lovely diacritic?

I had an SMU SOSS interview today and
1 April, 2009, 12:21 am
Filed under: Autobiography, Education, Religion

I totally had fun! The inteviewers challenged me like CRAZY. To me, what happened was like a glimpse of what usually occurs in a tutorial class. So interactive and thought provoking.


(Hopefully this post gives an idea to those who are about to go for SMU interview. But I believe every candidate is given a different question because the questions I had simply flowed from one question to the other. Love this part of it. The questions aren’t like rigid and typed out on a sheet of paper. Having little or no link to what you answered. How boring will that be.)


Before I went in I prayed to God to give me questions that I KNEW the answers to. And yeah my prayer was answered. 🙂


There were 2 interviewers and I was the only candidate in the room. Here’s what happened (not the exacts words for sure):


“Hi Lydia, so what does your name mean?”

(I was like whaaat but good thing my study table had the name thing bought from a Christian bookstore and it had the meaning of Lydia and I always treat the meaning seriously.)

“My name means worshipper of God.”
“So do you worship God?”


“Do you worship other things?”


“How about do you worship education or relationships…?”


“Then why are you in education?”

“Because it is essential to have and it helps a person to grow. And it’s especially needed in this meritocratic society.”

“Okay. Imagine you’re the leader of a university and you’re, like here, interviewing students. Student 1 comes in, female, brilliant. Student 2, female, brilliant. Student 3, female, brilliant. And so on until the final student, female, brilliant. Do you accept all of them so that you can take in boys to have diversity or just keep all the females.”

(This is my favourite part of the interview. Really makes you think.)

“Keep all the females.”

“Okay. Let me change the question.”

“Student A, Malay, Brilliant. Student B, Malay, Brilliant. Student C, Malay Brilliant. What do you do?”

(I still thought that its only fair to take in students that are brilliant so I said…)

“Have exchange programme.”

“With who?”

“Other universities…?”

“But there is a need for diversity right?”

(Realising it was quite a dead end and diversity is actually important I decided to change my stand.)



“Diversity helps people to understand each other better… (etc.) Okay I’ll judge the Malay students according to their character and see who stands out more and then eliminate. So I can take in some Chinese and Indian students.”

“Okay. I believe in Singapore it is 85% Meritocracy and 15% other stuff” (Not the exact words)

*Suddenly awkward silience*

(I was, like Lydia say something! Then I said…)

“Similarly for HDB in Singapore, there is a limit for the different races. Even if all that who applied first are Chinese, not all of them are given the place. So that Indians and Malays are given an oopportunity.”

“Quota you mean.”

“Oh yes.” (I just couldn’t get that Q word at that moment. Don’t know why.)


“So Lydia what do you like in general?”

“Psychology. *Pause for a moment* Oh as in what I like in social sciences?”

“No, generally.”

“Oh I like Music and the arts.”

“So what kind of arts?”

“Music and film. I have been playing the piano since I was 4.”

“So which Singapore film do you like?”

(Immediately I thought of Singapore dreaming, I don’t know why. But i don’t like that show! And before that I was actually thinking of foreign films.)

“I like films by Royston Tan because he embraces the Singapore culture. His films are often about the cultures in Singapore that evolved due to this multiracial society.  The culture here has inter… inter… intervened. Unlike China and India, the culture is not that traditional.”

(I couldn’t get the word! It was supposed to be intertwined or interwoven…)

“Isn’t it bad that the traditional culture is lost?”

“The culture that we have now is a unique one and people have adapted to it. But people still embrace the traditional culture through the media.”


“So Lydia, you mentioned Mr Alex Abisheganaden in your write-up. Why?”

(Mr A. is my guitar ensemble instructor in YJ. Anyway I thought to myself, what a good question. Yeah, exactly why did I mention him?)

“Mr Alex is the first who introduced classical guitar to Singapore.”

“Oh he’s not the first but he’s one of the first.”

“Oh is it? He told us that himself.”

“Mr A is (then he started talking about Mr A in a joyful manner and then laughed) So basically you mentioned him so to have some link.”


(I really couldn’t think of anything else to say but anyway that was really my reason. Simply to have some link since Mr A is actually quite well-known.)


“Anymore questions?”



“Really no more question?”

(Think of something Lydia!)

“So when will I know the results?”

“Haha that you have to e-mail the Admission office yourself. But I think it should be in about 2 weeks?”


“Do e-mail them okay?”


“Thank you.”

“Thanks and have a nice day!”

“Have a nice day to you too!”


After I left, I was like man I hope this isn’t my last time stepping into this building. SMU has been my dream school since I was Secondary 3 or 4 you see.


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

Comment by matt

And I started laughing when you didn’t know why you mentioned your guitar teacher….

Comment by Nat

omgggg lydiaaaa! hahahahaha. i’m reading this frm sch k, heh. your interview is damn hilarious lah wth! heheheh & the questions damn retarded, lol.

Comment by Shalyn;

did u get into SMU in the end?

Comment by Teck Yi

Yup, I did. 🙂

Comment by liatango

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