How to Crack NDA SSB Interview? Check Tips & Tricks

Have you ever wondered why the SSB interview is conducted over five days? There can be various reasons, like competitiveness, psychological expectations, physical and mental fitness, a detailed assessment of personality traits, and so on. However, apart from these reasons, another major aspect is that the Indian Armed Forces never compromise when selecting the right fit. That being the case, the SSB interview in the armed forces takes longer than interviews in other sectors. In this article, we will discuss how to crack an NDA SSB interview with the help of some smart tips and tricks. Read on to learn more about how NDA aspirants can excel in the SSB interview by following the below tips.

The Indian Armed Forces always look for candidates who have an adaptable personality that also aligns with officer-like qualities. The Services Selection Board (SSB) filters candidates based on how balanced their personality is; it should be neither too high nor too low. The SSB interview revolves around various aspects of the balanced personality of a candidate. For example, he or she should have a higher degree of social adjustment, emotional stability, intellectual ability, physical and mental endurance, flexibility in approach, presence of mind, and, of course, self-confidence at the center. The objective of mentioning these points is to make NDA aspirants aware that they need to follow such aspects of the SSB interview as well. Let us now see the important tips on how to crack the NDA SSB interview with good marks.

  • Understand the Basics of the SSB Interview

All such NDA aspirants who are going to appear for their SSB must focus on understanding the basics of the SSB interview. It includes getting familiar with the entire SSB interview process, the stages in the 5-day long assessment, the time given for each assessment, the importance of different tasks, the types of questions that can be asked, and so on. It further includes exploring all the tasks that are there in the SSB interview, understanding their meaning and importance, and what should be the approach to tackle them and score adequate marks in each.

As a very famous phrase says, “Well planned is half done”, knowing the basics of the SSB interview will help you plan your SSB preparation. NDA aspirants should also remember that good planning leads to a good beginning, and a good beginning not only assures success but doubles the chances of getting a recommendation in the SSB interview.

  • Practice is a must to clear the Screening Phase

Once you report for the SSB interview at a particular center, the process begins with the screening phase, which includes OIR tests and PP&DT. I hope you are familiar with these two screening tests in the SSB interview. For OIR, the focus should be on both verbal and non-verbal reasoning, and for PP&DT, story writing, individual narration of the story, and group discussion are important. In PP&DT, the focus goes beyond simply identifying a hero. It’s about recognizing the need for that hero and understanding the importance of various elements that contribute to a well-rounded story. Let’s look at the nine important points to better understand the essence of PP&DT and the screening test overall.

  1. Hero Identification
  2. Observation and Perception
  3. Planning and Dedication
  4. Short-term, Feasible Task
  5. Idea Generation
  6. Situational Awareness
  7. Maturity and Relevance
  8. Motivation and Self-Management
  9. Avoiding Criticism and Repetition

The SSB mentors at Centurion Defence Academy have made PP&DT as easy as falling off a log. NDA aspirants should take note that PP&DT is not all about identifying the “hero” of the story but also identifying the need of the hero, the action of the hero, how to organize the story, and how to interpret it. With the help of certain psychological tools like perceptual clarity, object recognition, and experimental psychology, Centurion Defence Academy provides the best SSB coaching not only for PP&DT but also for all other assessments in the SSB interview.

  • Focus on Psychological Tests (TAT, WAT, SRT, SDT)

Only those candidates who clear the screening phase get the chance to participate in further tests in the SSB interview. After completion of the screening test, the next stage includes a series of psychological tests, which include the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), the Word Association Test (WAT), the Situation Reaction Test (SRT), and the Self-Description Test (SDT). These four psychological assessments in the SSB interview measure the big five personality traits of candidates. Have you ever wondered why a series of psychological tests are conducted in the SSB interview? The primary intent behind conducting the battery of psychological tests in SSB is to assess where you stand when measured against the big five personality traits. These psychological traits of personality are as follows:

  1. Extraversion
  2. Agreeableness
  3. Openness
  4. Conscientiousness 
  5. Neuroticism

Meaning of the Big Five Personality Traits

Extraversion: The Psychology of Humor defines extraversion as the general tendency to experience positive emotions, as well as traits such as being sociable, lively, and active.

