Why Is OLQ Important For SSB interview?

OLQ is the acronym for OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES. All Defence aspirants are expected to exhibit the ‘Officer Like Qualities’ to fulfill the eligibility criteria for being a Defence Officer - Army Officer, Naval Officer, or Air Force Officer. Different aspects of fine behavioral, thinking, and working qualities make up the fifteen Officer Like Quality. 

These qualities are essential for a Defence Officer in order to have a liberal, spontaneous, and sophisticated response to any situation. 

Thus, SSB tests the OLQs of a candidate. These OLQs stands as a very influential factor for being chosen as an officer. The qualities can be innate or required to be developed over time.

Mostly the qualities are imbibed through voluntary involvement in changing habits and practice and being dedicated to channelizing thoughts and works in the right direction.

As per the Indian Defence Academy, the fifteen Officer Like Qualities includes,
  • Effective Intelligence
  • Reasoning Ability 
  • Power Of Expression 
  • Organizing Ability 
  • Social Adaptability 
  • Sense of Responsibility 
  • Co-operation 
  • Self Confidence 
  • Initiative 
  • Ability to Influence the Group 
  • Speed of making Decision 
  • Determination 
  • Liveliness 
  • Courage 
  • Stamina 

The selection procedure in an SSB Interview majorly depends on candidates’ qualities which marks the potential of the candidate’s chance of being selected. Thus here, we discuss the qualities, why are they important, and how to imbibe them to increase your chance of getting selected. 
The Officers Like Qualities in brief:

1. Effective Intelligence:

What is Effective Intelligence?

Effective Intelligence is an individual’s ability to propagate his/her innate and developed capabilities effectively, in order to acquire success. It is the natural way of a person to tackle problems, with available resources, and extract the best solution in any situation. 

Why is Effective Intelligence, an important Officer’s Quality?

The other name for Effective Intelligence is the presence of mind or spontaneity. At times, Defence Officers are ought to make a decision based on the situations without consultation with anyone else. Thus, a quick, practical, and effective thought process is a very crucial thing for an Officer to possess. Basic or Effective Intelligence, therefore, shall be sharp enough to get chosen by the SSB interviewing team. 

How to develop Effective Intelligence?

Enhancing Effective intelligence requires a lot of practicality. To imbibe this first quality from the list of OLQ’s you must take some practices on a regular basis. Practices, such as solving puzzles ( a normal jigsaw puzzle or a crossword puzzle does the job), answering riddles, solving Rubik’s Cube, etc. 

Meditation is another very accurate way to integrate your Effective Intelligence. Reading a newspaper and thinking out the probable solutions can surely be an effective and practical approach to develop your Effective Intelligence. 

Basically, Effective Intelligence is all about making the right decisions spontaneously. And which requires a lot of thinking effort. When making a decision you must be able to figure out all the probable consequences before marching for it. Thus, to sharpen your Effective Intelligence make sure to brain gym daily. 

2. Reasoning Ability:

What is Reasoning Ability?

Reasoning ability is an individual’s ability to think and reason logically. Being a Defence Officer, you must have a valid explanation and reason after every task you do, the decision you make, or what you command. 

Why is Reasoning Ability essential for SSB?

A Defence Officer is at times required to take immediate decisions and to make sure that you do not stand unreasonable for your decision. Questions in an SSB interview often begin with ‘WHY’ and then you need to put forward your reasons.  

A Defence Aspirant is thus expected to have good reasoning ability. The reasoning ability thus stands as a crucial quality because until you can reason for your works properly you can barely make an effective decision. 

How to improve Reasoning Ability?

The practice is the key to reasoning ability. The more you take decision being aware of the consequences more your reasoning ability is enhanced. To arrange a current situation logically to the situation that would appear after the conduction of your decision is what sharpens one’s reasoning ability. 

One great way of developing this skill is by reasoning own self in front of the mirror for every big small daily-life incident or decision. Even thinking of the logic behind any incident can be a good way to channelize one’s reasoning ability. 

Reading the newspaper and practicing to frame your own reason behind any particular topic also helps and widens thoughts. Reading self-motivating books, detective stories, and helps in the improvement of Reasoning ability. 

The best reason (answers) comes when you are truthful to yourself, instead of trying to showcase vivid thoughts and proving yourself in the interview.  

