UPSC IAS Interview: From aspirant to civil servant, how to excel in this exam competitive exams

Only 1-2% candidates who give UPSC IAS Civil Services exam make it to the interview stage and get selected as civil servants. It is the final test for the candidates to prove their worth and showcase their skills in front of a panel of experts.

However, acing an interview takes more than book smarts. It calls for a solid strategy that helps candidates make a lasting impression and stand out. Hence, whether one is an experienced candidate or a fresher, tips by experts are essential and can serve as a sure guide on how to crack UPSC IAS Civil Services Interview in 2023.

preparing for interview

Before one even steps into the interview room, preparation is the key. Only 5% of the total number of candidates qualify to appear for the interview, and successful candidates spend a significant amount of time researching and preparing for it.

So, where to start? According to experts, the first exercise should be to research the interview process of UPSC IAS Civil Services Interview 2023.

It is suggested to familiarize yourself with the type of questions asked, format of the interview and the panel of experts conducting it. Next, understand the preferences and interests of the interview panel. Achieve this by reviewing their published works and research papers. Finally, applicants need to take the time to identify personal strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this information will help in crafting compelling examples that showcase one’s strengths and overcome weaknesses.

confident self-presentation

Always remember that the interview panel is not only looking for knowledgeable candidates but also those candidates who can present themselves confidently. It is important to remember that self-presentation and communication are just as important as knowledge. To make a lasting impression, candidates should dress professionally, use good posture and make eye contact to exude confidence.

Adding gestures while communicating can emphasize key points and engage the panel. Studies have shown that a person’s tone of voice can tell a lot about their personality, so one should speak clearly and confidently. Candidates can provide concrete examples that demonstrate their abilities to listen carefully and respond thoughtfully to the panel’s questions. Showing confidence and humility are fundamental success factors, and demonstrate a willingness to learn.

knowledge based preparation

Candidates should keep up-to-date on current events and trends, review their academic and professional backgrounds, and have a firm grasp of the political and economic environment. It is also important to have a deep understanding of the values ​​and principles that underpin the civil services. Interestingly, by demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and core values, candidates can show that they are well prepared and equipped to succeed in the Civil Services.

answering questions strategically

The key moment here is when one sits for the interview. As per experts, candidates must listen to the question carefully, think for some time before answering and provide a thoughtful and well-structured answer. Giving concrete examples and using relevant vocabulary to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding are important steps to crack the interview in 2023.

Furthermore, they should avoid giving vague or overly simplistic answers and instead provide nuanced and detailed responses. Additionally, it is important to maintain honesty and be candid when answering, even if they do not have the knowledge to answer a question. By demonstrating strong analytical skills, a deep understanding of subject matter, and the ability to communicate effectively, candidates can differentiate themselves as competent and professional individuals.


A sound strategy based on expert tips can propel an UPSC IAS 2023 aspirant to become a civil servant. Only half is left to pass the written test; The remaining half depends on the performance of the candidate in the interview round. Listening to experts can make the process smoother as they add additional factors from their own experience of going through all these rounds and becoming a member of the 1-2% of selected candidates.

(The author Sriram Srirangam is Founder and Director, Sriram’s IAS. The views expressed here are personal.)

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