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SSB Interview

An interview is a face-to-face meeting, especially for the purposed of assessing the candidate for the job applied for. It aims at evaluating your academic knowledge, awareness or current topics, communication skills, the clarity of thought and expression and sense of balance, and ability to extricate you from tricky situation. SSB's: One of the most fundamental factors that contribute to the successful interview is the time and quality of preparation made by. Normally the President/ Vice President of the Services Selection Board will conduct the personal Interview. They are very senior Officer from the Armed forces. Degree of preparedness for an interview helps reduce the uncertain anxiety prior to the Interview.. The amount of effort you wish to put into preparation is directly proportional to your out put at the interview. How to plan your preparation ? Preparation develops Confidence and gears you for the anticipated grilling. Prepare the following: How to Tackle? Write down in a neat and legible handwriting the PIQ form given to you (Please copy it down it is given in this CD). Try to put down everything in an orderly and crisp manner. Revise your Bio-data thoroughly. Try to form your own questions based on it. Answer them to your full satisfaction. Check your Bio-Date for grammatical and spelling error. Remember discerning interviewer expects Zero error in the Bio-Data.Try and collect as much information about the City in which you live, your School, College, place of interview and places you have visited. Be sure regarding your hobbies. For example, if you have written reading as a hobby, be sure about what you have been reading. Interviewer expects a serious reply. He expects the names of the authors and then will ask questions based on their themes. A serious reader will score over others who refer cheap detective, thriller novels. The logic holds good for any other hobby you have mentioned in your PIQ.Be clear of your favorite subject and area of you interest in the subject, which you are/have specialized. Refresh your knowledge. Then interviewer might ask you a few technical questions.A wellgroomed look gives an image of thoroughness and professional look.Your achievements should be brought out in a systematic order as and when you are asked about it.Follow the normal etiquette for the interview., Wait for the officer to speak first- Listen carefully before you speak. Take a few long breaths this will calm down your nerves, after listening to the question carefully, clarify your doubts if any, before you answer the question.Think well before you answer. For more questions will follow your answers. The New Technique adopted at the SSB Interview is RAPID FIRE questions. Listen to the questions carefully. Think well before you answer, elaborate your answers and tactfully take him on to your strong points. Do not over emphasize them. Be very clear in your thought and expression. Don't speak in a low voice, be loud enough so that interviewer don't have to strain their ears.Be brief, brevity is the hallmark of a good communicator. Answer all the questions in a sequence.If you don't know an answer be Honest. The Interviewer will respect integrity and honesty.NEVER Exaggerate.Never boast about anything including your achievements.Never enter into an argument with the interviewer on any topic. Must Know these Stuffs:

1 The rank structure of the forces 2 The current events 3 Knowledge about your town 4 Your projects 5 Why you want to join the forces? 6 What will you do in case you do not get selected at selected? 7 (this is to see how determined you are in achieving your aim.) 8 Have a plan B in case you exhaust all the chances then you will 9 Take up ------- job. 10 When the interviewer asks you to organize a trekking event remember the following points; or any other event the heading under which you can cover the preparations are: 11 Initial Preparation 12 Venue 13 Event 14 Specific Items need for the event. 15 Communication 16 On the day 17 Hospitality 18 Budget 19 Keeping the journal and recording the event 20 After the event 21 Maintain proper Eye contact with the person who asks you the Question. This shows your Confidence and honesty. 22 Avoid using frequently words and phrases like" I mean", " You know", "well", "as such" etc. 23 In the end you want to ask the officer any questions plese do so, if not then so politely "I have no questions to ask you sir." 24 Last but not the least, BE NATURAL. When the interview ends. If offered a Handshake, do so, if not just say, "Thank you for the wonderful evening and put the chair back to its original position before leaving. Leave the place with a warm smile and a nod of head. Close the door gently and leave the room. Your Appearance.. Appearance makes the man. You should dress up for the occasion. Most of the time you will be asked to attend the Interview in the PT. Kit it is better for you to keep a small pocket Comb and a neat and clean Handkerchief. Freshen up yourself before you set foot in the interviewers room. Your warm smile, excellent etiquette and a firm handshake will be starting point.As we have brought out earlier, RAPID Fire questions are the order of the. It means you will be asked to answer a number of questions after listening to them just once. Please listen to the question carefully. If you have not understood the question then ask for the clarification. Try and answer the questions in the same sequence as put forth to you. Since the distance between you and the interviewing officer would be about 6 feet, you are expected to talk in a loud and clear voice. Take your time think and answer questions.DO NOT TELL A LIE. You will be caught. Interviewing Officers are usually hold the Rank of Colonel or its equivilant rank in the Navy/Air Force.Here are some of the tips which you wil find it useful while facing the Interviewing officer: a) Be tidy and well dressed. Wear simple clothes but willo fitting clothes.Do not wear Jewllery b)On entering the room wish the panel and do what they say.