Agreeableness: Wikipedia defines agreeableness as a personality trait that manifests as behavior that is perceived as kind, sympathetic, cooperative, warm, frank, and considerate.

Openness: Oxford defines openness as the acceptance of or receptiveness to change or new ideas. In other words, we can term it as the quality of being receptive to new ideas, opinions, or arguments.

Conscientiousness: Wikipedia mentions conscientiousness as the personality trait of being careful or diligent. It implies a desire to do a task well and manifests characteristic behaviors such as being neat, systematic, careful, and thorough.

Neuroticism: Psychology Today defines neuroticism as a general tendency toward negative emotions such as worry about things, being easily disturbed, having frequent mood swings, getting irritated easily, etc.

The way you illustrate your power of imagination and cognitive ability in TAT, the way you write your WAT responses, the way you react to different situations in SRT, and the way you write your self-description in SDT — each and every task in the psych part of SSB displays the traits of your personality. Again, practice under the right mentorship plays a crucial role in the psychological tests. NDA aspirants preparing for SSB can join the best SSB guidance program by Centurion Defence Academy, where they will get exposure to different aspects of the SSB interview under the able guidance of India’s elite SSB panel.

  • GTO Tasks hold equal importance in SSB

After the psychological assessments, the next stage in the SSB interview includes nine tasks by the Group Testing Officer, popularly referred to as GTO tasks. NDA aspirants should note that the GTO tasks hold equal importance in the SSB interview process. GTO tasks are entirely a part of ground tasks, in which the officer assesses your social adjustments, group coordination, team spirit, self-confidence, ability to influence the group, communication ability, and general intelligence. When it comes to the best GTO ground for SSB preparation, Centurion Defence Academy stands out as a leading light. Centurion has the best GTO ground with 165+ obstacles where you get hands-on training for the best performance in every GTO task at the actual SSB.

  • Your PIQ is the nucleus of the Personal Interview

Sir Shishir Dixit, the Founder-Director and Chief SSB Mentor (Psychology) at Centurion Defence Academy, remarks that the Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) is the Janam Kundli of a candidate, and thus it acts as a nucleus in the Personal Interview. He further says that PIQ consists of 95% of a candidate’s past information. He is of the view that if a candidate has worked hard, grabbed opportunities in life, taken responsibilities in his early life, and utilized available resources judiciously, it is well reflected in his PIQ. Apart from current affairs and military awareness, the Interviewing Officer (IO) asks the majority of questions from PIQ only. Therefore, an NDA aspirant should fill out his PIQ form neatly under the proper guidance.

Apart from the above tips to excel in the NDA SSB interview, you should also focus on current affairs by reading newspapers, etc. Besides, military awareness becomes equally important when preparing for any defence exam. Thus, you should also know the brief history of the Indian Armed Forces, their wings, headquarters, commands, regiments, chiefs, important wars, missions, and recent developments.

NDA SSB Coaching in India

Join India’s Best NDA SSB Coaching for Complete Guidance

Centurion Defence Academy stands out as the best NDA SSB coaching in India for complete guidance. Join Centurion’s 21-Day SSB program and boost your preparation under the right mentorship of defence professionals and ex-armed officers, who have vast experience in guiding and mentoring thousands of defence aspirants for excellent performance in the SSB interview. Centurion Defence Academy is a leading defence coaching institute, with many of its students, either getting training at different academies like NDA, OTA, IMA, AFA, and INA or serving in different capacities in the Indian Armed Forces. Join Centurion’s 21-day SSB course and ensure your recommendation to be a part of the elite armed forces of our nation.

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