3. Power Of Expression:

What is the Power of Expression?

The power of expression is expressing or explaining your ideas, thoughts, reasons, illustrations with others. In other words, it is the way of putting forward your own opinion. It requires good orating and communicating skills and reasoning ability. 

Why is Power Of Expression important for SSB?

If you aspire to be a Defence Officer, the power of expression is very crucial for it is the first stage to convince your troop for any action. The SSB interviewers highly focus on this parameter because it brings out a person’s own self. 

With the Power of Expression of an individual, you can estimate their effective intelligence (by the way they deliver quick replies) or Reasoning ability (by the way they reason) or their fluency as they deliver a speech. 

Hence to get graded better in an SSB interview you must be very crisp and clear with everything you deliver, i.e., your power of expression should be strong enough to hold interviewers’ attention. 

How to develop Power Of Expression?

The best way to enhance your power of expression is to practice in front of the mirror. Knowing the facts and expressing them accurately makes a person ideal for an officer’s position. Practice writing argumentative essays, practice debating, read the essay you right loudly, these help in realizing how the tone of voice and manner of expression shapes the audience’s interest. 

Reading self-development books also helps in developing the Power of Expression. More confident you are, the better you express yourself. Therefore be honest to yourself, keep things realistic and easy, and behave accordingly when in an SSB interview. 

4. Organizing Ability:

What is Organizing Ability?

Organizing ability is the reflection of your ability to manage your time, workload, and resources efficiently. It indicates a person’s thought clarity, the efficiency of work, punctuality, dedication, presenting skills, and leading capabilities. 

Why is Organizing ability important for SSB?

Organizing ability is important for SSB recommendation as it pimples how well organized you are and how you organize things when leading it, which is a general work of an Officier to organize his/her ideas and propagate them in the right organized order to acquire success. 

The motto of the Special Force, that is, ‘Minimum Men Maximum Impact’ upholds the quality of Organizing ability. It emphasizes on less resource but a more organized way of work to generate maximum impact. Thus, for a Defence Aspirant, organizing Ability stands as a very important quality.

How to develop Organizing Ability?


Organizing ability can be developed by leading an organized life, i.e., by keeping one’s own house and belongings organized. Secondly by taking part in cultural programs, where you can serve the purpose of regulating and maintaining the backstage or on stage works. 

Also making a timetable and step by step by future plans indicates how well organized a person is. Thus, maintaining an organized lifestyle can sure develop a better quality in a person. 

5. Social Adaptability:

What is the social adaptability?

Social adaptability is the measure of a person’s ability to adjust with a new environment and new people, his/her adjustment with seniors, colleagues, and subordinates. 
It reflects the character of an individual, and also determines the leadership qualities, expression power of the person.

Why is social adaptability important for SSB?

Co-operation and communication are a big factor when you desire to choose to be a Defence Officier. The position requires many qualities in which Social adaptability is one most important as it measures what type of person you are. Your interaction with people brings out the real you, your morals, behavior, manners. 

The main reason behind the inclusion of this in the OQL is, in every two years an Officers get transferred to a new place and a new regiment and hence must possess this quality. 

How to develop Social Adaptability?

Social adaptability can be improved by socializing with people, with hearty co-operation. An SSB aspirant is expected to shed his/her shyness. Try to communicate with people, be respectful irrespective of age, gender, social position, or rank at work. 

Always be sincere and ready to sacrifice your own comfort for the sake of anyone else. Opening up with people and talking positivity is a very good sign which can be implemented by following it in your regular lifestyle. Try to be a part of any organization r group to imbibe and develop this quality in a better way. 

6. Sense Of Responsibility: 

What is Sense of Responsibility?

It is a person’s ability to take up duties and complete the task with utmost effort. It defines a person’s moral values. It is an individual determination to fight against all odds to live up to his/her words. 

Why is Sense of Responsibility important in SSB?

A sense of responsibility is the reflection of an aspirant’s dedication and determination towards standing tall as a Defence Officer. It shows to what extent an individual can value his/her vows and promises. It designates the person’s respect for the laws and promises he takes as a Defence Officer. 

How to develop a sense of responsibility?

Taking responsibilities and carrying them till the last hope ceases is what defines an ideal Officer. To develop this quality, one must take part in different activities or programs and put all effort to live up to everyone’s expectations and complete the work. 