c) Do not get over anxious. A minor degree of nerveousness is expected from everyone. d) Be Yourself e) Be polite and use words like "Please", "Sir", Do not sound egoistic. f) Be natural and never convey extravagant ideas like " I would die for my country" or " The best profession is the Defence Forces ". g) Do not lie or beat around the bush. If you are not sure of thre answer say that uyou do not know. You are not going to be penalized for say it. h) Be brief, loud and clear. i) The major questions like Why do you want to join the Army/Navy/Air Force?. There are no perfect answer to this question. While answering it try to convey 4 or 5 facts such as: i. Defence services offers a Challange to a young person ii. Merit is given due recognition in te Forces. iii. I will get an opportuniyt to learn and exprience the latest technological inventions. iv. I like an out door life rather than a 10 to 5 desk job. v. I will get an opporunity to mingle with all sorts of people and persons from different parts of the country. vi. In my opinioin the Uniformed forces offers reasonable pay and perks vii. One of the most respected professions in Indian is that of a soldier. j) Be truthful in stating your hobbies. be prepared to answer questions about it. k) High light your achievement in sports, NCC and other extra curricular activites. l) Current affairs be a regualr reader of magazines and news paper. m) When a situation is given to you think and answer be very specific and answer in the most practical way. n) Thasnk the Officer for hois time before you leave the room.

10 Killer Job Interview Questions and Answers Carole Martin | August 30, 2007 Behind every interview question there is a concern or another question. Your job is to process the question thinking about what the interviewers concern might be. In other words, why is the interviewer asking you this question? 1.) Q: How long have you been looking for a job? (Concern: Is there something wrong with you that other employers have picked up?) A: After being discharged from the service, I took some time to think about my career and what I wanted to do. I have learned new skills while serving in the U.S. Army/Navy/Marines and I wanted to make sure that I chose a career path that would take me where I want to go in life. I have been in actual job search for the last few weeks. I have a definite goal in mind and have been selective about the positions I consider. Your company and this position are of great interest to me. 2.) Q: How did you prepare for this interview? (Concern: Are you interested enough to do research, or are you going to wing it?)

A: When I found this position posted on the Internet I was immediately interested. I checked out the company website and mission statement, looked at the bios of company founders and executives, and was impressed. Once I had the interview appointment, I talked with friends and acquaintances in the industry. And, Im sure Ill find out a lot more in todays meetings. 3.) Q: What is your salary expectation for this job? (Concern: Can we afford you? Can we get you for less than budgeted?) A: Ill need more information about the job and the responsibilities involved before we can begin to discuss salary. Can you give me an idea of the range budgeted for this position? 4.) Q: How do you keep current and informed about your job and the industries that you have worked in? (Concern: Once you get the job do you intend to learn and grow stay challenged and motivated?) A: I pride myself on my ability to stay on top of what is happening in the world in the news. Perhaps it was my time in the service that broadened my interest. I do a lot of reading including the business section of the newspapers and magazines. I have recently joined a professional organization where I can network with colleagues at meetings. I also take classes and seminars whenever they are of interest, or when they offer new information or technology. I consider myself a life-long learner. 5.) Q: Tell me about a time when you had to plan and coordinate a project from start to finish. (Concern: Behavioral questions seeking an example of specific past behavior as an indicator of future success. If you did it before, you can do it again. ) A: I headed up a project which involved customer service personnel and technicians. I organized a meeting to get everyone together to brainstorm and get his or her input. From this meeting I drew up a plan, taking the best of the ideas. I organized teams, balancing the mixture of technical and non-technical people. We had a deadline to meet, so I did periodic checks with the teams. After three weeks, we were exceeding expectations, and were able to begin implementation of the plan. It was a great team effort, and a big success. I was commended for my leadership, but what I was most proud of was the team spirit and cooperation which it took to pull the project off. 6.) Q: What kinds of people do you have difficulties working with? (Concern: Are you flexible about diversity and can you be a good team member?) A: In the military you become brothers and sisters with everyone very fast. I have to admit in my first weeks I did not feel welcome. I kept a low profile and eventually it became much easier. The only time I had difficulty was with people who were dishonest about work issues. I worked with one woman who was taking credit for work that our team accomplished. I had an opportunity to talk with her one day and explained how she was affecting the morale. She became very upset that others saw her that way, and said she was unaware of her behavior or the reactions of others. Her behavior changed after our talk. What I learned from that experience is that sometimes what we perceive about others is not always the case if we check it out. 7.) Q: We expect managers to work more than eight hours a day. Do you have a problem with that? (Concern: Are you a work-alcoholic or a person who requires balance? Are you adaptable?)

