Many candidates ask the question “Do we need to prepare for SSB Interview?” The answer is “Yes, obviously”. But I think the question should be what should be prepared? This is an interview and not an exam that has a syllabus. You can read numerous books on SSB or even waste money on some coaching but all you will get is a guidance to go through SSB Interview but they will not prepare you to clear it. All you need to do is to prepare yourself, to evolve yourself in to an Officer, introspect yourself, come up with the changes you need to do in yourself and work on them. This is not a one day job, I agree. We are not talking about mending a little piece of furniture but changing a whole personality into a better one. The IO at SSB centres wants Officers and not boys or girls. So your mentality should be like an Officer which they can mould as per the requirements and develop such a mentality or Officer Like Qualities (OLQ’s), you can go through the following points:-
1) Mentally Strong:- An Officer at some point or the other end up in a situation where he has to make a quick decision and a viable one. IO at SSB put pressure on the candidates to check whether he can handle the pressures in adverse conditions or not. Mental Strength is very important to cope up with any situation or enemy.
2) Language:- It is compulsory to not talk in regional language. There are aspirants from different places and they may feel difficulty in understanding you and vice versa. You have ideas and you have to express them in a manner and language understood by all. English is not compulsory but try to speak it as much as you can.
3) Self-Confidence:- An Army Officer has to be self-confident if he has to lead a troop of soldiers who look up to him for guidance and directions. He has to come up over their expectations. So an Officer has to be Self-confident in his actions and decisions. If you have any idea, make sure it is viable and present it to others with confidence. At the extreme, it will be rejected, what else can go wrong? So be confident and think that at least you tried.
4) Knowledge:- At SSB you are not provided with everything you want but only what you need because in a battlefield or any other situation, resources are always scarce and you have to make the optimal use of the minimum resources available by use of knowledge. If you do not have all the material but knowledge, you will surely win. So apply your knowledge to handle situations with the least resources.
5) Thoughts and their expression:- If you have excellent ideas and thoughts but can’t explain them clearly, they are of no use. An Officer should have clear ideas and thoughts and the ability to express them clearly to everyone. A candidate’s personality is reflected in his thoughts. Develop your communication skills as it is an important quality of an Officer.
6) Listen and Observe Everything:- An Officer needs to be a good listener as well as a good observer who listen to all the important messages among the chaos around him and observes everything around him. It spares him time to ask questions repeatedly and find hidden paths among various obstacles.
7) Self Assessment and improvement:- SSB interview revolves around “You”, your personality, mentality, thoughts, attitude, general behaviour, etc. You are what you are. You can’t pretend to be someone else or copy another better person just to clear the SSB. You need to work on yourself and self-analyze yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, the negative points that need to be eliminated, etc. They don’t need a bookworm with amazing grades but a simple guy who knows himself and others around him and can lead a troop of soldiers. Become a person you wish to see in your leader.
If you wish to become an Officer, I guess you are aware of all the hard work and determination you need to put in to be adorned in the uniform. I have said it earlier and saying it again that in order to develop Officer like mentality you need to develop an Officer’s personality and to work on self-betterment as a person, as a citizen and as an Officer. So what are you waiting for?
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