IAS Interview is the last and final stage of the coveted civil services examination. After this stage, aspirants are selected for different positions in civil services cadres including the top prize of IAS. Many have wondered and debated about the usefulness or utility of an IAS Interview after the extensive two-tier examination system of IAS Prelims and IAS Mains examinations. Generally speaking, the IAS preliminary and mains examinations are conducted to test candidates’ academic and general awareness with regards to a diverse range of topics; on the other hand, IAS Interview like any other recruitment test the personality and temperament of the candidate.
IAS Interview Questions
As of now, the IAS interview panel consists of eminent personalities from different fields and is headed by a chairman. Unlike the IAS mains and prelims examination, the interview stage has no fixed format or pattern and the panel is free to ask candidates questions from technical, academic as well as non-academic fields. To cut the chase short, IAS Interview questions can range from any topic, can be of any intensity, might be funny, quirky or downright ridiculous. This along with the fact that you would be competing with best of the best; makes the IAS Interview one of the most difficult stages to crack in the civil services examination. However, it does sound challenging but considering that you have already sailed past the prelims and main exam, interview should not be much difficult. All you need to do is to express yourself clearly, exhibit different traits of your personality, show your mental alertness, social etiquettes and apply logics to bring out targeted answers to impress the panel.
To help you understand the type and style of questions being asked in the IAS interview, we have listed some of the important ones below:
1. Tell me about yourself? or Give a brief Introduction about yourself.
1. अपने बारे में संक्षिप्त में बताएं.
This is probably the most standard question asked in almost every interview and not only for civil services exams. If you are asked this question, you can begin by giving a brief background about your family, personal information, academic qualification and professional engagements. The information should be precise and to the point without any ambiguities, when compared to the resume or information you have already provided to the panel.
2. Why do you want to become IAS Officer?
2. आप एक IAS अधिकारी क्यों बनना चाहते हैं ?
This is another standard IAS interview question that aspirants face which is aimed at bringing out not only the candidates’ goals as an IAS officer but also indicates the clarity of thought in this regards. Although considered to a common question, this is one of the most important one, as it gives a brief overview to the panellists about your passion, goals, interests and the motivation that has driven you up to this point to join the civil services. Therefore, it is advised that aspirants do some advance preparation for this question.
3. Tell me about your positive and negative strengths.
3. अपनी कमजोरी और विशेषताएं बताएं.
While academic knowledge and quirky mental alertness are the key components that form basic tenets of an IAS officer, honesty and integrity are also equally important. This question is generally posed by the IAS interview panel to not only understand your strengths and weaknesses but also to assess how honest you are to them. Aspirants should keep in mind that the IAS interview panel consists of subject matter experts, who have vast experience. In short, cheating them by giving vague or confusing answers is not going to serve you well. Thus, try to be honest and list out your strengths and weaknesses to the best of your understanding and back them up with logical explanations and examples.
Apart from these standards ones, the IAS Interview Questions tend to be random in general. Thus, there is no way in which candidates can prepare for it in advance. However, we have listed a few of the different and quirky ones below to give you a basic idea of what to expect during your IAS interview.
4. How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking?
4. आप एक अंडे को जमींन पर किस तरह पटकेंगे कि न टूटे ?
Answer: Concrete floors are very hard to crack!
Explanation: This question is aimed at testing the mental alertness of the candidate.
5. What will you do if I run away with your sister?
5. मैं अगर आपकी बहन के साथ फरार हो जाऊं तो आप क्या करेंगे?
Answer: I would be very happy, as I won’t be able to find a better match for my sister than you.
Explanation: This question is aimed at testing not only the quirky sense of humour but also the positive mindset of the candidate.
6. Interviewer ordered a cup of coffee for the candidate. Coffee arrived and was kept before the candidate. what is before you?
6. साक्षात्कार कर्ता ने अभ्यर्थी के लिए एक कप कॉफी का आदेश दिया. कॉफी आई और अभ्यर्थी के समक्ष रखी गयी. साक्षात्कार ने पूछा "what is before you"?
Answer: Alphabet ‘T’ comes before ‘U’ and therefore T is before U.