You must look after all your works be it in your family or other sectors as your responsibility and with no excuses must try to finish it no matter how difficult it becomes. 
Thus, you need to be cheerful about taking responsibilities and try your best to complete the work with dignity.

7. Co-operation:

What is Co-operation?

Co-operation is the action or process of working together as a team and this is all about Indian Defence Forum. It is the most important quality expected to be possessed by any Defence official. 

Why is Co-operation important for SSB?

Co-operation is an important quality of a Defence officer as he is intended to be cooperative towards his colleges and subordinates to carry out his work properly along with being respectful towards everyone. Co-operation is a soul quality of leader but it should be possessed by Defence Aspirant.

How to develop Co-operation?

Just like social adaptability, co-operation can be achieved by socializing with people, sharing ideas, and thoughts on various aspects. Helping and motivating others to work better and be successful. 

Co-operation can also be defined as being there for each other, and being co-operative should be thought of as a human duty and not a choice. The Co-operative outlook should be seen as a responsibility in your normal lifestyle to imbibe this quality.

8. Self Confidence:

What is self-confidence?

Self-Confidence is the belief and faith in one's own self to carry out a task successfully. This is a quality that is very important to win over any difficult situation or problem. It is a trait that every human being must possess to be successful in life. It is a powerful weapon to overcome all obstacles in life.

Why is Self-Confidence important for SSB?

Self-Confidence is a quality that ought to be possessed by a leader. For Defence Officer, thus it is very important to have faith in himself to fight against all odds and acquire success. With self-confidence and co-operation, an officer leads his regiment to win. Hence, to be a successful officer you must have this quality with you. 

How to develop Self Confidence?

If you want to imbibe the trait, first and foremost you have to believe in your self and your skills. You have to understand you are capable of doing everything and nothing has the potential to stop you from achieving your goal. 

Reading self-motivating books, and the biography of great people can also help in strengthening self-confidence. Taking part in different competitions can surely help to increase your self-confidence. Watching motivational videos also helps in enhancing this quality. 

But there is a thin line of difference between being confident and being overconfident. Over-confidence simply ruins everything. Thus, knowing the right range is also very crucial. 

9. Initiative:

What is Initiative?

It is an approach towards taking responsibilities and carrying out the task in full indulgence to accomplish the task successfully. It is a trait of a great leader. 

Why is Initiative an important quality for SSB?

The initiative marks one of the important traits of a Defence Officer. It shows how dedicated an Officer is towards his/her job. It explains effective leadership quality. For being a successful Defence Officer, you must take works by ownself showing interest as it inspires other colleagues too. 

How to develop the practice of taking Initiative in yourself?

An ideal leader initiates works by himself and carries it out with pride and responsibility. To do so as an officer you must start practicing the same in regular life. You must have the guts to take up challenges by ownself. It is one of the biggest qualities of a leader. And once you start practicing this quality you will see other people following it too. Thus, never think twice before taking any initiative. 

10. Ability To Influence The Group:

What is the quality of influencing the group?

Being influential through good practices and habits is a great quality of a leader. This ability is basically a result of good practices you pursue and through perseverance and determination and as a result of which other people tend to follow you. 

Why is the ability to influence people essential in SSB?

An important responsibility of a leader is not only being responsible but also inculcating the positivity and other good qualities among subordinates. Thus an essential quality of a defense aspirant is ought to be an influential personality. 

How to develop the ability to be influential in one’s own self?

The simplest way to be influential is by practicing good habits. Influential ability can is acquired by being a good person. It simply takes nothing for being an influential feature except for being a man f knowledge and value. It is linked with the power of expression. 

Better you express yourself more people tend to be influenced. To imbibe this character take part in group activities, and public speaking and express your ideas and perspectives. Try to take the group discussions towards your point of view. Reading newspapers and staying updated on current affairs ais also a very impressive and influential trait. 

11. Speed Of Making Decision:

What is the speed of making a decision?

This is the ability to make decisions spontaneously. To make decisions quicker and faster which are expected to be most effective. It is directly proportional to effective intelligence. 

Why is it important for SSB?

A spontaneous and quick decision can save hundreds of lives, thus if you are applying for an officer post is expected to have quick decision-making ability. A Defence officer often has to make decisions spontaneous thus, a good effective ability is very crucial.

