“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” – Buddha.
We are shaped by our thoughts. How we think, perceive and believe all influences how we adjust and function in our environment. We all know that psychology has an integral role to play in the SSB interview. The agenda of the interview is to determine whether the candidate possesses the Officer Like Qualities (OLQs). This is done by means of a purposive or directed conversation between the candidate and the Interviewing Officer (IO). Not only is the current personality evaluated but the training potential of the candidate is also assessed.
In order to excel in the interview, the candidate needs to be in touch with his/her own personality and of their surroundings. The following psychological life hacks will help you in performing better in the SSB interview.
It is a psychological technique used to identify negative thoughts, and reframing those thoughts into more positive challenges. Before your interview starts, instead of thinking it to be a threat, perceive it as a challenge which you have to overcome. You’ll be likely to perform better and efficiently.
You are in control of your emotions, and thoughts.
Tell yourself you’re happy or you’re excited. Eventually your brain will end up believing it. Saying that you’re depressed or you’re feeling anxious will make you all the more depressed and anxious.
Your attitude is everything.
Learn how to deal with stress without changing your behaviour. It’s not always possible to answer all questions in the correct manner. Don’t lose your cool and don’t be demoralised if the interview isn’t going the way you wanted it to. Just go with the flow and give it your best shot.
Maintain proper eye contact.
In a research it was found that 67% of interviewees fail to maintain adequate eye contact. Maintaining proper eye contact is essential since it shows that you are confident. A candidate who looks straight in the interviewer’s eye will be appraised as more confident than a candidate who looks at the floor or at the ceiling and avoids eye contact. But don’t stare or gaze hard at the IO. Look at their eyes long enough to notice what colour they are.
Chewing gum before the interview
Researchers from St. Lawrence University found that gum-chewing benefits working memory, episodic memory and general information-processing speed. The chewing motion makes it easier to focus and concentrate. Chewing some gum before the interview may help you focus, remember important information and it helps to combat the stress and nervousness. Don’t forget to spit the gum out before entering the interview room!
While entering the room, greeting the IO, thanking him or listening to him, keep your smile on. Smiling from time to time (wherever appropriate) makes you feel more relaxed and cheerful. Smiling indicates that you are cheerful and connect with people easily.
Stand up straight, avoid slouching, keep your hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliché — you literally feel better.
If your clothes create an initial unfavourable impression, you’ll have trouble neutralising it during the interview. If you look good, you feel good; and if you feel good, you’ll do well.
Manners and courtesy help in tilting the direction of the interview in your favour. Before entering the room, gently knock on the door. You can politely ask if you can come in- enter only when you are asked to, with confidence. Wish those present as per the time of the day. Wait till you are asked to sit and thank the person who asks you to sit down. While answering questions, be respectful and say ‘sir’, however excessive use of the word ‘sir’ must be avoided.
Believe in yourself.
The interview revolved around you; therefore, it is you and your performance that matters. Keep telling yourself that you have ‘it’ in you and believe in it. Don’t be nervous and don’t get intimated by the personality and the aura of the IO.
Express your emotions.
Use your emotions to allow the IO to have a better understanding of yourself. Describe your feelings as and when appropriate. Avoid extreme emotions such as anger, sentiments, etc. Use your body language as a part of your emotional expression. Avoid giving political opinions. Remember, armed forces are always apolitical and above board.
Credibility, once lost is hard to regain. You want to portray yourself as morally trustworthy since your reputation is at stake. Be respectful towards the other person with whom you’re speaking and be sensitive towards others’ feelings.
Having a positive mindset is vital. Positive thinking helps in combating negative thoughts, it elevates one’s mood and it helps us to focus on the bright side of life. It motivates us towards success. Being optimistic in the face of challenges is a positive trait that will help a candidate in the interview.
While you are waiting for your interview to start, keep these tips in mind as they will help you combat stress and anxiety.