Personal Interview – Introduction

The interview conducted by the Interviewing Officer (IO) in the Services Selection Board (SSB) is an essential component of the selection process. The IO assesses the personality, leadership qualities, communication skills, and suitability of candidates for a career in the armed forces. The interview is typically conducted in a one-on-one format and is known as the Personal Interview (PI).

The primary purpose of the PI is to gain deeper insights into the candidate’s personality, motivations, aspirations, values, and suitability for a career in the armed forces. The IO aims to assess the candidate’s mental agility, clarity of thought, decision-making abilities, integrity, and overall suitability for a leadership role.


The PI is conducted in a formal and structured manner. The IO asks a series of questions to the candidate, covering a wide range of topics. The questions may be related to personal experiences, educational background, current affairs, general knowledge, and opinions on various issues.

The IO delves into various aspects of the candidate’s life and personality, aiming to assess their suitability for a career in the armed forces. The candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, achievements, challenges faced, hobbies, extracurricular activities, and life goals are some of the areas that may be explored during the interview.

The IO evaluates the candidate’s officer-like qualities, including leadership potential, effective communication skills, problem-solving abilities, decision-making skills, adaptability, emotional intelligence, and ability to work under pressure. The candidate’s ability to handle responsibilities, take initiatives, and display a sense of teamwork is also assessed.


The IO may test the candidate’s general knowledge, current affairs awareness, and understanding of national and international issues. The candidate’s awareness of defence related matters, understanding of the armed forces, and knowledge of recent developments in the country may also be assessed.

The IO pays close attention to the candidate’s communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal. The ability to express thoughts clearly, articulate ideas, maintain eye contact, and exhibit body language that reflects confidence, poise, and assertiveness is assessed during the interview.


The IO may present hypothetical situations or case studies to assess the candidate’s analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and decision-making abilities. The candidate’s approach to problem-solving, ability to consider multiple perspectives, and ethical decision-making skills may be evaluated.

The IO observes the candidate’s overall personality traits, including confidence, self-awareness, self-discipline, motivation, emotional stability, integrity, and maturity. The IO may also assess the candidate’s attitude, values, and the alignment of their goals with the values of the armed forces.

It’s important for candidates to be authentic, confident, and well-prepared for the PI. They should demonstrate their genuine interest in a career in the armed forces, showcase their potential for leadership, and exhibit qualities that align with the core values of the armed forces.