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SMU Interview

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Here's about my SMU interview for the School of Social Science (SOSS) in the morning:
This is what I wore, I didn't go for blazers and what not cause I didn't want to go for TOO formal, and not like I have many blazers/slacks/etc to contend with anyway.
I dunno this is to give those still waiting for their interviews a rough idea (is it too informal?). I saw another girl in jeans anyway.

I'd heard that SMU interviews are conducted in groups, but turns out for SOSS it's individual. 2 professors to 1 student.
I'd say my interview was very average, there were some parts I was literally STUMPED, not saying anything because nothing was going through my brain other than "erm hi Sophie I think you're supposed to be talking now".

Kind of long so I'll split it into a few main questions I got asked:

First question I got was "Why SMU and why Social Sciences?"
I happened to mention that although the school is pretty new, I like the direction it is taking and its progress and etc.
Prof 1: "The school is new?"
Sophie: "Erm yeah, SOSS is only 4 years old right?" (I'd read it in the faculty magazine in the waiting room)
Prof 1: "Oh, that. But new and old, it's relative isn't it?"
Sophie: "Erm..."

Okay anyway in our applications we wrote a 300 word essay describing our strengths and etc in 3 areas (eg. CCA, CIP, leadership blah blah). So one tough question I got was:
"What can you tell me that isn't in your application that sets you apart from other students; such that we'd want to accept you?"
Like seriously... I mean obviously I'd already thrown in all I had (which isn't much) into my essay.

In the end I said that being mixed-blood and having lived overseas, I've been exposed to a plethora of other cultures and mindsets that allows me to have a broader perspective than most other students.
Which is okay I guess, except that I derailed and landed myself in a very sticky spot that saw me go blank for a few seconds hahaha.

"Let's say I have a normal Boeing 777, how could I measure the amount of water I can fill the plane with?"
First I said I'd take the number of passengers, decide on an average weight and multiply the two together and that'd give me the bare minimum mass of water the plane could carry.

The same Prof 1 said okay but he wants to fill it to the BRIM, and that I can just take into account the cylindrical part of the plane (i.e. discount the cockpit and etc).

I was pretty much at a loss so since he kept going on about the cylindrical part, I finally said "Cylinder right? So area of cross section x length" all while moulding an imaginary plane in mid-air.

They laughed but I don't know if it's because they think I'm an idiot, or if I'm being funny. I don't know which I was being either. Oh well.

In closing was "How badly do you want to get into SMU? And what 3 words would you use to describe yourself?". After which I got asked to elaborate why I attribute so-and-so word to myself. Sheesh what a nightmare.

Alright I hope that helps other aspiring SMU students prepare for their interviews. Of course I got asked a lot of other questions, like my stand on abortion (I am pro-choice) but these are the main ones I remember.

Feel so ughhh okay bye bye.
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