SSB Rating - Tips and Tricks

Tips for SSB Personal Interview

What is Interview?
The Personal interview (PI) may also be taken as a purposeful conversation between a candidate and the interviewing officer (IO) to check out the particular pre-determined qualities (OLQ).

The PI is the psychological assessment of the candidate by the IO usually in the rank of colonel i.e. who is the president or deputy president of the board. The IO reads well the PIQ filled by the candidate on the first day and also have the psychological answer paper i.e. self-description and comments of the psychologist over the candidate, in his hand before the candidate is called inside the room.

How to be cool in the whole process:
The best way to get screened in the interview is to be truthful and honest in the PIQ form as well as to the IO. The simple quote about selection process is "BE YOURSELF" since if we are truthful to the IO, then we will tell our answer boldly and confidently.Also, what the interviewing officer expect from the candidate is not be an all-rounder or a well knowledge person, but a person who adapts to all situations can handle and work under pressure, can able to move with a group of people, have an eye over the world and national issues, can be able to give solution to the national issues etc.

Personal Interview Preparation:

  • First impression and Dress Code
    Your outlook describes your character and as well as brings out the good impression on you.Walk with head held high, with upraised shoulder and chest. This gives a positive, confident look. Also before entering into the hall ask for permission and wait for the response, if you got the response from IO open the door with smiling face(the smile should be true) and march ahead into the room with confidence, and wish the officer as per the time (good morning, evening etc.).
    Dress Code
    It is better to wear a light colour shirt and dark colour pant, if you have stripes in the shirt means have checked design in the pants or if you have checked design in shirt means wear pant with striped designs, as this gives a decent professional look. Also wear a tie which matches to the shirt and pant colour.
  • Behaviour during the process
    Bodylanguage plays a vital role in the process. Experts say that above 93% of nonverbal communications plays a main role in process. Sit in proper manner; also don’t shake your hands, fingers, or legs during the process. The officer matches the response from your mouth to the body language what you are showing at that time. Also try to have a proper eye contact. Keep your breath normal.
  • Crystal clear thought and explanations
    The thought and answers coming from the candidate should be crystal clear. If the IO asks a question means, the candidate has to think about that clearly and make a clear answer with explanations. Never say yes/No type replies in the answers. As this shows your confidence level is low. If you explain your answer with positive points, it gains you more mark in the process.
  • Truthful to the IO
    Always be truthful to the IO. If you are stuck in the middle of the answer or you are not able to recover the points about the topic just say “sir I am not able to recover points or you don’t know about the topic” this shows your honesty in the interview. But remember not to lie or bluff rather than clear rejection is better.
  • Keep smiling
    Smiling is the key of success. Try to keep smiling all over the process. The time you enter the room and till you leave the room have a smile on the face. To keep smiling, you should be free by mind, to be free being honest to the IO. Else your artificial smile will be recognized as the fake smile. So you may lose your chance of getting selected.
  • Don’t panic when it is a tough question
    Since this is an oral war between the IO and the candidate. It’s not an easy thing to win over the oral war with the IO, as they have real war experience. To avoid this situation, don’t argue with the IO. Don’t be nervous or tensed which slows down your confidence level during the interview period.
  • Analysing capability
    The analysing capability is one of the important qualities of an officer. Most of the candidate have the analysing capability, But what they expect is the whether we are using our analysing capability even under pressure situations or tough situations. The officealways tries to confuse you through various questions.

Interview Pattern
The pattern is a four step process usually followed at all boards. The candidates are put into these types of questions usually and their qualities are assessed based on their responses.

Types of questions asked are

  • Introduction questions or Feel Free Questions or Calm downQuestions
    Usually these types of questions are put to the candidates after their entry into the panel. The IO asks some basic questions which can be easily answered by the candidate so that the candidate feel ease with the IO.

    The questions may be of:

    • Which place you are coming from and tell something about that place?
    • Tell something about your name and why named so?
    • Tell five things about your native and which you like most?
    How to answer?
    For the first question, answer should not be like this, Sir I am from Chennai.

