How to Prepare for UPSC Civil Services Interview

How to Prepare for UPSC Civil Services Interview – The interview of UPSC Civil Services is the final phase of selection process. Being equally challenging like Preliminary and Mains exams, it is important for candidates to get through it to make a place in the final merit list. UPSC Civil Services Interview aims to check whether the candidate is suitable for a career in the civil services. That is, whether the candidate has the potential to deliver good administrative skills. To develop this trait, candidates must work on their personality, communication and decision making skills. And nothing could be comparable to it when you get expert guidance on how to polish these skills. Careers360 here enlists preparation tips for UPSC Civil Services Inter`view by A.K. Mishra, Director, Chanakya IAS Academy. This article provides insights into the structure of personality test, do’s and dont’s of interview, important topics and books that candidates can refer for preparation.

Latest: Download here UPSC Civil Services Answer Key 2019 for Prelims by Coaching Institutes

UPSC Civil Services Interview – Structure

The interview carries 275 marks out of total 2025. The panel consists of the Chairman of the interview board and four other members. The Chairman of the board is a member of UPSC. The other four members of the panel are usually experts chosen from different fields by UPSC. The Interview panel assess whether the candidate has the traits essential for various Civil Services. The interview lasts for 30 minutes.

How to prepare for UPSC Civil Services Interview

Below are few tips on how to prepare for UPSC Civil Services Interview.

  • Candidates should atleast attend three to four mock interview as it will develop confidence to face the real interview board. Improve preparation based on the feedback given by the experts before appearing in the final interview.

  • In UPSC Civil Services Interview, most of the questions are asked based on Detailed Application Form (DAF). Candidates are advised to read the DAF thoroughly and prepare well for the questions from education, hobbies, past work, experience, preferences of services etc.

  • Candidates will have to work on to develop your body language like posture, personal appearance. During interview, candidates must keep calm, listen to the interview panel patiently, maintain eye contact and appear before the board with composed body posture.

  • Candidates must keep themselves updated with the current news, elections and government policies. They should make sure to revise the current affairs of past one month. Read economic surveys, Yojana and Yearbook thoroughly to improve current affairs.

UPSC Civil Services Interview – Things to avoid

According to AK Mishra, candidates must avoid the following points during interview.

  • Candidates must not show any sign of nervousness during interview. They must do yoga and meditation to overcome their anxiety.

  • Avoid carrying cell phone inside the interview room. Ringing of cell phone diverts attention and might be perceived offensive by interview board.

  • Pompous talks leave a negative impression, so it is prudent not to brag too much before interview panel.

  • Frequently checking time by looking at your wristwatch is a sign of low-confidence.

  • If the interview is not proceeding on the line of your expectation, do not show any sign of nervousness, instead try to bring situation back in your favor. Sometimes, interviewers check your mindfulness and patience during tough and unfavorable times.

  • If an interviewer asks you a question and you do not know the answer, instead of making out the answer, just confess it with a smile on your face that ‘I do not know the answer’.

Questions asked in UPSC Civil Services Interview

Questions in the interview are basically asked from the following topics.

  • The interview panel ask questions on candidates hobbies that they have mentioned in the Detailed Application Form.

  • Candidates will get questions related to their geographical background like place where they were born, history about that place etc.

  • Many situational questions are also asked like what will you do if an earthquake strikes your district and you are the DM/Collector or SP.

  • Candidates can also expect questions related to their choice of service preference.

  • There could be questions on current political issues, pros and cons of coalition, political prospects of regional and national parties.

  • Questions based on optional subject, why you chose the subject and few other related details are also asked.

  • If you are a working professional, be prepared to face some questions related to your current job, company, etc.

Personality test is the test of personality and not knowledge. Your personality will be judged on the basis of logical reasoning, interest and knowledge on current affairs, mental alertness, social traits, critical power of assimilation, ability for social cohesion, intellectual and moral integrity, and balance of judgment and leadership skills. Prepare well for UPSC Civil Services Interview by following the tips and tricks given here by experts.

