1. Before the interview
  2. Pre-interview preparations
  3. Interview
  4. Hands
  5. Eyes
  6. Sitting Posture
  7. Interview Questions
  8. Conference
  9. Process of conference

This is the second part in the guest article series by Mr.Ketankumar Patil for CDS/SSB Interview tips.

In the first article, he provided the overview of the various tests conducted during SSB interview phase e.g. PPDT, group discussion, GTO tasks. (click me to read the first article) In this second article, he is providing the tips about the personal interview/conference.

Before the interview

  • Your interviews will start from 2nd day onwards generally. Interviews are taken by president of board, vice president or similar rank officers in afternoon
  • You will be notified by CHM before interview, he will tell you about location of interview and where to enter and where is waiting room.
  • For interview make sure you are in formal attire and well dressed. Don’t ask anybody anything like tie, shoe make sure you carry your own. it makes very bad impression when you both have interview at a same time
  • and don’t give anything to any other person because it may lead to unwanted frustration for you in peak hours of your golden chance and may disturb your attitude
  • so try to be smart and well equipped
  • While going for interview make sure you are wearing chest number and it is properly tied.
  • Use neck tie below the chest number so he can see your chest number easily. And try to wash chest number on previous night but don’t wash out number from that cloth!!
  • When you will be notified about your turn of interview go to waiting room and wait for your turn.
  • There be electrical display where you can read plates like president and vice president
  • CHM will tell you who will take your interview so look towards that plate as your number will flash there you can move towards interview cabin.
  • While waiting for your interview don’t talk with peoples waiting there.
  • It can cause nervous feelings within you because nobody knows what he is going to ask and what are correct response
  • And plz don’t talk to persons who are coming after finishing their interviews. It may lead to difficult situation to you as well as the person.(becoz warning is given in waiting room that don’t stop in this premises after your interview.)

Pre-interview preparations

  • Read your resume in detail
  • Remember your PIQ form
  • Remember SDT (self description test)
  • General knowledge questions
  • Questions about your hobby ,  extra-curricular activity and your place
  • Your friends, family, school, college, Any recent incident related with your hobby,  extra-curricular activity you mentioned in PIQ form
  • Remember your  education, achievements ,work, and try to arrange it in chronological order
  • Iron your interview dress, neck tie and polish your formal shoes and carry handkerchief with you.
  • Don’t carry your mobile, wallet, wrist watch, any sacred threads, don’t fold cuffs, tuck in shirt and make sure your look as gentleman.  Use washed socks.
  • Do carry pen and blank sheet in your pocket(in case of emergency… don’t ask pen to IO)
  • Before going for interview take sufficient water, go for washroom and tell to yourself. You are going to get selected as you are going to speak only true things and you deserve this post as per your performance.

“Being good at interview is skill, which is quite separate from work skill”


  • It will be conversation with purpose. It will only involve only 2 persons IO and you. It is to check your officers like qualities and your nature and personality traits. They will try to search
  • Power of expression
  • Initiative, drive, tact, alertness, self confidence, sense of responsibility , quality of critical appreciation, clear and logical exposition, balanced judgment, ability for social cohesion , leadership qualities, moral integrity, social adaptability,
  • He will look some officers like qualities within you.
  • Planning and organization:-
  • Effective intelligence, reasoning, organizing, expression
  • Social adjustment:-
  • Adapatabilty, co-operation, responsibility,
  • Social effectiveness:-
  • Initiative, self confidence, decision making power, influencing to team, happy nature, resoursefullness,
  • Dynamicism:-
  • Courage, enthusiasm , stamina, determination.
  • He and his team checked you about this qualities on ground and on paper now he will check these qualities when he will interview you
  • This is just like cross checking method. As I mentioned about CHARACTER MAP, It is map drawn by psychologist about your traits and send it to GTO and IO …now this map will be with IO and he will try to check that version while interviewing you.
  • Interview is process very interesting in SSB……knowledge and manners matters with your true behavior
  • I will suggest candidates

“be true to yourself and follow gentlemen behavior in SSB process…success will follow you”

