5 Days SSB Interview Procedure: The Ultimate Guide to Crack SSB Interview

By Naveen Singh|Updated : August 6th, 2021

Check 5-day SSB Interview procedure here. This article will provide you with complete details of all the tests in the SSB Interview. This information is useful for all the candidates who appear in SSB interview for CDS, NDA, TES, TGC, UES, TA, INET, AFCAT etc.

A major hurdle in the way of defence aspirants after clearing the written exam such as CDS & NDA, AFCAT is the SSB Interview which is conducted by the respective military institution - Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.

Table of Content

Check 5-day SSB Interview procedure here. This article will provide you with complete details of all the tests in the SSB Interview. This information is useful for all the Aspirants who appear in SSB interviews for CDS, NDA, TES, TGC, UES, TA, INET, AFCAT, etc.

A major hurdle in the way of defense aspirants after clearing the written exam such as CDS & NDA, AFCAT is the SSB Interview which is conducted by the respective military institution - Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.

SSB Interview Procedure

The Aspirants that clear written exams such as CDS, NDA, TA, INET and AFCAT are then called by respective military boards for SSB Interview. One can also appear for SSB Interview by getting shortlisted direct entries - TES, TGC, UES, SSC Tech etc.

The selected students then need to appear before a Service Selection Board for an Intelligence and Personality Test.

The SSB interview is directed to check a Aspirant possessing 15-character traits called “Officer Like Qualities”. The mechanism to check the done by the following procedure:

  1. Mansa (which means thoughts; Psychological tests are conducted for this)
  2. Vacha (which means speech; Interview conducted for this)
  3. Karma (which means deeds or actions; Group testing is done for this)

Day 0 (Reporting):

  • The Aspirants are usually received at the station by an officer(s) of the board and from there they are taken to the selection centre.
  • After the Aspirants are settled in, an ‘Opening Address’ takes place where an officer of the board briefs the Aspirants of their stay for the next 5 days.
  • Document Verification takes place after that where the original documents of the Aspirants are verified.
  • In some boards (esp. Air Force) the Reporting day is regarded as the Day 1 of SSB and the testing starts on the same day

Day 1 (Screening):

The first day involves 3 tests:

Officer Intelligence Rating Test (OIR Test):

The first day involves ‘Officer Intelligence Rating Test’ which consists of Verbal and Non-verbal Tests. The Aspirant gets two booklets having 40 questions each. The time allotted for each booklet is 15- 17 minutes.

For more details click here - Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR)

Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PP&DT):

This test can be further categorized into:

  • Picture Perception: An image is displayed for the time period of 30 seconds and the Aspirants need to note down its details such as sex, age, and mood of the characters, action performed by them. The Aspirants then create a story based on that image in a time period of 4 minutes.
  • Group Discussion: A group of 10-15 Aspirants is formed from the batch and each Aspirant needs to narrate his/her story and then discuss it in the group, to reach a common consensus.

For more details click here - Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT)

The results are declared after which the shortlisted Aspirants are retained for the subsequent round of testing.

Day 2 (Psychology Test):

On the second day of SSB, a Psychological Test is conducted. Following tests take place on this day:

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT):

Aspirants are shown 12 images (including 1 blank) and then they need to write a story on each for 4 minutes. The time limit is imposed to gauge the natural response of each Aspirant.

For more details click here - Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

  • Word Association Test (WAT):

60 words are displayed in front of the Aspirants for 15 seconds each and the Aspirants need to write down a sentence which comes to their mind on seeing the word.

For more details click here - Word Association Test (WAT)

  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT):

A booklet is given to the Aspirants with 60 real-life situations and the Aspirants are required to write their reactions to those situations. The total duration for this exercise is 30 minutes.

For more details click here -  Situation Reaction Test (SRT)

  • Self-Description Test (SDT):

Aspirants need to write few paragraphs covering their self-description for the context given. For instance, writing the opinion of their parents, teachers, friends etc. and the qualities the Aspirants wish to develop. Time allotted for this test is 15 minutes.

