Road to becoming a Yayasan Tenaga Nasional Scholar

Survival/Interview tips to secure your place among world class scholars.

Posted by Nazrie on August 24, 2019

Application Process

There are two stages :

1. Self-Introductory Video

(I don’t think I can share the question here but i’ll give a few tips about it.) For the self-introductory video, there is only one question and the time allocated for the video is 3 minutes. The purpose of having this video is to give our interviewers the “first impression” about us and to briefly introduce ourselves to them. There are a few criterias that they give us and one of them is creativity (huhu lagi tiga lupa).

The question can be divided into two aspects :-

Introduction about ourselves

Basically here we need to present the best version of ourselves in a short amount of time. For students who have joined tons of curricular activities, there will be a tendency to make a list for all of the awards and programs that you have achieved. When you start to list everything in the video, that is your first mistake. Why do I call it your first mistake? Because when you start to list everything, your 3 minutes will be gone (boom) just like that and the interviewer won’t get a good picture of who you are.

To make a great short introduction about yourself, you need to imagine it like cooking butter chicken for lunch. Everyone will have the same basic ingredients — fried chicken, butter, evaporated milk, and curry leaves. But what if you put a lot of butter? The texture will become heavy and the gravy butter will turn to rock in 30 minutes. Same goes when you put everything in extra, it will have its own effects afterwards. So you need to make sure everything is in moderation. To give a special effect to the meal, you can add chillies to give that spicy taste, put some cheese to make it more creamy and add some sugar and salt. To make it simpler to understand, you need to have all the basic things in your video in moderation and put a little bit of extra things about you to make it become a great video.

IF you want your video to catch the interviewers’ attention, you need to make sure it is SUPER CREATIVE. How to make it creative? I’ll let you guys think about it.

Why we are applying for the scholarship

This is another tricky aspect that you need to figure out on how to answer it. Well, I’ll guide you on how to ace it. For this aspect, try to highlight how this scholarship is going to help you become a better person and how this scholarship will help you to contribute back to the community? You also need to show your enthusiasm and passion for the course that you’re applying.

2. Individual Interview

After video submission, you’ll have an individual interview session and you’ll be interviewed by three panels. For me, a virtual individual interview session is easier compared to a virtual group interview (but personally I prefer a group interview because it is challenging and more fun, there’s a lot of skills you can apply). You can ‘sell’ yourself better and make them put their interest and trust at you. You need to remember, interviewers need to trust you because they are going to give you hundreds of thousands ringgit, so do your best okay!

  • "Please introduce yourself"

  • This is a common question and almost all interviewers will ask you this question. Surprisingly, during YTN’s interview, my panels didn’t ask me to introduce myself. They just shot me directly with all the questions (huhu sad isn’t it). I think one of the reasons why they didn’t ask me to introduce myself was because of my video.

    A few of my friends got this question during their interview session.

  • “How do you see yourself in the next 5 years and 10 years?”

  • Well, most students will answer their goals and those answers are good but is it good enough? Let us imagine it this way :- You are walking in the jungle and then you come across a big river. You want to cross the river but the stream is too fast. Then, you start looking for a bridge. The other side of the river is your destination(goal) and the river is your obstacle. To reach your destination, you need a path (bridge) and this part is where students tend to forget. Most students can talk about their goals but very few can address the obstacles that they will face and the preparation that they have done/planned to reach the goal.

    To conclude:

    River (Obstacles)
    Bridge (Ways to achieve)
    The other side (Goals)

    To make it easier, try to look at this example:

    “In the next 10 years, I see myself as a clinical psychologist. At that time, I wish to reduce the rate of mental disease in Malaysia. One of few things that I have done to achieve my goal is that I have started writing a blog about depression and how to fight it. Next, I am planning to create videos about mental health and publish it on my social media. My targets are primary and secondary school students because by getting early exposure about mental health, they will become knowledgeable about this issue and will manage to take care of themselves and their friends in the future. I believe that this is not an easy journey but with the help and guidance from (scholarship provider), I will be able to achieve my goal and help fellow Malaysians.”

  • “What other scholarships did you apply for?”

  • This is a super tricky question. My advice is to speak truthfully, and to mention why YTN is better for you compared to other scholarships. You don’t need to praise them much because they know that they are good. What they do want to know is how this scholarship suits you and if you really want this scholarship (berpendirian tetap).

  • “Why did you apply for this scholarship/course/country?”

  • To answer this question, you need to do your own research. When I was being interviewed, one of the panelists asked me, “Aside from electrical power engineering, what are the other majors in electrical?”. At that time, I was clueless as I didn’t do my research but alhamdulillah I joined a career fair, so I managed to answer it.

    Be careful with this type of question.

My advice is do your research on:

1. Why did you apply for this scholarship? How will this scholarship benefit you? If you were selected as the receiver of this scholarship, how are you going to be?

2. Why did you choose this country? With the current situation occurring in this country, do you think this country will suit you? Why do you think studying in this country is better than Malaysia? What interests you most about that country (it can be the course itself, the environment etc, but better to answer it about selective courses).

3. Why did you choose this course? What does this course mean to you? Will it help you to achieve your goal(s)? Is this course important in the future?

4. Do background research of the company, TNB and YTN. Find the department that you imagine yourself will be in the next 5-10 years. Be ready if they asked you anything related to the company.

5. Do not lie during your interview because they can ask anything under the sun. If you say that you can sing, they may ask you to sing on the spot during the interview session.

6. If they asked you “So, do you have any questions to ask?”
Please say yes and ask them to show that you really want this scholarship. It is your final impression