Interviews, Post-SPM 101, Study

Ask.FM FAQs 2 – Scholarships & Interviews


I’m getting a bit tired of answering recurring questions on scholarships and interviews stuff, so here’s a FAQ for all you people out there. Enjoy.

Note: These questions are from the ones that I received at my, and most of them are from anonymous sources, so I actually have no idea who they are. Oh, and ignore the bad grammars / spelling in the questions, they’re killing me as well :/

Note 2: The answers are the actual answers that I posted on my, and are my personal thoughts and opinions, and therefore are subject to questioning. Nothing should be taken as the absolute truth, and I am not responsible for anything that happens should anyone take my answers as the definite fact, ’cause they might not be true. So, when in doubt, PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND READING ABOUT THE TOPIC, thank you.

Note 3: Click Read More to read the full FAQ.

Salam dan hi sis,nak tanya macam mana nak susun sijil.Dah wat research kat google tapi tak tahu yang mana betul.Boleh bagi pendapat sis tak?

Wa’alaikumsalam. Tak ada one right way to susun sijil untuk interview. Untuk basic guidelines, boleh ikut kat bawah ni la:

1) Personal information (Resume / CV, copy of transcripts, recommendation letters, personal statements, etc)
2) Academical certificates / transcripts / results (high school, from latest to oldest)
3) Extra co-curricular activities (international level -> national level -> state level -> district level)

hello there, can u help me to prepare for my interview. What should i do now.Means one weeks before the interview?

Hi there!

This is an answer I gave to someone on scholarship interviews:, maybe it can help a little bit.

I would suggest you focus on reading up about the company / body that is interviewing you. This goes for both scholarship or work/internship interview. Show them that you are interested in them, and not just the scholarship that they are giving out. Read up on their missions, their visions, their board of directors. Know what they’ve done for the community, what they are currently doing and what they will be doing. Ask questions relating to that.

Good luck! 🙂

Akak can you give me some tips to face scholarship interviews? Bcos i deadly wanna fly. I wanna make my parents proud. Yes i got 9A for my spm but my parents expected me to get 9A+. The only thing i can do rn is to make them proud by being scholarship recipient. Right?

Technically, getting a scholarship is not the ONLY way you can make them proud, but, if you feel that way, so be it 🙂

For scholarship interviews:

1) Research.
Read up on the interview process. Read blogs and forums to learn other people’s past experiences with the process, and know what you might face. Research on the company / body that is interviewing you. Know their missions, their visions, their objectives, their directors, etc.

2) Brush up on communication skills.
Practice speaking in English, and formal English, please. Practice answering some common interview questions like “Introduce yourself” or “Where do you see yourself in five/ten/twenty years from now?” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

3) Courtesy.
Say hello and give salam (wherever applicable) to the interviewer/s. Ask questions at the end of your interview to show that you are interested in their company / gov body, instead of just their scholarship. Shake hands (if possible) and say thank you for their time. Be respectful.

4) Group interview.
If you have to go through a group interview, be active. Participate in group discussion. Let your ideas out and share your thoughts with the other applicants. Fight for your ideas but NEVER shoot down other people’s ideas. Be open and accepting. Use the rule of three (give out your opinions at least three times during the discussions, but wait for at least three other people to talk before you give another opinion). Don’t ‘hog’ all the attention, let other people shine as well.

5) Professionalism.
Dress appropriately. Baju kurung for the girls, shirt and slacks / dress pants and tie for the guys. Girls can also wear a skirt / dress (knee-length or longer for non-Muslims), and/or shirt with blazer. As long as you look presentable enough, and respectful. No see-through attire, no jeans, no sandals or slippers. Proper, closed-toe shoes / heels. Minimal make-up, don’t turn up looking like a clown -.-

Hope this helps. Good luck 🙂

Any tips regarding a skype interview? Or maybe based on your experience before this

Emm, I never had a Skype interview, so I can’t say much. What I can say based on the workshop I had with AIESEC last year and some general tips would be:

1) Make sure you dress appropriately. Even if it’s just a Skype interview, dress professionally and look good.
2) Speak clearly and slowly, make sure the other side can hear and understand you.
3) Good internet connection. If possible, use a broadband / stable internet connection. Avoid free wifi at public places.
4) Make sure you’re in a quiet room. Avoid Starbucks or any noisy places.
5) Make sure your background is not cluttered (ie with paintings, pictures, mess). This would distract the people interviewing you as they can’t focus on looking at you.
6) Switch off your phone.
7) Make sure the lighting’s good. Don’t do it in a dark and dim place.
8) Send a thank you message / email after the interview.
9) Ace the interview.

