What is SSB?

SSB is acronym of the Service Selection Board is an organisation established to conduct interview & selection process of eligible candidates for becoming officers in Indian Army, Navy & Air Force. The service selection board evaluates the suitability of the candidates using a standardized protocol of evaluation system.

An SSB comprises the panel of assessors, who are officers from Indian Armed Forces and having their specialization as Psychologist, GTO (Group Task Officer) and Interviewing Officer. In total there are thirteen Service Selection Boards across India, out of which four boards are for Indian Army, four boards are for Indian Air Force and five boards for Indian Navy.

Some interesting facts about SSB

  • One of the toughest & unique interviews conducted by SSB in 5 days.
  • All except army medical corps members must succeed in the SSB interview.
  • SSB selects candidates who are having officer like qualities.
  • There is no limit to the number of attempts that can be made for SSB.
  • 12 SSB was the first board which was raised on 1st April 1949 for selection of candidates for Army and Navy.
  • 24 SSB was raised in December 1962

What is SSB Interview process – SSB Selection Process

SSB Interview Process or Selection is done over a period of 5 days. During these five days, various tests & tasks are given to assess the candidature of the eligible candidates. SSB interview includes two stage of testing. Only, when a candidate clears Stage I testing, goes for Stage-II testing. Find below days wise activities and tests.

Day 0, Report to the Movement Control Office (MCO)

On the day of arrival you have to report to the Movement Control Office (MCO) at the railway station. Here, a representative of Selection Centre manning the reception will receive you and direct you to a bus that will take you to the Selection Centre. On the very same day, candidates are made to sit in the testing hall where they have to present their educational documents for verification and are allotted a number (called as Chest Number) by which they will be able to identify the candidates throughout the process. A briefing about the schedule, various tests and general instructions is given.

Day 1, Screening test – Stage I

On Day 1, stage one of testing is administered. This includes a verbal and non-verbal intelligence test (About 50 questions each) and then a Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT). In this test, a picture, either hazy or clear is shown to the candidates for 30 seconds. Each candidate observes it and then, in the next one minute, must record the number of characters seen in the picture. Then within a given time, each candidate must write nearly seventy words, make a story from the picture (not just describe the picture). The candidate must record the mood, approximate age and gender of the first character they saw, known as the “main character”. In stage two of the PPDT, the candidates are given their stories which they may revise. Each candidate in the group must narrate his or her story within one minute. The group is then asked to create a common story involving each of them or their perceived picture stories.

After the completion of these tests, unsuccessful candidates are dismissed. Other candidates are short-listed. They must complete the first of the five personal information questionnaires which must be recorded in the same manner. The personal information questionnaire is the main basis for the individual candidate interview.

Day 2, Psychology test – Stage II

On Day 2, a thematic apperception test (TAT) or picture story writing is administered. It is similar to the PPDT, but the picture used is clear. Again the candidates are shown a picture for thirty seconds and then write a story in the next four minutes. Twelve such pictures are shown sequentially. The last picture is a blank slide inviting the candidates to write a story of their choice. Candidates do not need to remember the number of characters in each picture and there is no group discussion.

The next test will be Word Association Test (WAT). The candidates are shown sixty simple everyday words in sequence. Each is shown for fifteen seconds. For each word, the candidates write the first thought that come to mind in response to the word. Other tests administered on day two are the Situation Reaction Test (SRT) in which a booklet of 60 situations is given in which the responses are to be completed in 30 minutes and finally the Self Description Test (SDT) which consists of 5 questions asking about the candidate’s parent’s, teacher’s, friend’s and his or her own perception.

Days 3 and 4, Group test is conducted by a GTO (Group Testing Officer) – Stage III

On the third and fourth days, there are tasks including group discussion; group (military) planning exercises; progressive group tasks; small (half) group tasks; individual tasks (obstacles); group obstacle or “snake race”; command tasks; a lectorate and a final group task. Along with GTO, individual candidate interview is conducted by the interviewing officer. It is based on the personal information questionnaires filled by the candidates on day 1 and other general knowledge.

Day 5, Final assessment and results (Conference)

On day five, all the officers in proper uniform will attend a conference with each candidate. They will also have a conversation with a panel of assessors. The assessors will look for confidence and expression when speaking; a positive attitude in adversity and in life; and honesty. Following this, the final results are announced. Successful candidates will remain for an intensive medical examination which takes four to five days at a military hospital.

SSB Interview Tips

SSB Interview is very important stage in selection process of officers in Indian Armed Forces. In some types of Entry Scheme like CDS & NDA, SSB Interview is conducted after getting result in written exam & some other types of entry scheme like Technical Entry Scheme after 12th & Technical Graduate Course Entry / SSC Tech Entry after graduation, SSB Interview is conducted directly on the basis of marks percentage.

So whether you are coming after written result or directly thru any entry scheme you have to clear all stages of SSB interview. For more details & to know all stages of it visit SSB Interview page.

Now come to the some facts which you must consider before appearing in SSB Interview. As you know that this is not a typical or simple interview. It is most difficult, different & one of the unique types of interviews; conducted for the selection of officers in Indian Army, Navy & Air Force. So below we are mentioning 12 key points & SSB Interview Tips, you have to take of them.

  1. Mentally & Physically Sound – First thing first is that you must be mentally & physically fit & fine. In SSB Interview, the assessors check every aspects of your mental & physical fitness.
  2. Be Honest – Honesty is the key factor among all merits you possess. During whole interview, you must answer all the questions with honestly. If you don’t know any of the answers, then you shouldn’t try to give wrong answer.
  3. English – English is the main language of communication used in SSB Interview. Besides speaking in English, you must be well verse in English Listening, Writing & Reading.
  4. Confidence – Confidence is something like the fuel which needs to fly a plane. You need to possess high level of motivation & confidence within you. You must answer & perform the tasks with confidence.
  5. Proper eye-contact – Many of the candidates are very shy & hesitate in talking with new person or senior person. Being defence aspirants when you perform group task, especially in interview session, you must keep a proper eye-contact with the assessor & interviewers.
  6. Visualisation – For the position of officers, you have to think & consider the forth-coming situation. Therefore SSB assessor & interviewers test the visualisation & scenario understanding capacity.
  7. Be Responsible & Team Player – Being an officer, you must be a team player, possess the quality of team leader & a responsible guy. So during interview, interviewers check your behaviour with other candidates also.
  8. Be Accurate & Scientific – Information is full of facts & fictions, so when you talk or answer, you must be logical, rational & your statement must be based on the scientific facts. So you must work to develop accuracy higher.
  9. Thinking Approach & Reaction Time – Your thinking reflects in yourstatements & actions. Your reaction time & method are very important assets. Also you must have a positive approach to your thoughts & actions.
  10. General Awareness – On going national & international news which are making headlines & defence related deals, exercise & social issues of last 6 months are very important you should study before landing in SSB Interview.
  11. Be Social – Some people are introvert & some are talkative. These both types of people can face problem in SSB Interview. You must be proportional & balance in speaking with new people. Here the social means caring, sharing & friendly.
  12. Know SSB Procedure – Before appearing in SSB Interview, you should go thru all of its day wise sessions, activities & interview process. If you wish you can take SSB Interview sessions from any institution.