My experience on NTU Scholarship Interview

It has been YEARS AGO since I attended a scholarship interview. If not mistaken the last scholarship interview that I went was Sime Darby Scholarship in 2014. I failed that interview miserably though.


A few days after I received offer letter from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for commencement of Computer Engineering in academic year 2016/17, I received an email from NTU asking me to attend a scholarship interview which was on 28th April 2016 at JW Mariott Hotel, Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur.

OMG?! Scholarship interview?!

It was quite unexpected for me, because I don’t think my scholarship application was outstanding as compared to others. I wrote about Choral Speaking Competition during my secondary school days for my essay though.

Even though I had tons of experiences attending interviews, but I still felt nervous because this is the first time I went for an interview by a reputable overseas university.

Nevertheless I sought help from my senior, who is a scholar at NTU right now, my teachers, parents and my colleagues. All of them gave me almost the same response like “Just do your best and let God decide the rest” or “do some research on common scholarship questions”

Oh okay. :roll:Well I did some research on University Scholars Programme at NTU, some typical scholarship questions and most importantly, interview experiences from previous years. I wanted to grab hold of what the scholarship interview would be. So from their previous experiences, I made a few assumptions:

  1.  It’s a one-to-many interview session, means one will be interviewed by many interviewers.
  2. The interview is short, it takes about 10-20 minutes to finish.
  3. In overall, the interview will be revolving around common scholarship interview questions and questions regarding the course that you got offered.
  4. They will ask you to compare between NUS and NTU (which is a pain in my neck)
  5. Come early, otherwise they will spam you phone calls which will increase your anxiety.

On that day, I wore a dress with a blazer. Initially I thought that business outfit like a shirt+black skirt+blazer is better, but my mum wasn’t satisfied with that look.

The moment I arrived into the venue, the receptionist asked me to show my real STPM result slip and my identification card. Then she asked me to sit down first until I was called for the interview.

OMG!! My heart was thumping fast, but I try to calm myself down.

Come on, this is not the first time you attend an interview!

I saw some students were sitting at the waiting area too, so I joined them and began chit-chatting with them.

“Are you all Malaysian?” “Um, yeah…”

Then suddenly the receptionist told us “All of you who are coming for the interview is ALL MALAYSIAN, you know….”

Embarrassed. XD Because I thought students from Thailand or Vietnam would come here as well.

Then we chatted about how the interview was like, then what course that you choose, etc…in order to release my tension.

In less than five minutes, the receptionist told me to get prepared as she is pushing me forward because of my early arrival. She told me no need to prepare anything and just go in. LOL?! Then all the co-curricular certs and the resumes that I’d prepared earlier was rendered useless then?!

In less than five minutes waiting, I was already in the interview room.

As I expected, there were three person sitting in front of me, who I think it’s the scholarship selection committee.

As usual, I greeted them with a smile and they instructed me to sit down.

So here are the questions and how I reacted to the question: (can’t remember all though)

So you got your last choice which is Computer Engineering. Are you disappointed with that?

No, because that’s one of my choices, I am interested in computers too.

Have you done programming before?

No, but I attended online courses on programming and I want to do programming in the future.

So do you play Computer Games?

Yes I do. I played Dota 2. (XD Actually I had played games other than this but I just spat out this one, don’t know why. Should have said rhythm games like my favourite Project Diva Series)

So what’s so good about Dota 2?

I love it’s graphics. It’s stunning and beautiful. Furthermore, the gameplay is exciting unlike other role-playing games. 

Have you noticed any problem lies within Dota 2 and what can be done to improve it?

Actually, Dota 2 should be made more beginner-friendly because the controls and the items are far too complex for a beginner to try it. Like its keyboard layout. (Don’t know why I blabbered about this, as this question really…well I admit. I am a Dota noob)

Oh. So have you planned which gaming company that you want to work in?

(OMFG this had really pinned me down huh) I planned to work in, a gaming company in Japan which created browser games.

I haven’t heard about this company. Gonna do some research later on. (I should have said Sega or Bandai Namco instead T_T)

Can you tell us why do you deserve this scholarship?

I believe that I can contribute my knowledge and skills for a better future in NTU, and if I can do more, then for the well-being of Singapore. Furthermore, I believe with this scholarship, I am able to expand my horizon of view by meeting with various people worldwide. (I forgot to say more opportunities for students exchange overseas)

ps: I didn’t say my parents earn a meagre monthly income, because personally I don’t think that would be the factor they will select you for the scholarship. They want someone who is talented and able to be NTU ambassador.

Do you want to be a citizen of Singapore?

I will consider first. And I will make the best decision after considering a lot of factors.

So can you describe about your leadership skills?

I was a vice president of my high school’s Creative and Innovative Club. Along with my president and the other committee members, we organised activities like making handicrafts out of recycled materials. Furthermore, I was a vice president of School Librarian in my secondary school. We did a revolution of our school’s library system, like changing the librarian’s uniform so that it’s more appealing. 

Oh. So what if you failed to get the scholarship?

(OMG why ask me this question?) I will still consider to study at NTU.

ps: I didn’t say I can’t come to Singapore and study because of the heavy financial burden, because I don’t think they want that kind of answer either.

So do you have any more questions to ask?

Yes. (Then I asked about the additional responsibilities of a scholar, and the differences between University Scholars Programme and CN Yang Scholar Programme)

Then the scholarship interview ended. As I expected, it’s short. Thank goodness they didn’t ask me to compare between NUS and NTU.

Personally I think that I did well in the interview, but it’s not my best. I should have answered better than that.

Furthermore with the question ‘what if you failed to get the scholarship’ chances of me getting one is extremely slim.

Results: REJECTED.

In my honest opinion, this is my expected outcome. I think my performance during interview wasn’t satisfactory enough for them to consider me as one of the scholar.

It’s useless lamenting over spoilt milk though.

I dubbed myself as ‘scholarship failer’ because I had never succeed once in getting any scholarships that I applied, either studying local or overseas. Well this scholarship interview had added to my list of failures.





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