As an assessor at Service Selection Board, I often heard candidates asking at the end of all the tests, as to what is it that we see in them to select. It is unfortunate that they do not even know what are they tested for. This article will deal with 15 Qualities, arranged in four factors that are assessed in the Services Selection Boards. Services Selection Board follows a three pronged assessment namely Psychological (Manasa), Group (Karma) and Personal Interview (Vacha). Incidentally, all the three assessors assess the same 15 qualities using their respective tools / techniques. The qualities / factors are described below:-
Factor 1: Planning and Organizing. This factor includes four qualities which are associated with the mental aspect of the person.
(1) Effective Intelligence (EI): This is the ability of a person to evolve solutions to practical problems. It is different from basic intelligence which is measured using the intelligence tests (Verbal and Non Verbal). In EI the assessor want to see if you can solve day to day problems and cope with minor difficulties of daily life.
(2) Reasoning Ability (RA): It is the ability of a person to grasp a given situation and arrive at conclusion by rational thinking. In RA the assessors are looking for your receptivity, inquiring attitude, logical reasoning and the ability to see the essentials of a problem.
(3) Organizing Ability (OA): It is the ability to use the resources systematically to produce effective results. In OA, the assessors are interested in seeing how you use the various resources to produce results.
(4) Power of Expression (POE): It is the ability to put across one’s ideas adequately and with ease and clarity.
Factor II: Social Adjustment. This factor includes three qualities which are associated with the heart/conscience of the person.
(5) Social Adaptability (SA): It is the ability of a person to adapt himself to the social environment and adjust well with persons and social groups. The assessor is interested in your abilities to adapt to the members of the group, how you interact with them, are you tactful in your dealings with others etc.
(6) Cooperation (Co): It is the attitude of an individual to participate willingly with harmony with others in a group achieving the group goal. It is important to be a team player and one must not be selfish. The group aim and objective should be most important as compared to individual aim and objectives. The assessors will be keen in seeing your team attitude.
(7) Sense of Responsibility (SOR): It is the thorough understanding of the values of duty, social standard, and of what is expected of individual and then giving it his energy and attention on own accord. The assessor is keen in knowing if you understand your duty as a child/student/citizen of a country and do you have a right sense of what is the social standard and know what is expected of individuals and then do you give your best energy and attention towards it without anybody having to remind you or tell you.
Factor III: Social Effectiveness. This factor includes five qualities which are an outcome of the dynamic interaction of the above two factors i.e. head and the heart.
(8) Initiative (Inv): It is the ability to originate an action. The assessors see if you take the lead in the right direction and sustain it till the result is achieved.
(9) Self Confidence (SC): It is the faith in your own abilities to meet stressful and unfamiliar situations.
(10) Speed of Decision (SOD): It is the ability to arrive at workable decision quickly. There are two components of this namely, appropriateness of the decision and quickness at arriving at the decision.
(11) Ability to Influence the Group (AIG): It is the ability of a person which enables to get willing effort of others in the group to achieve the objectives set by him/her. What is seen is, if you can convince others to do things willingly that you want them to do without use of any force.
(12) Liveliness (Liv): It is the capacity of a person to remain buoyant / cheerful when faced with difficulties and bring about a cheerful atmosphere in the group. What is seen is, if you get unduly worried or disturbed when faced with difficult situations.
Factor IV: Dynamic. This factor includes three qualities which are associated with the limbs or the coordination between the mind and the body.
(13) Determination (Det): It is the ability to put in sustained efforts to achieve objectives in spite of obstacles and set backs. The assessors seen whether you are focused, able to concentrate on the task and continuously work towards achieving the objectives.
(14) Courage (Cou): It is the ability to appreciate and take purposive risks. What is important is to take risks only where required and that too after a careful thought. Some candidates tend to take rash decisions which may endanger the life of subordinates and that is undesirable. Hence, what is important is ‘calculated risks when required’.
(15) Stamina (Sta): It is the capacity to withstand protracted physical and mental strain. It includes both physical and mental endurance.
While the 15 qualities have been described, mere understanding of these is not sufficient to perform well at SSB. You need to know how to project these aptly and for this one may need guidance. I strongly suggest all the aspirant to go through my videos.