How To Prepare For SSB Interview: Know the preparation tips and strategy to prepare for SSB

Updated Tue, 10 May 2022 08:57 AM IST


Preparation for SSB interview. Know how to prepare for SSB Interview effectively to become a part of the Defence Forces

UPSC has released NDA I 2022 result on May 9, 2022. Candidates who have qualified the written exam must begin their preparation for SSB Interview right away as written exam is surely an important one to get through however it is a well accepted fact that beyond the written exam lies the more important and tougher stage of the selection process - the SSB interview. You must have thorough knowledge of SSB Interview prcoedure to do well and get selected. This blog aims to provide an insight into the SSB interview process and how to prepare for the same. If you are preparing for competitive exams and are looking for expert guidance, you can check out our NDA Achievers Batch 2022: Join Batch By Safalta Now!!


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Service Selection Board (SSB) is the organization which conducts this interview to assess the candidates for becoming officers in the Indian Armed Forces. There is a standadized protocol of evaluation system in place on the basis of which, the board consisting of officers from the Defence forces, select the candidates. There are 13 service selection boards across India out of which 4 are for the Indian Army , 4 are for the Indian Air Force and 5 are for the Indian Navy.

SSB Interview Procedure

The interview spans for 4-5 days during which various tests are conducted to test the qualities and personality of the candidates. SSB interview has a pattern and procedure wherein the tests are conducted in a manner so as to reflect the actual personality and psychology of the candiate . There are certain established qualitites in the Indian Armed Forces called the "Officer Like Qualitites (OLQs)" which are usually looked for in a cadidate during this interview. So the five day procedure is an attempt by the Selection Board to observe the candidates and scrutinize their every quality to see if they have the required OLQs. The entire procedure as followed on different days is as follows :

SSB Interview: Day 1

On the very first day, the screening test is conducted consisting of an OIR (Officers Intelligence Rating) test and PPDT (Picture Perception & Description Test).

In the OIR test, candidates are given a set of 50 questions based on Quantitative Aptitude and Verbal & Non-verbal Reasoning. The time given to solve these questions will be 30 minutes. After that in PPDT, candidates will be shown a static picture on the projector for 30 seconds and they have to come up with a thoughtful story based on your perception. The candidates who do not perform well are sent back on the very first day.

To check NDA/NA Eligibility Criteria: Click Here

SSB Interview: Day 2  

On this day, the candidate is called for psychological testing.

TAT (Thematic Appreciation Test) – In this test, the candidates are shown 11 hazy/blur pictures on the projector one by one and the candidates need to write a positive story on the shown pictures.  The 12th picture will be blank and the candidate needs to write a Self-Description on the same.

WAT (Word Association Test) - this test is to determine the candidate’s psychology. Candidates will be shown 60 words on a projector consecutively and they have to associate these words with some positive events.

SRT (Situation Reaction Test) - SRT is conducted after WAT and 10 minutes will be given to the candidate for answering these questions. The total number of questions will be 60 and the candidates have to write 2-3 sentences in each situation.

If you are looking for best study material for NDA/NA Exam, then click here: UPSC NDA Study Material

SSB Interview: Day 3 & 4

On the third and fourth day of the interview, GTO tasks are done to determine the suitable candidate. The Group Testing Officer (GTO) is the most powerful person in the SSB interview because he will spend 2 days testing your abilities. GTO testing comprises the following tasks-

Group Discussion (GD) –  the group will be given two topics for discussion.

Group Planning Exercise (GPE) – this test will consist of 5 parts.

-          Model explanation

-          Reading of narratives by GTO

-          5 minutes for self-reading

-          10 minutes for writing your plan

-          Finally, 20 minutes to discuss the common plan

Also Read: NDA Salary

Progressive Group Task (PGT)- PGT is a set of obstacles in a specified area in which the team members need to cross each obstacle complying with certain rules and regulations. The difficulty level of this task increases after every obstacle.

Group Obstacle Race- This is also known as snake race. The group has to take part in a race of six obstacles. Here, the Group Testing Officer GTO wants to see the co-operation and team-leading quality in you.

Half Group Task (HGT) – HGT is almost similar to PGT, but the group is divided into two parts. Here, the Group Testing Officer wants to see the individual performance of the candidate. The rules for HGT will be the same as in PGT.