  • Keep in mind that he needs two way process in this conversation. As you will enter interview room he will welcome you with bright smile and sometimes with shake hand…… so give him very good response…
  • Don’t seat without taking permission and even don’t stand in front of chair.  Try to stand near to the chair . after getting permission thank him with good gestures
  • Non-verbal language is an important part of any interview. Often decisions about you are made in seconds, sometimes before you even have a chance to speak. Since body language is such an important part of communication, it’s important to be aware of it during a job interview. Positive body language can put people at ease and make them feel comfortable around you. This is the best position to be in for your interview and will give you a competitive edge.
  • Here are a few things you should do with your body during an interview:


  • Keep your hands out of your pockets at all times during the interview. Hidden hands often indicate you have something to hide.
  • Beware of over-using hand gestures. It can be highly distracting and take away from what you are saying. Watch your interviewer. If he or she is using hand gestures, you may as well.
  • If you are prone to talk with your hands excessively, practice answering a few basic interview questions at home, before your interview, in front of the mirror to get an idea of how you look and what is appropriate.
  • During an interview, avoid folding your arms because it can be interpreted as a defensive move. Instead, fold your hands loosely on your lap or place your arms on the arm rests, if your chair has them.


  • It’s very important to make eye contact. However, make sure it is natural eye contact and not staring. If you feel uncomfortable maintaining eye-contact for this length of time, try looking at your interviewer’s nose. A smile while maintaining eye-contact is sometimes the difference between a positive body language message and staring.
  • If you feel your eye-contact is becoming staring, it is ok to take periodic breaks, but don’t look down. This might indicate you don’t believe what you are saying and give connotations of submissiveness.

Sitting Posture

  • Your posture reflects your energy, as well as your interest level, enthusiasm and self control. When standing or sitting, do so with a straight back and squared shoulders. Slouching will give the impression you have a negative attitude.
  • When sitting, put both feet on the floor and lean slightly forwards. Leaning back in your chair will give the impression you are comfortable and may be appropriate towards the middle or end of the interview.
  • Sitting on the edge of your chair will give the impression that you are tense and that you feel uncomfortable, so you should avoid sitting too far forward.

Interview Questions

  • As you will seat for interview, IO will ask you how r you? how is SSB board? Do you liked this?  you went for
  • Movie or outing? And he will try to break ice and make you feel comfortable …get relaxed and proceed further.
  • He will ask you about you, your family, your education and some basic information in few question and then he will ask you 15 to 20 question in a one go and will ask to answer these questions.
  • Here we try to divide in 4 phases first is ice breaking
  • It will include which place you belongs to, how is temperature there, famous for, your name , meaning of name,
  • Second is normal questions;
  • What was reason for your low score, how you got chance in drama, team of cricket, how many ways to out a batmen? etc
  • Third is general awareness, problem solving technique and decision making
  • What is arab spring, why you wish to join army, what is happening in Somalia? Rupee sliding down? Who is CAG….some situation he will provide and will ask for solution, ur graduation related questions etc.
  • Fourth is practical knowledge questions or technical questions …
  • Don’t worry … no need to get panic about this… give answer about questions you clearly listened and tell answers in simple and correct. Don’t use heavy words he may ask anything about that word and if you unable to give answer it will lead to bad impression. During interview you must be humble, polite, genuine , pleasant before and after interview, keep in mind don not expose your disappointment or failure via any mean  don’t lose your ground even in tough questions. That’s key to success in SSB personal interview.
  • If you are asked question like why you want to join army? Then don’t go for deshsewa. it is assumed…!! Or don’t tell want to be like James bond. Be real and firmly grounded. Give emphasis on principal qualities, experiences, occupation,
  • Show your enthusiasm by keeping an interested expression. Nod and make positive gestures in moderation to avoid looking like a bobblehead
  • Limit your application of colognes and perfumes. Invading aromas can arouse allergies. Being the candidate that gave the interviewer a headache isn’t going to do anything in your favor.
  • The three best ways to get better at interviews are to practice, practice, and, yep, practice. The best way to practice is in front of a mirror.
  • Close the door, leave your ego outside, and talk about your key points and anecdotes while looking yourself in the eye. You will automatically critique and improve your performance as you go along. When the interview is on for real, you’ll be glad you looked yourself in the eye so many times. You’ll know how you’re coming across.
  • Don’t get nervous in difficult situation, try to solve it. Best solution to solve any problem is fragment it and try to solve it and then apply it for complete. Use your planning, organizing abilities. Avoid giving lengthy and vague answers to questions otherwise he will say “ATA MAZI SATAKALI RE.”
  • So  put yourself at case and establish rapport . your answer should be meaningful , brief, concise and to the point.
  • Make every possible Endeavour to avoid pitfalls
  • And don’t mugup any particular answer because no question will be asked exactly so don’t expect any question. Have determination and plenty of drive. Have capacity to work under very pressure condition. A common mistake that many candidates make is not being themselves. Some feel that they need to fit a certain mold and act accordingly. This will only end up hurting both parties in the end when your “true” personality comes out. You will be surprised how easy it is to detect insincerity during an interview. Thus, it is important to be professional, but also maintain your true essence. When you do this, your sincerity and genuineness will be picked up by the interviewer. This is one of the best  interview strategies to implement, and will go a long way in determining your success.
  • Show you skills, potentials and achievements and be gentle in complete process.
  • Remember IO is very senior person with lot of experience to interview 1000 of candidates so don’t bluff .try to make your interview productive, as it will help him to select a right candidate. Don’t show off things and don’t ask any question to him.
  • Speak in same peach for complete interview. Distance between you and interviewing officer will be more than 8 to 10 feet so don’t shake your legs and don’t do any moves which will give bad impression of your image to him.
  • After finishing interview thank him and close door very gently and don’t ask him how was my interview and give put you hand towards him for shake hand… enter in confidence and leave with same confidence.
  • You too don’t visit waiting room after your interview.
  • (interview will be conducted on any day between 2nd to 4th day )
  • And next round will be at last day this is


