I Performed Well, Why Was I Not Selected?

I Performed Well, Why Was I Not Selected?

This is a quite a common question in the minds of SSB aspirants. Here is my answer:

See some examples:

  • When Abhinav Bindra shoots a score of less than 10/10 it is a poor shot but when Mr Z shoots 9/10 it is a good shot.
  • If your class genius (X) scored 95/100 in Math test he was very upset at losing 5 marks. When the class laggard (Y) , (normally failing), scored 70/100 in Math test because exactly the same questions that he had solved in tuition class came in the test ( the class teacher also took extra-tuition classes), his family celebrated.

Concept of 5% Variation in Performance

Every individual has a basic potential level and he will perform approximately 5% above or below that level. In SSB we select candidates who are suitable for the Services. For selectors either a candidate is fit or unfit. We rarely think as to whether he performed well or not. Whereas candidates focus on how they have performed (in their perception).

Let us assume that X & Y both attend SSB. Now X performs his worst possible in the interview. Still the IO will find that his ‘reasoning ability’ is adequate. Now I will give the example of interaction between Y and IO.

  • IO’s Question: How was your journey from Hyderabad to Bangalore?
  • Answer of Y: My father came and ensured that I sat on my reserved berth. I went to sleep & only got up at Bangalore. The food in the train was very good.
  • IO’s Question: Which major stations did you cross en route?
  • Answer of Y: I don’t remember.
  • IO’s Question: Describe Hyderabad in brief.
  • Answer of Y: It is a very nice city.

Session of questions and answers go on in this manner & the IO is trying to desperately find as to what Y knows because he keeps getting replies like above. He finally finds that Y is very fond of serials and watches serials for 3–4 hours every day and 6–7 hours on holidays. Y is able to answer all queries about “Big Boss” and Ekta Kapoor made serials. Now as per Y the performance has been very good because all questions were answered well. I leave it to the readers to imagine the chances of clearing of SSB by Y!

Answer to Your Specific Question

You must have performed well in your perception but if your basic level is unacceptable for the Services you will not be selected. My experience as selector and now as personality developer shows that over 70% of the candidates have unacceptably poor oral & written expression. If such candidates perform even 10% above their potential they cannot meet the selection criteria. Hence please focus on enhancing your overall competence, making the requisite changes in life-style etc to meet the needs of the Services & not on the performance in the tests.

You can also visit my website & read the answers of some successful candidates who got recommended after 4–5 chances after they systematically improved themselves & not focused on the SSB process. This will clarify the issue to you further. You can even speak to them to know the truth.

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