If you have been invited for an SSB interview, then you are already doing something right. You have presented yourself well in psychology tests and GTO tasks and now you need to follow that through in person. To really impress your Interviewing Officer (IO), you need to do your homework right, present the best version of yours and most importantly, start strong. The beginning- that’s when you have the opportunity to make a great impression; the way you dress up, shake hands, exchange greetings play quite an influential role in forming an opinion about your personality. To maintain that impressive influence on the interviewing officer throughout, you need to nail every step of the interview.
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Quick tips that would help you in impressing your interviewing officer:
- Wear appropriate interview attire: It can be really awkward if you show up at the interview overdressed or underdressed. Be dressed up in your proper, neat & clean, formal professional outfit. Iron your clothes and polish your shoes. Do well. Live well. And dress really well.
- Have a good handshake: Don’t offer a shaky or flimsy hand. Whenever you meet with prospective interviewers, offer a firm handshake, that’s a good way to demonstrate your confidence and start the interview off on the right note.
- Be enthusiastic: Always present yourself with a smile on your face and carry a positive attitude. Eliminate negativity from your mind and environment and stay cool and cheerful. Show how readily you want to be offered this service but don’t show extreme excitement. Observe the decorum and protocols of the interview.
- Good eye contact: Establish a healthy eye contact with the interviewing officer. Don’t stare or ogle or give a cold look which can be demeaning to the IO.
- Avoid sweaty palms: Nobody wants to touch a wet, sweaty, slimy hand. Use the restroom before your interview, wash and dry your hands. If not possible, use a handkerchief or tissue for the same.
- Don’t panic, stay cool: Even if you have brushed up all your knowledge and prepared well, an interview scene still makes you nervous and you can be completely blown off by the questions you weren’t expecting. So, while hoping for the best, be prepared for the worst and stay calm.
- Smile: You don’t want to overdo it, but always think positive and smile when you are meeting the IO and during the interview. Positive candidates with strong interpersonal skills are more likely to form a good impression on the IO.
- Use mild or very light perfume: Strong smelling perfumes cause distraction and can be irritating to olfactory senses while in an interview arena. Use light, gentle and pleasant smelling perfumes or body sprays that keep your body odour away.
- Practice: Practice might not make you perfect, but it will definitely help you make a great impression. Practice conversing in English with your family and friends, that will also polish your communication skills. Work on your Communication skills: Nervousness might make you talk too fast or not at all. When you are asked a question, take some time to think about your response before giving your final answer. Don’t rush. Be more conversational and sound less rehearsed (don’t act like you have mugged up the answers).
- Research: It goes without saying that you must prepare thoroughly for the interview. Work on your PIQ form, general questions related to your education, family, friends, hobbies, etc., current affairs, topics involving the nation and the world. Don’t forget to study for the technical questions too related to your streams.
- Body language, posture & gesture: Have a decent body language, don’t indulge in fidgeting or fiddling. Sit straight and comfortably. Use the chair to relax and not panic. Don’t throw hands while talking, instead, keep them properly in your lap.
- Mirror your interviewer: Tune your posture, voice, and gestures to those of the IO. Balance your speech with his, speak at his pace and volume. This establishes a healthy rapport with the interviewer.
- Mannerisms: Be polite, attentive and honest in your conversations. Don’t sound rude, loud or harsh. Be original and give correct/factual answers. Don’t bluff. If you don’t know the answer to any question; say, “Sorry Sir, I don’t know the answer, but will definitely find it out”, instead of answering wrong.
- Show restraint: What you don’t say may be equally important as what you do say during the interview. As a rule, don’t talk about the benefits (salary, perks) you will derive from the service. Your conversations should reflect OLQs, don’t be vocal about them all by yourself (For example- don’t say, “I am confident, energetic young man with good leadership skills”). You should already know if you fit the parameters of the service or not. Don’t badmouth, comment or criticise about anything or anyone or any place, rather express gratitude and appreciation.
- Share Experiences/Memories/Stories: Don’t just state your qualifications or experiences, instead, use your story telling skills to share examples of what you have achieved so far. Engage in real life stories that have affected or influenced you big time.
- Get the inside scoop: Make sure you research about the service you want to join; its missions, working, over all service related information including latest developments and also have basic knowledge involving all the three forces.
- Ask Questions: The IO may provide you with the opportunity to ask questions, it can be anything. Grab the chance and ask but make sure it isn’t personal or irrelevant to SSB or Armed Forces. Remember, whatever you pick to ask will reflect your qualities and personality and IO may pick something from that too, so be sensible and wise in choosing your questions.