1

Do you think you did well or did not do well for the interview and why? Was there anything you would have done differently if you were to go through the interview again?

I’m glad that I went to the interview feeling confident and well-rested, because it helped me think quickly. However, if I was going through the interview again, I would definitely try to deliver my answers in a clearer and more direct way.

Another thing that went well for me was being able to disagree agreeably. I had a different opinion from one of my fellow interviewees, but I made it a point to respond to his ideas and explain the difference in our opinions, instead of just telling him that I thought he was wrong without explaining my point of view.

2

Do you have any tips for prospective students going for their interviews?

Punctuality is very important! I learnt this the hard way because I was late for my interview! I ran all the way from the bus stop, but luckily I was not in the first group of interviewees so I had some time to catch my breath. It’s also a good thing that I was quite familiar with the building where my interview was held. SMU has many buildings which look similar. If you’re not familiar with them, it would be a good idea to find out where your interview is held and check it out for yourself the day before. It can save you a lot of time and stress on the interview day itself.

Another tip would be to prepare some questions to ask the interviewers, in case they have time to answer them at the end of the interview.

It’s a great chance to have your questions answered and to demonstrate your interest in SMU. It also shows that you’ve done your homework. For example, at the end of my interview, I asked how the Professor-to-student ratio would be affected by SMU’s plans to increase the size of the law cohort in the future.

3

Any tips for how prospective students should dress for the interview?

Most people will show up in typical office wear – pants and a plain long-sleeved work shirt for the guys, and a business suit or formal skirt for the girls. I was the only one in my holding room who wore a tie. There are no strict rules about it but you do want to look professional, and at the same time, appear and feel comfortable. Choose an outfit that you’ll feel confident in!

4

Was your SOL interview very school-focused?

I remember there being a balance of ‘generic’ interview questions, as well as ‘specific’ questions that presumably help the interviewers understand prospective students’ reasons for pursuing Law. In my interview, the first question that was asked was the classic “tell us more about yourself”. After that, we were given a few hypothetical scenarios and asked about our likely responses to the various situations. I think this allowed us (the prospective students) to demonstrate our thought processes and rationalisation skills.

I was also asked why I wanted to pursue Law, but I don’t really recall if there were any other questions specifically about law or law-related topics. I think the question of “why do you want to pursue a particular discipline” is something everyone should be prepared for, regardless of the school they are applying to.

5

Can you share 3 tips for prospective students preparing for a SOL interview?

Firstly, I would recommend that prospective students keep themselves updated on the latest developments in the industry. For example, if I was interviewing for a place at the School of Law this year, I would read up on the latest news and developments in the Legal Industry e.g. new laws being passed, high-profile court cases, or any law-related issues that people have been talking about recently.

Secondly, I’d say that prospective students should be prepared to not only share their opinions, but also to defend them! They should take some time to think about their views on something, then consider how others might view the same situation. This helps them develop greater depth to their arguments and shows that they have a wide perspective.

Lastly, make sure to get a good night’s rest on the night before the interview. Don’t let yourself get overly stressed out. More importantly, do plan to get there on time (unlike me!)

6

Looking back, how did the interview process prepare you for your SMU journey?

Even though it was a little stressful, I enjoyed the parts of my interview where we engaged in an interesting discussion. Before coming to SMU, I had heard so much about the interactive pedagogy and the emphasis placed on class participation, but never had the chance to experience it for myself. The interview was my first real taste of the lively discussions that I now experience in class every day – looking back, it certainly was an exciting experience!

Nigel Chua Jia En, Year 2
School of Law
SCHOOL PROGRAMME
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B)
CCAS/ACHIEVEMENTS
SMU Ambassadorial Corps; SMU Archery Club, Vice President; SMUX Trekking Team
ALMA MATER
Raffles Junior College