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Most Asked SSB Interview Questions

Following is a list of most frequently asked SSB Interview questions and their best possible answers.

Some General Questions about SSB Interview

1) What is the full form of SSB?

SSB is an acronym that stands for Service Selection Board. This board is organized by the Defense Ministry of India and interviews recruiting officers in the Indian Armed Forces. This board's main motive is to access the candidates who have "officer like qualities" in themselves.

2) What are the critical traits of candidates that are assessed in SSB interviews?

The main critical traits of candidates assessed in SSB interviews are personality, intelligence, compatibility, and potential. The interview panel emphasizes mental fitness than physical fitness for the candidates, but a certain level of physical fitness is required to clear the Interview. The candidates who want to become an officer in the Indian Army, Navy, or Air force, can appear for the SSB interview after clearing the written examination or completing an engineering or medical degree.

3) What is the basic eligibility for an SSB interview?

Following is the list of the basic eligibility for SSB interview:

  • The candidate must be unmarried. It is the first and foremost requirement.
  • The candidate must be a graduate and have cleared the Combined Defense Services Examination conducted by UPSC.
  • The engineering graduates in any stream can go for SSB interview without any written examination, but the Interview will be very tough, and competition will be more.

The candidates are allocated different SSB centers to attend. It is a two-stage selection process, and it is a 5-6 days evaluation process.

  • Day 1: Basic Intelligence Test
  • Day 2: Psychological Test
  • Day 3 & Day 4: The Group Testing Officers (GTO) Activities
  • Day 5: Conference

Note: Personal Interviews (PI) can be taken on any day between the second to fourth days.

4) What are some interesting facts about SSB Interview?

Following are some interesting facts about SSB Interview:

  • SSB interview is one of the most popular and most challenging interviews in India.
  • It is conducted by a panel of officers of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • It is one of the longest interviews that usually go for five days.
  • It emphasizes OLQs (Officer-like qualities) in the candidates.
  • There are multiple SSB selection centers such as Allahabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, and many others.
  • SSB gives a feeling of undergoing a personality test.
  • The success rate in SSB interviews is very low.
  • In an SSB interview, the candidates have to respond naturally to any given circumstances. The interview panel can instantly reject those candidates who don't respond.
  • There is no limit on the number of attempts that one can make for an SSB Interview.
  • SSB follows a rigorous rule and never compromises with their selection criteria in any case.
  • All the recommended candidates have to stay after the 5th day of the SSB Interview process for the medical examination, which may take one week.
  • Fit candidates who have good confidence and English speaking ability and answering skills have better chances of selection.
  • Every SSB center has the same level of difficulty, and it entirely depends on each candidate whether he/she will be selected or not in the SSB Interview process.

5) What is the famous rapid-fire question set asked in SSB interview?

This is a very popular question set which most of the candidates are afraid of. In this question set, the interviewer asks 7-10 questions combined, and you have to answer that in the same way. Generally, the questions are as follows:

  • Tell me about your class 10th schooling, marks, along with any achievements you had?
  • Tell me about your class 12th schooling, marks, along with any achievements you had?
  • Tell me about your graduation details, marks, achievement, and any extracurricular activities you have participated in?
  • Tell me about your family (father, mother, and siblings)?
  • What are your hobbies and interests?
  • Tell me about your teachers whom did you liked and disliked most and why?
  • Tell me about your friends whom did you liked and disliked most and why?
  • Tell me about your weaknesses and how you are working on them to solve them?

Note: The candidates have to answer all of these questions in the proper sequence. If they forget any of the questions, they may ask the officer to repeat them.

6) Is the AFCAT exam the same as the NDA exam and CDS exam?

No. AFCAT exam is not the same as the NDA exam and CDS exam. AFCAT stands for Air Force Common Admission Test, and it is completely dedicated to Indian Air Force service. By clearing this exam, a candidate can join IAF in the Flying, Technical, or Ground Duty branch. This exam is conducted twice a year by Indian Air Force.