A: I have no problem working long hours. I have worked 12- or 14-hour days when I was deployed to Iraq. What I have found works for me is to work smarter, not necessarily longer. My goal is to get the job done, whatever that takes, in the most efficient manner. 8.) Q: How do you adapt to new situations? (Concern: Are you flexible adaptable?) A: My military background has prepared me for this part of any job. When you are on-call 24/7, as I was in the Army, you learn quickly to move first, think second. Being flexible and being able to adapt quickly was not only necessary in the service, it was mandatory. I bring that same skill to my work. I will do whatever it takes to get the job done on time. 9.) Q: Why do you want this job? (Concern: are you using the shot-gun approach to job search or do you really know what you want?) A: Ive been very careful about the companies where I have applied. When I saw the ad for this position, I knew I found what I was looking for. What I can bring to this job is my seven years of knowledge and leadership experience, plus my ability to communicate and build customer relationships. That, along with my flexibility and organizational skills, makes me a perfect match for this position. I see some challenges here, and thats what I thrive on. I have what you need, and you have what I want. 10.) Q: We are ready to make an offer. Are you ready to accept today? (Concern: we dont want you to go away and think about it and change your mind we want you.) A: Based on my research and the information I have gathered during the interview process, I feel I am in a position to consider an offer. I do, however, have a personal policy that I give myself at least 24 hours to make major life decisions. I could let you know by tomorrow. There is no way you can accurately predict the questions that will be asked in an interview, but you can be ready and prepared by thinking about the factors that might concern an interviewer or employer before the interview.

Army Officer Interview Questions And Answers


Army Officer Interview Questions And Answers Article by Richard McMunn

Many people attend the Army Officer interview but only a small percentage succeed. The reason for this is simply because they fail to provide sufficient evidence of their officer potential. You are guaranteed to get asked the following question during the Army Officer interview: Can you tell me why you want to become an Officer? You must have valid reasons why you want to become an Officer in the Army. This job is entirely different to being a regular soldier. You will have far more responsibilities and the training that you will undergo will be extremely challenging, both mentally and physically. Here are a few positive reasons for wanting to become an Officer: An opportunity to become an elite Officer in the Army is an opportunity to be the best that I can be. I believe that I have the potential to become an exceptional Officer and I dont want to waste my potential. I want to become an Officer simply because I believe I have the skills and attributes to lead, inspire and develop people. If I am not in a leadership position then I believe those skills and attributes will be wasted. I am a confident, professional and enthusiastic person who believes that everyone should be given the opportunity to be there best. As an Officer I would have the chance to make a difference and I would thrive in a position that could help the Army to achieve its organizational goals and objectives. In any organisation that I have worked in so far, I have always held a keen interest in the development of staff and the development of the company as a whole. The experiences that I have gained in life so far and prepared me to become an Officer in the Army and I believe that I could be a excellent member of the Armys leadership team. If you use any of the above reasons for wanting to become an army officer you will have more chances of success. INTERVIEW TIPS FOR THE ARMY OFFICER INTERVIEW - When you walk into the interview room stand up straight with your shoulders back. Project an image of confidence; - Dont sit down in the interview chair until invited to do so; - Sit with your hands resting on your knees, palms downwards. It is OK to use your hands expressively but dont overdo it; - Dont slouch in the chair; - Speak up and be positive; - Smile, be happy and have a sense of humour; - Dress as smart as you can and take a pride in your appearance. If you dont have a suit make sure you wear a shirt and tie at the very least. - Improve your personal administration. By this I mean your personal hygiene and cleanliness. Make sure you have washed and your hands and nails are clean.

- Make sure you have researched both the Army life and your chosen career/careers. This is very important. - During the interview do not be negative or disrespectful towards your teachers, parents or people in positions of authority. Remember that you are applying to join a disciplined service. - Go the extra mile and learn a little bit about the Armys history if you get time. When the panel asks you What can you tell us about the Army? you will be able to demonstrate that you have made an effort to look into their history as well as their modern day activities; - Be respectful and courteous towards the interview panel. At the end of your response to each question finish off with either Sir or Maam or as otherwise instructed. - Ask positive questions at the end of the interview. Try not to ask questions such as How much leave will I get? or How often do I get paid? - If you are unsure about a question dont waffle. If you do not know the answer then it is OK to say so. Move on to the next question and put it behind you. Finally, believe in yourself and be confident. A positive attitude will bring positive results!

