IAS/IPS Interview Questions UPSC


My interview was scheduled on March 29, 2010 in the afternoon session. I dressed up in a sky blue shirt and grey trousers with a grey tie and reported at UPSC at 2 pm. After initial formalities, I came to know that I was assigned Mr. Nirbhay Sharma’s Board. I was third in line to be interviewed. Though, a lot of calculations started in my mind about the board but I kept myself cool, confident and open by talking with fellow candidates. I was called by the peon at 3:30 pm. While waiting outside the room, I was taking deep breaths and also ensured that my dress was proper. When my turn came up around 3:50 pm, the peon opened the door.

Me: May I come in Sir?

Chairman: Yes, come in.
Me: (While walking towards chair)
Good afternoon Sirs (All male members in my board)
Good afternoon.
Chairman: What is your name?
Me: Sir, Gagandeep Singla.
Chairman: What is your DoB?
Me: Sir, its 18th Feb 1985.
Chairman: What is your role number?
Me: Sir, its 160002
Chairman: OK, take your seat.
Me: (After taking a seat) thank you, Sir.
Chairman: Mr. Gagan, you are a doctor?
Me: Yes, Sir
Chairman: You passed out in 2008, so what are you doing these days?
Me: Sir, I am totally devoted to civil services preparation.
Chairman: Ohh! So you haven’t done anyjob after passing out?
Me: Sir, I have done JRship for 5 months from Dec-2008 to April 2009
at KBM hospital, Ambala.
Chairman: What are your preferences?
Me: Sir, services preferences?
Chairman: Yes, Services preferences.
Me: Sir, myfirst choice is IAS, second is IPS.........
Chairman: OK, OK
Chairman: China is increasing its influence in Pakistan, what do you
have to say?
Me: Definitely China is increasing its influence in Pakistan by
developing port (Gwadar), supplying arms and communications,
nuclear fuel etc.
Chairman: Yes, Yes why China is doing so?
Me: India is an emerging power in South Asia region and seen as a
strong competitor by China, so to neutralise that growing influence of
India in the region, China is doing so.
Chairman: India is hosting commonwealth games. Where?
Me: New Delhi
Chairman: When?
Me: This year only.
Chairman: Specify month?
Me: Sir, October 2010
Chairman: How many nations are there in the commonwealth?
Me: Sir, 53 nations.
Chairman: Which Nations?
Me: Sir, nations which were earlier colonised bythe British Empire.
Chairman: Whyit is called the commonwealth?
Me: Sorry Sir, I am not aware of this.

1st Member
Member: What are the various education reforms occurring in India?
Me: Sir, starting from primary education?
Member: No, No come directlyto higher education.
Me: Sir, in the field of higher education, recently four proposals were
passed bythe cabinet committee viz. National Accreditation Authority.
Member: These are Bills or proposals?
Me: Sir, till now these are proposals only.
Member: OK, tell me in context of introduction of semester system.
Me: Sir, Government is planning to introduce semester system at college level and is also considering the recommendations of Yashpal Committee like setting up NCHER in place of AICTE, UGC etc.
Member: What is this AICTE?
Me: All India Council for Technical Education.
All members: Good, Good......Very Good.
Member: What do you understand by EU and its structure?
Me: European Union. It has a common Parliament, Central Bank etc.
Member: How many nations are there in the EU?
Me: Sorry Sir, I am not able to recall.
Member: What is Eurozone?
Me: The EU nations which opted Euro as currency.
Member: Which other currencyis there?
Me: Pound
Member: What is the relation between Euro and Rupees?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Member: Compare IMR of India with surrounding countries?
Me: Sir, I know IMR of India but I do not know IMR of surrounding
Member: OK, tell me IMR of India.
Me: Sir, its 54, according to 2004 data

IInd Member
Member: budget is presented in February but passed in May-June
Me: It is forwarded to PRSC for consideration.
Member: “Small steps lead to big leap...........” Who said this statement?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Member: It is related to Moon.
Me: Sorry Sir, not able to recall.
Member: Have you heard of Neil Armstrong?
Me: Oh....Yes Sir, Yes Sir. Now I can make out. I have read it
Member: Ha, Ha, Ha. (Big laugh from the chairman.)
Me: It somehow slipped from my mind.

