Service Selection Board | SSB Interview Procedure


 SSB Interview Procedure: Defence Services namely Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy are one of the finest institutions of our country. These institutions are looked upon by every one for several virtues like discipline, dedication, commitment, adventure etc. These institutions provide a very clean and healthy environment to work and live with a sense of pride and honour. In the yesteryears, only the elite sections of the society could join the services as an officer and it was a matter of prestige to be associated with the armed forces. However, post 90s the luster of working abroad or working in multinational companies and earning huge sums of money diverted the youth to these lustrous jobs and less numbers aspired to join the defence forces. However, within a span of two decades reality has dawned upon our youth and the latest trend is that engineers working in best of companies like TCS, WIPRO etc. aspire for defence careers. Thus, the armed forces have stood the test of time.

Highlights of Career as an Officer

  • As an officer one enjoys a great sense of purpose of serving the motherland
  • Wearing the uniform gives a sense of pride and honour
  • Opportunity to lead a large team at a very young age
  • Fantastic camaraderie and team work
  • Disciplined and orderly life style
  • Best of training and education
  • Sports and adventure
  • Work life balance and overall well – being


Selection Centres

The Indian Army has three selection centres across the country. These are Selection Centre East at Allahabad, selection Centre Central at Bhopal and Selection Centre South at Bangalore. In all, there are 10 Services Selection Boards of the Army which are organized as follows:-

  • Selection Centre East, Allahabad – 11 SSB, 14 SSB, 18 SSB, 19 SSB, 34 SSB
  • Selection Centre Central, Bhopal – 20 SSB, 21 SSB, 22 SSB
  • Opportunity to lead a large team at a very young age
  • Selection Centre south, Bangalore – 17 SSB, 24 SSB

The Navy has two SSBs, one each at Bhopal and Bangalore and one Naval Selection Board at Coimbatore. Three more boards are under formation at Visakhapatnam. The Air Force has three boards namely,

  • No. 1 Air Force Selection Board at Dehradun
  • No. 2 Air Force Selection Board at Mysore
  • No. 3 Air Force Selection Board at Varanasi


Testing Schedule

Unlike other organizations, the Selection process in the armed forces is very elaborate and is done over five days. Three different assessors namely the Interviewing officer, Group Testing Officer and the Psychologist test each candidate from three different perspectives and arrive at their respective decision. Thereafter, on the last day in the board conference, they all sit together and discuss each case to arrive at the final decision. The schedule of testing is described below.

Reporting Day: Normally, candidates are made to report in the afternoon and are picked up by a bus from the railway station. On reporting, they are given an opening briefing by the duty GTO covering the testing schedule, dos and don’ts etc. after that the candidates are asked to fill up a personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) form. The PIQ forms the basis of psychological testing and the interview. The importance of this form and how to go about filling this are covered later.

Day 1 – Candidates are put through a screening test which comprises of intelligence tests followed by picture perception and discussion test. Based on the performance in these tests some of the candidates are retained for stage 2 testing and others are allowed to return home the same day. Hence, qualifying in this test is most important.

Day 2 – On day 2, candidates screened in on day 1 are put through psychological tests which comprise of Word Association Test (WAT), Thematic Apperception test (TAT ) and Situation Reaction Test (SRT). In addition, the candidates are asked to describe themselves (Self Description). On Completion of these tests, the interview will start.

Day 3 – Candidates go through Group Testing on day 3 and 4. Candidates are divided into groups of 6 to 10 each depending upon the total candidates screened in. On day 3 Group Discussion (GD), Group planning Exercise (GPE), Progressive Group Task (PGT), Group obstacle Race (GOR), Half Group Task (HGT) and Lecturette are conducted. In some cases even the Individual Obstacles can be conducted on day 3 itself depending upon the weather and engagements of the assessor. On completion of the GTO testing, the interviews of the remaining candidates are done.

Day 4 – On day 4, the remaining tasks of the Group Testing like Individual Obstacles, Command Task and final Group Task are conducted. On completion of group testing, interview of the remaining candidates are done.

Day 5 – Last day is the conference day wherein each candidate is called in one by one for a final look and a final decision is arrived at. The results are announced by afternoon and candidates not recommended are allowed to leave.

Day 6 to 10 – Successful candidates are put through medicals in the nearest military hospital and on an average it takes five days to complete. Those who fail in the medicals are allowed to appeal to the nearest military hospital within 45 days.

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