About the Author Army Officer interview questions and expert tuition on how to become an army officer.

Scheme of Selection
The existing scheme of selection was initially designed in the US army, after the second World War. The system was adopted in the selection of officers in Army, Navy and Air Force for induction through National Defence Academy, Army Cadet Corps, Officers Training Academy, Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy or Naval Academy. The slection process has the following stages/components. (a) Psychological/Intelligence Test. (b) Group Testing Officer's (GTO's) Test. (c) Personal Interview. (d) Medical Examination. It is evident that the interview is mainly confined to first three stages of examination while the fourth one concerns the medical examination of only those who get through in the SSB interview comprising of first three components. Evaluation of a candidate is made by three independent examiners. The psychological test is carried out by a psychologist and GTO test is given by a Group Testing Officer (GTO). Personal interview is carried out by the interviewing officer who usually is also the President of the Board. The interview being an integrated process, culminates with the conference on the final day when all the three examiners gete together to give the final assessment of the candidate. If there is any

doubt on any aspect of the personality of the candidate, a few questions are put to him/her and the evaluation is done accordingly. All the candidates who manage to obtain minimum prescribed marks are declared selected. There is no quota or percentage fixed about the number of candidates to be selected and the selection purely depends on the performance of the individuals. The selected candidates then have to undergo a comprehensive medical examination to be finally recommended for selection. Through this series of features on careers an effort is being made to acquaint the candidates, particularly the fresh candidates, with the techniques of SSB interviews and strategy to be adopted to overcome this final hurdle to a challenging career in the defence forces. In the first part of this series, psychological tests are being dealt with in detail. The scheme of selection is almost same for Army, Navy and Air Force with the only difference that in case of interviews for the flying branch of Air Force, an additional aptitude test is given to the candidates right at the beginning. The interview usually lasts for four to five days and the arrangements for free boarding and lodging are made for the candidates. Moreover, the candidates appearing before the Board for the first time are entitled to claim travelling allowance for to-and-fro journey upto the selection centre. Questionnaire Immediately on arrival at the Selection Board a questionnaire is given to all the candidates in which, in addition to personal details, including educational qualifications and details of family, hobbies, games and other extra curricular activities, details about other important happenings in life, friends, ambitions, etc are also sought from the candidates. This questionnaire usually forms the basis for interview. This part also assumes importance, considering the fact that it is of importance to a psychologist to know what a candidate thinks of oneself. Psychological Tests (a) Intelligence Tests: First and important part of pscychological tests is the intelligence test. There are two types of intelligence tests. In the first, usually 80 questions are required to be answered within 30 or 35 minutes. The time is lesser for the second in which 60 questions on figures are required to be answered in 20 to 25 minutes. This test presumes that even under adverse circumstances an intelligent person will be able to answer more number of questions accurately. The questions are objective type with multiple choice answers. To attempt maximum number of questions correctly, the candidates are advised to attempt those questions to start with, about which they are fully sure. The questions which need some more time to answer, must be skipped initially and if after attempting other questions there is some time left, it can then be devoted to the left-out questions. Exhaustive practice in these tests, which appear regularly in the Competition Master, can be of great help in attempting the intelligence tests effectively. A candidate who achieves a good score in these tests may get the benefit of being placed higher in the order of merit if he/she finally makes it in the interview. (b) Word Association Test: This test aims at judging the personality traits and basic psychology of a candidate. It brings out attitudes, thoughts, desires, feelings and even negative aspects of one's personality. For testing the word association, candidates are shown a word of common usage for about 15 seconds, during which time candidates are supposed to write a sentence. After 15 seconds are over, another word is exposed for 15 seconds, the process continues and candidates are asked to write 50 sentences. The words are easy and of day-to-day usage. Time given to the candidates is so short that they have to write down the very first thought that comes

