Hi, I am Siddharth Saini, I got recommended in my 8th attempt for Indian Coast Guard, from CGSB, Noida. So, CGSB was also a new experience to me like you’ll guys if you are reading about it for the first time.
Basically, day 1 of SSB/AFSB is held separately in 4 locations in India, all known as PSB or Preliminary Selection Board, i.e. NOIDA(north), Dhanu(west), Chennai(south), and Kolkata(east). So on average 100 people report in a single batch on a specific day to their allotted centre for day 1 testing. On a single day there are 2 such batches one reports at 7 am in the morning other at 10 am in the morning, and day 1 testing for the candidates who all have filled the forms for ICG goes on for 1 to 2 months approximately. The candidates who qualify for the day 1 testing, goes home after submitting the documents and their call-up letters for FSB or Final Selection Board, only at Noida, i.e. day 2 to day 5. The process of FSB is the same from Day 2 of SSB/AFSB that is Psych, GTO (indoor task only), and Interview followed by a conference.
DAY1, PSB at NOIDA:
OIR test: 50 questions over 7 sections.
OIR test for coast guard doesn’t happen on the booklet, it happens on the projector and one by one question is flashed for 4 to 30 seconds depending upon its section.
So, around 100 people reported to the hall and after the test, 29 of them were selected for PPDT testing, the rest were sent home.
Out of 29 two groups were divided of 14 and 15 I was in the second group. After PPDT, out of 29, 8 were screened in then after documentation we too went home.
FSB at NOIDA:
It is the reporting day at 1500hrs and only documents verification and PIQ were given to fill.
We all at 0800hrs reported in formals after having breakfast and were taken to the psychometric testing room at 0845hrs. There we met the psychologist sir at 9000hrs, he had a brief interaction with us, which helped us charge up a bit.
We gave general information about the TAT test, earlier I used to avoid instruction and focus on my stories as the instructions were given, maybe it was because I was nervousness or something, but this time I listened to the instructions well which helped to just write words instead of checking the beauty of the sentence, just wanted to convey my idea.
I wrote all the TAT stories well in time and given space and later made lines to separate two TAT stories to give clarity to the assessor. In my TAT stories, I made almost 9-10 stories revolving about my age hero with their occupation similar to my age for eg. Junior/senior/trainee Engineer, MSc. student, Teacher, etc. All my TAT stories revolved around either my lifestyle or my friend’s lifestyle (past or present). My 12th story, which is a blank slide, I earlier used to write a premeditated story but this time, in those 30 secs I analyzed my 11 stories and noticed I haven’t written about sports from my PIQ and SD hence I wrote about Theme sports in my blank story.
That’s how I completed my TAT section.
We to me WAT has never been a problem as I tend to write positive sentences. It’s just the quality I was worried about this time. So I used my sd and piq a lot in WAT as well.
Parents: Parents feels relaxed as children takes responsibilities ( as I have mentioned similar point in my parents SD)
Average: Average consistent performance is preferred over inconsistent UPS and DOWNS.(as mentioned above I didn’t care for the beauty of expression I conveyed my idea of performing average though consistently, similar point is mentioned in my SD, as I am a holistic developer)
So I completed all my WATs on time.
SRTs to me was an eye-opener by VIPUL sir, earlier I used to write positive responses, but 60 people writing the same responses available in the market will bore any assessor and will not be able to differentiate between you and your previous chest nos.
So I started to put myself in that situation and imagine what all resources possibly will be available to me at that point of time and hence it turned out to be a mini GPE to me.
While giving the test in the hall I imagined for 10secs and wrote my response using comas but in a detailed manner.
For eg: you are late for a meeting and your boss is waiting with the clients: I will call my boss, tell late by 10mins, lift broke down, climbing to 10th floor, reached in time, gave presentation, won the client.
So this has actually happened in my life so I was able to give a response naturally to it.
Your brake fails on a highway at 80kmph, I will take my car to the extreme lane, gearshift and reduce speed, bump it across the wall, speed minimum, jumps out safely, call friend with help.
I haven’t been in this situation though when I drive or travel I think about these scenarios and how to act.
So, I completed 45 SRTs all in this manner.
15mins were given to us to write SD, and we marked heading on the pages given during the instructions.
I completed my SD in 13 mins, when the assessor said hurry up 2mins to go. Trust me I have a very bad handwriting I was destined to be a doctor but somehow ended up doing engineering. So I practiced it like for a week or two with a timer and focused on each and every letter I am making, this also helped me overall in TAT as I wrote clear and legible.
Overall, I was quite satisfied with my performance and for the first time didn’t have any regret that I could have done any better.
A blank day, didn’t have any interview schedule nor any GTO task.
So we as a group played UNO, bluff, talked about various different aspects of life, field of work, and stories from each other’s life.
