What is SSB Interview ? Beginners Guide.

what is ssb interview

SSB is Service Selection Board, that ingresses candidates for becoming officers into the Indian Armed Forces. The suitability of the candidates for officer ranks and selection of candidates is based on personality and intelligence tests, involving paper-based tests, group tasks, and so on. In the selection procedure for becoming an officer, a standardized protocol of the evaluation system is formulated. It is a 5-6 days evaluation process. 


The Board of Interviewers at the SSB Interview comprises of officers in Indian Armed Forces and having their specialization as Psychologist, GTO (Group Task Officer), and Interviewing Officer. 


The entire interviewing process tenure is divided into two phases, where

The first phase consists of ORI (officersIntelligence Ratings) and PPDT (Picture Perception and Description Test).

While the second phase evaluates the candidates upon their psychological test followed by ground testing. Ground testing refers to physical activities and physical stamina). 


Through different interviewing procedures and activities, the accessors check for the OLQ (Officer Like Qualities)


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What is the SSB interview exam for?


SSB or Service Selection Board is an organization that accesses the candidates to become an Officer in the Indian Armed Forces. 


ssb nda

If the Panel of SSB Accessor finds a candidate meeting all the requisites and skills for being an Officier in the Indian Armed Forces, they recommend him or her to join the prestigious institutions of our nation to enhance their quality and amplify their skills. 


They are supervised and grooved by senior officers and are honed to perfection, which is required as a Defence Officer. 


The prestigious Institutions are as follows:

  • NDA - National Defence Academy.
  • IMA  - Indian Military Academy.
  • OTA - Officers Training Academy.
  • AFA - Air Force Academy.
  • INA - Indian Naval Academy.


Click here, to know more about SSB for Indian Army | Service-Related Information 


What is SSB interview exam eligibility?

The basic necessity for meeting the eligibility criteria for SSB is marital status. Unmarried graduates, who clear the Combined Defense Services Examination which is conducted by UPSC are selected for the SSB Interview. 

gto ssb


The eligibility criteria for SSB interview slightly varies for males to females. 


To attain eligibity to appear for the SSB, the candidates must be between 20 years and 25 years of age.


What is SSB interview exam medical Eligibility?

Every candidate appearing for SSB Interview must be in sound mental and physical health. They should not have any sort of defect which is likely to interfere with the efficient performance of the duties. 


recommended candidate for medicals

The minimum distant vision for the appearing candidates is ought to be 6/6 & 6/9 of two eyes without correction. 

The candidates should not have a flat foot, varicose vein, squint in eyes, or knock knee. 


What is the age limit for SSB interview exam?

age limit for ssb

Candidates eligible to appear for the SSB must be between 20 years and 25 years of age. There is an age relaxation of up to 5 years for SC/ST candidates and age relaxation of up to 3 years for OBC candidates.


What is the process of SSB interview exam?

The selection procedure for the SSB Exam is based on the notion of  Manasa, Vacha, and Karmana. These three words are together used to describe a state of consistency expected of an individual and this what you are required to portray in your SSB Interview.  The motto Manasa, Vacha, Karmana is usually invoked to imply that one should strive to achieve the state where one's thoughts, speech, and actions coincide.


The five-day interview session for choosing suitable Officers consists of several tests. The tests are ORI, PPDT, psychological test, Physical fitness test, etc. 

Following is the schedule for the five days SSB Interview:


Reporting Day, Day zero,

This is basically the first day. The call letter has all the detailed proceedings of how and what should be done to this day. Usually, on the reporting day, the candidates are asked to report at the railway station between 7 AM- 8 AM. From the railway station, the candidates are escorted by one the official of the SSB Interviewing Board. 


document verification

On the very day, the educational documents of the candidates are verified followed by the distribution of chest numbers. (Chest number is a numerical number given to the contestants on a white strap that they stick on their chest, and are recognized by the number throughout the interview)


The procedure for the particular day ends with being instructed about the general instructions, and schedules of the various test. 


Screening Test, Day 1,

The screening day procedure is done in two phases, 

Phase I includes verbal and non-verbal intelligence test while,

Phase II is the Picture Perception and Description Test.


screening ssb

In phase I, the candidates are asked approximately 50 questions each. And in Phase II, the candidates a provided with a blurred image, based on which they have to make up a story in very little time, with identifying the main characters, moods of the characters in the picture, etc. 


After that, all the candidates are asked to narrate their stories followed by a group discussion round where the candidates are instructed to come up with one story unanimously. 


After the completion of these tests, the candidates are shortlisted. And the candidates unable to qualify are dismissed. They must complete the first of up to five personal information questionnaires which must each be recorded in the same manner. The personal information questionnaire is the basis for the individual candidate interview.


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Psychological Test, Day 2,

ssb psychology test

First, Thematic Appreciation Test is conducted. In this, a picture story writing is administered. It is slightly similar to the PPDT. In this session, twelve pictures are shown to the candidates sequentially. After seeing one picture at a time they are asked to write a story for the next allotted four minutes. 


The last or the twelve picture remains a blank slide, where the candidates are instructed to write a story of thor choice. The stories the candidates are asked to write might not be relevant to each other. And there is no discussion among the candidates unlike the Picture Perception and Description Test. 


The second test for the day is a Word Association Test. In the Word Association Test, the candidates are shown sixty simple, everyday words in sequence. The candidates are shown each word for fifteen seconds each and are instructed to write down the first thoughts that come id their head after reading the word. 


The third test for day 2, is the situation reaction test. In this test, a booklet of 60 situations is given in which responses are to be completed in 30 minutes by the candidates. 


And lastly, the Self Description Test, in which five questions are asked to each candidate about their parents, friends, teachers and their perception about their own self.  


Group Test by GTO (Group Testing Officer), Day 3 and 4,

ssb group task

Day 3 and 4 are scheduled for several group activities such as group military planning exercises, group discussions, small group tasks, progressive tasks that are performed by the candidates in groups. Also, individual obstacle tasks, snake race, command task a Lecturette, and a final group task are performed on the third and fourth day. 


Interview by IO (Interviewing Officer), Day 2,3 and 4,

Along with the interview conducted by the Group Testing Officer, the candidates are also interviewed by the Interviewing officer on days 3 and 4. The Interviewing questions by IO include some general knowledge questions and questions based on the personal information questionnaires filled by the candidates on day 1.


The conference, Day 5,

Day 5 is all about the final assessment and results. On Day 5 all the Interviewing Board Members arrive properly uniformed to attend the conference and each candidate has a conversation with a panel of assessors. 


In the span of conversation, the accessors look for the OLQ (Officer Like Qualities) in the candidates, like their confidence, expression, attitude towards life, etc. 


Following this, the results are announced. The qualified and successful candidates stay back for an intensive medical examination taking three to five days at a military hospital.


Is the SSB interview exam tough?

Nothing comes easy. And something which is highly prestigious and supreme ought to have hurdles. And with determination and dedication the boulders all the way can be crushed to the well-paved roads. So is the case with SSB. 


Thus, as we all know SSB is the toughest interview for any service in this country. Only a few candidates are able to crack this interview in the first attempt. So it is very difficult to clear SSB interviews. With several tries, you may unlock the key to happiness and achieve your goal. But this requires a lot of hard work and patience accompanied by mental and physical struggle.  


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Also read :

Why Is OLQ Important For SSB interviews?