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How to face Interviewing Officer(IO) – SSB Interview techniques – revealed!

SSB INTERVIEWAngry-Army-Drill-Serge

1. Purpose

  • To choose few from many
  • To choose right person for right job, not the best person for job
  • Existing from time immemorial
  • Changed from arbitrary to quick-detailed-lengthy
  • Army interview evolved from second world war
  • To identify suitable officer material
  • Potential candidate assessed for suitability with three independent technique
    • Mansa –Projective technique – By Psychologist
    • Wacha- Interview –By Interviewing officer
    • Karma- Group – By GTO(Group Testing Officer)
  • Basic purpose of testing is same i.e. Assessment of Officer Like qualities(OLQ)

2. Objective of Interview

“A personal meeting and conversation between two or more person with a aim of getting information about the person or persons taking part in the meeting”

3.  Types of Interview

  • Direct interview
    • Tight control by employing direct question and answer technique
  • Indirect interview
    • Interviewee allowed to talk without any control by interviewer
    • Evaluation /patterned interview
    • Preplanned approach is used to interviewer in the desired and relevant direction .
  • Combination of above two.

4. In SSB third technique is employed with objective to evaluate potential /OLQ with in limited time frame

  • PIQ
    • Basic Information
    • Qualification
    • Achievement
    • Family background
  • Does not contain Insight regarding candidates attitude towards life and work
  • Whether likely to get along people
  • Whether they can adapt themselves to service environment
  • Problem areas
  • Social activities
  • Leadership potential

5.  Interview Guide

    • Rapport(Small talk)
    • Work Experience
    • Education and training
    • Early Home background
    • Spare time interests and hobbies
    • Present social adjustment
    • Self evaluation
    • Work History (For working people)
    • Duties
    • Likes
    • Achievement
    • Dislikes
    • Things done less well
    • Working condition
    • Level of earning
    • Reason for changing job
    • Any leadership experience
    • Number of previous job
    • Factors of job satisfaction
    • Total job accomplishment
    • Education and training
    • Best and poorest subject
    • Grades/divisions/percentages overall and subject wise
    • How much effort
    • Relationship with teacher
    • Extra curricular activities
    • Special achievement
    • Trading beyond school level
    • How was education financed
    • Total school achievement
    • Closing of interview

6. Interview

  • Led by IO to explore work experience(Serving candidates)and made to proceed chronologically through various assignment including present.
  • Fresh Candidates –start with educational background i.e. from middle school level to college level. IO probes for “clues to behaviour” to get clear picture of Strength & Shortcomings of candidates.
  • Candidate gets centre stage and encouraged to most of talking
  • High rapport leads candidate to talk spontaneously and provide clear picture of what they are deep inside.
  • IO speaks 15% and candidate rest
  • Gives enough time to reflect and analyse clues to behaviour from spontaneous remarks
  • Experience has shown that best way to predict what he will do in future is on the basis what he has done in past
  • With effort few can improve long term behaviour and long years of effect
  • Hence if hard work earlier then hard work later
  • If adapted well earlier then adapt well later in service life

7. Function of IO is to assess

  • Mental ability of candidate
  • Appraise his – personality, Motivation, Character
  • Hence IO tech is subjective and depends on experience/ judgment /training
  • Judgment should be based on factual evidence rather than on hunch
  • IO assesses shortcomings and assets in terms of OLQ and judges to extent assets outweigh liabilities or vice versa
  • IO has to be alert from the beginning to search unfavourable information. If found favourable then look for clues to confirm impression
  • Interview is indirect way to get information by adroit suggestion /comments /questioning
  • Resort to direct questioning if candidate fails to be spontaneous
  • Ideally candidate confidence about interviewer develops interviewer and tells his life story without any inhibition
  • To get spontaneity candidate is put to ease so that spontaneous information is likely to reflect – True feelings, Needs, Anxieties & Clues to shortcoming