after seeing the word. The psychologists analyse the personality traits, attitudes and feelings on the basis of these natural reactions of the candidates to specific words. There can be no readymade solutions to the word association test. However, with a little bit of practice the candidates can choose correct sentence. The pessimistic, negative, pervert and counter-productive feelings must be avoided whereas positive feelings of success, honesty, respectfulness, uprightness, optimism, humanism, etc should be highlighted. For example, the word "failure", can be used as "Failure cannot always be avoided", or "Failures are the pillars of success". Whereas the former sentence depicts pessimism and defeat, the latter sentence shows how a negative word can also be used in a positive manner. On similar lines the candidates must prepare himself beforehand for words like defeat, death, disease wrong, etc. It must be ensured that the sentences used are small and convey some positive aspect of one's psyche. Due care must be taken to ensure that the sentences do not depict the feeling of fear, insecurity, anxiety, cowardice, etc. To do well in this test the candidates must practice with several sets of words and do the self appraisal. (c) Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): This technique, also called picture story writing, is one of the most important aspects of psychological test at SSBs. This technique aims at judging the overall personality of a candidate by judging the traits like fearlessness, positive frame of mind, initiative, judgement, courage, temperament, ambitions, and more particularly candidates' suitability for the armed forces. This test is conducted by showing several slides/pictures (usually ten) to the candidate for a short while. Then he is asked to write a small story on the picture. The picture is shown for 30 seconds and the candidate is given a time of 3 minutes for writing a brief story. Needless to say that the time duration is very less and the candidates must think and write fast to complete the story within the stipulated time. The candidates need special practice to attempt this test successfully. It must be clearly understood that the story which is written by the candidates, depicts their own thoughts, perceptions and imaginations. Hence the initial 30-second time while the picture is displayed, must be utilised in most useful manner. After devoting minimum possible time for understanding the picture, the candidate should appreciate the situation, identify the hero of the story and prepare a simple but well thought of plot for the story. The plot should be simple considering the fact that the story has to be written within 3-minutes. The planned story should depict the feelings of courage, success, hard-work, initiative, ambition, achievement, helpfulness, patriotism and positive bent of mind. It should be ensured that no unnecessary time is wasted in describing the picture. The picture only depicts one of the situations which could form part of the story. It is pertinent to add that candidates may expect at least one picture each about hospital scene, war, road accident, a captive lady, a frustrated youth, a river, a thief, a graveyard, etc. There may be a few vague pictures also. Practice on writing stories on above situation/pictures would assist the candidates to do well in this test. (d) Situation Reaction Test (SRT): This is last in the series of psychological tests. In the SRT, the candidates are given 4 to 5 reactions to a particular day-to-day situation and the candidates are asked to choose the most appropriate one. This test aims at judging a candidate's aptitude towards cooperation, group interests and positive thinking. No answer is outrightly incorrect or correct. The candidates get weighted marks depending on the degree of correctness of an answer. In all 50 to 60 situations have to be reacted upon in 25 to 30 minutes. The candidates must exercise due care while choosing the alternatives as two to three alternatives may appear to be correct. The answer which appears to be the best in a real life situation must be chosen. Initially, questions appearing easier to answer should be chosen and the candidates should avoid conflicting replies and be considered.

The second part of the interview contains Group Testing Officer's (GTO's) Test. While the first part aims at testing the intelligence and frame of mind of a candidate, the GTO's test is a complete test of one's personality, including physical fitness, mental obustness, leadership qualities, planning flexibility, expression, knowledge, argumentative capabilities, etc. In other words, the performance of every candidate is gauged as a member of a group, and leader of the group, so that his/her behaviour as equal, superior or subordinate is keenly observed and assessed. The group worthiness of a candidate is tested. The GTO's test includes the following six broad sub-tests: Group discussion Group planning exercise Group obstacles Command Task Individual obstacles Lecturette

Group Discussion Candidates are divided in groups of 8 to 10 and each group is tested by a GTO. Usually two topics of general interest are given by the GTO to the group and the group is asked to choose one of the topics, on the basis of which the group is asked to proceed with discussion. Every candidate is supposed to express his opinion and views on the topic given. The time for discussion is approximately 20 minutes. After the discussion on the first topic is closed, GTO gives the second topic. During the discussion, the GTO quietly observes the performance and behaviour of the candidates and makes his own assessment. The group discussion tests the expression, argumentative capabilities, depth of knowledge, initiative, flexibility, participation and authenticity of a candidate. The candidates must comprehend the topic properly, carry out a mental framework of line of discussion to be pursued and plan the discussion quickly. It is always better to take the initiative to start the discussion. Self confidence, clarity in expression, appreciation of opinion of others, keen interest, flexibility and knowledge are some of the properties which are sought by the GTO. Proper tone, volume and level of voice are other important aspects of a good candidate. To do well at group discussions, it is suggested that the candidates should prepare well by selecting certain topics of general interest like role of science, democracy, role of women, sports, evils of dowry, family planning, compulsory military training, students and politics, status of Indian women, etc. Group Planning Exercise Under the group planning exercise, a situation is given to the candidates usually on a sand model or cloth model. Each candidate is given the situation in which some problem like taking a patient to hospital within stipulated time, reporting the matter to the police or any other situation is depicted and certain facilities as well as limitations are explained. Considering these given limitations and facilities, the candidates are required to prepare a plan to successfully accomplish the task. The time allotted to the candidates, to write down the solution, is about 10 minutes. Soon after writing down the solution, the group is asked to discuss the solutions and arrive at a group plan. The group then nominates a leader who gets up and gives the group plan. After this,

