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What is SSB Interview process [Fully Explained]

In a brief reply “What is the SSB Interview process” we can say SSB interview or service selection board interview is a recruitment process under which a candidate’s skills are...

In a brief reply “What is the SSB Interview process” we can say SSB interview or service selection board interview is a recruitment process under which a candidate’s skills are tested intellectually, physically, psychologically, and through group activities. There are mainly two ways a candidate can get qualify for an SSB interview: First, he/she has cleared the written exam based on a particular type of entry; Second, a candidate can be selected on the merit list prepared on the basis of candidates academic records. Below discus are the types of entries to get recruited in the Indian Armed Force as a commissioned officer.

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What is the SSB Interview process?

In private sector or other competitive sector human resources depends on the philosophy of ‘Best Fit’ whereas in Indian Armed Forces selection is based on the philosophy of ‘Right Fit’. There are three major ways of testing candidates as per SSBs prerequisite standards:

  • Physiological test
  • Interview test
  • Group test

Detail about these tests is discussed in the below sections.

What is SSB Interview dates?

A candidate whether he/she has qualified any armed forces entrance exam or made in the merit list of candidates based on academic records for any particular type of entry, to get called up for SSB interview candidates are first allotted with a roll number and sequenced in a list as per their roll numbers. This list is then published online by the selection board for the candidates to see. List contains detail like Name with respective roll numbers along with DOB with the date of reporting for SSB interview.

The Selection board provides a candidate with two kinds of SSB interview dates one is Regular SSB interview date on which the candidate is expected to arrive at the SSB interview center and the second is Absentee SSB interview date, if a candidate due to unforeseen reasons is not been able to attend his/her SSB interview on as appointed regular SSB interview date then the candidate can attempt the same interview on absentee SSB interview date given the list or call letter provided the candidate have to mail in advance mentioning the reason for failure to attempt SSB on a regular date to the respective selection board.

What is the SSB Interview call letter?

SSB Interview call letter is an official invitation sent by the selection board to the candidates on their respective mailing address or generated online, inviting candidates to attend their respective SSB interviews for recruitment in Indian Armed Forces. Generally, SSB interview call letters consist of candidates’ personal details such as name, address, individually appointed roll number, identity photo, venue for SSB interview, and instruction to reach the venue along with other information that a candidate should know before leaving for his/her SSB interview.

What is the SSB Interview venue or what is the SSB interview center?

SSB interview venue or centers are the service selection board official station where all the SSB interview related process takes place. Candidates are called from all over the country and formed in batches for the process. Below given is a list of venues of service selection board where SSB interview takes place for different kinds of entry for Indian Armed Forces.

SSB interview centers for Indian Army

  • Allahabad, UP Selection Center East (SCE)
  • Bhopal, MP Selection Center Central (SCC)
  • Bangalore, KA Selection Center South (SCS)
  • Ropar, PB (proposed) Selection Center North (SCN)

SSB interview centers for Indian Air Force

  • Dehradun, UK 1 AFSB
  • Mysore, KA 2 AFSB
  • Gandhinagar, GJ 3 AFSB
  • Varanasi, UP 4 AFSB
  • Kolkata, WB 5 AFSB

SSB interview centers for Indian Navy

  • Bhopal, MP 33 SSB, SCC
  • Bangalore, KA 12 SSB, SCS
  • Coimbatore, TN Naval Selection Board (NSB), Agrani
  • Visakhapatnam, AP NSB Visakhapatnam

What is SSB interview instructions

Below given are some basic instructions to be followed by a candidate going to attempt an SSB interview:

