Many sleepless nights, all kind of test series, number of revisions, newspaper cuttings, strategies, notes, Xerox of numerous coaching institutes may have helped you in handling Mains. However, Vagueness in demand of questions, race against time, tremendous pressure might have left a tinge in your performance. You may be confident of clearing or may be less hopeful. Moreover increased subjectivity and weakened correlation between our perceived performance and marks scored has to be kept in mind.

Whatever the case maybe, Importance of interview must be respected and interview preparation must be started right away. Interview is one of the most important steps which might change your future. Few more marks and you can get into the list or get a better service or a better cadre.

It is important to emphasize that unlike Prelims and Mains, Interview is a Long term, more involving and personalized process where you cannot rely on some notes, book or last minute readymade material. With this demand it is advisable to start early.

What we plan to do is to provide you some pointers so that you can begin this process with right mindset and with right resource.  Kindly go through the list:

  1. General Information
  2. Do’s and Don’ts
  3. Suggested Book list
  4. Important Topics of Current Affairs
  5. Transcripts of Interview
  6. Personalized Counseling

General Information

Personality test is the final obstacle between you and your goal. It is also one of the most crucial step, often neglected, which can make or break you.  It carries total marks of 275 and the range of marks obtained by candidates varies from as low as 70 to as high as 220. The rank as well as the success is dependent on the personality test.

Board consists of 5 members and generally interview duration is 30 minutes on average. It may go up to 45-50 minutes on the higher side while on the lower side it can be only for 7-10 minutes. Most of the candidates who have faced and scored well in Interview generally agree on the inherent subjectivity in the process. Nevertheless during preparation our aim should be to devote complete focus and prepare well and not worry about the subjectivity.


  • Gents: Light colored shirt, Dark Colored Pants. Suit and tie can be wore based on comfort
  • Ladies: Saari or Salwar Suit

Do’s and Don’ts


  • Carry required documents, photographs etc.
  • Reach half an hour before reporting time
  • Enter Confidently, Greet every member (Chairman then Lady Member then other members)
  • Wait till asked to be seated, Take seat calmly when asked, thank the board
  • Maintain eye contact with the member you are interacting with. (You can also have try to have eye contact with other members while answering as it involves every member in your answer however it becomes difficult to do and requires practice. If you are comfortable you can do it else restrict yourself to the member who is asking question)
  • Be attentive and listen carefully. If you do not understand the question politely ask to repeat or explain
  • If you do not know the answer (which happens often) politely say that you do not know. If the member tells you something do thank him/her.
  • If any member complements your answer remember to express you thanks.
  • A pleasant smile helps in sailing through and leaves a good impression.
  • Do not argue but be firm in your stand. If you said anything wrong or you find members opinion more sound and logical then own your mistake and leave room for correction. Express your opinion clearly.
  • Take Interview as an interactive process. Give due respect to members and their opinion as they have more than 30 years of experience. Be and seem interested in letting them know about yourself.


  • Avoid unnecessary hand, head, and body movement
  • Do not make wild guess and speculations. Do ask for members permission if you want to take a guess
  • Never try to bluff the board
  • Do not boast, do not be over-confident or arrogant
  • Do not be disrespectful in any way – words, gesture, and body language (Get feedback from friends, family, mock interview – if you sound or appear to be rude while answering – take corrective action)

Suggested Book list

Books are the powerhouse of knowledge. Reading book is an experience and it involves the beautiful journey of going through the maze of ideas that writer creates. The given list is exhaustive and it is neither essential nor necessary to go through all of them. But reading few will definitely be beneficial. You can choose according to your interest. This exercise need to be done before declaration of Mains results as after that you will be in panic mode. Also for our purpose, apart from enjoyment of reading, a focused approach is necessary. Following suggestion can be beneficial:

  • Make summary of the ideas after reading a book – This will help you remember the core ideas of writer
  • Jot down some pointers that can be utilized in answers
  • Analyze the way writer handles any issue or how an argument is made – similar balance and maturity is required in framing answers in interview
  • One book based on experience of an IAS officer is a must. It will give a better insight on working of Bureaucracy as well as innovative solutions to various societal and administrative problems. Also answers will become more balanced and mature with right consideration towards the constraints and issues faced.
  1. My Experiments with Truth
  2. Discovery of India
  3. Argumentative Indian
  4. India Unbound – Gurcharan Das
  5. Everybody Loves a Good Drought – P Sainath
  6. Indias Unending Journey – Mark Tully
  7. India After Independence – R.C Guha
  8. Books by DAPRG:
  9. India at Turning Point – TSR Subramniam
  10. Bureaucrazy gets Crazier – MK Kaw
  11. The Honest Always stand Alone – CG Somiah
  12. Poor but Spirited in Karimnagar – Sumita Dawra
  13. An Unfinished Innings – Madhav Godbole

 Sample Important Topics of Current Affairs (For 2015)

  • Ordinance power in India
  • Post and Role of Governor
  • CBI – Role, responsibilities and independence
  • Criminal Justice system in India
  • Uniform Civil Code
  • 14th Finance Commission
  • RTI – 10 years of Working
  • Section 66A – IT Act
  • Aadhar
  • CAG
  • Collegium System
  • Minimum Government and Maximum Governance
  • Amendment to PCA
  • NITI Aayog
  • Women Related Issues
  • Child Related Issues
  • Sanitation, Swach Bharat
  • Juvenile Justice system
  • Transgender
  • Make in India
  • Skill India
  • Housing For All
  • Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojana
  • Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana
  • Defence Sector
  • OROP
  • Monetary Policy Committee
  • Black Money
  • GST
  • Tax Terrorism
  • FMC merger with SEBI
  • Insurance Reform
  • Gold Monetisation schemes


Transcripts of Interview
We thank following toppers for penning their interview experiences. Hope it will help you to gain better insight and guide you to improve your performance.

  1. Gaurav Agrawal, AIR 1-CSE 2013
  2. Chakresh Mishra, AIR 131-CSE 2014
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