The Interview

02 April 2013


I arrived at Hotel Mulia around 1420 because I promised Hartono his certificate of SSEC that were distributed on Thursday. There I saw Alwyn and Handoko were being seated at the chairs in front of the interview room, waiting to be called in. I also met Herdiyenti Howard and Kelvin Teheri. Teheri’s turn was just before mine.

Because my turn is on 1645, I and my cousins waited and sat at a sofa. I once slept for about 10 minutes. I looked around for a while, I saw Handoko’s face was not good, he said that he couldn’t answer some of the interviewer’s questions.

It was 1500, I saw Hartono and his father were in the waiting room, Hartono himself was in the chair in front of the interview room. His father was praying when Hartono was called in at 1505. 1520 struck and Hartono went out smiling. I could see his success in the interview. He said that he was asked with normal questions like “Why do you choose this major?”, “Why do you choose NTU?”, “Introduce yourself”. After that he and his father went out.

This time, Hediyenti went in. After a while, she went out. Overall, she said hers was well except for the Property Bubble that she didn’t understand. Here, Jensen has come to join us. Jensen’s turn will be tomorrow. As he had his night in the hotel, he joined us discussing the questions.

It was 1600, I felt more nervous. I were told to move my seat in to that room. There I met some people from other schools such as SMA St. Louis (Surabaya) and BPK Penabur 1 (Jakarta). Teheri has already been told to sit in front of the room. Some time passed and I was told to accompany him at the chairs.

There the guy who called us was quite friendly. After he checked my passport and report card, he gave me a short briefing for the interview. First, we must knock the door and then open the door and come in to the room. There you must greet the interviewers like “Good afternoon sir”. When we sit, we should be relax. When we were answering, we should make eye-contact with them, also our hands should not make any kind of sign that show our nervousness. We also should be confident, be honest, but keep humble and polite.

It was Teheri’s turn. When he went in, another person sat beside me and that guy gave that person the same briefing. She was Renata, majoring in Business, from SMAK 1 BPK Penabur, Jakarta. Well, she have a good confidence.

Teheri went out and whispered “good luck” to me. It was my turn.


I stood up and was about to go to the door and knock it but I was stopped by the guy. After a “ting” sound was heard, he let me do it. I knocked the door and open the door then went in. “Kenrick”. My name was called by an interviewer. “Good Afternoon sir,” I said. They replied my greet and I sat on the chair provided by them. There are 4 interviewer. Let say the leftmost interviewer is A, and to his right was B, C, and D respectively.

B: You are from Sutomo?
Me: Yeah
B: So, you have many friends waiting outside. Did you ask them what did we ask here?
Me: Yes, I asked some of them
B: Then you know all questions that we asked.
Me: Yeah, but not all of them want to say.
*they laughed *
B: Okay, I saw that you are very interested in computer. I won’t ask that. What have you achieved besides computer?
Me: *silence for a while* *ummm*
D: Like sports?
Me: Every Saturday and Sunday evening I go swimming. But I’ve never joined any sport competition.
B: So what kind of swimming is it?
D: Do you have a coach?
Me: No.
Me: A casual swimming.
D: I see. *hmmm*
B: Besides that?
Me: *another moment of silence* *ha* I also edits in Indonesian Wikipedia and I’m currently an administrator there.
*they seemed to put interest in me*
B: What kind of articles did you edit?
Me: I don’t usually edit articles. I just fix the Wikipedia.
B: How? Tell me more.
Me: *ummmm* I fix the Javascript.
B: Oh I see, the Javascript.
D: How did you became an administrator there?
Me: I actively discussing things in there.
D: So the community asked you if you want to be an administrator and you accept it?
Me: Yeah
D: I see. I see.
D: Did you realise that you have a 3-year or 6-year bond in NTU?
Me: Yes
D: I mean have you ever been live by yourself before?
Me: *ummm* I have ever join the computer olympiad training for a month in Bandung.
D: But you were being supervised by a supervisor.
Me: I think more or less, it was the same.
D: It wasn’t. We didn’t tell you when to eat, or what to do. You decide it by yourself.
B: Yeah, we didn’t tell you when you must go to the canteen.
D: Can you cope up with living in NTU?
Me: yes… *moment of silence*
C: Did you know anyone in NTU?
Me: I have a senior there.
C: What major?
Me: Computer Science.
B: Oh, I see. You could visit him regularly. Haha
Me: Haha
D: Did you apply in other uni?
Me: Yeah, I applied in NUS.
D: Have you hear a word from NUS?
Me: No, not yet.
B: What did you do in your free time?
Me: Most of them I spend it in playing games.
B: Computer games?
Me: *lied* No
D: Sport games?
Me: *confused* Yeah something like that. *more confused*
B: Tell me about your family.
Me: I have one elder brother and one younger sister. My elder brother is an alumnus of NUS, currently working as an assistant researcher at NUS. My younger sister is still in grade 2 of secondary school in Medan.
B: What did your father do?
Me: My father is an enterpreneour. He manufactures doors.
B: Doors, oh I see.
D: What did you want to be in 20 years?
Me: I’d like to work in the foundation that keep Wikipedia running, the Wikimedia Foundation. I want to make them become bigger. You know, Wikipedia is a big website but the foundation is very small.
D: I think what they need is marketer, not programmer.
Me: I think that they also needed programmer.
D: For what?
Me: They have many ideas that haven’t been realised.
D: Such as?
Me: A new editing feature. Current editing features are very complicated.
Me: I’d also like to work in Mozilla [Foundation].
D: I heard that working in Mozilla is unpaid.
Me: No, they have Mozilla Corporation that recruits programmers.
D: But Mozilla isn’t in Singapore. You must work in Singapore for that 3-year or 6-year bond.
Me: That was my plan in 20 years.
D: Oh I see.
C: I see that you have preference for non-profit organizations. Why is it? Did for-profit organizations are bad?
Me: *umm* *panicked* I think that non-profit organizations have a good principle.
D: After the 20 years of work, did you plan to return to Indonesia?
Me: *instantly* Of course.
D: What is your contribution to Indonesia then?
Me: By speading Wikipedia, everyone in the world could be more educated.
D: *nodded*
B: *looked right and left**whispered* Any questions?
A: *shooked his head while staring at his MacBook*
C: No
D: No
B: So, did you have any questions?
Me: When will we be informed about this interview result?
B: Around 2 weeks. Why? You needed that urgently?
Me: No. *smiled*
B: You may leave. Thank you.
Me: You’re welcome. Good afternoon.
*leave the room*
Me: *whispered to Renata* Good luck
Renata: *whisper* Thanks


First guy who asked me was Jensen. He asked me about the conditions inside. My cousins noticed that my turn was just around 10 minutes. After a while, I left Jensen and went out to the toilet. Then after we passed through the traffic jam (of around 1 hour), we have a dinner at Sushi Joobu. I was so much fulled! Then we went back to the house and get some rest.


This story may contain errors and may differ from the reality to dramatize the story. 😛

UPDATE: Outcome

On 8 April 2013, around 4 pm, I was notified by other friends to check email as they got the email containing the interview outcome. I accessed email through my handphone, and saw the email with subject “Interview Outcome”. I clicked it and. . . .

Dear Kenrick

We would like to thank you for your interest in our NTU scholarship.  

In view of the large number of competent candidates and limited number of scholarships available, we regret to advise that we are unable to consider you for a scholarship.

Aaargh… I didn’t get it… But never mind, life will go on.

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