Saturday, December 23, 2017

How to impress the psychologist in SSB

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SSB is the not a commercial set up where the best of the lot are picked. No, here those are picked who are the RIGHT of the lot. A officer selected by SSB is chosen to lead a group of men in wars. His smallest decisions can make the difference of life and death for a soldier. The SSB selection committee just can't afford to make any mistakes during the selection process of the candidates.

So to select the right candidate it is important for the selection committee to get the Real You! However, the fact is that the candidates in SSB have a hard blanket of artificial facade over their real personality and therefore it becomes the responsibility of the psychologist of the selection committee to look through this facade and find the real you.

For a defense officer the most important capability is his immediate response to a scenario and that is the reason for tests like TAT, WAT and SRT in day 2. They want to remove that facade and find the real you. They do not want the answers that you have learnt, rather they want you response to the situations they have put you in. They want to see the stimulus of your brain to a specific situation. This does not mean that you should not prepare for the test, but what it means is that the practice of these skills should be long enough that these become a part of your personality trait by the time you are there for the SSB test. A psychologist is a trained individual who will be able to see through your facade of artificiality and if you are faking a quality for selection rather then revealing your actual traits, that is a sure shot way to get your one way ticket to home.

How to behave in a GD to impress the psychologist?

GD is more about dealing with contradictions rather than presenting your ideas. This is not a time to show off your knowledge but rather a stage to lead your group to a healthy and worthwhile discussion. The way you speak, your tone and your emotional state is what a psychologist will be judging you on. Don't get emotionally charged if your ideas are being contradicted but rather take interest in the ideas and facts presented by your fellow group members with proper order and acceptable gestures. If you are able to draw the conclusion of the discussion in your favor then great! But even if it's otherwise, there is no harm in agreeing to a contradictory idea and change your stance if that contradiction is based on facts and logic.

Take care of your body language. It shows your confidence, your body to mind balance and your intentions. Sharp and synchronized body language should compliment your spoken words. This is a first day test and you will be shortlisted only if you are able convince the committee that you are not shy in expressing your views and will be able to show your qualities in the rest of the days too.

How to clear Psychological testing?

Psychological testing is a carefully crafted method to find how a person would react in ordinary and extra ordinary situations in his life. The technique in technical terms is better known as Projective testing. This technique is used to assess your personality. It is based on a though that a person perceives his/her surroundings not as they are but as he/she is! We have our own very personal glasses in form of preconceived notions and experiences through which we take an impression of the world. The testing environment of SSB creates the right pressure to elicit honest responses from the candidates. In addition to TAT, WAT and SRT, there is also the Self Description round where the psychologists gets an idea about your aspirations, hopes, dreams, fears and attitude towards life. This helps him to understand how good a leader you are, will you be able to cooperate in the army life or not, what impact will you create emotionally, morally and mentally on your men in war and of course your leadership capabilities. We have already discussed tips on TAT, WAT and SRT but here we would be going in more details psychologically on how to sit in these exams.

TAT

This round is completely based on your perception of a situation. Here is requirement is of a hero who has to be of strong mind, should face difficulties to come out successful after facing the situational crisis. The hero here should represent YOU! The test is to see how YOU perceive the situation and react to it. The hero should be a normal guy at just the age as you, same gender and same abilities. In short, the achievements of the hero should be what you will achieve in the same situation.
  • It is very important that you are able to convey your story properly. The story should cross over to the readers and listeners. Keep in mind to keep the hero's background, socially and economically, the same as yours.
  • There should be a clear hero in the story mimicking your own background. This hero should be made clear in the start of the story only along with his scenery and location- village/city, district and state.
  • There should be a clear task for the hero.
  • Use the representation carefully to craft your story. If the image does not show anything except you and probably a kacha house, then see if there are trees around in which case you can extend your imagination to make it a scene of a village. Try to search for the clues hard!
  • The task should be filled with some obstacles, the hero should not have a easy sailing through the problem because keep in mind that reality is always harsh and the life of a armed forced personnel is even harder.
  • Make the right selection of resources which are appropriate according to the scenery you have chosen for the story. And also use these resources in a practical way which sound practical.
  • Leadership skill should be clearly visible in the hero through the story.
  • Don't use adjectives for the hero. If he is brave, intelligent, smart or loving; these qualities should come out through the story and not by specifically mentioning them.
The blank story is given to give your aroused mind an outlet. Story writing can make your mind quite active and those emotions which you were not able to describe in the 10 stories, you can use this blank story to make give them a shape. It would be best to write a real life experience which you are proud of in which you acted in danger with good results at end. However, if you have no such story then it is definitely not a bad idea to go a little prepared for it.

