15 Officer Like Qualities for SSB Interview

Being an Officer in Defence forces is a coveted dream of many young bloods. However, selecting the right candidate is of immense importance as one wrong decision of an officer could turn life into death for many soldiers. In order to become an officer in Army/Navy or Air Force, a candidate must possess certain Leadership Qualities and these qualities are known as Officer Like Qualities or OLQs.

All these qualities are not only important for SSB Interview but also a must-have for a successful leader. The Officer Like Qualities are the qualities which an ideal leader must have in him/her in order to successfully lead his team in any sphere of life. The best thing about these qualities is that they are naturally present in every individual but not all have same qualities, some are better in one particular quality while the other is good in something else.

The Service Selection Boards looks for potential officer material based on these qualities and candidates possessing maximum qualities are selected for armed forces. There are 15 OLQs which are mentioned in the table below:-

Main Category
Sub Category Description
Planning & Organising

(Related to our Mind)   

1.Effective Intelligence The basic intelligence will be tested. You are not expected to have a superbrain, but you must be effectively able to solve day to day problems and able to practically use the available resources.
2.Reasoning Ability Candidates ability to logically understand a given problem. This means that while giving the solution to the problem the candidate is able to address all the possible hidden problems also. One should be able to think rationally.
3.Organising Ability The candidate is judged on the organizing ability and one must be able to make the best or the optimal use of available resources. To check this quality you will be given various problems and it will be judged how you organize the available resources to solve those problems.
4.Power of Expression

The the difference between a good and the best leader is the power of expression.  Maybe you have the best idea but it is of no use if you are not able to convey that to your group. Candidate must be able to express his ideas to his group. You will get to show your power of expression especially in Lecturette, and Personal Interview.

Social Adjustment (Related to our Heart)   5.Social Adaptability You are judged how quickly you are able to adjust to strangers and how well you gell together in the group. GTO tests are designed to judge your social adaptability.
6.Cooperation In Army Cooperation is an important thing and without it, it’s not possible to overcome the obstacles that you will face during your career as an army officer.
7.Sense of Responsibility A candidate is checked whether he is willing to take responsibility or not. While doing the GTO tasks the group will for sure break a rule or two and the candidate with a sense of responsibility will take the responsibility of mistakes done by his group while others will point the finger.
Social Effectiveness (Related to Guts) 8.Initiative An ideal leader such be able to take initiative to solve problems in situations in which nobody knows about anything. The initiative taken by the leader must be based on logic and rational to achieve the goal of your group.
9.Self Confidence It is judged whether a candidate is capable enough to work in unfamiliar situations.
10.Speed of Decision A single decision of an officer in the army could make difference between life or death. An ideal leader should be able to quickly take the right, workable and practical decision. For example, if a doctor decided too late that operation is needed for a particular patient then the decision is of no use even though it was the correct decision.
11.Group Influencing Ability This is another important quality of a leader. The leader must have the ability to convince his/her group.
12.Liveliness We all wants to see a happy face. Whenever any problem is given to you, you must take it with both hands and solve it with a smile on your face. Your Liveliness will help your team to solve may big challenges.

(Related to our Limbs) 

13.Determination The officers try to find out how much you are determined to achieve your goal. During the GTO tasks, several obstacles will be created by the officer and he will judge you whether you are determined to overcome all such obstacles in order to achieve your goal. You should not stop at any obstacle, keep finding the solution.
14.Courage It is judged whether you are willing to take reasonable risks if required. But you need to understand the difference between risk and foolishness. For example, a boy is drowning away in the river and if you don’t know swimming and you jumped in the river to save him then it is foolishness because how can you save him when you don’t know swimming. But if you knew swimming and you jumped into the river to save him then it will be an act of Courage.
15.Stamina Another important thing in defence forces is your stamina. It is judged whether you give up easily or you fight until the last drop of your blood. Stamina is something, not an absolute requirement because during your training you will be made such that it will automatically improve.

Some of the above-mentioned qualities such as Stamina or Organizing ability can be developed/enhanced with proper training while other like honesty and integrity can’t be developed consciously as they develop over a long period of time. If you lack in the trainable qualites (such as Stamina or Organizing ability) then you can still make it to the defence forces but if you lack in the qualites such as honesty and integrity then your chances of making it to the Army/Navy/Air Force are very less as no compromise is made on these qualities.


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  1. More than a comment I actually have a query.
    I am a trainer (have my own grooming center) but come from a completely civilian background. A couple of my students who have enlisted with me for SSB selection process have been tutored by other coaching centers, being run by retired Captains, Majors and Colonels, that they should have only masculine heroes/ideals in their lives. In all the TAT stories, WAT and SRT responses they are being coached to refer to only male leaders or heroes. I totally disagree to this.
    My question to all members in this group is to guide me whether the honorable retired Captains, Majors and Colonels are right in pushing such male chauvinism into the minds of young defense career aspirants ?

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