The Indian Armed Forces offer numerous career opportunities to the youth depending upon their capabilities, qualification, eligibility and interest. Also, a job at the Armed Forces is one of the hottest and popular career options amongst the youth of the nation.
For those interested to join any of the officer cadre positions in the Armed Forces, the SSB Interview is a mandatory phase that is held for 5 days. While many students join coaching classes to prepare for the dream phase of their life, the rest study on their own and keep researching the techniques and tricks to crack the interview.
SSB Interview comprises of 2 stages. Stage-I caters to Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR test) and Picture Perception and Description Test (PP&DT). Those candidates who clear Stage-I, are required to undergo Stage-II which includes a series of Psychological tests, GTO and Personal Interview.
To accomplish your mission, understanding of parameters of selection, defense-oriented personality and a strategic approach, are imperative.
Further, let's dig deep into tips to crack SSB interview, how the three branches of IAF are different from each other and how the candidate can match their skills with the right branch.
Tips to crack SSB interview
* First of all, one must be aware of SSB's testing procedure in detail.
* Further, you must do good practice and form test wise preparation strategy.
* One needs to be mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically well balanced irrespective of caste, gender and religion, to accomplish their dreams of grabbing officer cadre in the Indian Armed Forces.
* Further, one needs to possess qualities of a potential officer where more importance is given to moral courage than physical courage; being socially effective; being a problem-solving leader i.e. well versed in effective conflict resolution and good communication skills.
* Talking about academic knowledge, brush up your current affairs; emphasize on some common topics Indian Politics, History of places and General Awareness, awareness related to Armed Forces etc; and polish your technical/academic knowledge. Lastly, be confident but say no to overconfidence.
Understanding the three branches of IAF
The Indian Armed Forces is formed of professional uniformed services which include the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.
Additionally, it receives the support of various paramilitary organisations and various inter-service institutions.
The officer cadre roles in all three branches are completely different from each other. The difference is in terms of eligibility, skill set, role play, the environment at the workplace etc.
Here are the Officer ranks in the three branches, and the skills and job roles associated with each branch.
Though a huge number of students apply for a career in defense every year, there is a very small chunk of applicants who are completely aware of its in and outs as more than 70% of candidates just fill the form without professional knowledge of the organisation.
This is the reason that only 0.05% of NDA candidates are able to accomplish their dreams. Further, the Indian Armed Forces continue to face the scarcity of officers because candidates do not match the selection criteria or very few of them exhibit sincerity during the testing procedure.
The majority of candidates consider it as an academic profile test. However, it is an academic as well as a personality test. The personality traits required for different branches of the armed forces vary as per their different roles and requirements.
For example, career in the Army will not compromise on physical fitness standards. However, candidates need to be technically sound for a career in the Air Force as Air Force will not compromise on these standards.
The skill set requirement
There are some skills that every candidate must possess to crack an officer cadre exam in Defence. The candidates can practice these skills in their day-to-day life. The skills include social effectiveness, problem solving, responsibility, resourcefulness, leadership, dynamic attitude, analytical thinking etc.
Since our education system only focuses on imparting academic knowledge, students generally lack a value system and behavioural skill set. Therefore, students need to practice it daily to include it in their personality.
The most important factor that should influence and guide your decision of choosing a branch should be your interest. Since all 3 branches are completely different from one another, you can crack it successfully only if you are compatible, passionate, dedicated and skilled to pursue.
Different roles function in different environments so you must analyse which environment best suits your personality.
Therefore, the choice of service is the most important decision you will make throughout your journey of preparation. Additionally, goal setting is extremely important but sadly, the majority of students lack it. For a successful career in any field, you must be completely aware of your short term as well as long term goals.
As the number of students applying for officer cadre in defence keeps rising and the requirement of the nation for the selection of efficient and talented manpower also keeps escalating and become more quality focused, it will become more competitive and challenging to crack the SSB interview.
However, the candidates who are focused, skilled, balanced, determined, and consistently passionate will surely achieve their target.
Since this is a very sensitive segment, right guidance is important because this is not an academic subject rather it is going to decide your career. So, be wise while choosing your mentor to achieve success in the first attempt.