Interview for IATSS Forum Japan

Teman-teman bisa baca tulisan sebelumnya tentang Application Form di sini dan Essay  di sini ya.

Setelah application form dikirimkan bulan Juli, yang kita bisa lakukan adalah berdoa, berdoa, dan berdoa. Dan alhamdulillah pada awal Desember 2002, saya dapat surat cinta dari Bu Anne Indrawaty Sekretariat IATSS Forum Indonesia. Mengabarkan kalau saya lolos untuk wawancara tahap akhir yang akan diadakan di Hotel Aston Atrium Senen Jakarta pada 10 Januari 2003.

Masih ada waktu 1 bulan untuk persiapan wawancara. Yang pertama saya lakukan adalah menghubungi para alumni IATSS Forum yang saya kenal. Kebetulan ada 2 dosen yang pernah mendapatkan kesempatan ini. Via telepon, saya tanyakan apa saja yang biasanya ditanyakan saat wawancara.

Dari situ saya menyusun sejumlah pertanyaan dan jawaban dan berlatih wawancara. Sekali lagi dengan bantuan teman-teman saya yang jago bahasa Inggris.

Berikut beberapa pertanyaan yang saya siapkan (baca: hapalkan dengan sedikit improvisasi) untuk persiapan wawancara bersama pihak IATSS Forum Jepang, Honda Motor, dan Jimly Asshiddiqie sebagai salah satu alumni:


Tell me about yourself.

Jawaban saya:

I’m 27 years old. I’ve been living with my 2 little sisters in Bandung at my parent’s house.

I’ve been working as architect for PT Bita Enarcon Engineering – an Architecture & Engineering Consultant Company for last 3 years. It’s my job to design building, some landscape projects, collect some inputs from the client and translate them into drawings, coordinating the project with other disciplines, and so on that makes sure all the drawings are ready for construction.

In addition, for the last 3 months I have a new job as Business Development Staff. I’m responsible for preparing proposal or expression of interest to our prospective client. This new responsibility broaden my insight of the company and give me opportunity to learn new stuff such as project budgeting, project scheduling and presentation.

Could you tell us how are you picturing your self 10 or 20 years ahead?  (What is your dream for the future? / How does this program fit in your future plan?)

Jawaban saya:

Let me see….the next10 years I’ll be 37. I always picture my self at that time becoming reputable architecture freelance writer. I have a column in international newspaper about architecture criticism. I’m interested in architecture criticism because it can help people to eliminate or avoided unnecessary construction or maintenance budget and optimize comfort ability of the user of the architecture creation. To become international writer, I need international experienced. This program is one step for me.

What is your biggest problem and how you handle it?

Jawaban saya:

One of my biggest problems happens around last year. At that time I’m a new member at the office. There are some peers who don’t like me – they treat me like a bug. They are not many but they way they act can give a bad expression to my superior that I’m not a friendly or sociable person.

It’s very sad when your friends celebrate a birthday party – that you should be one of them – but they just not invited you. And seems like the rest of the office now, and feel sorry for me.

First act: cry. Second: write. I can pour out all the feeling of angry, taunt, and pray on pieces of papers. Usually by the end I can think clearly and found the solution. The solution is instead taking revenge; I choosing to be positive thinking. If they can be so meant to me, at least maybe I do something wrong. So I must be nice to them. I realize that maybe I too much to talk – so I decided to be more careful with my mouth & become a good listener to them. And the result is really surprise me, they slowly start to accept me. It’s a very good reward when one of them at last let me the first to now of her good news.

From some problems I faced, I conclude that I have to face all problems – don’t try to run and left it behind and be positive. There is a way there is a will.

Why we should choose you? (give examples of things you have done that prove you are the right candidate for the program).

Jawaban saya:

I have an insight that can be shared to other participants. I like to learn. My hobby is learning new things. I’m going to learn more about Indonesia and other countries. I’m young – 27 years old with 3 years experienced in engineering field, and also 3 full months in community development programs. I can guarantee you, if you give me this opportunity to me; you just help young women form her first step as an international writer.


What do you know about IATSS?

Jawaban saya:

IATSS forum is a program where the participants can learn together about development in others countries. In almost 2 full months there will be discussions, seminars, study tours which followed by 16 or 18 participants from ASEAN.  We are going to live in Suzuka City and learn Japanese daily tradition.