On the other hand, the NDA exam stands for the National Defense Academy examination, and the CDS exam stands for the Combined Defense Services examination. Both exams are conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) India to recruit candidates into one of the three wings, i.e., Army, Navy, or Air Force depending on the candidate's choice, merit, and vacancy. Here, one point should be noted that both NDA and CDS exams are conducted to recruit officers in IAF for FLYING BRANCH ONLY, meaning only as pilots. If a candidate wants to join other branches of the Indian Air Force, then he/she needs to apply for AFCAT.

7) Why have you only applied for Army and Navy? Don't you like the Air force?

The interviewing officer asks you this question because he wants to know your awareness about the profession, foresightedness, clarity of vision, self-motivation, desire to accomplish as a leader, and your vision for future personal growth. Here, you have to give a positive answer that showcases all your positive aspects for your choice, without any hesitation.

A Sample Answer:

Sir, the first reason is that I am more inclined towards joining the forces in the technical field and contribute as a Mechanical Engineer. Secondly, I am already working as a service engineer in a reputed MNC, so; I have some time issues and get less time to study. That's why I have decided to opt for available options rather than AFCAT.

8) Why didn't you try for SSB after 12th through NDA?

The interviewing officer asks this question to see your passion and core interest for the Armed Forces job. Here, you have to answer this question based on your self reasoning. For example, if you say you had tried for NDA, you might be asked why you didn't clear your written/SSB. If you say you didn't try, they will ask what made you interested in defense now.

Try to answer honestly and give valid reasons to satisfy them.

9) What would be your alternate career/study options if you could not qualify to join the armed forces?

This is a very tricky question. Most of the candidates tend to stick to the point that they will clear it, or they don't want to join anything else apart from the defense because it's their dream. Here, you have to be honest. It would be best if you had a backup plan. If you don't have one, choose one to answer this question.

10) What do you think that why were you not recommended in previous attempts?

The interviewing officer asks this question to see whether you are well aware of your limitations/drawbacks and what you have done to improve them. He also wants to know how well prepare you are for this time.

So, while answering this question, you should state your mistakes that you had made in various tasks during their previous SSB attempts. Here, you have to focus on your improvements from the last attempt. You can point out that your performance during the ongoing SSB has been fair, according to you.

A Sample Answer: Respected Sir, I realize that in my previous attempts, my physical strength and speaking skills were inadequate. I was not prepared well to serve my best. But, I can assure you that for the last six months, I am working hard on it, and now, I am so much more confident about myself. In this attempt, I have felt a significant change in my performance and realized the value of hard work and practice.

11) Tell me about the competitive exams that you have appeared in chronological order.

The interviewing officer asks this question to know about all the exams that you appeared for, their results, and the setbacks of you were not able to clear them. The interviewer may also ask if you had taken entrance coaching or not? And if you had taken entrance coaching, why you could not clear any of these exams.

12) Why do you want to join the defense forces?

The interviewer asks this question to see how you are excited about the defense service. He wants to examine your passion for defense service to convince him whether you are just another job seeker or a passionate defense aspirant. Here, you have to answer this question honestly. Just try to answer the innermost part of your heart.

A Sample Answer: Respected Sir, I believe that the defense service is not just a job, but it is a way of life. It is one of the most dignified ways to lead the best life and to serve the nation. I have an extreme interest in the Indian army's heroic duty, adventure, and sports from my childhood, and thus I want to work in this field and serve my country.

13) Tell me your marks you scored starting from your 10th till date. Also, state if you have any special achievements in them. Also, tell me about any extra-curricular activities that you have participated in during that time.

This is the most famous question asked in the SSB interview. This is known as a rapid-fire round. Here, you have to tell your marks from the beginning in the proper sequence. The interviewing officer wants to see if you remember your past achievements or not by asking this question. This is important because starting from the 10th; everything was a turning point in your life till your graduation. So, you must know your 10th marks, 12th marks, and the marks of all the years of graduation, preferably semester-wise.

14) Will you come back again for an SSB interview if you fail this time?

