What Questions Were Asked in UPSC CSE-2022 Interview, Toppers Reveal

By answering these questions, they became toppers in this highly challenging exam Some faced tricky ones on responsibility, authority, senior and political pressure, while others faced idea-based questions Indian Masterminds spoke to some of the toppers and successful candidates to know about the questions they faced
Indian Masterminds Stories

Ever since UPSC declared the CSE 2022 results on 23 May, success stories of toppers have been inspiring all the aspirants. But these new CSE aspirants are also curious to know about the interview round and the kind of questions that were put to the candidates.

From to ‘Russia-Ukraine war’ to ‘Artificial Intelligence’, candidates were asked very tricky as well as in-depth questions from various other topics, ranging from Socio-Political to International Relations.

Indian Masterminds interacted with some toppers and qualifiers of the CSE 2022 to know inside details of their interview round.

Ishita Kishore, AIR-01, UPSC CSE-2022


Noida’s Ishita Kishore, who topped the CSE 2022, had a tough round as she was grilled thouroughly. As she has been a national football player, during the interview, a board member asked her a question related to her sports background.

Ishita told Indian Masterminds that she was asked how she would use her understanding of sports and experience in administration.

To which she responded that, being a national-level player has helped her to stay consistent, which would be very useful in administration. According to her, the question was of a completely different perspective.
She was also asked questions on other issues like China, Panchayati Raj System, research, etc.

A question was asked on China’s stand regarding Arunachal Pradesh, to which she replied that amidst global pressure, India should stick to her stand.

Garima Lohia, AIR-02, UPSC CSE-2022


Bihar’s Garima Lohia, who secured rank 2, was asked questions ranging from local city to global war zone. She was grilled on questions from her DAF.

One board member asked her about Buxar district, where she comes from. They inquired about the famous battle of Buxar. She was also asked questions on fundamental rights.

“On Russia-Ukraine war, I was asked whether India is supporting Russia in this? Should India stand on the side of Ukraine?” She replied that India is a sovereign country and has to decide its strategy on this basis. “Russia has been our old friend since 1971. It is not that India has not condemned the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Our Foreign Minister has also repeatedly reiterated that we condemn war. Our policy has been to strike a balance,” she further added.

According to her, an attempt was made to know her thinking about the war, and one can give such aspects only if he or she has studied it closely.

Uma Harathi N (left) with her parents, AIR-03, UPSC CSE-2022


Telangana’s Uma Harathi N cleared this prestigious exam with AIR 3. She was asked technical questions as well as questions on topics of international relations, BRICS, Non-Alignment Movement, Tribal Development, and Anthropology.

As she completed her graduation (B.Tech) in 2017, she was asked what she had been doing for five years. Her reply was: “I made mistakes and learnt from them.”

About the Ukraine issue, she was asked, “Hasn’t the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Russia? What will happen to that warrant now?”

To which she replied that since Russia is not a member of the International Criminal Court, it does not have much influence, but, there might be a little pressure diplomatically.

Smriti Mishra, AIR-04, UPSC CSE-2022


She is rank 4 holder and her optional was Law. The panel quizzed her on what she would choose, life or law?

She replied, “People’s lives should be better. Laws are made so that people can enjoy their life. That’s why I will choose law. Law makes people’s life better and easier.”

Gahana Navya James, AIR-06, UPSC CSE-2022


She ranked 6th in her 2nd attempt without any mock or coaching. Most of the questions put to her were from her domain, International Relations and Economics. She was also quizzed on science and technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), like “How would AI be related to the changes in the job market and what would be its impact on employment scenario?”

In hindsight, she says now, “It was a very diverse and very interesting interview. It was one of the most exciting parts of my journey.”

Aniruddh Yadav, AIR-08, UPSC CSE-2022


He got the 8th rank in his 4th attempt. Most of the questions Aniruddh was asked was related to his profile. He was also quizzed on current affairs, Delhi, his current service, and global development.

The panelists also asked him: “How do moon’s phases impact the rural life?”

Aniruddh’s reply was: “India has luni-solar calendar – 12 months move according to the moon. Festivals, holidays, daily worship are decided according to the moon. Thus it impacts everyone.”

Kanika Goyal (in the middle) with her parents, AIR-09, UPSC CSE-2022


She secured 9th rank in her 2nd attempt. The board members wanted to know her perspective on the great poet Mirza Ghalib’s poem “Udne do inn parindo ko…”

They also asked if an organization should let their subordinates have their own aspirations and try their luck elsewhere even though they are required in the job.

Kanika replied, “Yes, diligence and discipline go along together, in an organization. The subordinates should also have a platform to raise their voices and give their suggestions, which is prominent in big offices such as Google, among others, thus marking them successful.”

‘I’m Meant to Fly’ was the poem Kanika delivered in front of the panel towards the end.

Parsanjeet Kour, AIR-11, UPSC CSE-2022


Jammu’s Parsanjeet secured 11th rank in her first attempt. She said that the interview round went well for her. She was asked questions centred around what she had prepared for and centred around her DAF. She was questioned about J&K’s agriculture and security issues.

“I informed them that I had taken 2-3 mock interviews. They asked if the real one was better or if the mocks were more intriguing. When I told them that the real one was far superior, the panellists burst out laughing, making my day,” she expressed happily.

Abhinav Siwach, AIR-12, UPSC CSE-2022


He cleared UPSC with AIR-12 in his third attempt. While the interview panel started off by asking him about his decision to leave a secure government job, they soon focussed on his hobby of analysing performances of Bollywood movies.

He was asked about Indian filmmakers’ interpretations of Shakespeare and European writers’ works, and how they have turned them into films, like Omkara from Othello, Haider from Hamlet, and Maqbool from Macbeth. He gave them an elaborate answers that floored them completely!

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