others are also asked to give their plans if there is some material difference in the plan. For this exercise a further time of about 20 minutes is given. The test is planned to test the understanding and analytical capability of the candidates. In addition, in a group where no one is nominated a group leader, opportunity is provided to the natural leaders to emerge as leaders and take over the reins of the group. The individual plan tests the analytical ability and the discussion of the group plan sees whether the candidate is prepared to accept a superior plan over his plan or he is able to convince the group about superiority of his plan against an inferior plan being considered by the group. The candidates must properly appreciate the problem, take stock of the resources available with them and then try to generate some alternatives in the given situation. After considering the pros and cons of every alternative, best alternative should be accepted. By actively participating in the group plan discussion, the candidates should try to get themselves nominated as the group leader to get an edge over the other candidates. Group Obstacles Next part of GTO's fest is the group obstacles. It has four sub-parts including Progressive Group Task, Group Obstacle Race, Half Group Task and Final Group Task. These tasks are designed to test the behaviour of a candidate in a group where there are no group leaders nominated. The GTO, therefore, keenly observes the candidates for their qualities like cooperation, group belonging feelings, natural leadership qualities, planning, initiative and task orientation. Group obstacles in all the four sub-parts are in the form of obstacles which cannot be negotiated by an individual and need a group of persons to cross it. The group is explained that within the obstacle area, in which particular parts are "out of bounds", the entire group has to cross the obstacle within a given period of time with the assistance of tools like ropes, planks, wooden logs, etc. The progressive group task has four tasks with each successive task getting tougher and final group task is the repeat exercise to facilitate the GTO to observe only the potential candidates. The group obstacle race is in the form of an intergroup race in which they also have to carry a sack type of load while crossing the obstacles. Half group task is given by dividing the group into two sub-groups, facilitating the GTO in observing the candidates in a better manner. While crossing these obstacles, or planning to cross these, the candidates should think objectively to negotiate the obstacles with the help of given material. There are usually more than one solution to each obstacle. Immediately on getting the solution, the candidates must start asserting themselves by also seeking advice and suggestions of other candidates. Even if the candidate is unable to arrive at any solution he should try to assume the role of a mediator between several candidates having diverse solutions. Even while actually negotiating the obstacle endeavour should be to take on the most difficult tasks so that an impression of task orientation and leading by example is created in the mind of the GTO. Command Task Command Task is aimed at testing the leadership and command capabilities of candidates. In all the earlier exercises, the natural leaders are allowed to emerge. But in some cases, where there are more than one natural leaders, the strongest one will overshadow rest of them. Similarly, a person who is shy by nature, may not be able to exhibit his leadership qualities in a group of equals and hence an opportunity is given to such candidates to show their worth in a formalised situation, where they are declared leaders. In the command task the nature of obstacles and facilitating material remain the same. The only change is that one candidate is nominated as a formal leader, asked to choose his team, plans to negotiate the obstacle and finally executes the plan. The candidate's judgement, planning and analytical capabilities are checked and his

capabilities to get a task executed are also tested. The candidate must, therefore, choose his team carefully, choosing the best candidates who are cooperative and physically strong. This reflects his objective assessment of subordinates. Then the leader must explain to his men the objective or task, the facilitating material available to them and spell out the plan as to how he planned to accomplish the task. The plan should be clear and spelt out in clear and commanding manner. After explaining the task to his men, the leader should go ahead with the proper execution of the task by properly supervising and giving supplementary instructions if required. Normally, the work should be got executed from the chosen candidates, but in case some part of obstacle negotiation needs his assistance, he should be ready to do so. At times, the commander may find it difficult to plan a solution to the obstacle. Under such a situation, the commander may ask the members of the group to suggest to him the possible solution. Individual Obstacles There are 10 obstacles which are required to be negotiated by every individual within a stipulated period of 3 minutes. The obstacles are not very tough and can be negotiated by any candidate with average physical fitness. These obstacles include climbing ropes, jumping, swinging on ropes, climbing wall, walking over a beam and parallel ropes, etc. The relatively difficult obstacles carry higher marks and easier ones have lesser. In case a candidate can repeat some of the obstacles, after completing all in the given time period, such a candidate gets more than maximum marks to the extent of repetition of obstacles. To do well at this test, the candidate must try to achieve a particular level of physical fitness before proceeding to the SSB interviews. Easier obstacles should be attempted first and even if one is unable to complete all the obstacles within three minutes, one should be satisfied as in the words of one GTO "armed forces need officers, not monkeys". Nevertheless, this test aims at looking for bare minimum level of physical fitness, which can be built up by rigorous pre-commission training in the Training Acadmeies. Lecturette Lecturette is last in the series of GTO's tests and is aimed at testing the speech of a candidate. A leader should be able to speak effectively, attract attention while he is talking, have a clear head and clear line of thinking. These qualities are tested by giving a small test to the candidates known as lecturette. This candidate is given about four topic of general nature which do not need any specialised knowledge. The candidates are required to select one topic, prepare for three minutes and then deliver a speech to the group for a period of three minutes. While taking this test, the candidate must select the subject/topic on which he is fully confident of having enough knowledge and material to speak for three minutes. Unnecessary movements of hands, legs, fingers etc should be avoided and the speech should be delivered in a pleasant but authoritative voice. The views expressed should be balanced and extreme positions in views should be avoided. The clarity of thoughts and ideas must be insured. It is evident from the above that the GTO's test is a comprehensive test of one's personality. An objective assessment of personality of the candidates is made by observing their behaviour in a group and as a leader as well. Capabilities of the candidates like knowledge, expression, leadership, initiative, physical fitness, planning capabilities, understanding, disposition, grasp and task orientation, etc are tested by following a comprehensive and objective method of personality test. The GTO makes the assessment by assigning marks in each of the six exercises and then finally allots the aggregate marks on the basis of overall average assessment.

