IAS Interview 2023-24: Date, Details, Do’s and Don’ts of UPSC Interview

by Vajiram & Ravi

The UPSC Personality Test, or the IAS interview, constitutes the ultimate phase of the civil services examination. Unlike the Mains and Prelims, this IAS interview doesn't assess only your knowledge but delves into your inherent personality traits. Taking around 20 minutes, the IAS Interview contributes 275 marks out of 2025. Despite its brief duration, this half-hour interview holds power to transform your life and actualise your aspiration of joining the civil services. The cumulative scores from the UPSC Mains examination and the Personality Test determine the final merit list.

A commendable performance in the IAS interview segment can significantly advantage candidates, elevating their ranking and enhancing their prospects of securing a superior position.  

UPSC Interview Date 2023-24

UPSC has announced the dates for IAS Interview 2023. The first phase of the IAS Interview will commence on Tuesday,  2nd January 2024 and will end on February 16, 2024. The reporting time for the forenoon session is 9 AM and for the afternoon session is 1 PM. The candidates appearing for the Interview will be granted reimbursement towards travelling expenses for appearing in the interview which will be restricted only to second/sleeper class train fare.

The UPSC Interview is not just a test of your knowledge, but also your overall personality including interpersonal skills like honesty, communication, dedication towards public service, opportunities and challenges etc. 

What is the Objective of the IAS Interview?

The primary objective of the IAS interview procedure is to evaluate the candidate's aptitude in administrative abilities. The panel of interviewers overseeing the UPSC interview aims to evaluate the candidate's character suitability for Civil Service rather than mere knowledge assessment. They prompt the discovery of diverse personality traits via inquiries, follow-up questions, and theoretical scenarios and subsequently judge the candidate's responses, quick thinking, nonverbal cues, and more.

It's crucial never to think that board members in the IAS interview are meant to eliminate or demean you. Instead, you should approach the interview with a positive mindset.

IAS Interview Details

Under this heading, we will discuss IAS Interview Details, i.e., place, time, Maximum marks, dress code and number of vacancies generated in the Interview.

Place and Time for IAS Interview

The IAS Interview occurs at the Union Public Service Commission venue on Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110069. It consists of two daily sessions: the forenoon session at 9:00 AM and the afternoon session at 1:00 PM. Details of the IAS Interview are provided in the candidate's call letter.

Maximum Marks for UPSC Interview

The maximum marks for an IAS Interview is 275. Although it may seem less than the Mains, achieving a high score here can lead to securing one's desired service or cadre.

UPSC Interview Dress Code

The UPSC interview is about showcasing your personality and behaviour, not just your knowledge. A professional, modest, and composed appearance can leave a lasting positive impact on the IAS interview panel.

  • Simple and Appropriate: In the UPSC interview, dress modestly in simple clothes for both men and women. Keep a neat appearance, and avoid overly tight or loose attire. Choose proper sizes for a decent look.
  • Men's Attire: Men, formal shirts and pants with a tie look professional in the UPSC Interview.
  • Women's Attire: For women in the UPSC interview, formal Indian wear or a regular suit or sari is preferred. Light, sober colours like cotton are ideal.
  • Footwear: For the UPSC interview, no high heels; choose comfortable flats or low heel sandals. Men, stick to polished formal shoes.
  • Hair and Accessories: For a better appearance in the UPSC interview, Neatly tie your hair; avoid flashy jewellery. Skip strong perfumes and deodorants.

Number of Candidates Called for UPSC Interview

It is anticipated that around 1105 positions will be filled through the UPSC 2023 after the UPSC interview. The number of candidates called for the Interview is around twice the number of vacancies to be filled.

What is the UPSC Interview Process?

The IAS Interview 2023, a pivotal stage in the UPSC selection process, transforms into an engaging dialogue between aspirants and the UPSC board. The IAS Interview 2023 Process, an approximately 20-minute session, delves into a spectrum of topics, requiring candidates to display comprehensive knowledge, confidence, and adept soft skills to leave a lasting impression.

The UPSC interview is a unique experience for all, demanding a poised and knowledgeable demeanour for a successful outcome. Here's a table summarising the interview process:

Stage

Description

Pre-Interview Setup

Candidates arrive early, complete security checks, and go through document verification.

Gathering and Seating

Candidates enter a circular hall, grouped by panel numbers, and receive travel reimbursement forms if applicable.

Interview Session

Each panel interviews 5-6 candidates, with sessions lasting around 20 minutes per candidate.

Candidate Rotation

Candidates' names are called, and they move to their respective panels after a final security check.

Key Traits

Composure, humility, and confidence play a significant role in making a positive impression on the IAS interview panel.

Mastering the interview's nuances and embodying essential attributes enhance candidates' prospects, making the UPSC interview a defining moment in their journey.

UPSC IAS Interview Preparation Strategy

Once aspirants feel assured after the written Mains exam, they should initiate UPSC Interview preparation without relying on the Mains results. An excellent Interview preparation strategy involves an early start, honing personality traits, and assessing strengths and weaknesses. Comprehensive readiness in topics like Optional Subjects, education, residence, DAF content, and current affairs is crucial, given that questions commonly arise from these areas.

Do’s and Don’ts of IAS Interview

When getting ready for the IAS interview and while being interviewed, it's important to consider a set of guidelines and recommendations listed as follows.

Exemplary Candidate Etiquette

Above all, authenticity is key—avoid pretence and remain true to yourself during the interview. If faced with challenging questions, respond courteously by admitting a lack of knowledge. Prioritise thoughtful responses by taking the time to assess and articulate your viewpoints.

Deceptive Interaction with Interviewer

When faced with unfamiliar questions during the IAS interview, openly admit your lack of knowledge while seeking permission to offer a speculative response—an approach demonstrating your honesty. While responding, maintain confidence and refrain from falsehoods; even if tempted to lie, do so with assurance.

Sustaining Calmness during the IAS interview

Maintaining composure during the IAS interview is crucial, as board members assess your capacity to handle stress. UPSC prioritises your method of addressing questions over the response itself. Keeping a steady smile showcases confidence and a positive demeanour.

Things to keep in mind during the IAS interview

Here are a few things to keep in mind during the IAS interview:

  • Stay calm before the Interview, and prioritise rest. Remember, answering all questions isn't mandatory. Unlike a quiz, quality matters more than quantity in the UPSC interview.
  • Avoid bluffing; an IAS interview requires genuine responses, not deceptive tactics.
  • Focus on your approach, not just theoretical correctness.
  • Maintain respectful decorum; discussions are welcome, but arguing with panel members should be avoided.
  • Keep in mind that perfection is unattainable; strive for your best while maintaining moral integrity.

FAQs on IAS Interview

What questions will be asked in the IAS interview 2023?

Five Basic questions that are often asked in the IAS interview are:

  1. Give a brief self-introduction.
  2. Tell us about your strengths and weak areas.
  3. Explain your motivation for pursuing an IAS career.
  4. Why did you choose the optional subject, XYZ?
  5. What are the significant economic challenges that the country is facing today?

Who got the highest UPSC Interview marks?

Zainab Sayeed got the highest UPSC interview marks. It is a historic achievement to attain a 220 out of 275 score in the 2014 UPSC Interview, making her the highest scorer.

What are the lowest marks for an IAS interview?

There is no minimum cut-off requirement to qualify for the UPSC interview, which carries a total of 275 marks.