25 UPSC Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
Updated 16 September 2022
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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) recruits civil service professionals for government entities like the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service by offering examinations. The final phase of the UPSC's Civil Service Exam for individuals interested in a public service career includes a formal interview. Reviewing some of the questions that you might expect in this interview can help you become better prepared for this phase of the exam. In this article, we list 25 UPSC interview questions and offer a few example answers to help you prepare.
UPSC Interview Questions With Sample Answers
You can review the following UPSC interview questions and sample answers to gain a better understanding of how to structure your own answers during a UPSC interview:
1. What are your career goals?
UPSC panellists often ask questions about your career goals to determine how they might align with the civil service and assess how long you might want to work in a civil service position. These questions also help them understand your basic priorities and future aspirations. In your answer, mention a few career goals that relate to the civil service and the government office where you hope to work. Be specific about describing your goals and include a specific timeframe for achieving them, if possible.
Example answer: "I am eager to continue developing my knowledge of political structures and democracy. I hope to increase my knowledge by becoming an IAS officer and assisting with the implementation of government policies that affect the labour market. My long-term goal is to become a district magistrate and manage law and order within my district while also engaging in crisis management. I would also enjoy the opportunity to improve processes within the district administration and address district labour practices to ensure safe working conditions."
Related: How To Answer The Interview Question: “What Are Your Career Goals?” (With Examples)
2. What did you do to address your mistakes during your Civil Service Exam preparation?
To perform well on the Civil Service Exam, it is necessary that you study and realise your mistakes. This question gauges your ability to handle challenges and assesses your resilience. Panellists ask this question to evaluate how you take proactive measures to achieve your desired results. It also helps them determine your willingness to learn from your mistakes. In your answer, state what you did to address your mistakes, so you did not repeat them and what you learned during your preparation for the exam.
Example answer: "I began studying for the Civil Service Exam by reviewing the USPSC syllabus for both examinations. In addition, I reviewed the newspaper each day to gain a better understanding of current events. After taking a few practice exams, I assessed my mistakes and utilised study resources to achieve my study goals more easily. Taking thorough notes also helped me to avoid making the same mistakes. All of these efforts helped me increase my confidence and ensured that I was well-prepared for the day of the examination."
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3. How has the civil service changed in the last three decades, and what is the importance of those changes?
This question assesses your basic understanding of the civil service and may also help the panellists evaluate how much you know about the service you wish to join. Many government services require candidates to be proficient in the history of their service. In your answer, mention what you know about the civil service and include as many notable details as possible. In addition, mention the impact of certain events and the relevance they currently have to further demonstrate your knowledge.
Example answer: 'The civil service has undergone many changes in the last 30 years. The reforms in the late 1990s helped reduce corruption while increasing government transparency and access to information. In this century, the government helped to update existing personnel procedures and reformed certain policies to improve efficiency. With these changes, there are many new opportunities for the civil service to address important national issues and engage the population. While they may be small in number, government offices like the Indian Administrative Service are important for the proper functioning of the central government.'
Related: Interviewing Techniques To Help You Succeed In Interviews
4. What is your opinion of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and what are its benefits?
By asking this question, panellists can better determine what a candidate already knows about the government and assess their ability to think critically. In answering this question, you can briefly mention what the ISRO does. Provide your honest opinion of this organisation and list some reasons why it is necessary.
Example answer: 'The ISRO is a critical research and development organisation, and I believe that it benefits the nation's socio-economic development immensely. It helps promote science education and provides valuable scientific data to make improvements. By developing and maintaining a large fleet of satellites, ISRO also helps provide fast and reliable communication to the nation.'
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5. A man jumped out of a plane without a parachute on but was uninjured. How is this possible?
This question tests your comprehension and your ability to think logically about a situation, which can be especially important in a civil service career. It also assesses your mental alertness. Before answering, consider the situation carefully. Keep your answer concise to demonstrate your logical reasoning skills.
Example answer: 'The man was able to survive because the plane was on the ground already. Had he been in the air, he would have injured himself.'
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20 Additional Interview Questions
There are a variety of additional interview questions panellists often ask candidates, depending on the particular role they're applying for through the UPSC. They may begin the interview by inquiring about your interest in civil services and asking questions about your educational background and previous work experience. You can expect the specific content in these questions to vary depending on your career goals. You can also expect questions that assess your aptitude for problem-solving and your ability to think critically about a myriad of important issues. Consider the following additional questions:
Why did you specifically choose a career in civil services, rather than a career in politics or engineering?
Tell us a little about yourself and the meaning of your family name.
Why do you want to become an IAS, IFS or IPS officer and what do you hope to do once you achieve your career goals?
How have you improved your UPSC knowledge over the last year, and what are your specific study methods?
Tell us a little about your university experience. Why did you choose the university you chose?
Which subjects did you study in school or university, and how do they relate to the civil services
How would you describe your academic skills, and are there any subjects that were your favourite?
What were your primary responsibilities in your previous job, and what did you learn from your previous job that you feel prepares you for a career in the civil services?
Did you receive any specialised training in any of your past positions?
What might your supervisor or manager say about you, and how might your colleagues or peers describe you?
What are the important issues of today, and what can you tell us about how they affect civil society?
What is the difference between an objective and a mission, and why is it important to know this difference?
Provide a detailed overview of the different types of corruption in India and explain what actions you might take to reduce corruption that officials have not already taken.
How might you promote women-led development in the National Capital Territory?
Explain the steps you might take to reduce the levels of pollution in New Delhi.
If you were the collector or superintendent of police in Amber, what actions might you take after a bomb blast?
What are the differences between terrorism, insurgency, fundamentalism and militancy?
What do you think are the most important qualities of an IAS, IFS or IPS officer?
In your opinion, what are the most important discoveries in the last two centuries?
Why do you think the civil services are important, and what might you do to promote them?
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