  • Candidates are provided with SSB venues when called for SSB interview along with the pickup address and time, generally candidates are picked up by selection board at the railway station on the on the appointed date at pre-informed time. It will be wise for candidates to follow the same otherwise there are chances that he/she might get disqualify to attend the interview.
  • It is advised to candidates to attend the interview on regular dates instead of absente date, two things are there one on regular dates candidates appearing are less as compare to absente batch hence less completion and second administration and management become easier and this will make the process more fair and justifiable.
  • SSB interview is divide in two stages first is screening test and second is 5 day process containing psychological and group test and personal interview.
  • Free boarding and lodging will be provided to you for the period of your stay at the Selection Centre.
  • A candidate is needed to bring his/her call letter at the SSB cater along with other important items such as: academic document, shoes – formal and sports, clothes-formal (for interview) and sportswear well advised are white T shirts and Half pants for physical activities, etc.
  • Candidates are entitled to get traveling allowance in case they are coming to SSB for the first time for the entry.
  • A candidate should be physically fit and free from ailment or any health problem which may hamper his/her performance in the physical test/interview.
  • Candidate will not visit testing areas after testing hours. The conduct of the candidates both in the Selection Centre as well as when visiting outside areas should be correct and gentleman like.
  • Any contravention of above orders or any act of indiscipline will invite immediate cancellation of candidature on disciplinary grounds.
  • Cases of serious breach of discipline and conduct will be handed over to civil police and FIR registered accordingly.
  • Candidates are not permitted to use mobile phones during the conduct of tests.

What is SSB interview Screening Test?

Day 1 of the SSB interview is a devoted screening procedure, hundreds of candidates arrive at day 1 of the SSB interview out of which only 40 to 50 candidates are screened in.

Screening Test consists of:

  • Officer’s Intelligence Rating Test (OIR) – Verbal and Non verbal
  • Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT)– picture story writing, individual picture story brief description and group discussion on the Story

What is Officer’s Intelligence Rating Test (OIR)?

After entering the SSB premises on day 1 candidates have to attempt first to go through the OIR test. The Intelligence Test comprises of two tests — Verbal and Non-verbal tests. These tests have 54-55 questions and determine the Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) of the candidate. They consist of simple linguistic, logical, analytical, and mathematical questions to test basic common sense.

The verbal section in the OIR test consists of questions based on topics such as Relationships, Jumbled words, Coding/Decoding, Multiple choice questions,  Antonym and synonym, reconstruction of the sentence, one-word substitution, Odd one out, common sense and alphabet test, Arithmetic questions.

The non-verbal section in the OIR test consists of questions based on topics such as: Which figure is different from the other, Completion of series, Locate the concealed figure, Fill in the correct figure.

What is Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT)?

After writing the OIR test candidates have to simultaneously attempt the PPDT test. In this test, a picture will be shown for about 30 seconds to candidates and one minute is given to determine the age, sex, mood of the person and to write the action. The next 4 minutes are given to write a story on the same. After that, a group of aspirants is made to sit in front of the assessors for the discussion test which is the second part of the PPDT.

Group Discussion in SSB Interview?

In general, in group communication, a discussion meets the traits like disagreement, conflicts, dissatisfaction, disapproval, and emotional disorder. In these cases, a skilled person knows how to react to such contradictions. In the group discussion, how is everyone’s competitive mood is the plot of interest for the assessors? Whether are you able to be emotionally stable? Or are you able to maintain the degree of patient listening?

Differences are and bound to happen and one should have the emotional stability to resolve the emotional disturbances and emotional disorders.

Tips on Group discussion:

  • Tame your words, tone and gesture when in discussion.
  • Taking into consideration of others interest and reciprocating in a very acceptable manner / humble-disagreement show the skill of management of contradiction.
  • Positive body language is required it shows mental acuity and intentions of the person, aggression without hard facts and impressive words will cause harmful effects.
  • Story should be presented it with an example of valour, brain (strategies and tactics) and humanity, no need to show that you know it all imposing your smartness over others make bad impression on the assessors.

The only thing is to make a simple nice story – articulate it well – listen to others – present your point nicely with nice gestures to everybody – don’t let discussion distract from the topic – be a good team player.

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What is SSB interview Psychological Test?

Candidates who have cleared the day screening test are thus forward formed into groups of 8 to 10, generally, one SSB interview batch consists of 5-6 groups each group having 8 to 10 candidates.

SSB interview Psychological Test

Psychological Tests are conducted to check the response of the candidates on the usual conditions which they face in day-to-day life. It helps in recognizing the candidate’s various emotional and behavioral reactions to different degrees.

Sections of Psychological Test

1. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): TAT consists of a set of ambiguous pictures that will be shown to the candidate, while looking at these pictures candidates must create a theme like a story that requires a hero and a challenge, how the hero will overcome the crisis and succeed.

