The Combined Defense Service (CDS) Examination is conducted by UPSC for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Officers Training Academy (OTA), Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy. It conducts the exam twice a year. The selection process consists of four stages:
- Written exam
- Interview/ Intelligence Test/ Personality Test
- Document verification
- Medical examination
The successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).
Cracking the SSB interview is not everyone's cup of tea. If you have the passion than it's easy for you, but if not, then you have to be smart enough to prove otherwise. The SSB interview takes place for 5 days, with separate tests scheduled for each day:
- Day 1: Picture perception and description test
- Day 2: Psychological test
- Day 3: SSB interview
- Day 4: Group Tasks Officers test
- Day 5: Conference
Golden Tips to clear SSB Interview in the first attempt
Clearing SSB is not an impossible task. Implement and practice these tips and assure yourself to the path of success.
Don't be nervous and keep the stress away
Prepare well before the exam and keep the nervousness and stress away. Take it like any other interview and go with a positive mindset. You should be relaxed and calm and present yourself with full confidence. Forget how many people you are competing against and always remember, you only need one seat!
Practice, Practice and Practice More!
Practice makes the man perfect! It is always advisable to practice the psychological tests, because these tests are conducted under strict time constraints and if you practice them in advance; it'll help you a lot to manage time. Also, it is very important that you practice speaking in English. This can be done by watching English news channels and try speaking in English with your friends.
Be confident about yourself
Personal interview is one thing that everyone has to face. Panel members evaluate your performance based on your confidence level, body language, eye contact, knowledge level and your views on whatever the questions they ask. You should always know about yourself, the place you belong to, about your family members, etc. Sometimes the interviewers ask - Where are you from? Tell something about your native place? What is the meaning of your name?
The key to success in any interview is to always be positive and enthusiastic!
Don't ignore current affairs
Always keep yourself updated with what is happening around the nation and the world. Be a regular reader of the newspaper preferably The Hindu and don't miss it even a single day as questions related to current affairs can be expected in the CDS interviews. The questions asked may be factual, like where is Crimea located? Also, you should expect analytical questions in which you are asked about your opinion, e.g. what are your views on Net Neutrality?
Brush up Technical and Academic Knowledge
Questions from your academic background are very common in CDS interviews. So, you need to revise the core subjects from your graduations field. For example, if you are a Civil Engineer, then you need to revisit the concepts of RCC, Structural Engineering and irrigation Engineering. Go prepared for a question like - Which was your favorite subject during graduation? And expect detailed question on this subject.
Physical fitness is the area of concern when it comes to SSB interviews. You have to be physically fit and energetic since you have to qualify this critical stage. Act smart and work smart! Your style of walking, sitting posture, energy level - everything pays for the interview. The physical fitness will reflect your personality. So don't be lazy and start exercising!
Thus, to crack the CDS interview, focused preparation and knowledge of current affairs along with physical fitness are critical. Always keep yourself updated with first hand information to succeed in the competition.
So don't miss your chance. Prepare thoroughly on the above given guidelines and rest assured of success.
If you have any doubts or questions related to interview preparation, feel free to ask them in the comments section given below.