What do you think is the objective of having interviews with prospective students?

One objective could be to test prospective students’ ability to think critically on the spot – be it in response to the issue being discussed, or in response to other students’ stance on the issue.


What was your interview like?

My interview was conducted with six other prospective students, with one professor and one SMU alumni as the interviewers. They asked for our opinions on a topic related to our discipline, which was the concept of living in a society that ‘wants to be busy’.

I thought the questions were a good chance for us to showcase our unique perspectives and provide justifications for our arguments.


What do you think the interviewers are looking for during the interview?

I feel that the interviewers are looking for students who critically question things rather than just going along with the general consensus, and who are mature enough to agree or disagree with others respectfully.


Was the interview useful in helping you decide if this was the right discipline for you?

I feel that the interview experience helped me reflect on my own personality, thoughts and motivations for picking SOSS at SMU.

During the interview, we were asked questions with respect to a topic or article. The questions asked were relevant to the school because they pertained to subjective issues, where there are no right or wrong answers. For instance, we were asked questions such as: “Why do people actually want to be ‘busy’ (i.e. actively undertake a lot of tasks that leave them without spare time for family/friends)?” and “Is a cleaner’s time, any less in value or significance to the society, as compared to a CEO’s time?”

I thought that such questions gave the interviewers an opportunity to observe how prospective students argued their case. It also allowed us to demonstrate our thinking and presentation skills. Initially, all of the candidates gave politically correct answers but as the discussion went on, the discussion shifted in tone and manner to become more lively and animated. The whole experience gave me a good insight into the seminar-style classes at SMU.


Can you share 3 tips for prospective students preparing for their SOSS interviews?

First of all, read up on social and global issues, so that you are not just book smart but also have some general knowledge.

Second, be confident in your opinions.

Last but not least, listen well to the arguments presented and take the initiative to contribute, rather than passively waiting for the chance to talk.

Norazah Naziha Binte Mohamed Hanafi, Year 2
School of Social Sciences
Bachelor of Social Science
Stereometa, Member; Women’s Connection, Member
Meridian Junior College