“Practice makes perfect”.
An idiom that has been mentioned many times, but one would realise how important practice is when it comes to an interview. It is normal to feel nervous during an interview, but to achieve your goals, you should overcome that fear.
Practice is key.
Practising for questions that may be asked can help you tackle them easily during the actual interview process. You will become more fluent in answering all the questions and would be able to communicate with confidence.
Also, to be shortlisted from a pool of applicants, you will need to stand out. My advice on how to distinguish yourself from other applicants during the group interview session, would be to show your passion.
In most cases, interviewers would ask this question, “Why did you choose this course?”
You should share with them your thoughts, and the reasons that inspire you to choose your field. It would be great if you can demonstrate insights by providing a deep understanding of the field through background research - instead of following the trend. Moreover, don’t forget to show your eagerness towards any scholarship interview by being on-time and well-dressed. Wearing a formal attire to show that you are serious about your application and do put on a smile.
Asians are usually shy and modest, but for an interview, you should go the opposite way. Opportunities are always available for those who know how to promote themselves.
My final advice on how to excel in an interview is to be your genuine and authentic self.
Whatever you do, don’t lie! Your interviewers are experienced, and they would be able to spot if a candidate is not truthful. Be respectful and answer all the questions honestly.
No matter what the outcome of your interview session is, just enjoy the process. Even if the interview doesn’t turn out as you have hoped, it is always a learning experience.
Tan Jia Xuen is from Batch 7/2022 of the Cagamas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme and is currently a first year Bachelor of Statistics undergraduate from Universiti Malaya.