Assalamualaikum and hi,

For this entry I’ll be writing down my experience during the Petronas Sponsorship Interview.

On a Saturday at 8.00 a.m., I was already at KDU Glenmarie, the campus where my interview was held. We were led to a big hall and we handed in our documents there. We were also given a number to separate us according to the computer labs  we were assigned to do the online test.

Online Test

The online test, if I remember correctly, consisted of a personality test and the TSA Cambridge test. The personality test shouldn’t be a problem, but the TSA Cambridge test would test your critical thinking skills within the time allocated. There will be a timer on the screen that starts simultaneously when you begin the test. There is a mixture of questions consisting of math and english. I recommend you to try looking it up online to get a sense of how the questions are like before the real thing. Whatever it is, please do the online test well.

After that, we were led to the big hall again for lunch (provided) and names were plastered on the notice board to notify the candidates that passed the tests. Only those who had their names on the board were qualified for the interview session. Out of around 400 who came on that day, only 200 (approx) were qualified for the interviews, and the rest were to go home. I wasn’t sure whether the decisions were made according to the marks only, or whether if there was already a quota of candidates they wanted.

Although they needed this method to scope down the number of candidates, I do not think it was fair for those who left the house at 2 to 3 a.m. from Kedah and Penang just to get turned down by a computer test. It could have been better if everyone was called in for the interview, and considered accordingly with face-to-face evaluation and a computerized evaluation. But I wasn’t anyone to say these things, and all I could do was pray that they’ll get the barakah for their effort and that they’ll get a scholarship anywhere else.

Interview

Those whose names were on the board were separated into large groups and then led to a lecture hall. Before entering, we are separated again into groups of 6, and they will be in the same classroom with you during the interview. We were all given the same article, which was about PETRONAS’s retail shops.

While waiting for your group to be called into the class, get to know your group mates (remember their names) so that it will be easier to address them in the class later.

Before entering the class, make sure you look neat and presentable (it was 5pm already) and knock, give your greetings. Don’t sit unless they tell you to, and be the best version of yourself (smile). There were 2 officers from PETRONAS in my room. They were both managers somewhere in their branch of companies from different states. From what I heard, the officers evaluating (not only in my room) were very nice and supportive. The interviews are not the ‘provoking’ type, so it was nice.

The 6 of us were told to think of the ways we can expand their retail stores. We were to discuss while they listen to us discussing. Very awkward but just do your best.

  • voice out your ideas, try to make them mature and industry-based, as if PETRONAS is gonna do them for real (read up on the current investments in PETRONAS locally and overseas, their problems, and if you can link your ideas to these current issues, that’s your trump card)
  • encourage your shy team members to speak. And if their ideas are good or better, compliment them to give them encouragement. Try to be a person who can lift others up.
  • offer to write everyone’s ideas on the board

Then, after discussing in front of them, they’ll ask you to present those ideas in front. So we chose to divide those points according to what we suggested earlier, making it easier to explain. I’m not a good speaker, I stuttered a lot. When the others were fluent english speakers, I felt inferior but I tried to get my point across the best I could.

After that, you guys would sit down again and discuss your reflection or the conclusion you guys got from the activity. Don’t forget to prepare questions for the officers. Something that sounds mature or hinting that you are very very interested in their industry.

Weeks later, they’ll say that the result will be updated online, the same place you applied the scholarship. Some got notified by SMS too, but I didn’t get any so I checked quite later after it was posted. Alhamdulillah, I was selected as one of the scholars. After reading this, I hope it’ll give you some insight and tips to face the interview. Good luck!

 

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