How to Prepare for IES Interview

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How to Prepare for IES Interview


FAST FACTS


Name of the exam: IES (Indian Engineering Services) Exam

Conducted by: Union Public Services Commission

Exam conducted in the month of: June (usually)

Mode of applying for the exam: Online

Age criteria: 21-30 years as on 1 January

Educational qualification: A Bachelors degree in Engineering from a recognized university

Medium in which the exam is conducted: Mainly English

Exam pattern: Written exam followed by a personal interview

Marks deduction: 5 percent marks may be deducted for illegible handwriting

Negative marking: Yes

What is Indian Engineering Services (IES)?


IES refers to the services that cater to the technical and managerial functions of the Government of India. The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) conducts the IES exam and the Union Government of India appoints IES officers based on the recommendations made by the UPSC.

IES as a career


IES is a well sought-after career. Every year, lakhs of engineering graduates compete in the IES exam for a few hundred seats. Perhaps, this is why IES exam is considered to be a very tough exam not just in India but the world over (because of the limited number of vacancies available.) Owing to the degree of toughness of the exam, the candidates who clear the IES exam and become IES officers enjoy immense respect and stature in the society. Most of the IES officers are associated with the public sector units including roads, railways, inspection, manufacturing, power, public works, and telecommunication. Graduates clearing or topping IES are usually from Indian Institute of Technology or Indian Institute of Science.

Educational qualification for IES Exam
      • A Bachelors degree in Engineering from a recognized university or equivalent (B.E/B.Tech)

      • An M.Sc degree or equivalent with Wireless Communications, Electronics, Radio Physics or Radio Engineering as special subjects are acceptable for certain services / posts
Age criteria for IES Exam


The candidate can be of any age between 21-30 years as on 1 January (for general candidates) of the year they are taking the exam. The upper limit is relaxed for certain sections of the candidates.

IES Exam centers


IES exam is conducted across India in these cities - Ahmedabad, Agartala, Aizwal, Aligarh, Allahabad, Bhopal, Bangalore, Bareilly, Chennai, Cuttack, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dharwad, Dehradun, Dispur, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kochi, Kohima, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji (Goa), Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Ranchi, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Thiruvananthapuram, Udaipur and Vishakapatnam.

IES Exam pattern


Total marks: 1,200

The examination comprises a written test followed by a personal interview.

Written test
  • Total marks: 1,000

  • Type: Descriptive and objective

  • Number of days the written test is spread across: Usually 3 days

  • Engineering discipline to be chosen from the following - Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
Here is a glimpse of how the exam is spread:

Number of days: 3

Number of hours: 10 hours

PaperTypeSubjectMarksDay/ Hours
Paper - IObjectiveGeneral Ability Test

Part A: General English
200Day - 1 &
2 hours
Paper - IIObjectiveCivil Engineering / Mechanical Engineering / Electrical Engineering / Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering200Day - 2 &
2 hours
Paper - IIIObjectiveCivil Engineering / Mechanical Engineering / Electrical Engineering / Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering200Day - 2 &
2 hours
Paper - IVObjectiveGeneral Ability Test2002 hours
Paper - VConventional (Subjective)Civil Engineering / Mechanical Engineering / Electrical Engineering / Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering

Part A: General English
200Day - 3 &
2 hours
TotalConventional (Subjective)Civil Engineering / Mechanical Engineering / Electrical Engineering / Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering200Day - 3 &
2 hours


Preparing for the IES written test

General English


This paper will test the basic knowledge of the candidates and their general understanding about the subject - English.

Preparation tips:
  • Refer to basic English grammar books and have a clear concept about the usage of words, parts of speech and tenses

  • Try learning few new words on a daily basis. This will help increase your vocabulary

  • When you are learning new words, learn their antonyms and synonyms too and the manner in which the words can be used

  • Develop a habit of reading an English newspaper daily. This will increase your vocabulary to a great extent

  • Solve as many past question papers as possible, as they will give an idea of what to expect in the exam

  • Take as many online English tests as possible
General Knowledge


This paper will test the candidate about his knowledge on current affairs and on how observant he is of everyday matters. He will also be assessed for his know-how about the application of scientific aspects in day-today life - the way an educated person may be able to observe. He will also be asked to answer questions related to Geography, history and other subjects. The toughness level of the questions will be such that a candidate should be able to answer the questions without much study or practice.

Preparation tips:
  • To prepare for this section, be aware of what is happening in the country and across the world

  • Read newspapers and watch the news on TV regularly so that you are updated on what is happening around you

  • Refer to as many latest GK books as possible

  • Try to refer to past question papers and solve as many questions as possible

  • Try to take mock tests related to GK. There are many available online
Preparing for either one of the subjects - Civil Engineering / Mechanical Engineering / Electrical Engineering / Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering

  • For each subject, a detailed syllabus is chalked out. You can refer to the syllabus of the subject of your choice, get well acquainted with the same, and begin your preparation accordingly

  • The preparation should be such that not a single topic is left out

  • Make a routine and stick to it. The routine must allow you to complete the syllabus thoroughly and even revise it

  • Refer to past question papers as it will give you an idea of what to expect and also familiarize you with the pattern of occurrence of the questions

  • Try to take a few mock tests, if possible. They help a lot in preparing you for the main exam
IES Personal Interview


The personal interview will take place only once a candidate has cleared the written test. Comprising 200 marks, the personal interview will assess a candidate on leadership qualities, physical and mental abilities, presence of mind and social qualities, which includes interaction with others, approach towards people and ability to work in with others as a team, etc.

Preparation tips:
  • There are no specific tips but one must concentrate on building one's personality as a whole

  • Some of the questions will be about yourself - like the subjects of your interest, your

  • educational background, your positive and negative traits, how you would solve certain problems arising under certain situations, overall career objective, etc.
  • Sharpen and harness your logical thinking and reasoning

  • As this test will judge a candidate on leadership qualities, mental and social abilities, character and integrity, one must begin to think and act like an officer

  • One may consider taking psychometric tests, if possible
Generic preparation tips for IES Exam


  • Start preparations pretty early - in fact when one is pursuing one's degree course. By this, we mean a candidate should be thorough about each and every subject that of study during the graduation course - the concepts should be clear and no topics should be left out. Remember, it is a very tough exam and preparation has to be 100 percent

  • Be very logical when you are replying to questions. Your answers must exhibit your knowledge regarding the topic - so try to answer questions in depth

  • As there is negative marking, it is advisable not to attempt questions if you are not sure about them. Also, ensure that you do not give superficial answers to questions as that will show you in a bad light

  • Refer to past question papers and try to solve as many question papers as possible

  • Answer your questions in a neat and eligible manner as there is a five percent deduction in marks for ineligible answers

  • For the conventional papers, those candidates who present their answers in an effective, orderly manner with choicest of words stand to gain

  • Time plays a major role while taking this exam. Hence, during preparation, try to time yourself, especially for the subjective papers. As answers are expected to exhibit a certain quality, a candidate should be clear on how much time to be spent on each question and must stick to the timing strictly during the exam

  • One may consider going for formal coaching for the IES exam, but it is entirely up to the candidate because there have been cases where people have topped just through self-study

  • Finally, just be sure about yourself and be confident that you will be able to able to crack the IES exam. This positive attitude in you will definitely go a long way in helping you clear this exam
Useful reference books
  • Strength of Materials /Mechanics of Structure by Gare & Timoshenko, E.Popove, L. Singer, B.C. Punamia

  • Signal and System by Oppenheim and Willsky

  • Optical Fiber Communication by J.M. Senior

  • Engineering Thermodynamics by P.K. Nag, Cengel and Boles
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