WAT

While TAT is a directionless test where you are free to think, imagine and give words to your imagination, WAT is more of a guided thinking.
WAT is designed to test your perception towards life. The sentences you make from the given words help the examiners gauge your attitude towards life- whether its positive or negative. Here is aim is not to find your all positive qualities but to see if you have enough positiveness towards life that you can be trained and improved the areas you are lacking without taking your training and work as a burden. You should be come out as appreciating a certain situation, task or quality in terms of real life talks. For example, if the word is WEAK the sentence can be
I help my friends in studies who are weak in technical subjects
Here you are putting forward a positive attitude of helping others.  However, don't come out as preachy and avoid using any well known quotations.
Try not to leave any word but in case you do leave it in the same order, don't change the order of the words.

SRT

What the psychologist is most interested is your ability to work in a team. Whether you are of a cooperative attitude or an obstructive and overriding attitude. You have to place your group first and then yourself. Even if it means compromising some of your interest, let it be so and come to a mutually agreeable conclusion.
You have to image yourself as being in the problem and then only you will be able to tackle the problem head on. Resources are spread in the question itself and you have to use those to find a perfect solution. The time is kept short in this test to avoid lengthy explanations from the candidates and rather get a short and concise solution. The solution should bring out your problem solving skills and leadership qualities. The solution should not be time consuming. More than the solution you main aim should be to correctly analyze the situation. There will be many ways to solve a problem but which method will be practical in a real life situation is the one the psychologist is looking from your side.

Impressing the SSB Interviewer

Interview is developing a two way communication channel for the free flow of information between two sides. The interviewer of the SSB is a highly trained and experience person who will judge you on both your words and body language. They will test you for your organizing capabilities, your ability to put forward your ideas, your confidence, your tolerating power in stressful conditions, your ability to work in a group and importantly your potential to grow in the SSB training by analyzing your past and present achievements.

The interviews at SSB are marked with the ease that the Interviewing Offer will try to establish. He/she will try to engage you in a friendly chat and will keep it informal from his side. Then some normal questions are asked like your family, where your father works, your interests and such.

Rapid Fire: You will be asked around 10-20 questions their difficulty level depending on your own IQ are gauged by the interviewer. These are about your family details, educational details and your hobbies and interests. This is to test how much you remember and analyze from your past, what have you learn, what are your priorities in life, how tense you are and what type of questions you are attempting with confidence or  in which you are thinking about the answer.

Daily routine: There is no fixed definition of a good routine. It is a personal life style and can be designed in many ways but should have the qualities of an officer like punctuality, motivation, responsibility, etc.

Current Affairs: This is to see how well you are aware of the happenings around you. Reading, watching and knowing about your world is an important quality not only officer but a common man too but for a soldier of a country, its importance is much higher.

Most important question: The million dollar question of any interview is Why do you want to join our organization? This is a question which should be truthful and not copied from somewhere. After all, it is in neither in the interest of the country nor you to be given such an important responsibility of saving the lives of many people if you are not interested in it. There are personal reasons for everybody to choose a career and it should show that you are motivated from the depth of your heart to join the armed forces.

  • Don't get distracted in the interview. It is a common way of an interviewer to act as if they are not interested in what you are saying. Don't think that what you are saying is wrong or uninteresting, just complete your talk and don't stop in between.
  • Rejecting what you are saying is another way to shake your confidence. If you are honest you will show confidence and not divert from your fact but if you are lying you will try to change tracks.
  • Accept your strengths AND weakness. You should know when to compromise and when to not. If the interviewer points out a weakness in you and you are aware of it, there is no harm to accept it. Acceptance is the first step towards overcoming a fault or weakness.
  • Giving situation questions is also a common situation. These should be approached just like your SRT. Your should try to solve the problem with YOU in it. No matter if the the solution is faulty, but your presence in it is more important.
These form the basis of where your will be tested psychologically if you are fit to enter the armed forces or not. We said this before, we will say it again- Don't fake yourself, present the real you in front of the SSB examiners. These people are highly experienced and trained in what they do. They can tell from your eyes when you are lying. So, prepare all you have to do before going for the 5 day tests but be yourself and give the exams with confidence!

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