Thursday, April 08, 2010

JPA Scholarship Interview

Alright, so I had my JPA Scholarship interview at Putrajaya International Convention Centre today. Let's just go straight to the details of the interview and skip the part where I had to wait 3 hours before my turn (heeh!).

Typically, there should be 5 to 6 people in a panel with three interviewers. But for some reason, my panel had like 8 applicants. They probably wanted to save time, so yeah. We started off with introductions which was in Bahasa Malaysia. Name, previous school, co-curricular activities, family background, yadda yadda.

One of the interviewers asked me a rather fascinating question during my introduction. I told them how I used to play netball for the school team and he asked me, "Jadi, bagaimana kemahiran bola jaring anda dapat dikaitkan dengan sistem undang-undang negara?" (So, how can your netball skills be related to the country's legal system?)

Ay yay yay! Say whaaatttt?!

So I drew them the similarities between netball and the legal system like how both of them had their own set of rules, structures and systems to adhere to. Mhhm, something like that. Then they asked the typical questions of why do you choose to study this and why this country? I applied for Law and United Kingdom as my choice of country.

Our topic of discussion was 'Vision 2020'. Heeshh ini topik zaman sekolah rendah. But okay, it was rather interesting when they asked how our various fields can contribute to the aspiration. One guy who applied for automotive engineering (if I wasn't mistaken) wanted to build cars that could fly by year 2020. And one of the interviewers retorted, "The roads are already congested and now you want to congest the air space too?"

Ohh, how snarky! Hehe.

One simple rule of the interview; answer in Bahasa when asked in Bahasa and answer in English when asked in English. Having the ability to switch between those two languages without a glitch would be a plus point. And also know perfectly well why you want to study what you applied for and know your field relatively well, too.

There was one of us who wasn't too sure which field she wanted and why and that was when she got lambasted by the interviewers. They were like, "The government is going to spend a lot of money on you if you do get this scholarship so you have to tell us exactly why you want to do this. We can't afford for you to study halfway and then wanting to change course or drop out of it."

So yes, do be careful with that.

For my interview panel, they were fond of asking who are the ministers of Malaysia. Like who is the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Second Finance Minister etc. Most of us kantoi that part la. Like this one:

Interviewer: Siapa Menteri Pendidikan sekarang ini?(Who is the current Minister of Education?)

*I put up my hand*

Me: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Interviewer: Betul ke? Bukan dia Timbalan Perdana Menteri? (Really? Isn't he the Deputy Prime Minister?)

Me: Ya itu betul juga. Dia memegang dua jawatan. (Yea that's true too. He holds two positions)

Interviewer: Pasti? Bukan Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussien? (Sure? Isn't it Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussien?)

Me: Itu Menteri Pendidikan yang lama (That's the old Minister of Education)

Interviewer: Dia sekarang jadi menteri apa? (Which minister is he now?)

Me: Umm...Menteri Keselamatan Dalam Negeri? (Umm...Minister of Internal Security?)

Interviewer: Untuk pengetahuan awak, Kementerian Keselamatan Dalam Negari sudah dimansuhkan dan digantikan dengan Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

And I was like okaaayyyy. Last time I checked, this particular ministry had its name changed with every new election or something like that. Kementerian Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri to Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan Keadilan to Kementerian Keselamatan Dalam Negeri to Kementerian Dalam Negeri.

How to keep up like that?! =/

But I had fun during the interview. The interviewers were pleasant people. They just wanted to know whether do you really deserve the scholarship or not despite the interview being only 5% out of the whole thing.

You know what's the most important thing during the interview? Be in your own skin! That always works :)


Yellow Supremacist said...

"Be in your own skin." Malay skin, you mean? :)

Nik Nor Zafirah said...

Well, that wasn't what I meant. But yea, in case you haven't noticed, I do have a 'Malay skin'. Have you got a problem with that? =)