8. Building Rapport

  • Begins with pleasantry & ”pumping question ” which can not be answered without fair amount of discussion. The candidate must speak for 2-3 mins. These questions require preparation and not framed on spur of moment
  • Calculated pause if candidate stops after 2-3 sentences
  • Candidate feels silence demands fuller treatment of the topic
  • IO should not break eye contact and to look expectant
  • If candidate remains silent then IO to break with another question
  • Non verbal supportive gesture to encourage candidate to speak without apprehension.
  • This comes from study of PIQ
  • Particular interest
  • Indicated achievements
  • Hobby
  • Physical mental activities
  • Spl coaching camps etc
  • Painting & drawings
  • Living in some part of areas
  • Sound of own voice in strange situation gives confidence, ease initial tension

9. Effect of facial expression

  • Facially responsive
  • Lifting eye brows Gives interviewer being receptive candidate opens up
  • Smiling slightly
  • Expression like appreciation of achievement and concern on unfortunate events also help open up

10. Effect of voice

  • After expression voice is important
  • Persuade candidate to reveal qualification/characteristics/short comings/assets
  • Voice effectiveness depends upon
  • Talk not too loudly
  • Candidate gets threatened
  • Relegated from centre stage to minor role
  • Use all range of voice
  • Upper range for appreciation
  • Motivation to give further clues to innermost thought
  • Do not do over voice inflection

11. Effect of lubrication & Reinforcement

  • Lubricating/stroking/pat on the back
  • +ve comment through out the interview maintains rapport and helps candidate keep talking
  • Verbal –”very impressive”, “you deserve a lot of credit ”,” excellent”
  • Makes candidate visibly warm ,increasingly expansive and spontaneous
  • Nonverbal –nodding of head ,”oh”/ah etc.
  • Frequency depends on type of candidate City born –less

12. Effect of playing down unfavourable information

  • To encourage candidate to speak about negative aspect of background
  • Bad in Mathematics-”You have done well in other science subjects ”etc.
  • Does not reduce individual problem but face it which makes him better
  • Sympathetic

13. Comprehensive introductory Questions

  • “During next 45 min or so we will talk more about you, covering areas like your education , family , spare time. interests etc.Though I have gained some idea about them after going through the PIQ, you may have filled at the time of your arrival in SC, you may talk freely about yourself and your activities in greater details.”
  • Education and training
  • ‘Suppose you tell me about your education starting from middle class level say vii std onwards working up to your present level of education. I would interested in the subjects you liked best, those you did not care so much about , grades achieved in examinations and effort put in extracurricular /co- curricular activities which were available in school and events you took part in ,any special achievements in the field, about your friends circle you have move with at school. I would also like to know about your close friends and why you consider them so.Teachers you liked most and about those who did not impress you much ,how is your education financed and things like that.”
  • Family background of candidate
  • That give me good idea about your education and related activities. Now I would be interested to know about your family. Suppose you tell me about your parents i.e. about your father and mother their occupation ,how do you spend time together ,your activities at home , about other members of your family like brothers ,sisters , grand parents .Whom do you approach for help when you have problems and you want to confide. Normally what are the activities in which you get personally involved with your family. How do you meet monetary requirements ,i.e. how much pocket money do you get and how do you spend it.Who are your friends in neighborhoods and what social ,cultural or other activities you have undertaken in their company”
  • Spare time interest and hobbies
  • Suppose you now tell me how you spend spare time.What are your hobbies ,sports games you have taken part both in your days in school/ college, with family members or neighbourhood friends ,your daily routine both on working days and holiday ,about your reading habits etc.
  • Probe –
    • Social effectiveness
    • Mental & physical stamina
    • Follow up question on general awareness
    • To check maturity
    • Understanding of environment
    • Follow up practical problems
    • Check reaction & ability to tackle problems

14. Final Questions

  • That was very interesting interacting with you. Now you tell me what are your strong points or assets in your personality and what would like to improve further
  • Acts as tension breaker
  • Insight of candidate to
  • Take advantage of strength
  • Effort to improve upon weakness
  • No notes are generally taken to avoid
  • breaking of eye contact
  • Making him conscious

15. Probing more deeply

  • Comments like ‘very interesting’ interspersed with question add variety and make interview more interesting
  • Leading comments and questions are avoided
  • Question should be open ended

