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  1. The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest.
  2. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers.
  3. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs.
  4. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.
  5. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
  6. The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers.
  7. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.


The Candidate is interviewed by a Board of five members of which the Chairman of the Board is a member of UPSC while the rest will be experts from various fields. The Board is provided with the Detailed Application Form (DAF) that the candidate fills before the Written Part of the Mains Examination. The interview lasts from 30-35 minutes on an average but may be shorter or longer depending on the candidate and board.


There is no set syllabus but the general direction of preparation should include:

  1. Detailed Application Form – basic information, hobbies, education, work experience etc.
  2. State of Residence/ State to which one belongs
  3. City of Residence
  4. Events of national and international importance that are in the news during that duration.