There are several tricky questions asked to candidates during SSB interview. Some of them are unusual while others are predictable. SSB aspirants are expected to provide honest and realistic answers that showcase their OLQs.
Following are a few examples of tricky questions generally asked during PI and technique on how to answer them. However, do not consider these answers to be ideal. Answers might differ depending on each candidate’s personality and his/her situation.
1. Did you do any special preparation for SSB?
No candidate arrives at SSB without preparation. So, tell him whatever preparation you did. You can say, “I have prepared for SSB by referring to various resources like online articles especially dedicated to SSB interview, studying magazines, reading newspapers, books for SSB, etc.
2. What are your strengths?
This is a commonly asked question at SSB. You are expected to know your skills and strengths such as technical knowledge, computer skills, personal abilities (like punctuality, honesty, dedication, leadership quality, etc.) and transferable skills such as analytical skills, decision-making, planning ability, etc.
You cannot just list out these qualities. IO will ask you to narrate any situation where you used these skills. So, think before you speak and only say that which is true.
3. What motivates you to opt for defence forces?
As you’ve chosen defence service as your career, you need to know why and what motivated you to take this decision.
Talk about what made you incline towards defence forces at the very beginning, when you firmly decided to take it as a career and who keeps you motivated to chase this dream job (parents, any defence Officer you’ve met or personally know, friends with the same goal, etc.)
4. Is AFCAT exam same as NDA exam and CDSE?
AFCAT stands for Air Force Common Admission Test and it is completely dedicated to Indian Air Force. Through this exam, a candidate can join IAF in Flying, Technical or Ground Duty branch. This exam is conducted by Indian Air Force twice a year.
NDA (National Defence Academy) Exam and CDSE, both are conducted by UPSC of India to recruit candidates into one of the three wings i.e., Army, Navy or Air Force depending on candidate’s choice, merit and vacancy. Both CDS and NDA 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 IAF, then he/she needs to apply for AFCAT.
5. Where do you see yourself after 5 years?
IO wants to ascertain your self-motivation and foresightedness about the career you are opting for. Do not provide one line answer like, “I see myself as an Officer”. Be comprehensive and precise. You could say “In 5 years, I see myself as a team member of defence forces, working hard to enhance my knowledge in the field of mechanical engineering (or any other) and trying to upgrade my skills.”
This doesn’t stop here. IO will further ask you questions about what skills you want to upgrade. How you will enhance your knowledge? You can say, after joining defence, you would like to do professional courses & cadres, take knowledge from seniors in the same unit, undergo training for hands-on experience, do specialisation (R&D) in your field, etc.
6. Why did you opt for the Air Force only? Why not Navy or Army?
This question can be posed for any wing that you’ve applied for. You need to be specific and honest as to why you really chose that specific wing. Answer could be along these lines, “all the three services are exceptionally good. However, I am and was always more inclined towards Air Force ever since I saw few of my family members (or someone you know) in the Air Force’s branch. I got to know about their lifestyle, challenges and that’s when I decided to go for the Air Force. On the contrary, I am slightly less familiar with the environment of other two wings.”
7. IO asking questions with difficult choices. How to answer them?
• Who is closer to you? Father or mother? Why?
Answer: Here IO wants to check your maturity, social intelligence, honesty and how you tackle tough choices. Do not provide a one-word answer, rather try to explain your answer.
Sample answers can be:
• 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 communicate more often with my mother.
No matter what type of question is posed to you during SSB interview, always make sure that you answer according to your personality. Do not repeat sample answers, especially when it does not resonate with your own true self.