The interviewing officer asks this question to check out your confidence. Don't worry or ever think that the interviewer is going to reject you. This question is just asked to see your anxiety, enthusiasm, and level of your nervousness.

Don't panic at this question. Just try to reply calmly and confidently with a positive attitude. Your answer should reflect your passion for this service.

A Sample Answer: Respected Sir. I have come here for a reason, so I cannot quit and come back if I fail this time. After all, success is sure if efforts are true.

15) Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend? If not, then why?

The interviewing officer asks this question to check your priority. He also wants to know how focused you are towards your goal and the topmost priorities of your life. It would be best if you were very honest while answering this question. Honesty is always the best policy. If you have a girlfriend, you can diplomatically tell them. For example, you can say that yes, sir, I have a girlfriend, and she is very supportive and encourages me for defense services all the time. Even today, she wished me the best of luck for this SSB interview.

If you don't have a girlfriend, you can deny it politely. Don't try to demonstrate yourself as a "Shakht Londa" or a macho man that you don't need a girlfriend and all that.

A Sample Answer: Respected Sir. I have a lot of friends from school and college. Some are males, and some are females. They all are my very good friends. But, I don't have such a relationship with some particular girl. At present, my priority is the armed forces, and I want to make a career in it. For now, I am completely committed to it.

16) Tell me the name of your girlfriend/boyfriend, two best friends, and what are the three qualities you like/dislike in them?

This is a very tricky question. The interviewing officer asks this question to see how you react when asked about your friends and their characteristics. By asking this question, the interviewer thinks that you will tell them your friends' weaknesses, and with the flow when you start criticizing them, he may ask yourself why you are still with them when they have these poor qualities. Because a person would be your friend if you see they do not lack any quality that your ideal friend must possess. So be very careful while answering this question.

17) Tell me the three qualities of your best friend that you do not like.

By asking this question, the interviewing officer wants to examine your actual characteristics. He/she wants to know how much optimistic you are, how you take things, and more than that, how much you positively analyze things.

This is a very tricky question. When the interviewer asks this question, he wants you to tell him the drawbacks of your friend. The real challenge starts here because you have to make your answer optimistic while revealing your friends' flaws. You have to deal with it in such a way that the negative points also seem positive.

A Sample Answer: Respected Sir. My best friend is Aryan, and he is an excellent artist who also does well in his academics, but the problem with him is the lack of concentration. He never utilizes time well, and this is what I always dislike about him.

The second problem is, being a topper of our school, he sometimes becomes overconfident about himself. I think confidence is reasonable but within limits. He can do much better with a proper level of confidence.

Thirdly, I appreciate him for such good computer skills, but at the same time, i think that he must spend some time in physical activities too as he is physically weak.

18) Who is closer to you, your father or mother? Why?

By asking this tricky question, the interviewing officer wants to check your maturity, social intelligence, honesty, and how you tackle tough choices. This is not a one-word answer type question; rather than you should try to explain your answer in detail to justify your thoughts.

A Sample Answer: Dear Sir, it is challenging to choose between them because I am close to both of them. I don't hesitate to communicate with either of them. But, since my father is mostly out for work, I speak more often with my mother.

19) Do you watch porn? Are you addicted to it & what do you do after watching porn?

This is a bizarre and sometimes awkward situation when someone asks you such type of question. By asking this question, the interviewing officer wants to know the candidate's capacity to keep oneself cool and compose in adverse and awkward situations. So while answering this question, if you should straightly say yes if you watch porn.

A Sample Answer: Yes, sir, I do watch porn sometimes. I am not addicted to it. Generally, I go for a running session or hit the gym right after watching porn because a high testosterone level helps me increasing the intensity of training.

20) Tell me the five uses of a pen?

This is a type of situational question. The interviewing officer asks this question to test the candidate's attentiveness and alertness under stress and nervousness.