IIIrd Member
Member: You are gold medalist in ophthalmology; tell me the
difference between ophthalmologist and optometrist?
Me: Sir, optometrist has a limited scope pertaining to vision whereas
ophthalmologist has a wider area dealing with every type of disease
related to the eye.
Member: What is etiology of cataract?
Me: Sir, Old Age, Hypertension, Diabetes etc.
Member: What happens to anterior chamber during cataract surgery?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Member: What are the drugs that cross Blood Brain Barrier?
Me: Sorry Sir, I am not able to recall.
Member: What percent of GDP is formed by agriculture?
Me: Around 20 percent
Member: Do you agree that health of Punjab agricultural land is
Me: Definitely Sir, it is deteriorating.
Member: Where is a green revolution possible now?
Me: According to Mr. Pranab Mukherjee’s statement, we are now
looking towards eastern states like eastern UP, Bihar, Madhya
Pradesh etc.
Member: What is white revolution?
Me: It is related to diary products.
Member: Blue?
Me: Related to fishery.
Member: Pink?
Me: Related to pharmaceutical.
Member: Black?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Member: From where do the micronutrients in crops come?
Me: Sir, mainly from soil because fertilizers are meant mainly for macronutrients.
Member: Who is the 10th Sikh Guru?
Me: Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Member: Now which Guru?
Me: Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

IVth Member
Member: What is the difference between Panjab (my university) and Punjab?
Me: There is no difference. Both words are derived from Panj + ab.
Member: No, No. Relate it with some sociological aspect.
Me: Sorry Sir, I could not understand the question.
Chairman: Bombayis Mumbai, Madras is Chennai, Calcutta is Kolkata. Why?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Chairman: Punjab represents colonial legacy while Panjab represents
modern India, do you agree?
Me: Sir, Punjab University was established in 1956 in India so by that
time the concept of Pa-Panjab might emerge rather than Pu-Punjab.
Member: Scientific name of Mango tree?
Me: Sorry, Sir I am very weak in scientific names.
Member: Suppose you are DM of a district and you are allocated Rs 100 crore and you have 3 options to spend upon:
a) school b) hospital c) clean water On which one you will spend?
Me: On School.
Member: Why?
Me: Because I do think illiteracy is root cause of many problems. If we
spend on school then at a time we can directly hit on many problems.
Member: What if people are sick?
Me: Sir, presently GoI is running such wonderful health programmes but because of lack of awareness, people are not accessing such facilities.
Member: Ok, but being a doctor you should go for drinking water.
Me: yes, that is also important.
Member: Which one is bigger 1/3 or ¾?
Me: sir, ¾.

Chairman: What do you understand by paid news?
Me: I was explaining it when the chairman interrupted me.
Chairman: Ok, what is your opinion?
Me: Sir, paid news should be banned.
Chairman: What is harm if someone is paying for some service?
Me: But it is against the ethics. People should get correct information about their candidates and party.
Chairman: Mr Gagan, your interview is over.
Me: Thank you, sirs.

My interview lasted for 35-40 minutes. They asked me questions from every field. Though, I was not fully satisfied, I was happy that nothing wrong happened inside. Interview training at Career Quest by Sanjeev Kabeer sir was really helpful. I gained the confidence and also came to know how to face interview.


A Personal Interview shall be conducted to assess the candidates’ academic record, power of expression, clarity of thought, qualities of leadership, extra curricular activities, hobbies, general demeanor, behavior, communication skills, suitability for the post, etc.


Interview Guidelines for candidates by UPSC

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest.

The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in banking service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate.

In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers.

Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity.


Interview Coaching for UPSC 


"All the major and minor care for Interview was taken by Kabeer Sir. The nitty gritties and intricacies of the interview were imparted to us by Sir, in a very positive, simple and lucid manner.

Not just in the interview, but off the UPSC Bhavan also, I am a changed person. The very success of mine is all in all credited to Kabeer Sir.

One may have a plethora of knowledge but if it’s not showcased properly, it’s futile. Kabeer Sir mentored me, to hone and polish my skills for the same.

I am really grateful to him for his ‘priceless’ guidance. I am honoured to be associated with Sir and Career Quest."


"Interview Training programme at Career Quest is not run-of-the-mill, where every candidate is considered as the same. Rather, it believes in working on each candidate separately according to his need, with extremely useful mock sessions, on the spot analysis and right feedback. I was able to remove negative points and built-up on my positives in a very short period of time.

Career Quest is the right place for sincere candidates to help realise their dreams."


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