About the Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam (SPA) interview for fresh dental graduates in Malaysia
To clear the air and perhaps to bless you with 2% more confidence, we have prepared a short article about going through the interview process for the SPA or Public Service Commission (PSC).
In Malaysia, all dental graduates regardless of education background are required to attend this interviewing process in order to be working in the public sector as Dentists in the government clinic. As of 4th April 2012, the compulsory duration for government service is 2 years. All this is IF you are planning to attain your APC to practice dentistry in Malaysia.
Disclaimer before we start: this article was prepared on a few dental student's personal experiences and does not represent all situations. What we have listed are merely guidelines.
Things you will need to prepare beforehand:
- Resume (along with passport photo) - in Bahasa Malaysia or English - Will be given to the interviewer
- IC - original and photocopy
- Birth Certificate - original and photocopy
- SPM results certificate - original and photocopy ; note: they will want to see your Bahasa Malaysia results.
- A letter confirming you have finished your course/ or you're in your final year - original (to be provided by your university)
- Exams results from your University (all 5 years)- original and photocopy
- Relevant extra-curricular certificates - original only
- Your game face, the interview will most probably be conducting in Bahasa Melayu by the way.
Prepare the above items in order, with your photocopied ic, birth-cert and certificates attached to your resume; and your original IC and Birth-certificate and certificates inserted into the clear sheet file (for easy flip through). Generally there will be 2 interviewer, 1 of them will be looking through your resume and the photo stated-certificates, while the 2nd interviewer will be verifying your IC and Birth-certificate for authenticity.
Your education certificate should be placed in the order of
IC + birthcert
Yearly exam results (university only)
Relevant certificates (dean's list, awards, scholarships, achievements during your university days, and if you want : kokurikulum/sports activities from high school days that nobody looks at anymore)
So the interviewer will be able to flip through it easily and looking through the important stuffs.
-First you will have to register yourself at www.spa.gov.my
-Click on the "Borang Pendaftaran Pekerjaan Di Sektor Awam (SPA8i) and register a new account.
-Be sure to save your input each time as it won't be saved automatically.
-Carefully input everything before you send it over with the emphasis on :
Jawatan yang dipohon: Pegawai Pergigian Gred U41
Pusat Temu Duga: according to where your university/SPA decides
You will be given a deadline to apply through the SPA website and the list and interview details will be given by your university to you. All candidates are requested to dressed smartly. For ladies: Baju Kurung or formal blouses will do, if you're enthusiastic enough, you may bring along a blazer. For guys: wearing formal long-sleeved shirts and slacks with a tie will do and if you're keen, also bring along your blazer. Neatly groomed candidates are less likely to be picked on by the interviewer.
-After you have done all that, you will be given a specific time and venue for the interview itself, if you're lucky, the interview will be held in your campus compound and you won't have to travel to Putrajaya or their K.L office.
During the day of interview:
- Make sure you stay rehydrated and drinks lot's of water because there will be some waiting involved depending on the size of your class.
- If you are being interviewed in the SPA compounds (which is what our anonymous dental students went through), you will be required to fill up a form.
- Be prepared to fill in the top 3 locations in Malaysia where you would like to be posted and their "alasan"/ excuses for the states you chose.
- The form will be verified by a front desk receptionist and you'll be told to pass the forms along with your photocopied stuffs to be passed to the interviewer. Your interview room number will be scribbled on the top of your resume and you'll have to proceed to wait outside the "Interview Room".
- Wait for your number to ring and you will be off!
Now the interesting part:
What will the interviewers ask? (Disclaimer: These are questions given by the 2 interviewer which were responsible for our anonymous dental students' batch, questions may vary tremendously depending on who is your interviewer)
First they will introduce themselves, and then you will be required to introduce yourselves in Bahasa (the reason given was they want to make sure you are fluent in BM to that you can communicate well if posted to a rural area) and then you will be required to state your IC number and they will cross-check it with the IC you gave them. This is where they will check what was your score for BM for your SPM.
Sometimes, they will also ask you why do you want to get yourself posted in your stated choices. It is wise to have your answers practiced in your head to avoid embarrassments. :)
Possible Questions: (Google will be your best friends for this purposes)
- About SPA - Vision, mission and functions, and their current organisation personnels (this is the hardest part)
- About KKM (Ministry of Health) - what're their vision, mission and functions and their current organisation personnels too.
- About the Oral Health division of the KKM - Vision, mission, functions and their current organisation personnels.
- About 1Malaysia - GTP (Government Transformation Program), ETP (Economic Transformation Program), UTC (Urban Transformation Centres), RTC (Rural Transformation Centres)
- About name of the cabinet members of Malaysia. (One of our sources cited that they asked for the setiausaha negara and so on)
- Current issues in the news - this one is interesting because it gives you the freedom to direct the conversation to something you're familiar with, DO NOT mention something you don't know.. as you will be required to explain and elaborate on your chosen path). For our source's interview in the year of 2014, there were Ebola, Dengue outbreak, and aviation disasters. Based on your chosen topic, they will question you on the roles of KKM (Ministry of Health) in each of the situations.
- About National Key Result Areas
- About reducing corruption in the country and how will you handle yourself if found in a situation which is very very tempting.
- About Dental related questions - anywhere from what is mouth-washed to indicated of minor oral surgery or even tooth-brushing techniques.
- About VIPs in Malaysia, what's the difference between Yang Berbahagia (Y.Bhg.) or Yang Berhormat (Y.B.) or Yang Amat Berhormat (Y.A.B.).
- About some personal questions like "Where do you envision yourself in 5 years' time?" "Why did you choose dentistry?" and so on.
Don't worry about not being able to answer some of the questions, as most of the time the interviewers are quite friendly and the whole session feels like a chit-chat session. Sometimes if you misunderstood the question and answered wrongly, he/she will even correct you and laugh it off.
On average, the interview will last about 30 minutes and you will be let off.
The take home message will be: just relax, be yourself. Nervousness is unwarranted as it is going to be a casual session.
Note to readers who have been through the interview, do leave a comment below about your experiences and advises to guide future graduates...