A Sample Answer: Respected Sir, generally we use a pen for writing purposes, but it can be used for multiple purposes in critical situations. For example:

  • We can use the pen as a pointer during a presentation.
  • We can tuck it in our shirt's pocket as a style symbol.
  • We can use it as a tool to tear a plastic package.
  • We can gift it to some needy or a student who doesn't have a pen.
  • We can use it to take part & play in a pen spinning tournament.

21) Why has your percentage dropped from 10th to 12th?

The interviewing officer generally asks this question if he finds a big percentage gap between your 10th and 12th exam marks. By asking this question, he doesn't want to discourage you. Instead, he wants to know that how much you have learned from your experience. While answering this question, you should mention some specific reasons, such as I was more influenced toward sports or I was so poor in time management, but at the same time, you have to make him believe that you have learned a good lesson from your failures and you have overcome them already. Don't try to blame anyone like your teachers or your friends for your poor marks.

A Sample Answer: Sir, I think, at that time, I was not mature to understand the value of time. I had spent most of my time in the wrong direction. But, now I have learned the importance of time management. Time has taught me a lot, and now I am much more responsible than ever before. I think that poor marks in class 12th made me a better person and gave me the best life lesson to improve myself in wholesome.

22) Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses. How are you doing with them?

The interviewing officer asks this question to aware of how much you know yourself. When you talk about your strengths and weaknesses, these traits tell everything about you. By asking this question, the interviewer also wants to know how much effort you are putting in to improve yourself. Here, you have to answer this question very tactfully. You should not appreciate yourself beyond limits nor criticize yourself excessively.

A Sample Answer: Respected Sir, every person has some qualities and some limitations, so as for me. I have some skills in Computer and technical work. I believe in punctuality and honesty. I love dedicated people who put 100% effort into their tasks. At the same time, I have some flaws, and I am constantly working to improve them. I must say that every day, I am turning into a better person who is humble, confident, honest, and believe in hard work.

Sample Answer two: For your strength, you can say that-

  • I know my responsibilities very well, and I follow them religiously.
  • I can work very well under pressure.
  • I can motivate people because I am a good motivator and an excellent public speaker.
  • I know my potential and weaknesses very well, so I always act accordingly.
  • I am good at management skills, and I am a resourceful person.

For weaknesses, you can say that-

  • I am a procrastinator, but I am following a rule to overcome it.
  • I am a lazy person, but now I am following a timetable religiously to overcome it, and it makes me less lazy than before.
  • I am aggressive, but I am meditating regularly, and now, I am more calm and composed than before.
  • I tend to be overconfident sometimes (which I am now able to control mostly, and I am more humble now).

Overthinking was always a problem for me, but I am now just making a plan, anticipating future possibilities, and just going for it without worrying.

23) What is your daily routine, and how do you spend your spare time?

You can state your daily routine here. It may vary from person to person. Let's see an example. You can respond accordingly.

A Sample Answer: Respected Sir, I wake up daily at 6:00 A.M. After fresh-up, I go for a morning walk. After that, I go to the store to buy milk and eggs, fill water in the tanks and bottles (and wash clothes if it's a Sunday), drop my sister at school, take a bath, have breakfast, read the newspaper, do some household chores, and then go to college. When I come back in the evening, I follow-up with some home-tasks, and after dinner, I go to sleep at 10.30-11.00 P.M.

24) What is your pocket money/salary, and how do you spend it?

Sir, I am a college-going student, but I don't want to be a burden on my parents. That's why I do a part-time job from where I earn 6000 per month. I give 2000 to my sister for her expenses, save 1000 per month, spend 2000 on petrol and recharges, spend 1,000 for buying something I like or with friends, mostly on adventure experiences rather than dining out.

25) Do you smoke or drink?

This is a very tricky question, especially if you are a college-going student of tender age and don't have any earning resources or from a specific community where alcohol is prohibited (Muslim in specific). You are not allowed by religion and culture if you are a Muslim. Here, if you say that you do drink in these cases, you will be judged. Remember that smoking and drinking both are bad habits and if you say that you smoke or drink, get rid of it.

26) Why should I recommend you?