Personal interview is the last hurdle in the selection process to the defence forces through SSB Interviews, apart from the medical examination. Every candidate is tested by a psychologist, G.T.O. and finally by the President or Deputy President of the Selection Board. The aim of the personal interview is to have a closer look at the personality of every candidate through conversation in friendly discussion. To keep the interview formal and the candidate at ease, only one interviewer interacts with the candidate. The information given by the candidate, on the very first day in the questionnaire, forms the initial basis for questions during the course of interview. Conduct At an average, every interview lasts about 30-40 minutes. The President of the Board begins in a very friendly manner by asking very personal questions from the candidates like name, detail of the brothers and sisters, occupation of parents, names of good friends, place to which the candidate belonged. About 10 minutes-time is devoted on these questions so that the candidate is put at ease. Name of the educational institutions where one studied, subjects offered, marks obtained etc are a few other questions that may be initially expected. In addition to putting a candidate at ease, the President also observes the qualities of friendliness and the ease with which one can handle simple and personal questions. Other questions in the interview may be about games played, hobbies, girl/boy friends and the means adopted by the candidate to remain fit. As a young and educated person, one is expected to either play or have keen interest in some games. Similarly, every person is expected to have a hobby, be it reading, playing games, swimming, driving, gardening, philately, riding, photography or travelling. Every young candidate, aspiring to become an officer in the armed forces, is also expected to have friendship with the opposite sex. Hence all these questions must be answered accordingly. Final part of the personal interview may include a few questions on current topics, general knowledge, some imaginary situation for reaction and small simple problems for judging the administrative planning capabilities of the candidate. Problem solving may be judged by depicting a simple real-life imaginary situation involving the brothers, sisters, parents or friends to which reaction of the candidate is judged. Similarly, a small administrative problem may be given to a candidate including organisation of a match or a picnic. The candidate is then asked to give his/her step by step planning and execution and perception of happening of the event, without its actually taking place. How to tackle? As has been hinted above, the questions in the interview must be tackled very carefully. The candidates should not be in a hurry to reply the questions. The questions should be properly understood and after considering the contents for a while, reply should be given. Regarding personal questions, the candidates should be careful that they do not hide material facts or try to give wrong facts. It must be understood clearly that the President conducting the inverview handles several candidates every day and does the same thing over the years. Moreover, he is trained to interview candidates in such a manner as the truth comes out. Any attempt to hide some facts or give wrong facts will be certainly picked up by the experienced President and they usually make the candidate realise during the interview itself that he/she was trying to bluff. Moreover, no candidate is expected to be perfect, as every human being does have some weaknesses. However, it should also be ensured that no unnecessary details are given by the candidate. The replies should be to the point and relevant to the questions asked.

