Officer Like Qualities (OLQs)

We have heard that Defense aspirants must have Officer Like Qualities (OLQs) in order to be selected in SSB Interview. But what are these Officer Like Qualities, are they inherent in a person or can be developed, and if they can be developed, how to develop them. This article covers only Officer Like Qualities.

OLQs are 15 qualities which a candidate must possess if he wishes to become an Officer. These are not very different but the general qualities which differentiate a normal person from an Officer.

The way a person reacts to a problem, the way he thinks, the way he deals with his everyday life, the way he presents himself and the way he behaves with people around him are various ways to know about a person. A person’s surroundings and upbringing plays a very important role in making up his personality. It results in developing certain qualities in different amounts.

Candidates are tested in SSB Interview to find out whether they possess these qualities or not. An Officer must have these qualities:-

 Planning and Organization

  • Effective intelligence:- This is the quality to use intelligence and make a rational decision. This is of utmost importance, during a difficult situation to come up with a plausible outcome. An officer must have this because he needs to make quick decisions with a clear mind in order to save the lives of his men.


  • Reasoning ability:- This is the quality to quickly grasp a piece of information and arrive at a conclusion with rational thinking. An officer does not have much time to go over the problem and make decisions by thinking for a long time. He should be able to quickly understand the situation and find a logical solution.


  • Organizing ability:- This is the quality to make the optimum use of the given resources, i.e. to use the right thing at the right time in the right quantity. Officers do not have many resources with them when they are working outdoors or in some remote area. They need to be prudent while using their resources.


  • Power of Expression:- The quality to express your ideas in clear terms. An Officer should be a good orator and should speak fluently with confidence in order to put his ideas clearly for everyone to understand. He should also be a good listener.

Social Adjustment

  • Social adaptability:- This a very important quality i.e. the quality to adjust with different people in different environments. An officer should not get habitual of a place or people. He should be dynamic enough to embrace the changes.


  • Co-operation:- This is the quality to co-operate with each other, helping each other and working in harmony within a group. Officers are required to live with a troop of men and are required to perform in groups. This quality is quite essential to be an Officer.


  • A sense of responsibility:- This is the quality to perform a given duty with all the dedication with an understanding of taking full responsibility for the consequences. An Officer is required to make quick decisions for his men knowing that he would be responsible for the consequences and he cannot perform his duty unless he has the sense of responsibility.

Social Effectiveness

  • Initiative:- This is the quality/ ability to take an initiative of an unfamiliar task when no one else is ready to. It shows that the person understands the risks and rewards and is willing to take the chance. It is a courageous move.


  • Self-Confidence:- This is the quality to believe in oneself during unfamiliar and stressful situations. One should be confident about himself even when no one is. It helps an Officer to win at a situation when no one else is sure that he would.


  • The speed of decision:- A decision of an officer holds the life of his soldiers. An officer should have the ability to make right, workable decision after thinking judiciously. This is an important quality.


  • Ability to influence group:- It is another very important quality of an officer. What an officer says should have an impact on his soldiers. He should have the quality to convince his people and bring about a willing effect from the group.


  • Liveliness:- Everybody like people with a smiling face. An officer should be cheerful no matter how big a problem he is dealing with.


  • Resourcefulness:- An Officer must have the quality to make the best in every situation with whatever resources available with him. Even if the means are not available to him, he is required to cope with the situation and perform it at his best with the available resources.


  • Determination:- An Officer must be determined to achieve his goal despite all the obstacles in his way. He should have a firm resolution and a will power to keep going.


  • Courage:- This is a quality that whether a person is prepared to take bold risks if needed. And there is a fine line between courage and foolishness.


  • Stamina:- This is one of the most important qualities for an officer. He should have good stamina. It is the ability to endure both physical and mental stress and keep working.


These are the Officer Like Qualities (OLQs) which a candidate should have in him if he wishes to become an Officer. A candidate can develop qualities like Stamina, communication skills, etc. but when it comes to truthfulness, integrity, and honesty, these cannot be developed.

So now you know what interviewer will try to find in you, so better start changing yourself for the good.

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