My interview was scheduled at 12pm which got delayed to 1230pm and then it got cancelled eventually.
Today also my group didn’t had its GTO task as leaving me all had their interviews scheduled today. So by 2000hrs at night of day 3, I with 4 to 5 tech entry people were only left for their interview.
So basically I chilled for 2 straight days seeing people completing their GTO and Interviews by day 3 itself and sharing their experiences.
At 0800hrs we reported and only our group was left to go for GTO , so GTO was scheduled at 0900hrs and hilariously my interview was scheduled at 1000hrs, which later got sorted.
We all reported to GTO room, we sat in a circle, with the assessor opposite end of mine.
GD-1 topic: Because of COVID, an economical dip has occurred in INDIA, what according to you, will be the major sector to revive the Indian economy:
c. foreign investments/policies
I initiated the GD talking about how all our lives have been affected by the COVID pandemic and talked for about a min covering all the 3 leads given by GTO setting up the platform for all to get a brief idea to choose from what to speak from. I stayed calm and listened to everyone’s points and opinion for 3 mins and as the discussion was getting stagnated to one lead of Startups and sometimes drifting to govt policies I brought the topic to MSMEs area and also included govt policies already in process. Again I waited for 2 mins and spoke about the foreign policies which could be beneficial for future but MSMEs are the founding blocks to reviving the economy, giving last quarter stats of reviving GDP. Finally, as the group was reaching a dead end, I spoke for the last time and this time I coherently summed up the whole GD mentioning everyone’s Chest no. and points given by them as I remembered and asked to move forward on personal experiences like giving my personal experience Of the region I am living in Panipat-Sonipat region having a lot of MSME industry, and people followed on it and started giving points. Then the GD-1 was brought to an end as the time was ended an all of us have spoken enough,
GD-2 topic: as everything has become digital these days, what according to you should be a major step taken by govt to decrease the online scams affecting the country:
b. Cyber Infrastructure
c. Govt policies
In this GD group let me initiate the topic as I spoke about the latest cyber-attacks on our thermal power plants leading to power cuts, and followed up covering all the 3 leads again, to make India a better secure place to live in, leaving the group again to discuss on the 3 leads based upon my arguments. Luckily, the group agreed to my argument and started their discussion. The group got divided under two leads awareness and cyber security while I was too inclined towards cyber infrastructure development. I waited for a min more adding to 3 mins to listening and spoke for the second time appreciating the awareness point but this time instead of making a point I asked a question to the group u will set up awareness about abc malware what will happen if xyz malware comes in, where is the end to it? And rhetorically answered it myself, talking about improving cyber infrastructure and CERTS. The group then started talking about cyber infrastructure and various different rules and regulations by social media platforms in India and rest of world.
#funny incident: Meanwhile I agreed to one of my friend’s point(Harish) of Pegasus spyware attack which he mispronounced though I was so involved, I affirmed with his Pegasus point and said Pegasus a bit audibly but harish correcting himself mispronounced Peagsus wrong again making few people grin under their mask including me#. I spoke for the third time talking about new govt. policy and need of cyber command elaborating the need and future scope to which all agreed. Then the GD was over as all have spoken for reasonable amount of time.
Overall, the GD-1&2 went quite well for me, initiated, brought group to leads given, listened to all and shared personal experiences to make it sound relevant.
The GPE was shown to us on the Projector, it was read well by GTO and then sheets were given to us to write down our possible solutions to it.
As the GPE was displayed I quickly noticed the scale and marked all the important places shown in my mind and as the GTO read the GPE I was just calculating the distance from the places we have to go to ease my tension off during writing solution. As we got 5 mins to read the problem I already knew which all places to go, just read it to make sure how many problems were given , start and end time and the resources that is and can be available.
While writing I followed a set pattern provided by SIR to which I had done some changes to expedite the process. I completed the GPE well in time using all the resources, indicating timings, and meeting final goal.
Now, the difficult task in GPE is making a common plan, so this time I listened to my group members and after 2-3 mins I noticed majority had made similar plan to mine, so I started speaking and made them agree to the first priority, plus there were 5 problems given to us, but I logically asked all to club 4th and 5th problems as same group of members can do the task and they all agreed. We all agreed to priorities quiet quickly to my surprise, maybe, it was because of the experience of the group of repeaters had, lucky us. Now the time came for time and distance calculation and people started calculating but it was taking time, so again I quickly helped the group as I had marked all the points and calculated all the distances well with avg speed of bikes, bus and car, they all agreed to time and distance calculation too.
Again to my surprise as well as of GTO we all agreed to GPE in time less than given, he was happy to see this coherence and smiled and asked all to nominate one person to give the final common plan. I was sitting in the centre of the semicircle, I clearly saw everyone pointing hands saying my chest no.(26) and giving reason that he had contributed well and calculated all, I was overwhelmed by it.GTO smiled at me and asked to come and pick up the pointer and explain the plan to the team.