These tests are aimed to gauge the psychological suitability of a Aspirant for the defence forces.

Day 3 (Group Testing - I):

Day 3 involves Group Testing. Here several outdoor tests are conducted where the Aspirants need to take part in groups. This day involves the following group tests:

  • Group Discussion:

The group discussion is conducted on two topics back to back on some current events or social issues. The discussion is usually of 20-30 minutes each.

  • Group Planning Exercise (GPE):

Here the Aspirants are clubbed in the group of 10 – 15 people and are then given a story based on a model having certain issues. Aspirants need to identify the issues and provide a practical solution for it.

  • Progressive Group Task (PGT):

Aspirants need to overcome the 4 given obstacles collectively in a group for which they are given some helping material and a load with some rules.

  • Group Obstacle Race (GOR):

Commonly referred to as Snake race, each group is required to compete against another group for 6 given obstacles.

  • Half Group Task (HGT):

This exercise is like PGT, but it is conducted with a smaller group over a single obstacle.

Day 4 (Group Testing - II):

This day is again dedicated to Group Testing. Following tests are conducted on this day:

  • Lecturette:

Each Aspirant is presented with 4 topics out of which he needs to choose one and speak on it for a period of 3 minutes.

Click Here for topics of Lecturette

  • Individual Obstacles (IO):

Each Aspirant needs to clear 10 given obstacles in a time period of 3 minutes which are marked from 1-10 based on the difficulty level.

  • Command Task (CT):

Each Aspirant made the commander and is given an obstacle similar to HGT which he/she needs to overcome with the help of his subordinates.

  • Final Group Task (FGT):

The entire group is reunited and required to complete the assigned task similar to PGT in the stipulated time.

Personal Interview:

Personal Interviews are generally conducted during Day 2, 3 and 4 after the respective daily tasks have been completed. Interviews are usually related to everyday experiences, work, education, family, hobbies, achievements in academics, general awareness etc. 
Clack here for preparation strategy to clear the interview.

Click Here for more details on Personal Interview 

Day 5 (Conference):

Day 5 is the last day in which the assessor starts with a closing address, then the conference of Aspirants starts.

  • A board conference is conducted where all the officers who assessed the Aspirants in the previous days are present. Each assessor discusses among themselves with respect to the suitability of a Aspirant.
  • Each Aspirant then appears individually before the board where their total assessment is narrated, and the board makes a recommendation accordingly.
  • The Aspirants who are borderline are given certain situations and then a collective decision is taken.

After the result is announced the shortlisted Aspirants are retained for further medical examinations.


More from us:

Important Study Notes for Defence Exams

Defence Specific Notes

Weekly Current Affairs

Current Affairs Quiz

SSB Interview Tips

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Posted by:

Naveen SinghNaveen SinghMember since Jan 2019
Recommended twice for Indian Army in 2011 & 2017. Cleared NDA, CDSE, AFCAT, CAPF Exams.
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Aditya Raj

Aditya RajMay 26, 2020

Sir for the  air force flying branch,is this same ?
Kella Kusuma Priya
Sir ...can U also provide detailed explanation regarding Medical Examination
Deepak Singh
How to prepare for Army technical graduate course??
Aryan Khare
Your article is really awesome, i shared it with my all friends. You are doing really a great work. If anyone need help about nda syllabus then click here.
NDA syllabus
...Read More
Nishant Kumar
Thank u sir for your help

FirdoseMar 5, 2021

Girls  can also join in cds sir..?
Lata Kathayat
Thankyou sir
Pranali Kishorrao Dafade
Thank you so much sir
Om Kumar

Om KumarJul 24, 2021

It is a very good article, I got so many information from this
Thanks for publishing


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  • The two tests conducted on day 1 of SSB Interview is verbal and non-verbal reasoning and picture perception and discussion test.

  • Group discussion takes place on day 3 and day 4 of SSB interview.

  • On day 2 of SSB interview Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT) and Word Association Test (WAT) takes place

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