How to enhance the speed of decision making?

To enhance this trait be practical and by working on to integrate your effective intelligence you can increase the speed of decision making. Moreover reading case studies of wars and biographies of great personalities can help to enhance this quality of making quick effective decisions. 

12. Determination:

What is a determination?

Determination is referred to as the willingness to succeed after facing numerous setbacks in achieving a goal. This is one of the most crucial characters for being a leader. It is aggravated by faith and self-confidence. 

Why is determination essential for SSB?

Determination is quality that is a must for an SSB aspirant. It shows your dedication level for your job. An officer is expected to be determined towards any assignment given to him no matter what it takes. Losing hope and giving up should never be a choice for a Defence Officer instead, effective intelligence with determination should be. 

How to develop determination?

Reading biographies and documentaries of patriots and other prominent personalities helps in integrating determination in an individual. A casual behavior and keeping work pending can never be a choice of a truly determined person, so it is better to practice to avoid that. 

It comes from focus and dedication and how sincere you are about something you want to achieve. Determination is basically the keystone to success and can only be developed by setting personal goals and acquiring them. 

13. Liveliness:

What is Liveliness?

It is an energetic and enthusiastic way of outlook. It is the gleeful, cheerful part of an individual, who is always sporty and fun to be with. Liveliness is a very positive word as it resembles life, and indicates living a happy lively life. 

Why is liveliness important for SSB?

Everyone likes a person who is cheerful and radiates a positive, healthy, joyful vibe. And for an Officer, it is really important to keep up hopes and a healthy environment in a regiment where the members leave back their families and social life. 

To maintain decorum, it is thus necessary for the leader to create and maintain a happy ambiance for his members. 
A leader must understand his subordinates feeling and keep them happy in stressed conditions. 

How to develop liveliness?

To develop liveliness is to socialize with people. Apart from being serious, it is also important to live happily and to enjoy life. This is an innate characteristic in human beings, but of course, this can be developed by taking part in fun activities, socialize with people, cracking jokes, reading books that focus on how and why being happy creates impact. Watching comedy shows and being with friends in healthy terms also help to enhance the quality. 

14. Courage:

What is courage?

It is an ability of an individual to pursue and stand by something that is correct and rightful even if the condition or circumstance is unfavorable. Being courageous and taking a stand is a very important quality that every human must possess. 

Why is Courage important for SSB?

Being a Defence Officer is Courage is a quality that he is ought to possess. Knowing the right and wrong and holding on to the right despite unfavorable and difficult circumstances makes up an ideal Officer. An Officier who carries this trait possesses the most influential ability, which is another integral quality of an officer. He must have the guts to risk his life for his subordinates. 

Courage is what makes people significant from others, hence only courageous are entitled to move forward. A Defence Officers position is not for a coward or a circumstance driven hypocrite. 

How to develop courage?

To inculcate this quality you have to make this a part of your normal lifestyle and you must raise a voice for when you see something going wrong. Participation in debates and other similar events can also help to acquire this trait. Reading and knowing about people like Netaji, Vakkom Abdul Khadar, Shaheed Bhagat SinghVikram Batra, etc who are the epitome of courage can help in developing courage in you. 

15. Stamina:

What is Stamina?

Stamina can be defined as an individual’s ability to sustain through prolonged physical and mental effort. It is the capability of endurance and capacity to withstand stress. It checks on estimating the determination level of an individual.

Why is Stamina important for SSB?

A Defence officer is intended to be physically, mentally, and emotionally strong. Thus to be one, you must make practices to let go of things, bear pain both physically and mentally. 

Apart from being physically strong, it is important for an officer to mentally strong too as they have to keep a lot of things confidential, which might develop stress. And has to surpass difficult continuous physical exertions in critical condition. Hence stamina is one of the 15 OLQs.

How to develop Stamina?

Stamina can be developed by maintaining a healthy body and mind. A healthy and sound physical health can be acquired by a properly balanced diet along with regular physical exercises. On the other hand, mental exercises involve meditation, puzzle-solving, and other brain gyms.

Hence a successful Denfese officer is made of the fifteen fine of the finest qualities, which comprises of planning and organizing, Social adjustments, social effectiveness, and dynamic qualities.