered the most crucial and yet very difficult stage, as here you would be facing the panel members directly and answering their questions face to face.

The interview takes place in Delhi at the UPSC office. The panel is interested to know your personality traits, and your suitability for a perfect candidate in the administrative services. 

The Objective of the Interview

The objective of your personality test is much more than just about your intellectual abilities. The panel is interested and judge you based on your:

  • Mental alertness
  • Leadership qualities
  • Balance of judgment 
  • Depth of understanding
  • Clarity in thought process
  • Analytical thinking ability
  • Moral and intellectual integrity
  • Logical exposition
  • Adaptability
  • Confidence
  • Honesty
  • Knowledge and understanding of ground realities and socioeconomic issues

Types of Questions asked in UPSC Interview

It is very essential to know for any IAS aspirant to be clear in their head, as to why you wish to join the services and be prepared for questions based on your chosen subjects, be it for education, or for the UPSC mains.

However, here are a few types of questions that you can expect in the IAS interviews:

Questions based on your DAF (detailed application form)

  • The panel usually begins by asking to describe yourself.
  • Mostly you would be asked questions from your DAF or bio-data, that is, questions based on your name, your date of birth, your choice of education, your hobbies and interests, and so on. So, be prepared with answers based on your DAF.
  • Well, you could be asked anything from your DAF, especially significance behind your name, the reason you pursue such a hobby, etc.
  • Also, you can expect more questions about your educational background, such as why you wish to leave that field and join the services, or you could also be asked questions based on your work experience.
  • Therefore, it is extremely important that you fill up your DAF with utmost care and thought process, as the panel would be more interested to know your presentation qualities and awareness, including your logic.

Questions outside of your DAF

Predominantly, you would be asked various questions in the form of situational analysis, roleplays, puzzles, etc., but mostly based on your knowledge of current affairs.

In this segment, the panel can ask you questions based on the current news, for example, the pandemic, your thoughts on it, etc. basically they want to judge your opinions and how you present your ideas about a particular piece of news.

You can also be given a situation (political, social, economical, etc.), and told to act as a particular officer and give your solution to the situation. They would like to know how you react to certain situations and also want to know more about your decision making abilities.

Here is a list of topics that you can expect questions from in your IAS interview:

  • Elections
  • Our constitution
  • Women empowerment in India
  • Social problems
  • Population growth and control
  • Capital Punishment
  • Freedom of speech and expression (especially media)
  • Your views on social media and its effect on youth
  • Government
  • Reservation in India, etc.

Tips for the UPSC personality test/Interview

Now that you know what kind of questions can be asked in your IAS personality test, you would also probably have understood by now that there is going to be no ideal answer.

It is all about your knowledge and how you analyze various situations, how you react, also more about your soft skills.

You need to form your opinion looking at both the pros and cons about a given event, or fact. Know your DAF and fill in the information accordingly, Be ready for questions based on your personal information.

Be ready for cross questioning based on your provided answers. 

Btu most importantly, do not try to contradict your own answers. Try to be more sequential in your answers, and try to give proper reasons for your opinions.

Try to be extremely humble in front of the panel, and be more positive in your attitude. 

Try to maintain a good posture and dress up neatly in formals. 

Remember, there cannot be any negative marking for the questions you have not answered, 

Be more confident and face the panel with a proper demeanor.

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