12 Tips to Ace a Personal Interview

by Uday Kumar on December 16, 2012

interview tipsDear Friends, frankly speaking to clear an SSB interview and come out with flying colours is not as difficult as you would think. It is really an easy task if one knows how to go about it. Interviews are often perceived as nerve wrecking situations where people often fluster out of nervousness. This damages theimpression before the interview panel, exposing lack of confidence of the candidate. In the SSB interviews, the personal interviews are meant for the psychological assessment and to evaluate your confidence level and level of maturity. In the interview the Interviewing Officer (IO) is usually a person in the rank of a Colonel or above. He already has a copy of the questions and answers the candidate had filled on the very first day on the PIQ form. In the interview, the candidate’s replies are also cross checked in a Rapid Fire Questions round to confirm the candidates consistency of thoughts and honesty.

12 Useful Tips

1.Honesty: It is a wise tip for you to remain honest and truthful to the questions posed by the IO. It should be always kept in mind that the answer you provide can be cross verified anytime from your PIQ/ Psychological test answer sheets and in case they are wrong, you will lose your candidature then and there. In case, you don’t know the answer for a certain question, you should honestly admit the lack of knowledge on the subject instead of being incorrect/ guessing. Someone rightly said honesty is the best policy!!

2.Calmness: I would sincerely advice that you remain calm and relaxed. This is the first prerequisite for an interview. If you panic, that would show on your face and will reflect on your answers.

3.Presentable: You should make yourselves presentable by wearing suitable attire. Proper dress provides positive attitude which can be beneficial and boost your confidence.

4.Body Language: The body language is a crucial factor of examination. It is the non verbal medium of communication. Proper sitting manner with less movement of fingers, legs, hands is often advised. Drooping eyes, shaking legs/feet, fiddling with your pen/ file, sitting on the edge of the chair, etc are all undesirable and must be strictly avoided.

5.Eye Contact: Maintaining proper eye contact and normal breathing are indicators of confidence level of the candidate, hence you should be careful of such minute body movements and avoid trying to look away from the IO. Only a thief/liar will find it difficult to look into the eyes of the other person when asked a question. So make an habit to LOOK IN TO THE EYE of the IO.

6.Clear Expression: One of the most important tips for candidates appearing in an interview is to be clear in expression. The candidate should form coherent thoughts and express them confidently and politely. Instead of jumping from one topic to another with out any relevance at the joy of knowing the correct answer or trying to prove that you are good at that topic and you know even more, generally candidates go over the board and tell more irrelevant things from what has been asked.

7.Elaborate Answers: One should never respond to a question in yes/no form. A logical and well backed argument for the opinion should be followed. Make the interviewer feel that you have understood the question and are ready with the answer.

8.Wear a Smile on your Face: A candidate should always wear a pleasant smile throughout the interview; it is one of the basic tips for an interview. However, keeping a smiling face doesn’t necessary mean a fake smile. It basically means the candidate should be relaxed and honest during the interview to create a healthy and entertaining mood in the interview.

9.Avoid Debate: In an interview it is quite common to land up in situations where a verbal debate can initiate between the IO and the candidate. In such a situation it is advised never to argue with the IO. If there are questions about war, it is given fact that IO has more experience than the novice candidate and hence an oral war should be avoided. The intention behind creating such a situation is to test the calm and composure of a candidate. But if you are 100% sure of something in that case you can tell the IO, “Sir, as far as my knowledge this is what I know, I will definitely check it up again and get back to you”. (And try to honestly check it and find the correct answer, for the IO will ask you again in the Conference hall)

10.Be Patient: One should deal with the situation tactfully and not lose patience. Presence of mind should be displayed along with one’s knowledge and positive insight during such intense situations. The analytical ability of the candidates is usually tested through such tests.

11.Bank on the Questions that you can expect: In an SSB interview, in the first leg of the interview, introduction question or feel free questions are asked. Candidates should infuse as much data and knowledge one has while answering such questions to create a positive impression on the IO.

12.Being Confident: The remaining interview has the rapid fire questions, social problem questions and technical problem question. During these rounds the basic tips are being honest, confident and maintaining a sweet countenance. Check on one’s non-verbal communications mediums is also advised.

The tips given above are just for guiding the right candidate to make a difference in the interview. Though it is very important to be prepared for an SSB interview, these tips are equally relevant for other job interviews. Make sure to improvise them according to your requirement. Remember, that your confidence and truthfulness can make you a winner.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

praheesh December 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Nice piece of advice, Uday sir. I have one doubt how to answer the rapid fire questions. Did we need to answer them in exact order or it is better to mention some part of the questions before answering it even without the proper order of the questions asked by IO.


uday1 December 21, 2012 at 9:11 am

Praheesh, it is good to answer them in the same order.

sumeet sharma December 19, 2012 at 11:31 am

thank you very much sir


Jayant Rathhi December 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Thank you very much sir for this advance and important information


vishnubahadursingh December 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

i am very glad to find such types of tips.thanks a lot Sir!


Hussain December 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

thank you very much sir


sangeeta kalita December 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

thankz a lot for ur valuable information sir..


Anil Gharti December 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm

It is very good advice really, sir when I read your tips for interview, I feel strong willing inside of me. It makes difference


Anil January 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Sir I had cleared the NDA II 2012 examination. But i hadn’t got any call. What should I do. What documents are to be sent to UPSC in this relevance.


Neeraj January 7, 2013 at 10:55 am

Thankx sir


Subham May 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Sir, i just want to know that how can i overcome my stage fear… So that i can perform well in lecture…


shobhit lamba June 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Respected Sir,
i’ve apied for indian navy 10 2 b.tech entry scheme and i want to know that will i recieve a call letter, inviting me for the ssb,as if have heard it a lot more times that they don’t send any call letter.
Also sir, i would like to enquire, how we can chef if our application form is accepted or rejected.


pk singj September 26, 2014 at 12:20 am

Sir .i m acc candidate. This is my 2 nd attempt.first cnfrce out. Sir is it neccrsary to create proem in each tat..plz must reply i have only 8 days left


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