Kalau interviewers tanya soalan ni, you nak jawab apa? “Why should we pick you instead of the other applicants? , What makes you special? , What are your strengths and weaknesses? , Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years from now? ,If you could change one thing about yourself ?”

1. “Why should we pick you instead of the other applicants?”

Well, I don’t know the other applicants personally, so I can’t say that you should pick me over them, ’cause it’d be a bit judgmental and egoistic of me to say that I’m better than them. But what I can say is that I’m a pretty weird but unique person with a lot of passion and spirit inside of me. I strive to be the best in everything that I do, and despite the countless obstacles or critiques that I receive from other people, I never stop in my journey to the top.

In regards to me wanting to reach the top, I never wanted to achieve it alone, which is why I try my best to bring other people to the top with me. One of my life goals is to inspire people, to help them realize their potentials and help them reach their goals. Despite my sarcasm, I see myself as a pusher. I push people to think outside their comfort zone, I push people to show them that life is not an easy path, I push people to recognize their skills and talents.

2. “What makes you special?”

Roughly about the same answer as above, just tweak the sentences to better suit this type of question.

3. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

I am a perfectionist. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing about it is the fact that once I get my mind onto something, I’d do whatever it takes to complete it. I’d go out of my way to ensure that the task is completed to perfection (or near-perfection). I never cared how long it’s going to take, how hard it is, how insignificant it is to other people, or how people say I’m just wasting my energy. I just go on ahead and do it.

The bad thing about it is that sometimes, I do get caught up in the moment and forget my priorities. Like, when a new project comes up, I get so caught up in it and tend to spend more time on it than I should, which is in a way, a bad thing, of course. But I usually get back on the right track since I kind of love to put up post-it notes and reminders up on my study desk to help me get my priorities straight.

4. “Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years from now?”

I would have graduated by then, insyaAllah. I’m still thinking on whether I should stay in the States and work while sitting for my Actuarial papers or go back to Malaysia and sit for the papers back home. But what I can see is that by that time, I’d be more involved in youth development. I’d be more involved in helping to inspire youth and school students, helping them to realize their potentials and setting their life goals.

5. “If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?”

I wouldn’t change anything about myself. I acknowledge the fact that I have weaknesses, but that’s just life. I have my weaknesses, and that’s where other people come in so their strengths can help me overcome my weaknesses

So how do you propose I handle the interviewers? -n. stammer-

extra note: This person sent in an anonymous question earlier about how he’s (or she’s) a stammer.

A friend of mine suggested watching The King’s Speech. (’s_Speech) Perhaps you can get a few tips from that movie. 🙂

If in an interview,the interviewers ask why do you want to study overseas instead of local uni,what would you say?

I strive in challenging situations. I do not want my talents and skills to be limited by the Malaysian education and its society. I want to be free, to be able to choose what to learn and when to learn them. I wish to break free of the typical Malaysian society and put myself in a difficult situation in which I can’t relate to anyone in the class at all. I want to push myself to the limit, to challenge myself to do better.

Hi I have read your blog on MARA Program Ijazah Luar Negara. I am SPM 2012 leaver. Could you please tell me what is the pathway after SPM in order to get this scholarship?

Hi there. For MARA PILN, you’d have to wait until your results are out sometime in March. The application would open after the results were released, so just fill it up. If you make it through, you’d be called for an interview (most people would be called). They’d then shortlist the applicants and release the names for the first batch of MARA receivers. Those who didn’t make it the first time can opt to appeal again for the second batch (like me).

Hope this helps 🙂

akak apa beza mara n jpa ? im sorry for asking this :/

MARA pinjaman. Only for bumiputera. Lepas graduate kena bayar balik, percentage kena bayar depends on results. Kalau score, either bayar sikit (program luar negara) or tukar jadi scholarship (local, IPTS).

JPA scholarship. Open to all. Lepas graduate tak payah bayar. Ada bond dengan kerajaan. Kalau kena panggil dengan kerajaan untuk kerja, kena pergi.

How do scholarships work when given to student who wish to go to US? What do the sponsors pay for exactly?

They pay for your tuition fees, they give you monthly allowances, they give you money for books and laptop. That’s basically it.

