Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Start of A New Chapter

After a while doing nothing and basically floating around lifeless while my peers finish up the foundations and A-Levels, I was accepted for an interview for the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, or the more popular term for it would be Masscomm. A diploma course for Masscomm. Finally, a step into the right direction.

Masscomm is notorious for its interview sessions and I am sure many would take their time searching for sources online for tips and tricks for the interview. Well here I am about to share with you readers my experience on the hot seats. 


I received a notification text from UiTM stating to check their online portal 5 days prior the interview, and my preparation began. I scoured the world wide web for two things, interview tips, and previous Masscomm interviews (Hereherehere and here) and there I've learned a plethora of invaluable lessons.

You might have already noticed that the interview consists of two parts. The first one is the written test while the second, spoken.

The written test is very very important. Why? You'll know soon enough. 

Now, the written test is only 30 minutes and you'll have to answer 3(three) questions at about 200 words.

The questions are:
1.     Write what you know about Masscomm
2.     Why did you choose this program
3.     What will you contribute to this program after you are accepted

I'm quite certain no one can crack up a 200+word quality essay in 30 minutes, so prepare a draft that you will follow for the written test. Write a few days before you face the exam and get familiar with the points you would like to presentkeep your handwriting tidy and in the essay, it is imperative to sell yourself. Show them why they should choose you. Make a powerful impression on the paper.

For instance, this is my draft but it isn't exactly the same to the one I wrote on paper.

           The Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of UiTM is one of the best gateways to enter the media industry such as journalism, public relations, broadcasting, and advertising. After careful analysis, I discovered that this course intends to groom the students in order to succeed in their respective fields in the media industry to achieve a global standard. 
I see this course as a stepping stone for my success. I am aiming to become an editor for a magazine. This is mainly because I am enthusiastic in writing articles that I am passionate about. For instance, I am really into cars, thus I would spend an entire evening cracking the thinking cap looking for issues to address regarding the automotive industry. Plus, I had the privilege to be the head of journalism back then in my school, which is The Malay College. I paraphrase one of my English teacher’s quote that she said I wrote too many articles for my school’s magazine and weekly flyers that editing might be my raison d’etre in my school. 
                I am planning to contribute to the society with a few ways in mind. One of which sees me writing articles on awareness of current issues mainly on environment, but I am confident to say that I may become a journalist in a press first before moving on to my personal company or similar.

After 30 minutes has passed, hand in your paper to the invigilators, most likely two persons, and if you haven't realized yet, they will be the panel of interviewers for the next session so always show good manners at all times.

On to the spoken test.

Before you are summoned to the interview room, get your documents ready, get yourself ready. If you need to go to the lavatory, do so now! There will not be a chance to visit the loos when you're interviewed in the freezing temperatures.

You might've noticed they'd given you a list with your names with numbers before the written test. That isn't the order you will be called for the interview. You will be called randomly by the sequence of the papers you have submitted a few minutes ago, and they will read it before calling you in. That's why I told you the written test is important. The invigilators will analyse you before even meeting you.

When you are called in, mute your phone or just switch it off, knock on the door and wait till they say "Come in" or so, offer salam if you're Muslim or greetings if you're non-Muslim,  


My first major interview session in my life went as the following, butterflies in my stomach ensues:

Interviewer : Have a seat, umm, Syazwan right?
Syazwan Bahri : Yes, that would be me. Thank you sir. Here are my documents and I’ve brought along my certificates.
IV : Four years of interviewing, after around 500 candidates, this is the first time interviewed someone from The Malay College. So, you walk into here bringing high expectations from us.
SB : Yes sir.
IV : This course, if you are accepted, isn’t conducted here but in UiTM Melaka. Did you know that?
SB : Yes, I am informed, sir.
IV : Okay. Have you done your homework?
SB : Homework, sir?
IV : Yes, homework? Have you read anything, or done anything to prepare yourself?
SB : Yes sir. I have done a lot of reading the past few months.
IV : Okay good. Let’s start. Introduce yourself.
SB : Before that I would like to thank both of you sirs for giving me the opportunity introduce myself. My name is Muhamad Syazwan Bin Shamsul Bahri. As you know I had my education at The Malay College. I've done Foundation in Science at UiTM Puncak Alam before this but didn't manage to finish it. My father is a lecturer at UMT and my mother is a housewife. I am the eldest of four siblings, that’s including me.
IV : Your father’s a lecturer? From what faculty is he?
SB : He’s a lecturer from the Faculty of Food Sciences.
IV : I see. Why didn’t you follow his footsteps, to be a scientist?
SB : Well as you remember, I’d attempted once before but I failed a paper even after struggling with said subject. I thought it wasn’t my cup of tea.
IV : What subject?
SB : It’s Chemistry. It has been my weakest link since SPM.
IV : Oh, so that means you’re not a science people lah. Kalau orang Kelate sebut “buke oghe sains ah dok?”
SB : [chuckles] Haa betul lah tu.

