As an assessor at the Services Selection Board (SSB), I often heard candidates asking at the end of all the tests – what it is that we see in them to select. It is unfortunate that they do not even know what they are tested for.
This article lists 15 qualities, grouped under four factors assessed in the Services Selection Board. Services Selection Board follows a 3 pronged assessment namely Psychological (Manasa), Group (Karma) and Personal Interview (Vacha). Incidentally, all the three assessors evaluate the same 15 qualities using their respective tools and techniques.
The factors and the qualities encompassed are described below:-
Factor 1 – Planning and Organizing
It includes four qualities which are associated with the mental aspect of the person.
1. Effective Intelligence (EI):
This is the ability of a person to evolve solutions to practical problems. It is different from basic intelligence which is measured using the intelligence tests (Verbal and Non Verbal). In EI, the assessor wants to see if you can solve day-to-day problems and cope up with minor difficulties.
2. Reasoning Ability (RA):
It is the ability of a person to grasp a given situation and arrive at a conclusion by rational thinking. In RA, the assessors are looking for your receptivity, inquiring attitude, logical reasoning, and the ability to see a problem’s essentials.
3. Organizing Ability (OA):
It is the ability to use the resources systematically to produce effective results. In OA, the assessors are interested in seeing how you use various resources to produce results.
4. Power of Expression (POE):
It is one’s ability to put across ideas adequately and with ease and clarity.
Factor 2 – Social Adjustment
It includes three qualities which are associated with the heart and conscience of the person.
1. Social Adaptability (SA):
It is the ability of a person to adapt himself to the social environment and adjust well with individuals and social groups. The assessor is interested in assessing your ability to adapt to the group members, how you interact with them, and how tactfully do you deal with them.
2. Cooperation (Co):
It is an individual’s attitude to willingly participate in a group in harmony with other group members, while achieving the group’s objective. It is important to be a team player and not to be selfish. The group’s objective should be paramount than individual objectives. The assessors will be keen in evaluating your team attitude.
3. Sense of Responsibility (SOR):
It is the thorough understanding of the values like duty, social standard, and the sense of what is expected of an individual. He is then assessed based on how much energy and attention he gives to develop these values on his own accord. The assessor is keen to know if you understand your duty as a child/student/citizen of a country, you have the right sense of social standard and what is expected of individuals. Do you give your full energy and attention towards it without anybody having to push you?
Factor 3 – Social Effectiveness
It includes five qualities which are an outcome of the dynamic interaction of the above two factors i.e. head and the heart.
1. Initiative (Inv):
It is the ability to originate an action or take charge. The assessors see if you take the lead in the right direction and sustain it till the result is achieved.
2. Self Confidence (SC):
It is the faith in your own abilities to meet stressful and unfamiliar situations.
3. Speed of Decision (SOD):
It is the ability to arrive at workable decision quickly. There are two components of decision making – appropriateness and quickness.
4. Ability to Influence the Group (AIG):
It is the ability of a person to persuade others in the group to achieve the objectives set by him/her. The assessors evaluate your ability to convince others to do something willingly that you want them to do without forcing them.
5. Liveliness (Liv):
It is the capacity of a person to remain buoyant/cheerful when facing difficulties and bring a cheerful atmosphere in the group. The assessors check if you get unduly worried or disturbed when encountering difficult situations.
Factor 4 – Dynamic
It includes three qualities which are associated with the limbs or the coordination between the mind and the body.
1. Determination (Det):
It is the ability to put in sustained efforts to achieve objectives in spite of obstacles and setbacks. The assessors see whether you are focused, able to concentrate on the task and continuously working towards achieving the objectives.
2. Courage (Cou):
It is the ability to appreciate and take purposive risks. What matters is to take risks only where required and with cautious thinking. Some candidates tend to make rash decisions which may endanger the life of subordinates and that is undesirable. Hence, you should go for ‘calculated risks when required’.
3. Stamina (Sta):
It is the capacity to withstand protracted physical and mental strain. It includes both physical and mental endurance.
While the 15 qualities have been described, mere understanding of these is not sufficient to perform well at SSB. You need to know how to project these in the right way and this needs complete guidance. I strongly suggest all the aspirants to go through my videos .