WOW | What You Think


Nirnaya Bhatta
Student, Master in Public Policy Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

To address my anxiety, a friend’s father (an Englishman in his 50s), calmly advised me a day before the Skype interview “always remember, the interviewers too are under pressure to do a good job.”

I was traveling across a few Southeast Asian countries, and had reached Jakarta. I could not find a better place to give my interview than a Starbucks located close to where I was staying. I was informed that two individuals would separately interview me. “Who are you?” asked the HR chief. Due to the need to be precise, I narrated very selected aspects of my career and education relevant to the job at hand. Since this answer sets the tone for any interview, it was crucial to get it right.

Remembering the advice from the day before, I approached the interview like a two-way conversation. In all previous interviews I had sat for, I always felt under immense pressure because I could not help but regard them as an “interrogation”.