23 Jun 2019
#CareerBytes: 7 tricky questions asked in UPSC CSE IAS interviews
Written byRamya Patelkhana
Candidates must clear Prelims, Mains, and the Personality Test/Interview. They may also face some tricky questions in the interview (275 marks) that tests candidates' knowledge, mental caliber, reasoning ability, spontaneousness among other things.
Here are 7 tricky questions that have been asked in IAS interviews.
Science or Technology: What came first?
This is a question from the 2014 UPSC interview: "Difference between science and technology? And, which came first?"
Simply put, technology is the application of science. The debate over which came first continues with some claiming science came first, others arguing it's technology, and some saying both go hand-in-hand.
The interviewee, however, answered that science came first, while the interviewer said technology came first.
'What happened when wheel was invented?'
The next question may look easy but is quite tricky. In one of the IAS interviews, the interviewer asked: "What happened when wheel was invented?"
The candidate, who was also selected, simply answered, "It caused a revolution." The interviewee decided to use a "pun" and give a two-level answer, conveying the wheel's basic function (revolution) and also that the invention led to a revolution.
Some questions can be simply answered using common sense
The third question is: "If a red house is made from red bricks, pink house... from pink bricks, blue house... from blue bricks, and black house... from black bricks, then what is greenhouse made from?"
Answer: Greenhouses are made of glass.
Sometimes, interviewers may try to confuse the candidates to test them; but, candidates can give the right answer using their common sense.
Some questions are intended to test candidate's mental alertness
Here's another one: "In a field, a farmer has 4 haystacks and 5 haystacks in other field. If he combines all stacks in the center of the field, how many haystacks would he possess?"
Answer: After combining all haystacks, he would have only one haystack.
For such questions, candidates should not get into details or calculations but just understand the question properly before answering.
Sometimes, interviewers try to understand candidate's thought process
The next one: "A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?"
Answer: Third room; lions will have died of hunger in 3 years.
Questions- 6, 7
Candidates should think out-of-the-box to give the right answer
Some questions may sound vague or misleading; so, candidates must think out-of-the-box to answer.
For example: "What ended in the year 1919?" Answer: The year 1918.
Another one: "A clerk is found in a butcher shop where he stands to be 5ft 10" tall and wears shoes of size-13; tell me what does he weigh?" Answer: He weighs meat; no need to calculate anything.