[At this point I could sense the air was no longer tense, maybe because the interviewers are taking this easy, or my breakfast has finally settled down with the butterflies deep inside. Either way, this session is starting to go my side, or so I think it is]

IV : So, why are you interested in Masscomm?
SB : Well, I’m really interested in this course. It’s because I’m interested in writing. In my free time at home I always read magazines and books. I’m thinking of becoming an editor, specifically for the Top Gear magazine. I'm really enthusiastic in cars, especially the motorsport sector. Back in my school I wrote a lot of articles and stories for the school magazine. Plus I have skills in communication. I was the Exco of External Affairs back in MCKK and was often the Master of Ceremonies during events. So I thought that I could further develop my skills here.
IV : What did your parents say when you told them you were going to take Masscomm?

SB : At first they were silent. I knew they wanted me to pursue a professional course but after a while of thought, they approached me and said “Abang, whatever floats your boat. We will always support you.”

IV : Being an MCKK student, you always get visits from the ministries. Is that right?

SB : At times from the Sultan too, yes.

IV : Interesting. So can you name me the Sultan of Perak?

SB : Sultan Azlan Shah.

IV : That’s right. It was easy. Kalau belajar kat Perak tak tahu nama Sultan, susah ye dok? So, can you name me the Minister of Education?

[The moment I heard the word ‘minister’, my brain instantly had a nervous reflex, heartbeat started to race again. I knew I was going to fumble somewhere, and it didn't took long]

SB : Sultan Muhyiddin Yassin.
IV : Sultan? You mean Tan Sri Muhyiddin?

SB : Oh yes! Sorry, I meant Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

[A quick deep breath calmed me down, now regained composure, but it certainly didn’t help me for the next question]               

IV : Who’s the second Minister of Education?

[I knew I was screwed, but I kept focused and remained calm. I can imagine there was hundreds of tiny me inside my head scouring for folders for names of the ministers that I may have come across while doing my research]

SB : [Calmly]Is it Rosland Hussein?
IV : No it’s Idris Jusoh.
SB : Oh, my bad*.

[Later, I discovered that Tn Hj. Rosland Hussein was the Director for Bahagian Pengurusan Sekolah Berasrama Penuh dan Sekolah Kecermelangan(BPSBPSK), and I picked up his name on my certificate from my Malay College Youth Development Summit ’12. *Note: Apologize professionally and not like me. That’s wrong; you should say something like “Pardon me” or “My mistake”]

IV : You said you have interest in writing. Have you written anything?

[I’ve been wondering when to whip out the ace in the deck; the opportunity presented itself during a pivotal moment]

SB : I’ve done a few articles but sadly it’s in my blog, but I bought along my school magazine in the year I was involved with. Would you like to see it?

[I proudly took out the magazine from my bag and walked around the table and gave it to them. They might’ve realized my hands were slightly trembling, might be from the intense anticipation, or I was nervous]

IV : Wow, it’s very nice. Very beautiful. 
SB : Thank you sir.
[Trying hard not to blush, nor to kembang hidung. While the first interviewer was busy flipping pages marvelling at the masterpiece, his partner who was busy checking my certificates and documents earlier on stepped in]

IV#2 : You said you were involved in that. Explain.
SB : As you can see, I was the Head of Journalism. I was in charge of the articles, the event reports, proofreading, and grammar checks.
IV : Who made this concept? Did the teacher design this?
SB : No. In all honesty it’s all the students’ effort. Everything! From designing to financing.
IV : Seeing all this, I wouldn’t hesitate to accept you as one of my student because I’m from publishing, and you said you had interest. [Pauses for a while] How do you b interact with noisy people, or other people in that sense?

[Deep inside I knew that I despised rowdy rough people who didn’t understand the concept of being mannerly]

SB : Some say that I’m an extrovert. I interact well with people. Back in the days at my school, there were a few groups of students. They were all good company but some were a bit loud but I can mingle with all of them. I don’t mind interacting with any of them.
IV : That’s good, because there’s a problem. 
SB : Problem, sir?
IV : I think your standards are higher. We accept students even with parents with very low salaries like farmers because that’s our responsibility to expand the potential of those who can’t afford. I’m afraid that you can’t mix with these types of people.
SB : I’m confident I can mix well. I had close friends whose parents were fishmongers, but that was relatively okay, because a few of my close friends were orphans.
IV#2 : I have to warn you, budak-budak Masscomm havoc sikit.
IV : Lecturer pun havoc jugak.
SB : It’s okay. It’s an experience I’m willing to go through.
IV : Well, I think that’s all for this interview. Is there any questions?
SB : Actually yes. Is there anything of my interview that concerns you sirs?
IV : No, nothing. Just we are only concerned about you. If you are accepted I hope you can cope with the students there.
SB : InshaAllah, I’m sure I can.
IV : Well hope to see you in Malacca.
SB : Hope so. Thank you. Salam.


As I walked out of them room, with the magazine and documents still in hand, I felt confident but still worried. They thought I was 'overqualified', but let God decide whether it's best for me or not. I pray it's the former. I managed to make some new friends too. Nevertheless, the best part after the interview was getting a huge burden off your shoulders.

Quite a good place to stay this. Just beside UiTM Dungun cmapus

The exterior of the hotel. The campus on the left.

Post-interview beach walk.


  1. Satu soalan 200perkataan atau 3soalan tu 200perkataan? :(

    1. Maaf atas kelewatan utk membalas soalan, saya percaya anda sudah melalui soalan2 tersebut.

      Ketiga2 soalan tersebut perlu dijawab dalam satu esei yang kurang dari 200 patah perkataan.