official post #6 : Reflection on Learning

Time flew by way too quickly this semester, as we have come to the final official post for ES2007S, about how we have developed on a particular aspect throughout this course. With several components covered in the course, such as cover letter writing, intercultural communication, proposal writing and oral presentation, I can confidently say that I have made progress in all these areas. Personally, the segment which involved the learning of job interviews and partaking in mock interviews had the most impact on me for several reasons.

I had much less experiences with job interviews in comparison with some of my classmates.   Although I did not think that I would be at a disadvantage when it came to mock interviews, my mock interview was undeniably an eye opener for me. As I was the last person to be interviewed from my ‘human resource group’, I was slightly disheartened since the order of interview was based on the impressiveness of our cover letter and résumé. At the end of the interview, one of the most striking and memorable feedback I received was that I was very defensive throughout the interview. After the feedback, I did some self-reflection on my answers I gave and on my behaviour during the interview and realised at some points during the interview I was being quite blunt with my answers. As I felt I have brought my true personality to the interview, the feedback of me being defensive was an indirect reflection on my personality as well.

What made my mock interview more interesting was that I was involved in the peer teaching component on job interviews together with Noelle. I had learnt many new facts about the preparing and performance aspects of an interview, but when it came to the actual mock interview, I felt that I was not as psychologically prepared as I could have been. Coupled with my nervousness, I could have ended up appearing defensive and unprepared to the ‘interviewers’ and left an unfavourable impression on them. So all in all, the mock interview has highlighted my flaws and allowed me to learn from my mistakes.Ever since, I have made a conscious effort to be less blunt when speaking to people and to be less defensive (but not aggressive either). This made me more aware of what I was saying and what kind of impression I was leaving on other people. Although the results are not instant, I am still trying hard to improve in every way and I believe that I will be able to be more prepared and perform even better next time during a real interview.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Klara
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 11:14:18

    Hey Huixin,

    Didn’t know that you were disheartened by the order of the interview. I guess all of us would agree that the order doesn’t matter (with the fact that all of us are applying for different jobs and positions).

    I feel that your resume is alot better (than mine) when I read it in class. After I read yours, I went home to modify mine 😀

    See you during the exams? or next semester 😀


  2. Eric
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 23:15:45

    Dear Huixin,

    The interview order was not based on the merit(Brad never said “rank it based on merit”, so we ranked the resumes based on other factors). As one of your interviewers, I can say that there is nothing really wrong with your resume. It’s just that we had very little questions to ask you since the program you were applying for was really a very straight forward academia position. On the contrary, we felt that your interview would be the easiest among all our interviewees that’s why we put you last. Only comment I had was that you were a little flustered and worked up during the interview, which I am sure you can overcome with proper mental preparation 🙂

    Still, I am very glad that you took your interview feedback to heart.All the best for your future interviews 🙂


  3. Brad
    Nov 15, 2011 @ 02:59:53

    Thank you, Hui Xin, for this introspective post. It’s clear, concise and self critical. I appreciate your focus on the interview segment. Like the others have mentioned though, you might have been too critical, in fact. Seeing how each “applicant” was applying for a different position, I think it’s a bit unfair for merit to be involved — as Eric has pointed out.

    What is most satisfying to me this term is that you made a tremendous effort, one that clearly had paid off as at the end you delivered a very fine oral presentation. My heart was also warmed as you ventured out of your comfort zone and addressed me not as “sir” but as “Brad.” Thanks very much for that.

    And again, thank you for all your efforts, Hui Xin, and best of luck on your future learning journey!


  4. ohmyhx
    Nov 15, 2011 @ 12:51:12

    Thank you everyone for the feedback and comments!

    Oops, I was actually under the impression that the mock interview order was based on ‘who you would most likely hire based on the impressiveness (language and structure wise) of the cover letter’, so thank you for the clarification! I guess I took it slightly too seriously…

    Thank you everyone! 🙂


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