Lecturette- In this round, each candidate will be given 3 minutes to deliver a speech in front of the group. Scores depend upon your expressions, body language, fluency, confidence, and the knowledge you have.

Individual Obstacles- In this round, the candidate has to perform individually and needs to cross 10 obstacles. These obstacles are Single Ramp, Double Barrel, Screen Jump, Balancing Beam,  Tarzan Swing, Burma Bridge, Double Ditch, Double Platform Jump, Tiger Leap, and Commando Walk. 

Command Task- this round is to find the commanding ability in a candidate and is conducted before the FGT. The candidates are allowed to choose any two members out of the group that you have been allotted. This task is like PGT and HGT.

Final Group Task (FGT)- this is the final task in testing. All group members are required to finish this task and all rules remain the same as in PGT and HGT. This task is tougher and time taking.

To know about UPSC NDA/NA Exam Pattern: Click Here

SSB Interview: Day 5

This is the D-day of the SSB interview. On this day, the candidate is called for the conference for verification by the panel and after this, results are announced.

Note: A personal interview round is also organized on any day between second to the fourth day. The interviewing officers are a top senior officer like Colonel or Brigadier. Personal Interview is an integral part of the SSB interview process in which the details in PIQ (Personal Information Questionnaire) form are matched with your personality so they need to be correct.


SSB Interview Preparation 

1. Understand the Pattern of SSB Interview Thoroughly  

The candidate needs to understand the interview procedure thoroughly as it is not a one day task. SSB interview is not like other exams so the candidates need to understand all the stages that will be carried out in 5 days.

2. Practice is a key to success 

Make sure you practice for all the tests that are mentioned above. You need to develop your creative thinking along with speaking skills. SRT, WAT and other written tests can be dealt with by practising from study material and practising creative writing daily. Going through such questions daily makes it easier for you to deal in the exam. Other tests like the obstacle test where your fitness and physique will be tested require you to be fit. You need to have a vast knowledge of the GD topics as you need to speak and speak differently from others. You need to be clear with the facts that you will present and at the same time confident about what you speak. One should have good analytical skills, decision-making power and good communication skills to perform well in Group Discussion. Developing these traits will definitely help you out!

3. Be Confident whenever you speak

Being confident is vital not only for the GD round but also the Personal Interview test. You need to be well prepared, honest and confident. If you are not aware of anything, then don’t get nervous try to stay calm and composed and the best thing is that you can admit by simply replying that you don’t have adequate knowledge about the particular topic but don’t give twisted or wrong answers. The panellist can make out that you are not aware of it. Importance must be given to the way you dress up for the interview, your sitting posture, body language, eye contact and physical gestures.

Fill up the PIQ form honestly and correctly because this will ensure that you are not asked something out of the league. Because they generally tend to ask questions on the information that you have provided them. During the personal interview, the interviewer generally looks for key traits like Office like Qualities (OLQs), confidence, decision-making power, analytic skills, general awareness and your aptitude.

4. Read Current Affairs Every Day

It is always important to be aware of the things going around you. As a citizen, it is vital that you are aware of the general things happening and has knowledge and understanding about the same. So don’t miss out the daily dose of current events. General awareness questions are also put in GDP especially something of your state and town. So read all the current affairs.

5. You must have in-depth knowledge about certain topics

SSB interview also has recurring topics in GD. Hence, it’s crucial that you read the common topics like Indian Politics, History of India, India and its current affairs, Armed Forces in India etc. Read Read and Read make notes of what you read.

6. Don’t ignore your background knowledge of academics

It is advisable that you brush up the things that you have read in your 12th or graduation. There are chances that the interviewer might ask you something related to it. If you are from the technical background then do have knowledge about the same because there might be a question that is put in PI.

7. Know everything about the place you belong to

As already said above that there might be questions more on the place you belong to. Hence, it is advisable that you read about your town or city or the state you belong to. Read information related to historical significance, population, language, ethnicity, governance, notable personalities, cuisines, art & culture etc of your state/town.

8. Improve your oratory skills 

If you have a good oratory skill then you will perform better in group discussion, Group tasks etc. 
Stand in front of a mirror choose a topic and try speaking on it for 3-4 minutes. Record while you are speaking so that you can improvise it after listening. 

9. Always maintain your Physical fitness 

Along with the knowledge you need to be Physically fir as it is important for the obstacle found. Eat good and healthy food. Practice meditation and yoga daily to calm your mind and relax it.

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