MU: Phone Interview

I had a phone call for Vietnam today. More precisely, from Ho Chi Minh City. And it was not from a friend I met in Singapore.

It was the oddest of interviews (and I had been to quite a lot) I had ever been to, an interview by phone. Well, I guess the interviewer did say that it was going to be an informal affair, but I kind of underestimated the ‘informal’ part. Truth be told, I was not even expecting the phone call and was mildly surprised when he identified himself through the phone. It was then when I stared at the clock and realised I had misread the time. Perhaps I should go back to kindergarten and rectify those errors I have been making lately (reading clocks being just one of them).

Me : Hello.

Interviewer : Hello, this is Chris. May I speak to Chew Kwang Hua, please?

Me : Ahh.. I’m speaking. <brief pause> Umm.. Can I excuse myself for a minute? I need to turn off the tap in the bathroom.

Not a very good first impression, I would say. But I wouldn’t complain. The rest of the interview went on very smoothly. I felt oddly free of pressure, something I could not boast of at any other interview. Maybe it is a side-effect from watching anime until directly before the interview itself, but it was a very pleasant experience, having no pressure for once. (I also have an odd feeling that not expecting the interview in advance also had something to do with allaying my fears.)

After the hitch at first, it was a pretty standard affair, with standard questions being asked. The conversation went from life in the university, to life in Malaysia and Vietnam, to local food, to quirks in languages, and many other topics. This is one of the more diverse interviews I have been to, and also one of the most interesting. Most interviewers tend to test on depth of knowledge on a certain area, and not so much on breadth of the knowledge you have (which I am much better in).

Actually, if I was supposed to give this interview a label, I would more likely call it a conversation, rather than an interview. Is that a good thing or bad? I would leave that decision up to you.


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