I stood up, walked with confidence, picked up the pointer, and made sure I am not standing in the way of any person of my group plus I should have a clear way of the board. I took my stance, greeted all, I started by narrating the problem first to group as if they have no idea what the problem is, and then divided the group into 4 giving team a, b, c & d their name and henceforth refered team a,b,c & d only. Then according to the Priority set by the group gave solution to all the problems, using resources like cars, bike, teacher, bus driver, resources available in houses, like mirchi powder, sticks,ropes,knives,hammer,pins,etc. to which group agreed vehemently. And simultaneously kept record of time and distance in organized manner.and led to the final destination well in time.
The GTO didn’t ask any questions neither to the group nor to me.
Here we are given, a card consisting 4 topics, we can choose any one topic out of 4 and speak on it. Time given to prepare for it is 3 mins and 3 mins to deliver in front of your friends in the group. Here you have to introduce yourself, tell about the place you are coming from, highest education and your hobby as the first person in the group goes out of the room to prepare for his Lecturette. I was 6th in my group so I listened to all in front of me well encouraged them as they spoke. When I went out to prepare in my chance I choose to speak on “is India ready for cashless economy” #funny incident: as I was preparing out of the room, the peon of my interviewer was on a search of me as my interview was scheduled on 1000hrs and I haven’t reported, so he saw me brisk walking and talking to myself outside GTO room and caught my arm and gently started pulling me and told your interview is on the above floor what are you doing here? I was taken aback by this and it took me 2 seconds what he is saying as I was preparing for my Lecturette, I told him my GTO is going on, I will come back later or else go in the room and take permission of GTO sir. He said he is waiting outside only. Now, I have forgotten what all points I had to say, hilarious#. I entered the room kept my card near to GTO desk, took my position and delivered the Lecturette in an organized manner as I had practiced during preparation, as the bell rang for last 30 secs I started giving my opinions on the topic and picked up points from today’s morning GD on cyber crime which summed up my GD in well 3 mins.
As all completed the Lecturette, the GTO wished us good luck and wished me al the best for the interview as well.
As we came out of GTO room the peon asked me to report at 1230hrs so I went out my room and rested with my group and I got positive feedback from my friends which boosted my moral .
I reached 10mins early and the peon was sitting there and a chair was there for me to sit just outside the room, I kept calm, settled down , analyzed my GTO performance, I was happy about it, but kept my cool, as being an extrovert I cant keep myself shut, so I started talking to the peon, Mr. Diwakar was his name, he came to Delhi 15years ago, has 2 kids one in 5ht and another in 3rd , has been working in ICG as private employee for 5 years and is happy in his 1 BHK flat in sec 60.I could here my interviewer on call with someone, the voice was quite clear and strong, so I asked about the sir, how he is ,his sound looks quite good to which he laughed and agreed. Seeing this 2 Uttam Adhikari sir also came and started talking to me, and I asked his journey in ICG as well. By now, I was really calmed down and cool.
after just 5 mins the light turned green, but Diwakar sir said let me go and check and then you can come in. He went in, and came out, smiling which indicated me that the energy in th e room is all positive and boosted my moral.
I went in and was greeted too vehemently by interviewer sir, I too responded in cheerful manner and stood beside my chair for a min as he was writing something, to which he said u can sit down, I sat down comfortably in an attentive manner.
I kept my mask on, he asked me about my company and misunderstood TCE as TCS, though I didn’t correct him in between his questioning, when I started answering I Just stated I am working in Tata consulting engineers, TCE and continued with his sets of questions to which he said sorry I got confused between TCS and TCE, and listened to my answer and appreciated my role. He said you can remove your mask, and then I removed my mask.
He briefed me about the interviewing process and started off with 1st set of CIQ(comprehensive interviewing questionnaire) which consisted of 14 questions relating to my education, achievements, teachers and friends and I answered all the questions relating it to my PIQ and SD, and in the end asked politely sir, I would like to answer any question I might not have answered, to which he said no you have covered all the questions and ill ask some questions I have doubts upon, so he asked me why science why not commerce or arts? I gave him my logic for it. He followed up with a physics questions to which I gave him an apt solution, then he asked me a question on working of a vehicle I explained how a car moves. He asked about my best friend his negative, my negatives my positives according to him and reasons for it, I gave instances from SD as well as my life to support my negatives. He looked satisfied to me.
Then he put another set of CIQ consisting of 10 questions relating to my family , neighborhood, and hobbies to which I answered quite well, but I remembered I was missing 2 questions, so I asked I thinking I am missing two questions could you please help me with it, to which he told me the 2 questions was missing, and I answered it.
