Top 15 Officers Like Qualities (OLQs) to Crack SSB Interview

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Officer like qualities are the qualities or attributes of someone’s character that are considered essential for an officer to fulfill his/her responsibilities. Officers are people in authority particularly in defence.

In India we have three basic fundamental defence forces. Army, Navy and Airforce. All these defence forces have their own criteria and requirements that they look for in a candidate, which they judge through various exams for example:

  1. National Defence Academy & Naval Academy examination (NDA & NA Exam)
  2. Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE)
  3. Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT)

But for an officer there are some fundamental requirements that all these forces have in common and for that there is a common system of judgement in place known as SSB (Service selection board) interview test designed to examine intelligence and personalities of potential defence officers. Exam is conducted by the Service Selection Board Ministry of Defence.

So here we discuss the qualities that the SSB looks for in a potential defence officer known as Officer like Qualities (OLQ). Various examination methods involving group activities, interviews etc. are employed to judge candidates based upon these qualities. So, there are 15 basic qualities categorized in 4 categories as shown below.

Officer Like Qualities OLQs 3


The First OLQ Classification Is Based Upon Planning and Organising Abilities.

Because for an officer in such critical position of authority has to be organised and a good planner. The qualities examined on this category are-

  1. Effective Intelligence-   Intelligence simply means the mental activity that enables us to think and understand but when it has to be effective, it has to be productive, quick and in the direction that is needed.
  2. Reasoning ability-   Reasoning is simply the ability of judgement. Being able to logically analyse any situation to derive a conclusion is reasoning ability.
  3. Organizing ability- Effective Organization is a tool that enables someone to use all his/her resources tangible or intangible like time, energy most effectively. It reflects in people’s planning of any task or their schedules.
  4. Power of Expression-   For a person of authority not just thinking, analysing and planning effectively is important, but how that plan has been put out in front of concerned people that may include seniors, colleagues or subordinates is also extremely important. Because communication losses in such important positions are totally unaffordable. That is why the power of expression becomes extremely important.

The Second Classification Is Based Upon Social Adjustment Ability.

As social pertains to the society or different people in your surroundings and to adjust is to accommodate and for an officer its very important to strike the right balance here as well. The qualities that help in determining these abilities are-

1 Officer Like Qualities OLQs

  1. Social Adaptability-    In a nation as diverse as ours we are often put through different and varied social obligations and understandings. And an officer from any part of the country can work anywhere so it becomes crucial to acclimatise according to different society’s make ups.  This cognitive flexibility becomes very important.
  2. Sense of responsibility-   An officer often find himself in leading position of authority which comes with immense power but, with power also comes responsibility, and someone who possesses an inherent sense of responsibility can only be a good candidate. This quality play crucial role in fulfilment of an officer’s duties.
  3. Cooperation- As mentioned earlier an officer can be in contact with his/her seniors, colleagues or subordinates or even some unrelated people, unknown people. Foe working like this in teams it is essential to have mutual cooperation then only can any operation be performed.
  4. Self-confidence- As it is clear for an officer it is very important to earn the confidence of his team and people working with him/her and for that the first step is to believe in him/her-self and have self-confidence. It is important to update you that Dehradun Defence Academy offers best NDA coaching in India which include- NDA foundation course after 10th or School integrated program, RIMC coaching, etc. In case you are interested, do contact us via contact form.

The Third Classification Is Social Effectiveness.

All the qualities discussed above are a part of the planning and personality process but execution of any idea or operation it is vital for it to be socially effective. Qualities pertaining social effectiveness are-

Officer Like Qualities OLQs 4

  1. Initiative- As an officer you are always being looked at to follow in so many ways you need to take precedence when it comes to action.  So, to get followed one has to take initiatives and start anything for it to become a trend.
  2. Ability to influence a group-   As an officer you working in team and actually majorly leading a team. A team may comprise of different people working for same goal. So, if you are unable to influence a group of people leady them is just not possible. So, influencing quality is also very important.
  3. Speed of making decision- As an officer even after planning and preparation crucial decisions need to be taken in time constraint situations. So, speed of making decisions becomes very important and you are expected to take decisions quickly and strongly.
  4. LivelinessWho would like to follow a person who looks unhappy and hopeless. So, for an officer to establish a good and healthy working environment especially given the nature of the job viz. defence, being and looking happy and lively becomes very important.

The Fourth And final Class of OLQ is Dynamic.

It includes-

Officer Like Qualities OLQs 6

  1. Determination- This is one quality that is tested throughout an officer’s career. Being stern about reaching goals. If once you set out for something then there must be no alternative to fulfilling that goal.
  2. Courage- In such positions of national interest definitely having courage or being fearless becomes very important. Because defence operations can put anything at stake with a lot of mental pressure, so being courageous becomes vital.
  3. Stamina- For performing any mental or physical duties it is important to have good stamina. Various physical assessments are also done to determine someone’s stamina.

So, these are the 15 OLQs discussed here in detail. There is much more depth to an officer’s character and even more in what is expected out of him. This discussion can never end. But these are the basic qualities required.

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