In the very beginning itself, I would like to congratulate each one of you who have successfully cracked the written exams or the cut-offs of the defense services entries. Cracking defense exams or clearing the cut-offs is one of the major obstacles, one needs to overcome in order to become a defense personnel. Now, the next step is a bit more difficult but exciting and adventurous viz. the Service Selection Boards Interview (SSB Interview). It is conducted to make sure whether you have the ability to sustain in the most challenging and stressful environment. SSB Interviews take place at various Service Selection Boards(SSB)/Air Force Selection Boards(AFSB)/Naval Selection Boards(NSB) centers all across the nation. It is a 5 day SSB interview procedure which is completely different from the job interviews or the interviews in schools/colleges.
Five Day SSB interview procedure
The entire 5-day procedure which takes place to assess the officer like qualities in you are as follows:
- Phase-1 Testing: Screening Test. This test comprises of two tests namely Officer Intelligence Rating Test(OIR Test) and Picture Perception and Discussion Test(PP&DT). Those who clear this screening test are retained for Phase-2 testing addressed below.
- Psychological Test(Phase-2 testing begins from this day).
- Group Task Obstacles/Interview.
- Group Task Obstacles/Interview.
- Board Conference.
You might notice that the tests conducted on day 3 and 4 are the same. So, do we need to repeat the tests? Well, the answer is not at all. The tasks in GTO are quite a good in number which can’t be completed on the same day. So, they are conducted over two days in the morning along with interview sessions conducted in the afternoon. You need to appear for GTO two times but only once for an interview.
Tips and tricks to excel in SSB Interviews.
Tips common to every test.
- You will receive the call letter either by mail or by post. Make sure you read it very carefully. You must carry all the documents mentioned in the call letter along with photocopies.
- Since you are visiting defense area which is well-known for discipline and decorum, it is obvious that you are required to maintain the discipline and decorum while staying there for five days. Wear formals while you are inside the SSB testing areas.
- Be on time everywhere as being on time is the most important quality for a defense personnel to have.
- Maintain the dress code everywhere. For eg, In GTO, you have to wear your GTO kit.
- In the OIR test, try to attempt all the questions as there is no negative marking.
- During the group discussion, due to different opinions and perspectives of candidates, the discussion turns into a huge debate sometimes. Such a situation is called a fish-market situation. In such a scenario, you must try to sort out the situation calmly rather than making the discussion more complicated.
- Make sure your handwriting is neat and clean. Your handwriting tells a lot about your personality.
- Be yourself, don’t try to copy the responses from other’s sheets. The assessors are much smarter than you.
- A little practice beforehand always helps but don’t refer to too many references as it might snatch your originality and you might end up copying the references instead of writing your own.
- In GTO tasks, try to help your group members and be active. The GTO Officer will be keeping a watch on every single moment.
- Listening to the instructions in GTO with open ears is the most important thing. If you miss even a single instruction, do not hesitate to ask for it.
- During the interview, maintain the proper posture and avoid being too friendly with the interviewer. Remember, he is there to assess you.
- In the interview, don’t sit until you are ordered to do so. This gives a very bad impression about your personality.
- Avoid greeting every single person present there. You are required to greet the person of the highest rank i.e the Board President.
- Make sure you prepare the questions you couldn’t answer in the interview.
- Maintain proper sitting posture and avoid giving any suggestion to the boards.
If you go through these tips thoroughly, there is a very high chance of getting recommended. Also, if you couldn’t get into the recommended list, no need to worry about it as in the armed forces, you can appear for SSB any no. of times. So, prepare well and be yourself. Just have faith in yourself. Someday, definitely, you will hear your name being called along with your insignia. All the very best for your life ahead.