[CD Exclusive] SWOT Analysis Questions for 3 Types of IAS Mains Qualified Aspirants

Let’s face the facts. Very few of us can face an IAS interview with gusto.

The remaining lion’s share of aspirants wails from self-doubt, no matter how much data and mocks we claim to have attempted and cramped.

Remember, we have a few hours within which we have to impress the panel. You may be an engineer of the first water, an aspirant with dogged determination and a story to reckon with, but it is what transpires during those few hours is what matters.

You need the best to come out of you, period.

Back in 2017, Civilsdaily was one of the few institutions which brought about a change in the way an aspirant approaches the IAS exam. We have been very meticulous with our Samanvaya Calls (Mentoring interventions on phone) and invited aspirants (our students or not) to come and fill the form and share their preparation related issues.


TRANSCEND (Interview Guidance by CD) module vs. other mock interview programs

SWOT Analysis

The interview preparation in our Transcend module is now enhanced with questions that are expected from you given your life-stage during this preparation journey. Much more beyond your hobbies and childhood dreams.

We have profiled you in 3 broad buckets in our announcement post for Transcend 2019-20.

Once you fill-up the form and submit your DAF, we have requested you to send us a selfie video with candid answers to 6 standard questions.

Post that, we will analyze and build personalized interventions depending upon UPSC readiness bucket.


Here’s a preview of what those questions are going to be and their importance.

Profile 1: UPSC Senior

Q1. You have failed in your previous attempt/s, why do you think we should consider your candidature seriously this time?

This question tests the psychology of the candidate. The language has been deliberately made harsh to push the candidate on the back foot. The candidate is expected to remain optimistic and calm despite the provocative language and give logical points about why she is amongst the best choices for civil services.

Q2. What do you think about the Citizenship Amendment Bill?

This seemingly simple question has been asked to test the neutrality, articulation, logical exposition and critical thinking skills of the candidate. The issue of CAB is extremely complex with strong opinions aired by all sides. The candidate is expected to be aware of all the viewpoints and also have her own opinion on the issue. Normally, senior aspirants tend to avoid sharing their personal opinions on complicated and controversial national issues, but a candidate who has reached interview stage multiple times is expected to have the maturity to deal with such issues. In order to further test the candidate’s balance of judgement and ability to handle pressure, the interview board might counter the candidate’s arguments with strong (and even extreme) counter-arguments.

Profile 2: The Working Professional (let’s say from steel & iron sector)

Q1. How is India faring in the Iron and steel sector, both globally and domestically? What will be the impact of the National Steel Policy, 2017 on the sector? What are the latest technologies in steel manufacturing? Etc

These kinds of Qs are asked to gauge how well the candidate understands the sector she works in. The candidate is expected to know the factual details with examples. Not answering such questions will go well with the board.

Q2. Some Qs around your hobbies might be asked.

The purpose of such Qs is to judge the significance you accord to ‘quality of life’. Your answer must reflect that despite the busy schedule, you do find some time to relax and recuperate from the stress of modern life.

Profile 3: The Fresher

Q1. Ideally, UPSC preparation should be managed alongside one’s studies and does not demand dedicated and exclusive preparation. Why did you need to invest a year specifically for it?

Normally, aspirants think that many years of dedicated hard work is needed to crack the UPSC. This Q is intended to ‘stun’ the candidate by stressing on a point contrary to her belief. The purpose is to test the self-confidence and mental strength of the candidate. If the interviewee has a weak mind, she might blank out in this situation, and might not be able to answer properly anything that follows.

Q2. What is your opinion about the encounter of the rape accused by Hyderabad police?

Young people are often swayed by their emotions, and therefore, these kinds of questions are asked. They are intended to test qualities like maturity, the balance of judgment, critical power of assimilation, emotional intelligence of the candidate, faith in constitutional values, etc. Such questions can arouse very strong and knee-jerk reactions which can cost you the interview. These have to be avoided at all costs.


We hope you have been watching our “How’s the josh videos” on the Civilsdaily Youtube channel. Rakesh Sir will be actively looking into your DAFs and reviewing your videos to ensure that every hour gets counted.


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