16. Methods of probing

  • Laundry Questions
  • Stimulate thinking by variety of responses o help candidate thought together
  • Act as confirmation of clues during interview
  • Clarity of question
  • Seeking specific response rather than general
  • Two step probing for “why”: Evidence of analytical and critical thinking
  • Step1 – IO moves from general to specific like “What subjects from many subjects from option you decided to choose”
  • Step2 – “And Why?” -Puts pressure on the candidate ,hence used sparingly
  • Reveals
  • Judgment
  • Motivation
  • Other factors in personality structure
  • Double edged questions
  • Make easy for the candidate to admit shortcoming and help him greater self insight
  • “What about tact. Do you have as much you like”
  • “Is there something you like to improve”
  • Methods used in softening Direct questions
  • Avoid direct blunt questions. If unavoidable it may be softened
  • “Is it possible that..”
  • “How did it happen..”
  • Use must/perhaps/some what//little bit/to some extent
  • Not Taking-Take note after departure of candidate
  • Technique of control
  • Adequte coverage of each area
  • Penetration in candidate’s previous experience By
  • Sticking to interview guide
  • Interrupting when going off
  • Interruption
  • Irrelevant details be controlled by interruption
  • Timing and lubrication
  • Timing-at the end of sentence
  • Lubrication-like ”very interesting”

17. Common Errors

  • Error of leniency
  • Higher if candidate is known
  • Error of contrast
  • Compare candidate’s traits with own thus rate them lower
  • Error of central tendency
  • When IO is not confident he rates candidate on threshold
  • Halo effect/horn effect
  • Initial general impression of good or bad
  • Logical error
  • Problem in related trait
  • Contiguous bias
  • Personal likes and dislikes ,preferences/prejudice may affect rating

18. Closing Interview

  • Never leave candidate hurt, disconcerted and discouraged. He must leave with good feeling
  • ‘That was very good interaction I had with you .You have given a lot of useful information about yourself. So far I was asking you question. Is there anything you would like to ask me or tell me”

With this the interview comes to an end!


16 comments on “How to face Interviewing Officer(IO) – SSB Interview techniques – revealed!

  1. Major Abhishek Badola
    January 30, 2016

    If you are a final year student and going to appear in SSB then you need to take a NOC ( it must be signed by the principal of your college or school with college or school stamp ) stating that you will pass your grad. before the commencement of the course in the academy .

    Don’t worry. The procedure and the format of NOC will be given in your ssb call letter .

  2. sayani
    January 30, 2016

    Is it mandatory to present the pass certificate of graduation during ssb? What if I am a final year student and yet to receive my final pass certificate or even provisional certificate of graduation before ssb?

    • Sonu
      January 30, 2016

      Provisional certificate will do the work if you don’t have pass certificate.

  3. major
    December 30, 2015

    Col. Mukteshwar…hmm 😉 good

  4. nitesh
    March 23, 2015

    I have applied for TGC (AEC)-121 : JUL 2015 COURSE and I am shortlisted for SSB Interview in ALLAHABAD on 24 april 2015.But I have lost my online application of AEC.
    please help me ,how can I reprint my application form.
    will they consider me for SSB interview.
    please rply me on my mail.
    thank you

  5. Mark Thompson
    January 11, 2015

    can you describe how they check for carrying angle?

  6. chandan
    January 6, 2015

    thank you so much! that was real help 😀
    i have my afsb on 12th in dehradun really needed help!

  7. Garv
    January 3, 2015

    what are the chances of hindi speaking candidates whose eng is not good

    • Sonu
      January 3, 2015

      Tough competition.. But if you can put ur point forward and able to convince assessors that u’ll improve/learn.. Then you have equal chance otherwise you’ll need to work harder then others..

  8. zingcem
    December 10, 2014

    Thank you for this eagerly waited information..

  9. anil kumar
    December 9, 2014

    really awesome dude…will help so many aspirants……

    • Sonu
      December 9, 2014

      Thank you soo much for appreciation 🙂

  10. cool4u
    December 1, 2014

    wonderful man for all this stuff!

  11. Kumar Gaurav
    November 26, 2014

    Thank you sonu!


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This entry was posted on November 24, 2014 by in Army, SSB and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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