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My dear Friend,

God bless you!

1. The process of SSB is most scientific method to find out your true
personality. As their advertisement says: "Do You Have It In You?" If you have it
in you, they will find out. Approach the entire process confidently and with open
mind. There is nothing stopping you!

2. A gentleman with whom I was traveling in train and sharing berth was an
SSB Official. He happened to share some information on SSB Interview. When I
asked him about how the evaluation of candidates is done; he said, all the
candidates are categorized in 5 grades A, B, C, D, and E. The Candidates in A,
B and E grades are rejected. The logic for the same was an eye opener for me.

3. “A” and “B” are too intelligent and hence cannot be trained efficiently to
become officers. They are the ones who are more likely to be potential
Musharafs! An “E” grade candidate simply doesn’t have the aptitude to become
an officer. Thus, after eliminating A B and E; “C” and “D” are the only guys, who
have the potential; and they are the ones who can be trained and molded to
become officers.

4. First and foremost: Do not try to pose what you are not. Be honest, natural
and down to earth. If one is trying to cheat during the process of SSB Interview, it
will be easily detected by the Group Testing Officers (or GTOs), the Interviewing
Officers and the Psychologist who have been specially trained to conduct this
process of interview. And mind you, they have vast experience of judging
hundreds (rather thousands) of potential officers wanting to join the Armed
Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force), who come for SSB Interview as candidates,
from different states and variety of family background.

5. The SSB interview is spread over duration of 4 to 5 days and it involves


different types of tests to find out your Personality; your Leadership Qualities;
and your Psychological build up! A word of caution here, even if you clear the
other tests; unless the Psychologist finds you fit to become an OFFICER, you will
not be selected by the SSB.

6. If you have sufficient time at your disposal, you may join some coaching
class; but it is not a must and it is not going to help much. My son (Lt Shirish
Sayanakar, now posted to 2 J&K LI) got precisely 5-6 days to prepare for his
SSB Interview. Since he is a good sportsman, he did not have any problem in
doing the OBSTACLE COURSE and other PHYSICAL TASKS during his SSB
interview. All I showed him was a set of obstacles (fortunately) available in the
close vicinity of my house. Rest was left to him to update himself about General
Knowledge, Interview Technique, improve his Physical Fitness and Stamina etc.

7. You can buy or borrow any book about SSB Interview and just go through it
once; which will give you sufficient idea about the entire process. Also, if any of
your friends has undergone this interview recently, he can give you some
practical hints.

8. Like I have already said in the beginning, there is no need of become a


"Parrot" and rattle out things during the SSB Interview. It will not do any good.
During Group Discussions, do not overstep someone else's time or point. You
must speak (in you turn) to the point and add something substantial to the
discussion rather than just repeating what others have said. Do not ridicule
anyone during the Group Discussion. Remember, you can’t prove a point by
raising your voice (or shouting). Also, do not try to sum up the discussion; that is
not your job as a candidate. Leave it for the GTO to do it.

9. In the Group Discussion, some Candidates tend to keep on speaking, even


when they do not have something substantial to say or add, without giving
chance to others. One should know when to speak, when to give chance to
others and more important of all : when to keep one’s mouth shut. Also, the more
one speaks; the more one tends to exhibit "bond like” traits in his personality.

10. Always be positive and that is MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR which is going
to help you during the interview. During Group Tasks, don't be selfish. You have
to help the entire group to perform well, to the best of your ability, so that your
group does well. The success of your group will be your true reward.

11. Whatever I have written above, will definitely help you to perform well. It is
the test of your personality which can not be built overnight. It is the test of the
leadership qualities in you which can't be "imported". These are part of your
mental set up (nay personality) and would depend as to how you have been
brought up and what constructive activities you have been involved in during your
student/social life.

12. If there is any Service Officer (Army, Navy or Air Force) near your place, do
visit him and ask for some positive inputs about. Mind you, there will be some
"Well Wishers" who will tell you only the negative aspects about the Armed
Forces. Just avoid them. It is not going to help. Your outlook must be positive!

13. Kindly open the following link on internet:


www.indianarmy.nic.in/career.hotmail. It will give you some inputs which will
come handy as general information. Also, you can try
www.joinindianarmy.nic.in. This is also of some help.
14. In my personal and frank opinion, SSB is a test of your aptitude and
nothing else. SSB preparation doesn’t guarantee your selection. It only reduces
your nervousness and nothing else.

15. I was once speaking to a GTO who said that, if you have it in you, then
you'll get selected without even an ounce of SSB coaching or preparation. And if
you don’t have it in you, then even 5 years of SSB Coaching won’t get you
through the selection rounds.

16. When I asked a GTO, what is it that he would be looking for in the
candidates during the SSB Interview? He replied:-

(a) Natural Intelligence,


(b) Natural Communicative Skills,
(c) Natural Team Work; and
(d) 15 Officer Like Qualities (OLQs).

17. Be Natural, the GTO was referring to those traits and characteristics that
one is born with and also one has developed over the past 19 to 22 years; and
NOT in some 30 days stint with SSB Coaching Class.

18. Infact I was also just talking to a GTO recently and he was saying that the
biggest problem faced by the Armed Forces is NOT lack of officers; but it is the
lack of QUALITY officers. The GTO went on to say, in 60s-70s-80s, there were
more recommendations than number of seats available; and now there are so
many vacant seats in the academy. This the GTO implied as no fault of the
selection methods but fault of the candidature material.

19. Last but not the least: Be confident of your ability and capability. At the
same time, be careful not to be overconfident. (Don’t forget, there is a very thin
line between being ‘Confident’ and ‘Over Confident’). Be co-operative and helpful
to everyone. Though you all will be competing against each other, let it be a
healthy rivalry. I will pray to the Almighty for your success in the SSB Interview.