Best Strategy to Crack CDS SSB Interview in First Attempt

By Naveen Singh|Updated : March 17th, 2020

Strategy to Crack CDS SSB Interview: You are all done and dusted with the written test of the CDS Exam Selection Process but there is more to come. The CDS SSB interviews are fast approaching and is the 2nd and most important step of your CDS selection process. The interview will test the students on their basic aptitude, general awareness, their overall personality and also the personality a candidate carries when he or she presents himself or herself.


Strategy to Crack CDS SSB Interview: You are all done and dusted with the written test of the CDS Exam Selection Process but there is more to come. The CDS SSB interviews are fast approaching and is the 2nd and most important step of your CDS selection process. The interview will test the students on their basic aptitude, general awareness, their overall personality and also the personality a candidate carries when he or she presents himself or herself.

Also, the interviews are mandatory if one aspires to qualify for this exam. A lot of students wonder about how to prepare for CDS SSB interviews. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the CDS exam for admissions to the Indian Military, Naval and Air Force Academy which will pave your way to the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force.

The exam is conducted in offline mode. The whole selection process is divided into two stages: The written exam and the SSB Interview. Also, the SSB Interview is further conducted in two stages: The Psychological Aptitude Test and The Intelligence Test. The number of seats is around 450. The first round tests the candidate in three areas: English, General Knowledge and Elementary Mathematics.

Candidates who qualify in all the three papers make it to the interview. The interviews are just on the doorsteps and it's time to pull up your socks and get ready to ace the interviews. Our interview preparation plan which caters specifically to SSB and can assist you on how to prepare for cds ssb interview and make the best out of the time in hand. Here we are sharing some of the best strategies to crack CDS SSB interview in the first attempt.

Best Strategy to Crack CDS Interview Process

The CDS interview is a 5-day process. This lengthy process tests you on multiple aspects like your overall personality, teamwork and your basic outlook towards life in general. Knowledge plays an important role in the interview process but your personality takes the driver’s seat in the whole process.

  • Take up situations and try out various solutions to those situations

Imagining ends and developing solutions is important in building up your convergent and divergent thinking skills. This will build in your creative cells and will prepare you to take on challenges and then come out of them in multiple ways.

  • Teamwork is really important

You should build up your social skills by interacting with different people. This will build your confidence and you will get to know about multiple perspectives on a common topic or issue. This will build your understanding of multiple subjects and you will emerge as a confident and well-informed person. Interpersonal communication skills will help you get through Group Discussions and other group exercises.

  • Building your general awareness and general knowledge is important

The interviewer will test you on both static general knowledge and current affairs. A well-prepared candidate would be the one who has an aggregate picture of all the domains i.e. business, economics, politics, etc.

  • Analyze your strengths and weaknesses

This is the most important point to remember for your CDS Interview. You should work on your weaknesses and build a concrete wall around strengths. Suppose you are well versed with the current affairs, your focus should now be on building your personality and working on how to present yourself in an interview.

  • Read answers on Quora where people share their interview experiences

These answers provide valuable insights on how to tackle a particular question and how to conduct yourself during an interview

Personality building and group exercises will bring out the best in you and make your interview ready. Take the help of experts and mentors through SSB interview online coaching to structure your preparation. Also, reading books can be a very effective tool to improve your vocabulary. Physical fitness is also taken into consideration when you are planning to make your entry into the defense industry. Exercise regularly. A healthy and fit person leaves a lasting impression on the interviewer.

An overview of the 5-day CDS SSB Interview process

To plan out a better strategy for interview preparation, one must be aware of the rounds which are conducted during the interview. Knowing the SSB interview round details before the interview will prove to be of great help as you can work out on the skills required accordingly.


Rounds conducted


Day 1

The Screening Round

  • Two tests are conducted: Officers' Intelligence and Rating-test (OIR) and Picture Perception and Descriptive Test (PPDT)
  • An elimination round as you have to qualify these two rounds to move to the other rounds

Day 2

The Psychological Aptitude Round

  • Four tests for about 2 hours: Thematic Apperception Test, Word Association Test, Situation Reaction Test and Self-Description Test
  • Aims to check your creativity and presentation skills

Day 3

Group Exercise

  • Conducted by a Group Testing Officer (GTO)
  • Set of 9 tests which may include Obstacle Races, Group Discussions etc.
  • Test of teamwork and endurance

Day 4

Group Exercise and Interview

  • Questions asked based on the Personnel Information Questionnaire
  • A panel headed by a senior officer

Day 5


  • Final day for all except the AFA candidates
  • Introduction session- Introduced to the Board of Officers

Day 6 (Only applicable to AFA Candidates)

Pilot Aptitude and Battery Test (PABT)

  • Aptitude test to be a pilot

An all-round revamping of your personality has to be done to clear the process with flying colors. All the rounds will have to be tackled independently and will need a lot of hard work.

Preparation Tips for CDS SSB Interview Process

Round-wise CDS Interview preparation tips have been given below for you to work on:

1. Screening Round

This is an elimination round as candidates who will qualify this round will be moving ahead. This round tests you on your reasoning skills and creativity.

  • Work on building your convergent and divergent reasoning skills by practicing basic reasoning questions on patterns, critical reasoning, arrangements etc. Solve 50 questions every day.
  • Search for random pictures on the internet and try writing at least 5 points on what you feel about the picture. This will bring out the hidden creativity in you.

2. The Psychological Aptitude Round

This round judges you on the type of person you are, your emotional quotient, things which drive you, things which you give in to easily, etc

  • The only key to success in this round is to build your comprehension skills and practice writing stories on pictures.
  • Building in your vocabulary will take you a long way. The WAT round is all about words. The more words you know, the better you perform. You can buy cue-cards or make them on your own by taking one alphabet every day and randomly picking out words starting with the same alphabet.
  • Practice various case studies available online. This will help you in reaching conclusions and provide necessary solutions to various situations.
  • Also, knowing yourself is the key. Face your weaknesses and accept them. You should know what you like before the interviewer gets to know it.

3. Group Exercise

This round will test how you behave in a team and how well you present your interpersonal skills.

  • Interact. Interact with everyone you meet. Be it your driver, your colleague or anyone you come across in general. Interacting with people will give you a perspective on other people's opinions.
  • Participate in discussions at your lunch table, cafeteria, etc.

4. Interview

This round is the ultimate tester. An interview is conducted so that the panelist gets to know the real you.

  • The mirror technique always helps. Stand in front of the mirror and ask questions. If you can face yourself, you can face any interviewer.
  • Ask people around you to ask questions and judge you on your answers. Constructive criticism has always been the best way to go about things.
  • Work on your vocabulary
  • Read various interviews on Quora or any other recommendations platform, pose the same questions on yourself and answer those. Be honest with your answer.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses well as the interviewer might pose questions on why you behave a particular way etc.

Your main focus should be on your comprehension skills. You should brush up your social skills to be in the game. One can easily ace the CDS interviews with confidence and a little effort.


The candidates who are shortlisted are then introduced to the Board of Officers. After that, the candidates have to clear some basic medical tests which mark the end of the selection process. The marks scored in the written test are also considered while making the final decision.

Confidence is the key to all good things in life. Stay confident and work hard. Everything else will fall in place. Brush up your general awareness to have an overview of the things going around you. Also, how you present yourself must be in sync with your psychometric answers. Be yourself. Speak up with utmost surety as the interviewer is looking for the real you in you.


SSB Interview: A Master Course

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