Detailed Explanation Of SSB Interview Process [Must Read]

afsb interview process

In this article we will understand the five day SSB interview process in detail. The induction of Denovo SSB system is uncertain and hence the current interview process will remain active. The process of SSB/AFSB/NSB is same and these boards recommend candidates for Army, Air Force and Navy respectively. The selection process at the SSB is based on highly scientific and well evolved techniques, which aims at assessing the personality traits of an individual in the context of the requirements of the Defence Forces.

The SSB recommends the candidate as a potential officer material, who after rigorous training in the stipulated training academy can be suitably groomed into an officer. The experience, maturity and familiarity with the service conditions, enable him/her to subsequently discharge the service obligations appropriately.

The SSB’s adopts three different techniques of testing the candidates, applied by three different assessors (Interviewing Officer, GTO &Psychologist) to assess the same personality traits of the candidate at his conscious, sub-conscious & non-conscious levels. These techniques are as listed below:-

  • Psychological Technique
  • Group Testing Technique
  • Interview Technique

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It is interesting to understand, that though the above three techniques are divergent in their application and tools of assessment; these converge to quantify the acceptable shades of the same personality traits desired to be possessed by the candidate.

The requirement of applying the three techniques to a candidate is to provide a three dimensional view of his personality. It may be compared to viewing an object from its three different sides, so that an overall complete picture is available, when assessment of the three assessors is finally put together.

Further, certain traits and qualities are more prominently displayed through a particular technique, eg, physical stamina, through GTO’s technique, as compared to other two techniques. Hence, the ‘grey areas’ of one technique are confirmed by the inputs received from the other assessors during the final Board Conference.

3 day ssb interview

Schedule of Testing at SSB:

The selection process entails a five day testing schedule. The reporting day to the SSB, as given in the Call up letter, is not included in the said five days and is meant for documentation / settling down (except if, the candidates have been called early in the morning, in which case Screening Test happens on the same day itself).

Day-1 is called the Stage-1 of testing or ‘Screening Test’ and entails the following activities:

Intelligence Test which is commonly known as OIR test, comprising of verbal and non-verbal questions. The test is timed and hence,  practice of attempting these tests in your spare time will considerably improve your performance. It is advised to refer “SSB OIR Book” which consist of frequently asked questions in OIR test. More importantly these questions are not available in any other book.

Picture Perception and Description Test, in which a hazy picture is flashed, and the candidates are expected to write a short story regarding the characters identified by them in the picture within a restricted time. The requirement in this test is that the story should present a positive perception and convey a purposeful action by the main character of the story, which he executes for the larger good of the society rather than his own individual promotion.

Later, discussion on the story perceived by each candidate is conducted in groups of about 15 candidates each. The aim of the discussion is to broadly identify candidates who have the potential for being considered for the Stage-II of testing. All candidates who meaningfully contribute towards the formation of the commonly agreed group story get recommended. A word of caution here, candidates who do not participate, even if they have performed well in the other tests listed above, are unlikely to be recommended.

Result of Stage-1 is announced and only recommended candidates are retained for Stage-II tests, the others are dispatched on the first day itself. Generally, about 30-40% candidates are retained for Stage II.


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Psychological Technique:

ssb psychology test

Day-II is devoted towards the conduct of Psychology tests. These are conducted indoors and adequate briefing is given by the Psychologist prior to commencing each test regarding the requirements and the method of attempting.

The tests are designed to extract responses from the candidates at their unconscious level and with the imposition of a time constraint for each test; it is difficult for a candidate to hide his actual personality traits.

Hence, it is cardinal that much before you proceed for your SSB, you inculcate positive attitude in your life, adopt an outlook of abundance and look at the world around you, filled with opportunities and hope.

It is imperative that you maintain a positive frame of mind and be realistic in your responses. The art of positive thinking has to be developed over a sustained period of time and must become second nature to your behaviour.

Also, an extremely essential ingredient to do well in the psychological tests is a high order of general awareness and imagination that will evolve over a period of time through real life experiences by closely connecting with the environment around you and through a vigorous reading habit.

The details of the tests conducted by the Psychologist and the inferences drawn about your personality attributes is mentioned in “SSB Psychology ebook – An Officer Within You ebook”. There are four major tests conducted, which are:

Word Association Test (WAT)

Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT)

Situation Reaction Test (SRT)

Self Description (SD)


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Interview Technique:

personal interview ssb

Personal interview may be conducted by the Interviewing Officer either after the conduct of Psychology tests or on subsequent days depending upon the total number of candidates to be interviewed and the availability of the Interviewing Officer.

The interview is conducted in a very friendly atmosphere and the candidate is put to complete ease by the interviewing officer. Once the IO feels that he has established a reasonably comfortable rapport with you by interacting with you regarding your family background and interests, he will ask you questions pertaining to general awareness and may ask you to describe the organization of an event based on the interests and hobbies mentioned by you in your Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) Form.

He is also likely to check your ability to withstand stress by putting you through stressful and intriguing situations. The best method of facing the interview is to be completely honest and do not try to bluff the IO.

Also, be well acquainted with current affairs and improve your general awareness before proceeding for the SSB. The interview generally lasts for about 45 minutes.


Tips For Personal Interview In SSB [Questions, Body Language, Dress Code]


Group Testing Technique:

group task ssb

Day-III &IV are designated as GTO-I & GTO-II Days, on which, the Group Testing Officer conducts a battery of nine very interesting outdoor and indoor activities. These tasks are designed to be stressful and compelling, so that it urges you to willingly participate.

Since, these tasks are conducted in a very cordial and encouraging atmosphere; you will find yourself getting completely involved and as a result give away your true characteristics that you normally do not share with others.

Once again, the imposition of time restriction and certain binding rules ensure that your responses to the situations are instinctive and not pre planned.


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The detailed description of the conduct and the nuances of each task is mentioned in ” SSB GTO ebook”. The GTO tasks that you will be put through during GTO-I/II Day are listed below:

Group Discussion

Group Planning Exercise

Progress Group Task

Group Obstacle Race

Half Group Task

Lecturette

Individual Obstacles

Command Task

Final Group Task


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Day-V is earmarked for the Board Conference, during which, for the first time all the three assessors sit together and discuss every candidate threadbare before proclaiming their final verdict on the fate of the candidate.

Generally, those candidates whose assessment by the three assessors has not been congruent, for the reasons already discussed above, come up for deliberate discussion. A final decision is taken after interacting with the candidate.

Once the Conference is over, the chest numbers of recommended candidates are announced by any one of the Officers.


Start your SSB preparations with these specially curated ebooks.

Stage 1 SSB – SSB Oir ebook

SSB Psychology Test – Click Here

SSB Group Tasks  – Click Here

Thematic Apperception Test – Click Here

Situation Reaction Test – Click Here

To Download Free SSB Material – Click Here