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Expected type of questions from the interview board

Welcome to UPSC Interview Initiative!


What are the things that can trigger a question in the mind of the Interview board?

Ans.: The elements in their immediate view.

What are these elements?

Ans.: First the candidate himself/herself, second his back ground record as revealed from the mains application form, third important events that have happened in last few months or are in news currently and lastly words that we use in our answers to the board.

Can we identify these triggers?

Ans.: Yes to large extent. By doing so we can be very well prepared for about 85-90% of the questions.

How does this help?

Ans.: By preparing well on these triggers, we can also work on their presentation as well so as to avoid giving unnecessary triggers through our answers or positively giving triggers that will lead the board to our familiar territory.


  • Practically speaking we can sit with our mains application form and write down each and every word that we have written in that form separately on a separate page of a register.
  • Having done that, then list questions that can be asked, with that word acting as a trigger.
  • Refine the list by sitting with few friends. You will have a list of about 100-200 questions. Start preparing on their content and work on their presentation to keep it crispy and meaningful.
  • Similarly we can work on other triggers and try to avoid giving unnecessary triggers in our answers.

Types of questions asked at the UPSC interview:


• Relating to your name: Any famous personality who has a similar or same name or surname.
• Your career choice: Why you want to opt for the civil services.
• Your Hobbies: Why you pursue such a hobby or questions related to your hobby. So research well on your hobby.
• Hot topics of recent days. Keep reading and watching the news. If the recent headlines have something to do with your subject then specially revise those portions. For example if you are a veterinary doctor, Bird flu may go on to other animal diseases that can infect men. If you are an MBBS, then you might be asked about human to human spread of epidemics or any other epidemics and precautions etc. If you are from an economy background, the same topic will veer towards the economic implications of the Bird flu.
• How you are going to use your specific knowledge (like if you are a doctor, lawyer, engineer etc) in the services.
• Situational questions/ Hypothetical questions: Like If you were the collector/SP of so and so, what would you do after the Communal riots/Bomb Blast?
• Choice of services: The order of your choice of services can raise questions too.
• About your institution and related: If you have studies at IIM- you may be asked about the rising salaries, if from IGNOU- then even about Indira Gandhi, and so on.
• Other areas to be focused are: background of parents; places where you stayed; academic background and related aspects; optional subjects; graduating subject; positions if held; job experience if any; hobbies; sports.

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