More like UPSC Civil Services Exam

Questions related to UPSC Civil Services Exam

Showing 961 out of 961 Questions

how to become a Ias Officer? please give me full details

Payal 16th Oct, 2019

Hii aspirants

To be an IAS offocer you have to crack cse exam conducted by upsc. You have to crack all the prelims, mains and then interview.

The minimum eligibility criteria to give this exam is that you should  have complete your bachelor degree.  And the age limit is that a candidate should be a minimum of 21 years and maximum 32 years old as on August 01, 2019 but there is relaxation of 5 years for sc, st and 3 years relaxation for obc. For General Candidates there is maximum  6 attempts (Up to 32 Years) for this exam, for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Candidates there is  no Limits and for Other Backward Classes  there is 9 attempts ,for Physically handicapped- 9 attempts.

I hope my answer will help you out

Good luck


how to start upsc Ias/pcs praparation

Papeya Dubey Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019


UPSC exam consists of three level-




Preliminary numbers are not added in the final list, you just need to score the required cut offs against your category.It mainly consists of GS Paper-I and CSAT. Both consists of 200 marks, MCQs based.

Mains is more of a subjective type, one needs to write answer for Four General Studies Paper,Two Optionals, One Essay, two language paper, there are total nine papers here. 250 marks for each paper, total is 1750

You can start your preparation with gradual steps as mentioned below-

Be well acquainted with UPSC Syllabus, learn it by heart, that's the most crucial step to crack this exam, to know what to read and what to skip. In addition to this, never ever make a differentiation between prelims and mains, what I mean is do not prepare separately for each, because nowadays what's happening is even in prelims, UPSC frame questions based on Mains syllabus, So, the first towards preparation shall be a combined preparation for both.

Read any newspaper like The Hindu, or Indian Express on a regular basis to be updated as well as gaining knowledge which shall be highly useful to you in future exam preparation part.

Start with basics, for each subject, you can do with NCERTs for this.

As you progress, move on to other relevant books, keep your resources minimum like Polity by Laxmikanth, History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra etc.

Start practicing answer writing in advance, even in a little way, writing mains is a huge task for nine paper, it requires immense practice along with knowledge.

Practice  previous year question paper which you can get from the site of UPSC,in addition mock papers, and test series which you can get it from any of the sites extensively dedicated to UPSC, , it's highly important to evaluate your performance while doing so.

Prelims is mcq based, but still it requires knowledge coupled with speed, and for mains, as I already mentioned the importance of answer writing.

State level PSCs too follow the similar pattern as that of UPSC. You can extensively use the information I've provided in regards to PSCs as well.


what is the procedure for becoming an ias officer

Aditya kumar Student Expert 15th Oct, 2019

Hello there!


The process of becoming an IAS officer  is pretty easy. First of all you need to complete your graduation and the appear for the exam called UPSC i.e. Union Public Service Commission . The UPSC CSE consists of 3 stages Prelims, Mains, and Interview. And if you manage to clear all these three rounds and manage to get a top rank at least less than 90 or 100 then you will become an IAS officer. Getting into Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is not easy considering the competition involved, but not impossible for a candidate with right attitude and approach. So , just work hard , you will definitely become an IAS officer.



can I do my under graduation in correspondence to write upse examination?will it affect my dream of becoming a IAS officer?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 13th Oct, 2019

There is no steadfast rule that a Candidate should have completed his/her Graduation full term. The eligibility rule states that a Candidate should have completed his/her Graduation in any discipline from a recognised University. This University should be incorporated by Act of Central or State Legislature of India. So, as long as your University is a recognised one, you are eligible to appear for UPSC examinations.


Can i fill only ias as service prefrence in DAF form?

Vemireddy Rushitha Student Expert 16th Oct, 2019


The service preference in your DAF decides your career and destiny .
A lot of times ,due to negligence ,ignorance and lack of knowledge candidates make a wrong choice.

To help all of them ,I am sharing my view on the optimum service priority.

1. IAS
2. IFS
3. IPS
(Above 3 are interchangeable)

Thank you!

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