Sample Interview Questions For IAS Exam
1. Tell me about yourself? or Give a brief Introduction about yourself.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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)
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"?
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!