Hi, kat INTEC ada tajaan sendiri kan. Contoh, kalau masuk INTEC lepas spm tajaan persendirian & score untuk fly, boleh apply biasiswa mara tak? Lepastu diorang akan urus ke semua selepas dapat biasiswa? Thank you 🙂

Boleh je apply MARA before fly. Or any other scholarships. Urus apa pulak ni?

Urus everything untuk fly? Ah susah nak explain & how about yuran? Anggaran? Okay, Thanks once again.

Emm, kalau bab visa semua, scholarship or not, kau yang urus sendiri. Bezanya kau boleh claim balik kalau ada scholar. And biasanya flight tickets scholar la yang setkan.

Yuran INTEC? Kalau ada scholarship/pinjaman, nanti scholarship tu terus bayar sendiri kat INTEC. Anggaran, emm, aku tak sure la. Tak ingat pinjaman masa kat INTEC berapa. 🙁

But what makes me wondering is i knew some people who managed to get petronas but they didn’t get mara. As what i know, Petronas is one of the scholarship that quite hard to get.

What makes me wonder is why my friend, who scored 9A+ and was in the Top 50 SPM 2011, never scored any interviews by any scholarships before she found out about the National Award.

Can’t you see it already?

It’s Him.

God decides who will get what in life, so no matter what you do, no matter how good you are and how well-prepared you are, if the things you are after are never meant for you, well, nothing can ever change that fact. You can work all you want, but in the end, He has the final say.

Everything is based on individual’s rezeki, 🙂

Syaza, to get a scholarship for degree in UK, what exactly are needed? Mmg kena active in any activities jugak ke instead of cgpa je? & for the uni, scholarship yg bg choice or kita boleh choose?

Hi 🙂

1. Technically it depends on whether you’re an SPM-leaver, or you’ve already done your pre-university program (A-Levels, IB, Asasi, etc) and are looking for a scholarship before you fly to the UK. [If you’ve graduated and are looking to continue your studies, well, I can’t help you with that, sorry :/]

But frankly, everything depends on the scholarship givers themselves. Some scholarships look for well-rounded applicants with both excellent results and good skills & talents, while others have an emphasis on the academic strength rather than the others.

And so I would recommend being good in all aspects, be it academically, socially or co-curriculum-ly? XD

2. Considering you’re asking about UK universities, you’d be able to choose FIVE universities when you apply through UCAS (the system you’d use to apply to UK universities).

Normally you’d be able to choose which universities you would want to apply to, but some scholarships would have a list of ‘approved’ universities (like, TOP 50 in the world for JPA, and stuff like that), so you can choose from the list that they provide. 🙂

being just an ordinary student who studied in just an ordinary school in a small town, is it possible for me to get scholarships?

Yep, everything’s possible.

Kak how to study oversea like you? I mean, the spm result, the scholarship, muet etc

MUET tak perlu. IELTS and TOEFL, yes, depending on where you want to go. SPM results depends if you want to find a scholarship, which, of course, you would need to get good grades.

Ultimately, ‘getting a scholarship’ does not mean that you get an automatic ticket to a university abroad. You’d have to work hard to gain admissions by yourself 🙂

i kind of being demotivated when people talk bad about students who are studying in Middle East. It’s like,we are not as good as you guys who study in the West. I mean,why? We are overseas students too. Any words of advice? :/

Lol. I’ve heard otherwise, about how students studying in the Middle East are better than those in the West, considering how the West is considered ‘liberal’ and ‘open’ and ‘bad’.

But the thing is, WHO FREAKING CARES about what people say?

I mean, seriously. Nobody cares about what other people think or say about us. It’s what we believe that matters the most.

And to be frank, students studying in Malaysia or abroad are the same. The place you’re studying at or the scholarships you’re holding are not a title to be proud of, it is a responsibility. What differentiate a student from another student is his (or her) attitude to education. His sole reason to study, his motivation, his passion. 

That is what matters in this world, not where you come from or where you’re studying.

[p/s Don’t take it personally about what other people said, just let it go and enjoy life. 🙂 You should know better about where you stand, so just forget about them :)]

Kak, akak tak rasa ke it’s such a waste for students who score really well in SPM, like 9A+ but ended up getting only MARA scholarship, which is not very prestigious compared to other scholarships. Do you feel that way? I do 🙁 I couldn’t stop emoing !

This might sound a little bit harsh for you, so I apologize beforehand.

No, I don’t think it’s a waste. If ‘prestige’ is what you’re searching for, then those scholarships are not for you. Think back about the reason WHY you applied for the scholarships. Is it for the fame? The pride of being called ‘a Khazanah scholar’ or ‘a Kijang scholar’ or any other scholarships holder? Is it for the money? The monthly allowance that you get from your sponsor?