He asked about my role in house, my single weakness and my single strength to which I took 10sec to think and answer my best strength. He asked about my backup plan and I gave him a solid timeline to my backup plan and he nodded to my plan. he asked me about my hobby reading, asked me to name books, I stopped after 5 he said continue and named 10 more to which he kept writing and asked about my favorite TV series, as I read books related to physics and some fictions I named TV series related to those as well.
Then he asked me distance between Russia and USA I thought for 5 secs and said I don’t know and cannot commit to false information, to which he asked me to guess and gave me options and I guessed give or take 100km. He asked me about article 377, of Indian constitution and told him I did not know about it, he asked me just tell me what it is related to. I said don’t know and kept my calm.
He asked me to tell how many Union territories India have and I told 8, to which he started laughing and told me to count, I told him all the UTs in order going from north to south and he was satisfied, he asked he the historic ruler of Pondicherry I told him French , then asked me how many parts Pondicherry is divided into I said I know only two if there are more I will come back with an answer in conference as one person is from Pondicherry in our group to which he laughed. He asked me about the location of Daman , Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli I told him their position.
Finally he asked me if you are given power to eliminate one person in the world who would it be. I said no one sir. He shouted at me why no one, To which I quoted My very own quote to which he asked whose quote is it, I said SIDDHATH SAINI, he looked at me and started thinking something, he asked me what will you do to resolve a conflict? I will talk to the person, and find out what the issue is and talk to him what he logically wants and what is betterment for all, to which he said the person is not listening to you, what will you do? I said, I will stop talking sit with him ideally, give him time and space, and ask him to speak whenever he feels like and get to know what is going on in his mind and heart and then build upon it. He said ok to it.
He said that’s it Siddharth, all the very best for the conference , im impressed, keep doing the good work and ill see in the conference.
I stood up and left the room, little did I know I forgot my mask in the room, so I gathered up my courage and knocked in, he asked to come in, I said, I forgot my ask and he told me to please pick it up and there was another lying their and told to give it your friend he missed it in the morning. I said ok and left.
Well day 5 was fun, we roamed, chatted & played the premises till 0200hrs, and slept by 0230hrs.woke up at 6000hrs and got ready by 0630hrs had breakfast and went with our luggage to candidate waiting hall by 0700hrs.
We were taken at 0730 hrs to the conference room by Uttam Adhikari sir to have look at the conference room and gave few demos via the candidates about how to come in, greet, sit and leave the conference room.
At around 0815hrs Deputy Commandant came and briefed us all and wished us luck. The process started at 0830hrs,ches no. 25 went in and came out in 5mins and I was next, I was standing 10 steps aways outside the room, and then the wait started, Mr. diwakar sir was siting there I asked him time, and then again I asked him a few moments later, 20mins have passed, my froend sitting next to me advised me to keep calm be composed. I listened to him well and then suddenly light turned green I entered the room.
I went in stood in front said my name, I was asked to remove my mask and sit. I followed the order. From the crowd a voice came, as I started looking for the person speaking, but I was too overwhelmed by the officers in the uniforms I was taking my sweet time to see all the officers one by one and answer the pleasantries about my health, my breakfast and stay. Then he said can you locate me, fortunately my quest ended when he asked me this and he was my interviewing who was asking the questions, and I confidently said yes sir, I can see you. He softly asked me tell me Siddharth, what kind of people you don’t like to hang around? I said, it’s the mix kind of personalities that makes this world lively, if one kind of people are to live together then it will become monotonous and boring. To which he said loudly again but there must be someone you don’t like to hang around right? I said no sir, it’s all about what kind of relationship or bond you have with a person that matters, I have a very good bond with all the people I have meet till now in my life so I am comfortable with all kind of personalities in my life.
This time aggressively he asked how come you haven’t met anyone u didn’t like.
I smiled at him, I looked at my psychology assessor (my looking around the conference hall after sitting helped me locate him quickly), and told sir answer to this is based upon the the psychology of a person who I am meeting. To which psychologist sir nodded and I took it as a green signal to share my train of thoughts, I said a stranger is a fun person to share your thought with, he will not judge you nor could harm you in any sense just don’t go anything related to the security of finances or in details. But with friends and family one should gauge the situation the person is going through which comes by assessing the body language and tone of his reply, you ask him what the matter is, gauge if he needs time, space or help, and act accordingly. Hence till now with these 4 tools, I have had a good bond with all the people I have met in life and even in this SSB, I have made life longing friends.
To which he didn’t ask anything further and said if I have any observations to which I told him 2 observations which he noted down and said good observational skills and asked me to leave.
I thanked them and left the room.
After having lunch, the result was announced by deputy commandant sir, at around 1315hrs, 8 of us were selected and were congratulated by sir and our respected friends.
The feeling was out of the world as shared the news with my family and sir, my patience and resilience paid off with the eternal support of my family and sheer guidance by Vipul sir.