Explanation: Generally, a candidate would answer this with ‘Coffee’, however knowing that the panellist had ordered the coffee only to create the scenario whereby he could invoke this question needs some innovative thinking. The perfect answer to this question would be to completely ignore the coffee and look for an explanation in some other place. The candidate, who got selected, said ‘Tea’ is in front of him, and gave the explanation that alphabet ‘T’ comes before ‘U’ and therefore T is before U.
7. What happened when the wheel was invented?
7. जब एक पहिये का आविष्कार हुआ तो क्या हुआ ?
Answer: The candidate who got selected answered ‘It caused a revolution’.
Explanation: The candidate used ‘Pun’ and personification figure of speech to convey a quirky answer. The answer has two levels to it, where in prima facie, it conveys the basic function of a wheel, which is to revolve. On a deeper level, the invention of the wheel led to the basic foundation of mechanics causes a revolution changing the world and technology as we know today. Thus, the argument of revolution also stands true.
8. You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus: An old lady who looks as if she is about to die; an old friend who once saved your life and the perfect partner you have been dreaming about. Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing very well that there could only be one passenger in your car?
8. एक तूफानी रात को आप अपनी गाड़ी चला रहे हैं और बहुत तेज बारिश हो रही है आप अचानक ज्यों हि बस स्टॉप से गुजरते हैं आप देखते हैं कि तीन लोग बस का इन्तजार कर रहें हैं.एक वृद्ध महिला जो आपको इस तरह देख रही है मानो वह मरने हि वाली है,एक पुराने मित्र जिन्होंने ने एक बार आपकी जान बचायी थी और आपका ऐसा साथी जिसे पाने की कल्पना करते आ रहे हो. आपको यह मालूम है कि मैं इनमें से किसी एक को हि बचा सकता हूँ. ऐसी परिस्थिति में आप किसे बचायेंगे?
Explanation: Although quite uncommon, but interview panel is known to use such questions to test the moral fibre of the candidate. This question is essentially one that put the candidate in a moral dilemma of sorts with respect to the decision. On one end, the candidate being a good person would want to save the life of the old lady, which requires medical attention, secondly, he can choose to repay his friend for saving his life by saving him from the storm and thirdly the perfect partner can also be a big priority for the person. To answer such questions, candidates need to think outside the box and expand the horizons of their thinking.
Answer: The candidate, who cracked his interview with this question said, he would give the car to his friend and tell him to drive the old lady to the hospital, while he waits at the bus stop with his perfect partner.
9. What if one morning you woke up & found that you were pregnant? ( asked to a female candidate)
9. आप ज्यों हि सुबह नींद से जगती हैं और आपको यह पता चलता है कि आप गर्भवती हैं तो आपकी प्रतिक्रिया क्या होगी ? (महिला उम्मीदवार से पूछे जाने वाले प्रश्न)
Answer: I would be very happy, take an off and celebrate the good news with my husband.
Explanation: This question is aimed at testing how the candidate reacts to some shocking news. However, the news can need not be shocking in a bad way only and can also have a positive outcome. In short, such answers show your positive bend of mind to the IAS interview panel.
10. Where Lord Rama would have celebrated his "First Diwali"?
10. भगवान राम ने अपनी पहली दीवाली कहाँ मनाई थी?
Answer and Explanation: This is a tricky one, as it involves both academic knowledge as well as practical knowhow of things. Generally, the common know how dictates that Lord Rama may have celebrated his first Diwali at Ayodya, Mitila [Janaki's place] or at Lanka.
However, if we consider the literary history, Diwali was a celebrated as a mark of Lord Krishna Killing Narakasura. In Dusavataar, Krishnavathaar comes after Raamavathaar. In other words, the celebration of Diwali started after Raamavathaar and therefore, Lord Rama would not have celebrated the Diwali At all!
These are just a few of the common as well as quirky IAS Interview Questions that have been asked in the past. While there is no guarantee that the same or similar questions will be asked in future as well, but they do provide a solid reference point from which aspirants can get a rough idea about it. Based upon such questions, candidates can start their preparation for IAS interview and crack it with great ease!