11th May 2016: USM Architecture Inteview

Today I woke up at 5.00 am, because I couldn’t sleep. The air-cond in the budget hotel room was so cold and the remote control seems to be broken. I shivered the whole night, while hiding myself under the blanket.

With my mum, we went to Sungai Nibong Bus Station and waited for bus to send us to USM. But we waited for more than half an hour, yet a shadow of a bus hadn’t appeared. So we took a taxi instead.


Here we are! USM Penang! The campus is quite nice and cooling with trees, but the facilities are quite old.

Out of expectation, there were a lot of people applying to School of Housing, Building and Planning (HBP)! Some even got double offer (Architecture+Interior Design). I went to the auditorium room for register and briefing for the interview.

I met my schoolmates there and we chatted a little while before the briefing starts.

The briefing took about half an hour.They showcased the features in HBP School, and how prestigious USM is. The Dean stated that life in HBP is hectic, and sleeping is a leisure to all the HBP students. And they had stated clearly that among 400 applicants who came for the interview, only 40 is accepted into the university. 10% chance huh?

The interview started off with drawing test. A pencil and an eraser was placed on each table of design studio. I was required to design a chalet located at the tropical riverside. So I designed the chalet based on the shape of a mushroom, with some technologies like solar panels, Water pumping system etc.

After the test, I went to a small room where interviews were being held. Actually I can attend the interview first, but there are some people who booked flight tickets were given priority instead. Thank goodness I told the person in charge otherwise I’d be pushed to afternoon session.

Finally after a long wait, it’s my turn for interview. Before this I’d search some information on architecture issues and did some sketches of buildings. However, the interview was daunting, and humiliating as well.

Here’s their questions bombarded towards me and how I reacted to them:

Okay. So please introduce yourself.

(I did a self introduction, including my family background, graduating high school and reasons why I take up Architecture)

Then they flipped through my portfolios, and koku certs.

Wow! You scored 4 flat in STPM! You should take on courses like Pharmacy or Medic instead! 

But I am interested in Architecture.

Your drawing are superb! However your sketches on building is quite bad, you know?

I will try my best to improve my drawing skills on buildings.

Nah, you wouldn’t have enough time to improve on your drawing skills already. We want students who are already a pro to be enrolled into Architecture. And you should choose to be an artist, not architect.

(I was already quite furious at that time, but still produce a smile)

Then they looked at the building that I had drawn during the test.

Can you please explain what’s your design of the building?

(Actually I had screwed up this part badly, because I don’t know some terms, and I used a mix of BM-BI to explain it. Ugh)

Oh. (They totally looked unimpressed.) Since you are from Malacca, can you tell me who is your Chief Minister?

Dato Seri Idris bin Harun. (I almost spoke out Dato Seri Ali Rostam man)

Then who is the Chief Minister of Penang?

Mr Lim Guan Eng.

Can you tell me the name of current YDPA Malaysia?

(WTF?!) Sorry I don’t know.

Then who is our current Education Minister?

(OMG, I knew it’s the Deputy Prime Minister but I just can’t remember his name.)

Can you tell all the names of all of the Prime Ministers in Malaysia?

Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr. Mahathir, Tun Abdullah Badawi, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak.

At least you know all of them. Do you know that among 400 applicants that we are called for interview, only 40 will be selected?

Yes. (It’s pretty obvious that I won’t be selected right?)

Do you apply for other universities as well?

Yes. I applied for UM, UKM and UTM.

So, I wish you best of luck in interviewing in other universities! But please wear better next time when you go for any interviews. Your outfit today is quite casual you know? Your impression had made us to think that you are a… nerd.

The interview ended with a whisper “Budak ini tak boleh. (This one cannot be selected)”

SO yeah, I was totally pissed off at that time. The interview was totally a nightmare after all. The success rate of me getting to study Architecture in USM is an absolute ZERO. But honestly, I was not 100% prepared that time, so yeah, serves me right.


So I took a photo at USM front gate, because I may not be stepping into there anymore.

I can just wait for another 3 months to receive e-mail of rejection. HAHAHA.

さよなら、USM. (Farewell, USM)



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