Went for the NUS interview on 01/04 April Fools’ Day and turned out the real fool was me. Didn’t prepare sufficiently and was stumped when they asked me about a project I did 5 years ago and I couldn’t remember what it was about. Thought that they were going to ask more about myself such as my strengths and weaknesses but they went in depth into technical aspects of the field I wanted to study which I tried to smoke it but the lack of general knowledge was apparent. Anyway the takeaways:
- Read up about your field and be prepared when they ask you about things you put in your personal statement. Eg. What are the issues that startups face since I wanted to start-up.
- Know about your achievements and projects done well, because struggling to answer what you did is really a waste and does not reflect well on you.
- Be confident and control the situation. I got uneasy when the interviewers seem distracted and thought that I was digressing. Think what I should have done is to practice what I’m going to say beforehand to make sure it is not too long. And I could have just ignored them and sound more passionate to capture their attention.
- Never show signs of nervousness. Yeah basically I stumbled really fast when they ask me the more technical questions and my body language broke down.
All in all, it’s a good learning experience about how to present yourself and prepare for interviews. Honestly there was no harm trying anyway so I would recommend others to apply as well since you cannot run away from interviews, might as well start practicing when the stakes are low.