It is very important for every SSB aspirant to acquaint with the complete 5-day SSB Interview procedure.
SSB (Services Selection Boards) are the centers where personality interview and other testings are conducted for the selection of officers in Armed Forces. All the aspirants who are willing to join Armed Forces in officer cadre (except that of Medical Corps) are supposed to clear SSB Interview testings after passing the written examination (if applicable).
There are more than 20 Services Selection Boards in our country. These centers follow certain guidelines framed by DIPR (Defence Institute of Psychological Research, Delhi).
The Complete 5-Day SSB Interview Procedure in detail:
As you all are aware there are different modes of entry in Armed Forces. An aspirant can apply to join armed forces as an officer after passing 10+2, graduation and post-graduation. For most of the entries, candidates have to appear in written examinations. After clearing the written examination they are called to appear for SSB testing. There are also some direct entries and candidates are directly shortlisted to appear in SSB upon meeting the eligibility criterion.
SSB interview testing is a 5-day procedure (6 days for AFSB) during which candidates are assessed by different assessors on the basis of different officer-like-qualities (OLQs).
There are 15 Officer-Like-Qualities which are assessed through different series of tests in SSB Interview. These qualities are: Effective Intelligence, Reasoning Ability, Organizing Ability, Power of Expression, Social Adaptability, Ability to Influence the group, Cooperation, Sense of Responsibility, Initiative, Self confidence, Speed of decision, Liveliness, Determination, Mental Courage and Stamina
SSB testing is basically divided into two stages: Stage 1 and Stage 2. Those candidates who clear stage 1 are retained in the SSB center for stage 2 for another 4-5 days.
This is often called the “Screening Test”. It comprises of two different tests – Officer Intelligence Rating Test (OIR) and Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT).
In Officer Intelligence Rating test candidates have to solve questions on Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning. This test mainly focuses to assess effective intelligence of a candidate.
After the commencement of OIR, candidates are given a small break so that the staff could arrange projector for the next test: Picture Perception & Discussion Test. In PPDT candidates are asked to write a short story on a picture shown on screen for 30 seconds. The time given to frame the story is 4 minutes. Once this time is over, all the sheets are collected and candidates are divided in small groups. The size of group may vary depending on the total candidates reported in that particular batch.
Once the groups are formed they are called in discussion room for the next part of this test. There the candidates are told sit in semicircular manner so that one can see all the other candidates while discussing. 3-4 different assessors sit in front them. Every candidate is required to narrate his own story in given time and once everyone is done with the narration part, the whole group is required to discuss and come to common story. Stage 2 testing ends with the discussion in PPDT. After the discussion, candidates are sent for lunch.
After their lunch, candidates gather in the hall for the stage-1 results which is announced by duty officer. All those who clear this stage are told to complete the documents verification and those who couldn’t make it are sent back after reimbursement of travelling allowance.
Just after stage 1 of SSB Interview, the selected candidates have to fill their Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) form which is considered to be the base of the entire assessment in Stage 2.
Stage 2 comprises four tests:
- Psychological Assessment
- Personal Interview
- Group Task
- Board Conference
This is the first test of stage 2. It is considered to be the most important of all the SSB Interview tests. It is divided into 4 written tests which are: Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Word Association Test (WAT), Situation Reaction Test (SRT) and Self Description Test (SDT).
In Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), candidates have to frame stories on different pictures projected on the screen. There are total 11 slides in this test. Candidates have 4 minutes to write 1 story.
Word Association Test (WAT) is the next test after TAT. In this test candidates are required to write sentences on the different words projected on screen. There are total 60 words and time to frame each sentence is 15 seconds. This test is followed by SRT.
Situation Reaction Test (SRT) is a non-projective test. In this, candidates are given a booklet and they have to write their responses on different situations written in that booklet. Total 60 situations are there in the booklet and time to complete that is 30 minutes which means 1 situation every 30 seconds.
Last test of Psychological Testing is Self Description Test (SDT). In this test candidates have to write about the opinions of his parents, friends, teacher and self. They also have to write what type of person they want to be.
There is no fixed schedule of PI. It can be conducted any time after the psychological assessment depending on the total number of candidates and number of available interviewing officers in the selection board. In the rare cases, it can also be conducted just after documentation process of stage 2.
It is a two-day exercise which comprises the following tests:
- Group Planning Exercise
- Group Obstacle Race
- Progressive Group Task
- Half Group Task
- Command Task
- Individual Obstacles
- Full Group Task
As the name suggests, this task is conducted into groups. The whole group is assessed by a Group Testing Officer (GTO).
Board Conference is conducted on the last day and also is the last test of entire SSB Interview procedure. This is an opportunity both for a candidate and all the board officer to interact with each other. This is headed by the President of the respective Services Selection Board. During this conference, the president discuss with assessors of every candidates and then he comes to the conclusion what all candidates should be recommended.
Recommended candidates are further retained/called for medical examination. Finally, joining letter along with joining instructions are sent to medically fit candidates in the merit list for training in academy.