The Indian Armed Forces offer most meaningful career opportunities to every young and dynamic youth of the nation. To join the Indian Armed Forces in Officer Cadre, SSB Interview is a mandatory phase which is held for 5 days. It comprises of 2 stages. Stage-I includes Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR test) and Picture Perception and Description Test (PP&DT), after clearing Stage-I, the candidate needs to undergo Stage-II testing which includes MANSA (Psychology), VACHA (Personal Interview) and KARMA (GTO). To accomplish your mission a strategic approach, understanding of parameters of selection and defence oriented personality, are prime requirements. Let’s proceed further on “how to develop approachability for SSB preparation”. 

The crux to qualify Stage-I

The first test on Day-I is your OIR test i.e. Officer Intelligence Rating. The OIR value ranges between 1 and 5, which sets the standard of the candidate before the Board. The regular practice of verbal and non-verbal reasoning questions enhances one’s performance. 

For PP&DT, develop your story drafting skills with a timestamp of 1 minute. While drafting a story, selection of theme must be socially productive and should reflect a central character’s problem-solving approach, resourcefulness, positivity and rich ideals. During group discussion, contribute your efforts to get the common group consensus. Avoid screaming if the fish market is created rather have a calm approach, positive facial index, listen to instructions and to group members attentively to add the extra edge in your performance. 

Tips to score high in the battery of Psychological Testing

Through projective techniques, the Psychologist evaluates personality traits of every candidate by putting them under high-stress octane situations and through different contingencies/scenarios obtaining the first response of the candidates and assesses the dossier through different tests which are TAT, WAT, SRT and SD.

Majorly this test is of one’s subconscious and unconscious state of mind so develop productive hobbies, interests and get exposure through extra-curricular activities. 

Acknowledge your fears/ failures and be determined and courageous in your routine life. 

Develop your writing speed to write your appropriate response within the given time frame. 

Develop a flair for your story drafting skills as per the prescribed format. 

Self-visualization and one’s strength, area(s) of improvement as well as reasoning aptitude should be chartered upon.  

It is full proof, a scientific process so avoid giving fake, pre-conceived, unrealistic and borrowed ideas. 

The sense of integrity, responsibility and good social adjustment, quick decision- making and leadership skills must be reflected through one’s responses. 

Ace your Personal Interview

Prepare your self-introduction well. Share your introduction happily and energetically to make a good tuning with the interviewer. 

Pay special attention to rapid-fire questions as they are asked to observe the candidate’s cognitive skills, patience and confidence.  

General Awareness is a grey area and 95 per cent questions are raised from your PIQ so prepare it well.  

Current affairs of at least last 6 months, defence awareness, national and international thorny issues are to be updated.  

Proper eye-contact, confident sitting posture, positive facial index and effective communication skills add gravity to your candidature.  

If and when required, admit your mistakes gracefully which are trainable in nature such as poor communication skills and lack of general knowledge. 

Avoid revealing certain least desirable traits directly which are not as per defence suitability such as slackness in team performance, social adjustment and a low sense of responsibility.  

Be alert and respond passionately to all the questions of the interviewer with joviality rather than being bothered about the result.  

Be a notable team player (GTO Tips)

Social adjustment is the most essential trait to be assessed in parameters of selection.  

Orient your skills towards the group’s goal rather than making it an individual’s showcase.  

Take initiatives and always give ideas sharply. Avoid getting into a complex thought process.  

Courage makes one stand at the front and it is the most sought out trait seen in SSB interview. Resourcefulness with calculative risk analysis reflects one’s decision making. 

Co-operation should be a pioneer trait in every obstacle and one should know how to operate at the group level. 

Listening to others attentively during group discussions gives you a wide range of logical answers and enough opportunities to come up with your creative solutions to them. 

Physical fitness and mental agility help in performing better during outdoor obstacles. 

Selection Board demands a candidate who is mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically well-balanced and has officer potential material where more importance is given to moral courage than physical courage. There is an equal weightage for assessment of the IO, the GTO and the Psychology. This is the beauty of the system that fake demonstration of your personality can never ever get you through. Despite the grave shortage of thousands of officers in the Indian Armed Forces, the selection system does not compromise with its standards. As a defence officer, nation’s security, lives of many jawans and civilians are in your hands and now it is time for you to decide, “Do you have ‘IT’ in you?”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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