Why do you think interviews are important to SMU’s selection process?

Quite importantly, I think the interviewers want to know your motivations for choosing SMU. The fact that you have been selected for the interview suggests that you have surpassed, or at least met, the school’s academic criteria. Therefore, I think the main objective of the interview is for the interviewers to have a chance to interact with you, to see if there is more to you than your paper qualifications. The interviews also help them better understand your reasons for choosing a particular discipline.


How can prospective students prepare for the interview?

Think about your reasons for choosing SMU, and at least have an understanding of what differentiates SMU from other local universities. You should also have an understanding of your chosen discipline, and be able to explain why you want to pursue it.

It would be good to prepare a few examples of things you have done in JC or Secondary School to demonstrate your strengths, such as any leadership positions, CCA achievements and so on. If you feel that you don’t have much to share with regards to your JC or Secondary School experiences, you could share your hobbies. This would give interviewers a chance to get to know you better.

It is perfectly fine if you are nervous at the beginning and fumble through your words. Compose yourself and ask the interviewer to give you a few minutes to collect your thoughts, which was what I did.


What was your interview like?

My interview took place with a professor and an SMU senior. There were no other prospective students present, so it was unlike the group interviews conducted by the LKCSB.

The questions asked were quite straightforward, such as: “Why SMU?”, “Why accountancy?”, “Tell me more about your CCA in JC”, and “What do you do during your free time?”

The interviewers also asked me what I planned on doing if I did not receive an offer for SMU, as I had mentioned that I had only applied to SMU. I explained that if I was unable to get into SOA that year, I would try again the next year. Since I was serving NS at the time, I would have the chance to apply again the following year.


What are your thoughts on the interview process?

Personally, I feel that the 1-on-1 interview gives interviewers a good chance to understand each individual interviewee’s experiences and motivations.


What advice do you have for prospective students?

In every school, there are bound to be students with varying degrees of motivation. You do not have to be the most intelligent to succeed. You can get far as long as you have the drive and motivation to do well. This means that you will have to do things that stress you out, and it may feel like you are facing insurmountable pressure. But believe in yourself and you will be surprised at how much more you are capable of than you think.

Siddiq Poh, Year 4
School of Accountancy
Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc)
Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Club, President; SMU Men Soccer, Vice-President
SMU Study Award; Deloitte Inspire Award; School of Accountancy ACE Award; Geok-Eng Scholarship AY2013-AY2014; Mahendra Misra Scholarship AY2014-AY2016; Dean’s List AY2012-AY2014
Raffles Junior College