If you did really well for your SPM, then you should be smarter than this, more matured than this. Your aim to score well during SPM is not for the scholarships, the fame and the exclusivity of being called a scholar. Your aim should be for yourself, for your education, for your future. So what if you do not get the ‘so-called’ prestigious scholarships. It relieves you of the burden of having to score almost perfect scores. It relieves you of the enormous responsibility you hold.

Think about it this way… Having a scholarship is not only giving you an education for free, but it puts a lot of weight on your shoulder. There’s a lot of responsibility you have to hold. If you slack off and do not study well, you’re wasting the people’s money on you. The people of Malaysia are financing your studies, but you throw it away. In other words, you’re ‘mengkhianati amanah yang diberikan kepada anda’.

Are you ready to hold such ‘prestige’ responsibilty, my dear?

Dah dah, stop emoing and accept it. Things happened for a reason. God Knows where you should be, He wouldn’t put you in a place He Knows you wouldn’t succeed. 🙂

How to further study to overseas? Should apply before spm result come out or after it? The scholarship or wtv?? Explain please. Thanks 🙂

The common path to go overseas is by taking up the IB, A-Levels, AUSMAT, SAM, ADP or any pre-university out there. (Note that when I said common, I meant there are people who went overseas straight after SPM. For this to happen, you would either need to be really really good that you’re able to secure a scholarship without getting a pre-u or your family is financially stable to cover your fees there.)

After sitting for your SPM results, try surveying the universities out there. Which course are you planning to do? Which country do you want to go to? The States? France? Australia? Canada? UK? Korea? Figure out roughly where you want to study, and then look at the universities. Which universities can offer you your intended course? Which universities is to your liking? Would you like a university in the town, like London School of Economics, or would you like one that is in the suburbs? Look at their rankings, and look at their requirements.

From their requirements, you should have an idea of what you would need to do. Either take up A-Levels or ADP or any of the other pre-university courses. Now that you have this in mind, you can try search for the scholarships that offer you what you want. For example, Bank Negara Malaysia’s scholarships would work well with Economics, Accounting, or Business-related students, whereas Petronas and Shell scholarships would appeal more to Engineering students. Look for the scholarships that fulfill your need, and start applying when the application window opens.

Should you get a scholarship offer (or if you have the financial capability to cover your expenses), enroll in a college and take up the necessary pre-university. Normally, you’d start applying for university placements one year before you’re actually entering. Say, you’re flying off to the States this August. You would start your application last December, as certain universities have a January 1, 2013 deadline. (some have later deadlines, depending on where you go).

So, yeah, that’s basically the pathway to study overseas. 🙂

Kak Nazu, apa perasaan eh dpt scholarship? 🙂

Beban tanggungjawab yang besar dan berat, sebab scholarship tu amanah orang lain pada kita. Kalau tak study betul2, maknanya kita dah bazirkan duit orang. Kita dah rosakkan kepercayaan orang pada kita. Kita tak amanah.

Kenapa kak syaza pilih US? Why MARA but not JPA? Betul ke pemilihan untuk dpt biasiswa JPA mostly based on result SPM?

Why US? ->

Why MARA? -> Well, to be honest, I tak tahu pun JPA buka until dah tutup. And MARA pun, I mohon separuh jalan je. Tak hantar esei, tak isi fully application tu. Tup tup dapat pergi interview juga. Cuma mula-mula dulu tak dapat la first choice (Actuarial Science), so I appealed for Economics kat US. Bila dah masuk INTEC baru re-appeal to change to Actuarial Science, and Alhamdulillah dapat tukar.

And pasal JPA tu, tak jugak. Depends rezeki gak. Results gempak pun kekadang tak dapat.

Gceo tu apa senanya ?

GCE -> General Certificate of Education
O -> O-Level / Ordinary Level

I’m guessing kau tengah tanya pasal the GCE-O kat slip SPM tu kan, yang untuk English yang ada A1, A2, B3, etc?

So basically GCE O-Levels ni education system kat Britain, kira macam sama level dengan SPM kat Malaysia kita la. (Cuma sekarang mereka dah guna IGCSE instead of O-Levels)

Paper English, part essay 1119 (yang last essay tu yang ada the one-word prompt tu) akan ditanda dua kali. Kali pertama oleh Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia, untuk gred SPM English biasa (A+, A, A-, B+, etc)
Kali kedua oleh pihak Cambridge (London), so nanti dapat lah score A1, A2 semua. Naturally, A1 tu tinggi, dan selebihnya makin menurun la.