    But the answer is sir I am from Chennai, a Northern district and coastal city of Tamil Nadu which is also the state capital of Tamil Nadu. The population is about ............ and the main occupations of people are......... The speciality is........... And tourism is.......... and the special things are OTA etc.

    Like this the answer should cover over all parts of the Chennai. This gives a broad approach of your answer and it shows your knowledge.
  • Usual Questions
    The Usual questions part carry two types of questions
    • Stress Questions
    • Rapid Fire Questions

    Stress Interview (SI)
    The SI gives the original personality of the candidate. Since normally it is easy to answer all the questions without losing temper if we have good communication skills. But answering at the time of SI is the real success and the candidate with all OLQ will cross this hurdle easily.

    The IO cross check the candidate that whether under stressful and hard situations the candidate doesn’t loses his originality and keeps his position with good decision making and solution finding abilities.

    These Rapid Fire Questions are a set of questions which are asked at a stretch. That nearly ten to fifteen number of questions will be triggered out by the IO. So that he checks how much questions is observed by the candidate and answered well and how truthful with his replies and all.

    • Hobbies and interests at free time
    • Checking leadership qualities by asking your extra-curricular

    How the candidate will organize a task or situation, Games and Sports etc.

    Set of questions may be raised from the PIQ for the Rapid Fire Questions
    From Educational Background:
    • How much you scored in your tenth, twelfth and graduation?
    • Why there is decrease in the mark level and what you did to overcomethat difficulty?
    • Which subject you like more and why?
    • Which subject you don’t like and why?
    • Achievements in the study
    • Tell speciality about your school and college
    • Which teacher you like most why
    • Which teacher you don’t like and why?
    • Why you have chosen to study this branch?
    • Whether you chosen the particular branch of study by self or by others compulsion(Parents)
    • Why there is some gap in studies between intercollege and graduation?
    • How you improve the percentage from tenth to twelfth and what are steps you taken to achieve this?
    • What are the steps you have taken to overcome this decrease in percentage not to continue in graduation?
    • What your friends and teachers think about you?
    • How you think about your friends and teachers?

    From Family Background
    • How much pocket money you got in your college days and how much you utilized?
    • How you help your mother in your holidays?
    • How you help your father?
    • You are close to father or mother and why
    • How much you like your father and mother?
    • How you are responsible person to your family?
    • Say about your sister and brother
    • Whom you like most and why?
    • With whom you play more?
    • Which person other than in your family and friends you like more and why?
    • What is your father/mother rank in the working place and income they are getting?
    • How they are utilizing their income and are you satisfied with that?
    • If your family is totally dependent on you tomorrow, how you will help or run the family

    From Friends
    • How will you get new friends?
    • Which type of friends you like?
    • How many friends you have?
    • Out of friends how many are close to you?
    • In your friends to whom you share the personal things?
    • What you like in your best friend and what he likes in you?
    • What your friend or friends say about you?
    • What you say about you and your friends?
    • Which thing you like in your close friend and why?
    • How you will help your friend or helped your friend any good moments?
    • How you and your friends/friend do in your free times or in holidays?

    For Working Professionals
    • What your co-workers will say about you?
    • What you say about your boss?
    • What your bosses say about you?
    • Tell about your company or organization?
    • Why you are leaving your previous job?
    • What you like most in your job?
    • What you don’t like in your job?
    • What difficulty you faced in your job and what are the steps you taken to overcome that difficulty?
    • Why are you leaving the present job?

    From Hobbies and Interests
    • What is your hobby?
    • Why you have chosen this hobby?
    • From when you are doing this hobby?
    • What are the things you have learn from your hobby?
    • What are the new things you implemented in your hobby?
    • What is your childhood hobby and what are you doing now?
    • Why you change the child hood hobby to this(recent one)?