The same principle applies to the other questions like games played, hobbies pursued and friends (particularly from the opposite sex) held. The games which are stated to be played by the candidate should be ones about which the candidate has complete knowledge and is able to reply to most of the questions. Similarly, the interviewer devotes a lot of time to the hobby named by the candidate. The candidates must, therefore, make sure that the hobbies and games they name must be fully known to them. Rather than bluffing in this regard, it is better to give a negative reply. Moreover, as earlier pointed out it is good to have friends from the opposite sex with healthy and friendly relations. But in case there is no such friend, the fact should be admitted without hesitation. Finally, the questions on current affairs and general knowledge need a little-bit of brushing up of knowledge in this field. Regular readers of "The Competition Master" normally do not find much difficulty in tackling this part. Candidates who feel less confident in this part are advised to consult the General Knowledge Refresher by O.P. Khanna. The questions on the reactions in given situations have to be handled very carefully. The candidates must grasp situation completely, clarify the doubts if any and after taking some time to think, come out clearly with the course of action. Choosing a right course of action is not very difficult. The candidates must imagine themselves in similar situation and consider the most probable course of action which would be taken by them, which invariably is also the right solution to the problem. In their reactions, the candidates must not bring in any artificiality and unnecessary heroism. They should react as if they would have done in a similar real life situation. Due care, therefore, must be exercised as this is one of the most crucial aspects of the interview. Two more questions which must be prepared properly arre (a) "Why do you want to join the Defence Forces?"; (b) "If you are not selected what would you do?" These are oftenrepeated questions and must be answered very honestly and correctly, without any exaggeration. Balanced Behaviour While proper replies to the questions are important balanced conduct of the candidates is still more important. The candidates should avoid use of slangs and be very respectful to interviewer. Use of language and expression are the plus points but the candidates are usually not penalised for weak expression, as it is believed that the problems of fluency and expression are overcome during the training period. The candidates must be composed and maintain their poise. Lack of confidence in replying to the questions reflects lack of knowledge and self-confidence. At the same time one must not be over confident or arrogant. The interviewers are trained to identify the signals sent by the body language alongwith the spoken word. Whatever is spoken from the mouth must be reflected from the eyes of the candidate as well the tone of his/her voice. Hence, body language must be controlled to convey the same meaning as the word of the mouth. Any contradiction reveals the untruthful intention of the candidate. It should, however, be kept in mind that no unnecessary gesticulations are made with hands and sitting posture is also proper, as recommended for the interviews. The appearance and bearing of the candidate helps in making a good first impression. The clothes need not be new or highly fashionable and bright, but should be sober and properly cleaned. Hair should be properly groomed and hands should be properly cleaned with the nails cleanly cut. While describing their achievements, the candidates should be modest without being boastful and while admitting weaknesses and failures, they should not be ashamed or evasive. There must be eye-contact with the interviewer for most part of the interview.

Interview Etiquettes In addition to the above there are certain established interview etiquettes which must be strictly adhered to. One must enter the room after seeking permission. On entering the room, the candidate must suitably wish the interviewer and should sit only when he/she is asked to do so. On being offered a seat, one is expected to thank the interviewer. In case the President offers a hand for handshake, it must be shaken firmly, but the candidates, on their own should not initiate shaking the hands. Seat should be taken promptly and the candidate should sit properly and if possible in an upright manner. The interviewee should offer a bright and cheerful face. If the President calls for a cup of tea or lights a cigarette and also offers to a candidate, it should be declined gracefully, without annoying him. In a very few cases if the President asks some irritating and personally offending questions, the candidates must not loose their poise and temper. Such a question may be aimed at seeing whether or not a candidate gets provoked easily. The candidates should also show flexibility and admit his/her mistakes, if any pointed out by the President. If a question is not clearly understood or heard, the President may be requested politely to repeat it as there is no harm in it. As the interview is over, the candidates should thank the President, get up without battling with the chair, wish him appropriately and quietly leave the room. The questions like "How have I done Sir?" should not be asked by the candidates while leaving the interview room. Conference The last stage in the selection process is the conference which takes place on the last day. During the earlier three stages, three selectors i.e. the psychologist, G.T.O. and the President carry out their tests independently. At the conference all the three selectors sit together, call the interviewee and ask two-three formal and routine questions. Candidates who qualify in all the three tests independently are declared successful. All those failing in all or any two are declared unsuccessful. A few candidates marginally failing in one of the tests, may expect a couple of more absorbing questions, including a situation, and on the basis of reply offered by the candidate, final decision about his/her selection is taken. The result is announced soon after the conclusion of the conference and all those who are selected are required to stay back for the medical examination, which takes another three to four days. Medical Examination The selected candidates are then required to undergo medical examination. Prior to the medical examination, a form is given to the candidates to be filled which mainly relates to the past medical history of the candidate as well as his/her members of the family. The candidates who pass all the medical tests are finally declared as successful and may expect a call to join the training academy concerned within a month or two of the selection. However, the call letters are issued after clubbing the marks obtained in the written examination of the UPSC as well as marks obtained in the interview. At times it may so happen that even a candidate getting through in the interview finally, may not get a call to join at the concerned training academy if the number of vacancies is less or the candidate is very low in the order of merit. Hence, the candidates are advised not to leave their studies or jobs till they rceive a call to join at the training academy concerned.