  • Conference is process where you will be seeing every member of board in one room and you will be there with them
  • it’s very great experience in life time  as you will meet more than 12 officers in a single room looking towards you, it’s very thrilling moments of life
  • I hope everybody who goes for conference will remember these moments for lifetime
  • I remember a shot from 26/11 where NANA PATEKAR talks to his senior, but here is something different  everybody in ARMY dress and in happy mood to select you.
  • CHM will gather you at a terrace of your board hall. ( I visited Bhopal boards so at other boards it may differ) and inform you about conference. He will also tell you don’t wish anybody than president your greetings to president means greetings to board. So do follow it. He will inform you about series with which they are going to call you in conference hall .
  • here you will be only one person entering in conference hall in front of 12 to 14 officers . Even sometimes he will show all of you actual conference hall so go and guess the area, your seating chair and all that details note in your mind. Feel free to ask any genuine query
  • Complete anything before time. Reach to conference venue before 10 minutes. Do breakfast before going there.

Process of conference

  • They will ask you to come in any sequence so be ready for your turn at any time. CHM will be sitting besides the door of conference hall and where you all assembled there will be screen showing chest number.
  • As your chest number flashes out go and knock the door, enter with confidence and seat by permission and follow same procedure as you did in interview. Wish only to president.  And look towards president.
  • Conference is process of not more than 5 to 10 minutes process. In case it goes on more time don’t show panic signs or victories gestures because you don’t know why they are going for length.
  • Conference is process where every assessor will put his point in front of board and they will discuss about your SSB and traits, personality, loyalty, team spirits officers like qualities, and if psyc. GTO ,IO are agree that you should make entry in recommended list you will get selected and if ur SSB shows some traits which are not required or unnecessary  but keep in mind that if you cant make it with this attempt .go for next attempt.
  • Next process will be presidents address… he will say thank you all for coming here and being very gentle and if you cant make this time do come next time and for those who exhausted with their attempts you can be good citizens of India and best luck guys and he will or another GTO will come and tell you result after your lunch
  • Same bus which bring you all from reporting area will dispatch not recommended candidates. so wish all recommended candidates all the best and ask them mobile number or mail id so you can get some tips for next time don’t harass them in meanwhile there process will go on.
  • And do prepare for next attempt very seriously.
  • My best wishes are alwys with you and I am person who got conference out many times but I believe our army is only institution where my trust is more because of its secular and impartial selection process and so I will reach for SSB next time too.

About the Guest Author

Mr.Ketankumar Patil hails from a very small village Palaskhede Mirache in Jalgaon district of Northern Maharashtra. He has done B.Pharm and PGDBM in operations. In past, he has cleared CDS exam, without coaching and appeared for SSB interviews @Bhopal center.