Tak penting sangat pun, so boleh je ignore.

Satu insiden di mana gred GCE-O ni memainkan peranan is if kau nak sambung study kat UK and tak nak ambil IELTS (test of English). Kadang-kadang, ada certain universities kat UK yang terima grad GCE-O (though grade apa yang diterima bergantung kepada universiti tersebut). Ada yang tak terima sebab GCE-O 1119 tu hanya menilai your writing abilities, and tak ambil kira aspek lain (speaking, listening, reading) macam IELTS / TOEFL.

Tapi tu je la kepentingan dia. Tak payah risau sangat.

Apa pendapat akak pasal bursary? Kalau kita ambil a-level guna bursary, chance untuk fly mcm mana?

Personally, tak berapa suka. Maybe sebab dia limitkan kolej mana kau boleh pergi. Aku tak ambil bursary dulu sebab JPA/KPM tak nak sponsor A-Levels kat KTJ, and aku rasa bazir gila if aku pindah and ambil A-Levels balik kat kolej lain.

Tapi kalau nak ambil bursary tu, go ahead. Make sure plan ahead la, bursary tu untuk pre-university programs je. A-Levels, IB, Asasi semua tu. If nak continue untuk degree, kena make sure score and kena reapply balik (if I’m not mistaken). And kalau nak fly dengan bursary, kena apply Top 50 universities in the world (kalau time aku dulu la, sekarang tak sure). So, before kau start pilih bursary tu, kau tengok dulu course apa kau nak buat, and dalam banyak2 universities tu, yang mana yang offer course kau, and ranking dia tinggi untuk course kau. (Ranking takde guna sangat for some people, I know, tapi takde guna kau fly luar negara untuk belajar kat universiti entah pape semata-mata nak cakap kau belajar luar negara. Baik take the best out there whenever possible).

so i still can study abroad even with muet?

It depends on the university you want to go to. If they accept MUET, by all means, go on ahead. Others may not accept MUET and only look at IELTS / TOEFL / or even SAT scores, so read up on the universities you want to go to. 🙂

kalau nak study abroad kena dpt straight A+ ke straight A je? ke ikut nasib?

Ikut rezeki. And ikut kemampuan diri. Dapat straight A+ pun kalau personaliti takde, skill takde, tak lepas gak

wauu 🙂 ingatkan strettt a je fly obesi ni.sebab sekarang kan ramai student yg result gila gempak ah.hermm , course ape yg diorang apply ?hmmm,papepun thanks sebab sudi jawab 🙂 🙂 Allah is KNOWS BEST rite ?

Budak yang straight A’s pun ramai je tak fly. Jangan harapkan results je tentukan dapat fly ke tak. Soft skills memainkan peranan yang penting. Pilihan individu memainkan peranan juga. Pilihan ibu bapa. Courses yang dipilih. Rezeki Allah lagi penting. Kalau Allah cakap tak boleh fly, dapat 15A+ pun tak fly jugak.

Dyorang buat a variety of courses, not just one. Engineering, Arts, etc.


Okay, so hopefully the FAQ above helped a little bit in answering some of your questions. If needed, you can refer to my first Ask.Fm FAQ HERE. If your question is still not answered, drop a line at my (Link here). Note: I might send you over to this post if I think I’ve answered your question before, so please think and read through carefully.

Until next time, see you 🙂 Stay awesome 😀

*heads off to bed for a few hours of sleep before class*


  • I could see why you’re having so many good fortunes in life. You’re blessed because you’re so kind and nice! Though I havent seen you in real life, I could feel it (ceh) Thanks for the advises. I manage to be shortlisted for SC scholarship award but I seriously am doubting myself cause I have failed the 2nd stage which is the online assessment for 3 times now (from diff companies). Wish me luck anyway!

    • I hope this doesn’t come too late and I wish you all the best! 🙂 Hopefully everything went well / goes well for you! :3

  • “God decides who will get what in life, so no matter what you do, no matter how good you are and how well-prepared you are, if the things you are after are never meant for you, well, nothing can ever change that fact. You can work all you want, but in the end, He has the final say” Thanks for this. It truly changed the way I see my life (after graduation) now. And thanks for all the other posts as well. I’ve been wondering if Actuarial Science is the best for me or I if should venture into new things…but going to Actuarial interviews didn’t excite me like I expected. All the best in life syaza! I’m your junior from INTEC 😀

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