    They require vast knowledge in the hobby since everyone will have a hobby, but a candidate with good attitude will get information about their hobbies. The different types of hobbies are music, singing, blogging, reading, philately, photography, trekking etc. Create questions based on your hobby and make responses for that to get thorough knowledge over that.

    • What type of news channel, TV shows you see and which periodical you used to read and why?

    From Games and Sports
    • Which game you like and why?
    • Why you have chosen an indoor game rather than an out-door game?
    • Why you have chosen an out-door game rather than an indoor game?
    • Whom you like more in your team if we say cricket or football etc.?
    • What is your position in the team i.e. as a team member or captain?
    • Depth of knowledge in the Games or sports i.e. Questions from size of the playground/court size and rules of the game and recent world records in the game.
    • Which player you like most and why?
    • What you want to improve or you suggestion for our team in the game/sports you play?

    A good young youth with good physique should play a game in his spare time. So everyone will have game/sports to play. If you don’t have a game to play just join any club of your interests and start to play. Also get a thorough knowledge in the game which you used to play.

    Checking the Leadership and Organizing ability
    Leadership and organizing ability is the important quality of every officer. So this part of the process seems to be important. The officer may give a situation to check our organizing ability also he asked questions from the PIQ in the fields of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities such as N.S.S and N.C.C. etc.

    Co-Curricular and Extra-curricular activities:
    The Co-Curricular and Extra-curricular activities includes such as N.S.S. , N.C.C , Volunteer of blood donation association, Friends of Police etc.
    • When you joined in N.C.C. /N.S.S. and why?
    • What you achieved in that?
    • Positions held in that
    • Grade of certificates got such as A, B, C.
    • Who motivated to join in N.C.C?
  • Social problem or Candidate Solution type questions
    In this part the IO may ask questions such as world issues, national issues and solution for those issues. Also he checks the depth of knowledge and our approach to the issues. He asks our views to the issues and solution for the issue.

    Current Affairs and General Knowledge and issues
    He also asks some history and current affairs of the nation and world.
  • Technical questions or Practical Knowledge questions.
    If we go to the TGC entry i.e. Technical Graduation Course and TES entry i.e. Technical Entry Scheme they may put forward some basic technical questions relating to our daily day to day life.

    If you are from engineering back ground the questions also from,
    • Basic Network questions
    • Basic physics laws
    • All Engineering fundamental questions.
    In these set of questions he find out our practical knowledge. i.e. application of our theoretical knowledge in the physical day to day tasks which is essential for the army men.

    How to approach the PI DO's and DONT's
    The approach of the PI is an art, the one with good attitude and truthful with the information provided and self will surely get success in the PI.

DO's and DONT's

  • Enter the room with head held high and uprighted chest as this gives you a confident approach.
  • Never insert your hands into your pocket, leave it casually.
  • Since the very first impression gives you a positive result.
  • Prefer dress with good quality and properly ironed.
  • Dont wear new dress or old one, wear dress which is properly stitched and good fitting.
  • Avoid boot cuts and all.. Wear proper formal pant.
  • Don’t wear watch, or have something in the pocket.
  • Have proper hair cut before the interview and comb the hair well.
  • Wish the IO while entering the room with proper sense such as check whether is morning, or evening or noon.
  • Have a proper and constant voice tone, never raise your voice tone while telling about your achievements or reduce your voice tone while telling about your negative points.
  • Have proper answer for your positive and negative points
  • Have a proper body language
  • Don't argue with the IO. But tell your point with some positive points on that.
  • Understand the questions clearly and start to answer to that question slowly and confidently.
  • In case, if you felt that you don’t know the answer, just say after thinking a while, sorry sir i don’t know the answer.
  • In case, if you didn’t get the question from the IO means, ask him as sorry sir, i beg your pardon, please repeat the question.
  • Never blame anyone for your shortcomings such as low marks due to teacher etc. Since they don’t want people who blame for shortcomings. They want people only who take every situation positive and overcome the shortcomings with hardwork.