Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Drawing Dreams | MARA Interview Tips


The interview starts today and some of us still don't have the exact date. MARA only stated 1-3 April for the interview and I'm already nervous. So, to curb my anxiety problems, trust Allah and get prepared is the right solution.  Googled some of tips from various blogs; afterschoolmygabus, sophie (interview uitm), I would like to share what I found.

So, basically MARA stated these on their site and please prepare all the required documents. Put it in order will lessen your kelam-kabut if ask to find any.

Compare to last year and year before (2013 and 2012), base from my friends solely, there was no interviews for postgraduate. However, some said that they had a group and individual interviews since 2009 for MARA scholarship/loan. I can't verify if it was for postgraduate or undergraduate. More or less we shall be prepared la kan.

Briefly, the group session was like this:

“Calon perlu mendaftar di kaunter pendaftaran berdasarkan panel yang diberi. Jika tidak silap saya, ada 12 panel kesemuanya. Setiap panel mengandungi 8 calon dan 3 penemuduga. Calon akan diberi tugasan dan perlu membahagikan masing-masing kepada 2 atau 3 kumpulan. Temuduga keseluruhannya mengambil masa 1 jam. 40 minit akan diberi kepada calon untuk berbincang dan membuat perbentangan sesama sendiri. Penemuduga tidak mengambil bahagian dan sekadar memerhati sahaja. Setelah perbincangan dan perbentangan selesai, penemuduga akan bertanya tentang tugasan dan tentang ahli kumpulan yang lain (contohya ahli mana yang patut dilantik menjadi ketua ataupun jika ada peniru di kalangan mereka.) Setiap seorang calon akan ditanya satu soalan. Setelah itu, penemuduga akan bertanya tentang kursus yang diambil oleh calon. Sesi ini bersifat terbuka dan sesiapa sahaja dibenarkan menjawab soalan. 
(via: afterschool)

and more detailed example; rephrase from yaya,

  • Calon diminta duduk ikut turutan dari no 1 - 7 (meja mesyuarat), atas meja ada 1 task. 
  • Task: ada 8 orang di dalam hot air balloon : yb. dato seri najib tun abdul razak (Prime minister), rozita che wan (acteress), dr. fadzhillah kamsah (motivator), khairul fahmi che mat (goalkeeper), tony fernandes (bisnes leader), yb dato ibrahim bin mohamad (ketua pengarah MARA), zety (gabenor bank negara) and islamic minister. 
  • Select one character and discuss , debate, tolerate and defend our chosen character, kenapa character kita must be save from the hot air ballon.
  • kita kena menonjol sikit. cari peluang untuk bercakap.  group saya, okaylah semua dapat bercakap, (except dua org, sampai interviewer tu tegur kenapa tak bercakap )
  • at the end of the discussion, select only 4 characters to be save.  kitorang sepakat memilih: prime minister, ketua pengarah MARA, gabenor bank negara and islamic minister. 
  • then, habis discussion (40 minit) kitorang boleh tanya apa2 soalan kepada interviewers. ( 3 interviewers - 2 org lelaki, sorang perempuan).
  • apa lagi, peluang ni saya guna untuk bertanya tentang pinjaman ni.

I  can relate this to my previous interview in 2005, for Petronas scholarship. Basically there was 2 sessions, group and individual. First it started with group. Each group will be given a topic, my group topic was deforestation. You have to pick from a box randomly, a method to curb the problems. I got campaign as a method to halt deforestation. Others got authority rules, recyling, etc. From that you have to discuss among yourself to pick the right order for a solution. 

I believe the interviewers just wanted to know how will you work in a team, personal skills, contribution in a group, some sort mcmtu I think. Now I am even worried. Nowadays, we are as postgraduates, they will expect more as we have grown this far right.

Some Basic Rules
  1. be early - an hour before lg bagus, in case sesat jalan or no parking
  2. well-dressed - baju kurung with no more than 3 colours tau. serabut nanti. 
  3. knock the door and give salam - show respect to the interviewers
  4. sit still, smile - body language is important 

Common Interviews Questions
  1. Please introduce yourself
  2. Why do you choose to pursue study in  _______(the cost : architecture/medicine/...)
  3. Who is your favourite architect? Favourite building? (those applying architecture)
  4. Why oversea universities and not local universities?
  5. Instead of JPA, why do you choose MARA?
  6. How will you contribute to MARA in future time?
  7. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

- On introducing yourself, please don't be boring. Help the interviewer to remember you by giving some unique things about yourself. For instant, your hobbies or interest. This will grab their attention and help them to know you better. 

- Why do you choose architecture, please don't answer it because of "passion". Too many of us will give the same answer. I believe you should be detail and relate it to what you have learned. For example, relate it to your ambition, strength, challenges, hopes..or maybe environmental issue, current issue, pollution. 

- In terms of question on predicting future, I suppose the answer is somehow to know how commit yourself towards the study/industry. Convince the interviewer on how determine yourself to become successful in what you have chosen.  

Extra Tips

- keep update with current issue, in case they ask for opinion.
- do a research to know a bit about MARA.
- keep calm while answering the question.
- don't talk too fast or too slow that you can't be heard.
- be confidence
- don't forget to doa and tawakkal. Allah will ease everything, InsyaAllah.

Wish you all the best! Good luck. :D

3 covered in cookie crumbs:

  1. Haha. I remember during the interview that got me into my current program. They asked me how would my best friend describe me in 3 words

    Instead of going "devoted etc" I went

    "Crazy book worm"

    They laughed. Nasib baik. Haha.

    1. That is so you Hanis! That 3 words. Hehe..sometimes that kind of thing that made them remember you. High chances to get accepted I suppose. As a plus point too.

      Thank you Hanis :)

    2. Haha. If tanya me now I'll probably go "passive control freak" haha. Its cause my lecturer told me to not give too much generic answers and if you can make them laugh, then its good.