In TAT a candidate will be asked to write a story from his own based on the images shown. A candidate shouldn’t just use his memory blocks and start preparing a story, he/she needs to see that every third or fourth line there is different meanings are coming, try interpretation and analyze those meaning as the third person because that meaning shows candidate’s state of mind.

Tips on Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Consider these points while attempting TAT

  • What has led up to the situation.
  • What the characters are feeling and thinking.
  • What is happening at the moment.
  • What is the final outcome of the story.

2. Word Association Test WAT: To simply put this test observe candidates’ imagination and evaluate his/her qualities of individual ideas. In this test, the candidate will be shown a word and he/she is required to form a meaningful sentence using that word. On seeing a word there might be different ideas in the candidate’s mind related to that word but he/must write the first spontaneous reaction in your answer sheet.

Tips on WAT

  • Evaluation is one of the major tools of mind, in WAT sentence made by candidates also show his/her evaluation strength. So, a candidate must work on his evaluation skills on day-to-day happenings it will help him/her to get in in required gear.
  • Information of routine day-to-day life happening varies from person to person. A candidate must see how information is best framed to be acceptable by lot of people.
  • Be Logical and a keen observer these traits are easily apprehended by psychologists by the candidate’s performance in WAT.

3. Situation Reaction Test (SRT): Situation Reaction Test (SRT) is another test at Service Selection Boards in Psychologist series, this is a test of candidate’s common sense, he/she will be given some situations that occur in daily life and their answer will help the Psychologist to judge candidate’s mentality.

  • Candidate’s will be given a booklet containing 60 situations which he/she has to answer in 30 minutes, this time limit has been intentionally shortened as to ensure that the candidate gives the first reaction which comes to his mind without thinking much over it.
  • The answer to the SRT will therefore reflect the aspirant’s power of understanding, practical ability, initiative, temperament, imagination, resoluteness, social behaviour, consistency, stability under stress in varying conditions.
  • The psychologist is mainly interested to observe, whether the aspirant reveals a co-operative attitude or a negative or obstructive behaviour, whether he places the group before self-interest.
  • Carefully ensure that choices are and the answer reveals candidate’s attitude.

4. Self-Description Test (SD): SD is the last test in the Psychologist test series at Service Selection Boards. It may be the last test but as important as the first one, this test con s the finding of Psychologist about a particular candidate which he makes by the previous tests like TAT, WAT, and SRT.

This test gives an idea to the Psychologist regarding how deep the candidate has knowledge about him, whether he knows his Qualities and Shortcomings or not.

In this test, the candidate is required to write 5 paragraphs on What his Parents, Teacher/Employer, Classmates/Friends, Candidate’s own opinion about himself, and what qualities he would like to develop for the future

What is SSB Interview Group Task (GTO)?

GTO Tasks is the second set of tasks that is conducted after the psychological tests.

The GTO tasks are designed to test the sociability speaking skills of a candidate. An officer has to perform his duties along with his colleagues

Domains of GTO:

  1. Group discussion: In GD, there is usually two rounds of discussion. In the first round, the GTO announces three sets of topics and the candidates can select any one from among them. This test is designed to check the general speaking skills of a candidate.
  2. Group lecture: The candidates are made to sit in a circle and every candidate is given a topic and he/she has to speak on it. The time allotted is three minutes.
  3. Progressive Group Task PGT: PGT is about set of obstacles in ground in a specified area in that team members should cross each obstacle defined by set of rules. To cross those obstacles, some helping materials are given by the G.T.O. i.e. Balli (wooden log), Plank, and rope to tie these. The difficulty of the task increases from one obstacle to another in a progressive manner. So it is named as Progressive Group Task.
  4. Half Group Task H.G.T: HGT is similar to PGT, but the difference is that the group is divided into two sets. Like this the GTO will see the performance of the candidates in close. The rules are same for this like PGT.
  5. Command Task (CT): The aim of this task is to find the commanding capability of the candidate. The candidates are allowed to choose two members from the group. The candidate should have to cross an obstacle with the allotted men and the resources available within allotted time.

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