Conference is the last day of SSB where all the three assessors share the findings about a candidate. The IO, Psych and GTO then discuss whether to recommend a candidate or not. Mostly, the candidate who is clearly in or who is clearly out has a conference of a very short duration. Typically, a borderline candidate has a conference of a longer duration.
There is nothing extra a candidate could perform in the conference that will earn him brownie points, except for being careful in whatever he is doing and answering during conference.
Note: The answers given below are the sample answers, you may answer based on your perspective and knowledge.
Here are some mistakes that candidates tend to make in the interview. Please avoid these:
Suggesting corrections to the board:
When a candidate is asked whether he has any suggestions for the board, the common answer is no. But still, some candidates tend to suggest corrections to the board like there were a lot of mosquitoes, food was not good enough, etc. This is not good manners considering that you were there for having, having food and games for free. If you really have a better suggestions which save the time and money of the board and also make the process smooth, do share it with them, do not give suggestions just for the sake of it.
Complaining about the laundry service or on the support staff:
Be it the CHM who help the assessors or the washerman who washes your clothes. Be officer enough to deal with them yourself.
Although this is not very common, but this should be avoided at all costs. In some SSBs, there is a display screen at the candidate’s back where his marks are displayed. Even though you know it, a candidate must avoid it at all costs because this could be a serious issue otherwise.
When a candidate enters the conference room, he finds many officers in uniforms sitting in front of him. As soon as the candidate enters the conference room, he is required to wish only the senior-most officer, who is the president of the board. He is not required to greet remaining officers. This is briefed before the start of conference by the CHM.
Getting too free with the CHM:
In a typical repeater group, there are many candidates who are academy dropouts, who were previously recommended, NCC cadets or wards of defence personnel who has seen military life. What’s wrong with them is that they treat the NCOs as their friends in the way they talk or communicate with them. This is not specific to conference but can be seen that time and at the time of reporting as they interact to the group as a whole at that time only.
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Going in casually dressed attire:
Most of the times, there is a mentality in the candidates’ mind that while it is the last day and nothing is to be assessed, let’s just not dress up perfectly. This is displayed in their casualness in not ironing clothes, wearing white socks in black shoes, not tying tie correctly, etc. Although it doesn’t matter a lot, but sure needs to be taken care of.
Trying to ask candidates what happened in their conference:
Every candidate is assessed based on his/her capability and qualities. So, don’t be very eager as to what was asked to a candidate who went before you. Just keep calm and keep kaam se kaam.
Taking too much time:
Conference is the procedure in which the assessors are to cross checking their findings and deciding whether to recommend a candidate or not. So make sure you do not take up too much time thanking them/giving them suggestions or asking for suggestions. This too is not very common, but there are candidates who ask the assessors review on them.
Not preparing the questions asked in interview:
This could again be a deciding factor if you are a borderline case. When in the interview, if you do not know anything, just say “I don’t know sir, I will find out”. And be ready to answer those questions in the conference.
Don’t brainstorm on what is going on inside the room:
This is the most common mistake candidates make before conference. Do not think too much about what is going on inside the conference room. What happens inside is least of your concerns. Instead, you must focus on your performance and your conduct at the conference.
Conference is of little consequence for a candidate because the assessment stage is already over. However, candidates must make sure that they do not commit these mistakes during their conference. The josh must be as high as it was during the screening–in time. That will bring out the liveliness in you.
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