By asking this question, the interviewing officer wants to assure the level of your dedication to joining the Indian Armed Forces. He also wants to know your strengths and weaknesses.

A Sample Answer: Sir, I have many of the Officer Like Qualities. At my school time, I was head boy and captain of the school cricket team. I won many cricket tournaments for my school and college.

Note No matter what type of questions you are asked during the SSB interview, always make sure that you answer your personality. Do not repeat sample answers, especially when it does not resonate with your true self.

Some specific questions asked in SSB Interview

27) How to answer the questions regarding your native place and state?

The interviewer may ask questions regarding your native place and state. So, you must well aware of your native site, the famous areas, dishes, and places of general interest. It is a good practice to study the important places of the native area, your state's lifestyle, and culture before going to the interview.

A Sample Example: Respected Sir, I am from Hyderabad, the joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Hyderabad is famous for its Biryani, Nawabs, and of course, Charminar. There are several national importance places in and around Hyderabad such as Artillery Centre, AOC Center, EME Center, Air Force Academy, College of Air Warfare, National Police Academy, Helicopter Training School, Fighter Training Wing, Navigation Training School, etc.

28) How to answer questions related to social issues, general knowledge, and current affairs?

There are also many questions asked related to social issues, general knowledge, and current affairs. So, you must be aware of the recent happenings and social issues of your country. You should also have your views and opinions on these issues.

29) How to answer technical questions or field-related questions asked in SSB interviews?

When you appear for an SSB interview, you are already a graduate in a specific stream. So, you are supposed to know those topics well which are related to your graduation field.

30) How to answer the questions related to the armed forces?

When you appear for the SSB interview, you are supposed to know about the organization you want to join. The interviewing officer may ask questions such as the ranks, commands, formations, etc. Some most asked questions are as follows:

  • How many commands are there in the Indian Army?
  • What are the locations of the respective commands?
  • Where is headquarter of the Indian Army?
  • How many field marshals have been appointed till now, and who were they?
  • Who was the first Paramveer chakra recipient in the Indian Army?
  • What is the difference between infantry and mechanized infantry?
  • Which are the gallantry awards in the Indian armed forces?
  • What is the difference between cruise missiles and ballistic missiles?
  • Which is the nearest army command to your home town?
  • What is the National weapons induction in the Indian Army?
  • What is the significance of Rashtriya rifles and Para special force in the Indian Army?

Some tricky situational questions asked in the SSB interview

31) Suppose you were stuck in a room where a phone or internet connection is not available. How would you know the temperature outside?

The interviewing officer asks this question to test your ability to work with limited resources. Here, you have to show your presence of mind.

A Sample Answer: Sir, I can use a thermometer to check the temperature. Or I can ask the person outside the window to know the weather and judge the temperature.

32) Without looking at the door, tell me did you push the door or pulled the door? What was written on the outer side of the door "Push or Pull"?

The interviewing officer asks this question to test the attentiveness and alertness under stress and nervousness. When the candidates come inside the room, generally, they are in a hurry and ask permission to enter. In this hurry, they don't pay attention at the door as what is written Pull or Push. It would be best if you remember that you have to be attentive and pay more attention to your surroundings.

33) What would be the five usages of eyeglasses other than vision correction?

Eyeglasses are used to protect our eyes from extreme cold, sun, dust, and other environmental threats. Other than this, eyeglasses can be used for the following reasons:

  • We can use eyeglasses as a style statement.
  • Eyeglasses can be used to send rays to signal someone.
  • We can start a fire by using eyeglasses.
  • We can use eyeglasses as a cutting and digging tool.
  • We can use frames of eyeglasses to make a hook.

34) What is the exact volume of this room?

The interviewing officer asks this question to check your confidence and build pressure on you for the upcoming questions. You have to give a blind guess by examining the room and explaining with logic by using the formula for the cube's volume.

35) What is something that is true, but almost nobody agrees with you?

This question is asked to check how well you provide reasons and justify why you are correct, and everyone else is wrong. By asking this question, the interviewer also gets an idea of how is good you can to convince people with your logic.

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