What is your objective to join this program?

Jawaban saya:

  • Getting known & living together with other participants – whom must be have a wide insight and prepare themselves to study each other. It’s not easy to find this kind of friends in traveling with travel agents.
  • Experienced Japanese live style for almost 2 full months. I constantly admire Japanese by their diligence & not easy to give up; richness – Japan is one of10 richest countries in the world; skill – Japanese products usually become # 1 worldwide; loyalty – to their superior, company and nation; discipline; and capability to maintain tradition – although they are known as progressive country.
  • Last but not least, I want to make my parents proud of me – as their wedding anniversary on March 2003

What is your expectation from this program?

Jawaban saya:

  • my experience and insight can be benefit to other participants
  • I can have a new insight & contribute solution for some Indonesia’s problems nowadays.

How can this program benefit for you, your company and your country?

Jawaban saya:

For me: this is part of my future dream – I must have international experience. I have once in 1997, there is Asia-Pacific Jamboree in Kuala Trengganu Malaysia for just 2 weeks. It was too short. IATSS Forum that held the program for 2 full months I think is perfect!

For the compan:  facing free trade AFTA 2003, my company is active increasing their human resource skill – as asset of the company – so that they can compete with other competitors. Having an employee who has international experience is beneficial asset. Moreover my company principle that someone experience should become company experience which can be transferred to other employees. That mean every employee who has training is recommended to conduct a workshop for spreading their experience. That is what I should do too, if I get this opportunity. So that my experience in this Forum would become my peers experience too.

For Indonesia:  Indonesia can learn from other country’s experiences how they solve their problems. We can study & discuss what step they take and the consequences.

And the most important one – that I realize lately when I preparing for this program – this kind of program arouse participant’s curiosity to know better their own country, and that – without notice – weaken feeling to love the country. Maybe if there is not because of this program, I’m not to excite to learn more about Indonesia – as provision for future discussion material in Suzuka.

About learning together – insight

How the family should educate and discipline its children at home?

Jawaban saya:

By providing early education – faith, discipline and good habits in children sub-consciousness; developing openness and warm communication; and giving a role model.

What do you want to learn from other countries?

Jawaban saya:

I want learn from progressive countries such as Japan, Singapore and Malaysia about their community services – health services, immigration, police, law and so on – to have a view how that should be community service in Indonesia – which known very awful; what they do when they found problems.

From developing countries – I believe more or less we are facing the same problem – I want to learn about how they deal with problems such as corruption, poor law system, gap between the rich and the poor in a city, and unemployment.


Benar saja, ternyata pertanyaan soal wawancara tidak terlalu jauh dari perkiraan diatas. Ada satu pertanyaan yang paling saya suka. Sebuah pertanyaan terakhir. Ini pertanyaan yang paling mudah walau saya tidak pernah menghapalkannya.

Do you know IATSS Forum motto?

“Learning and Thingking together,” jawab saya mantap. Sambil wondering, masa iya sih ada yang nggak tahu. Percaya nggak, ternyata ada teman yang keluar dari ruangan wawancara dan bertanya, apa sih mottonya IATSS Forum?

Saran saya, sebelum wawancara, bahkan sebelum mengirim formulir aplikasi, kenalinya program tersebut sepenuh hati. Persiapkan jauh-jauh hari. Bahkan setahun sebelum formulir aplikasi dikirimkan. Sehingga pertanyaan level abc seperti di atas bisa dijawab.

Kalau ingin cerita lain tentang wawancara IATSS Forum, bisa baca tulisan teman satu angkatan saya  Tony Dwi Susanto di sini.

(1470 words)

Shanty Dewi Arifin

Penulis yang suka berbagi Pengalaman dan Oleh-oleh dalam rangka belajar menjadi perempuan yang lebih baik bagi diri sendiri, keluarga, dan masyarakatnya. Bergabung dengan komunitas: Blogger - Institut Ibu Profesional Bandung - Arsitektur ITB 93 - IATSS Forum 2003 - Akademi Menulis 5 Menara - #ODOPfor99days.

2 thoughts on “Interview for IATSS Forum Japan

  • September 28, 2016 at 6:49 am

    hai Mba Shanty, salam kenal…saya Yuri dari IATSS forum batch 54 (2015)…lagi iseng2 gugling berita ttg IATSS eh nemu blognya Mba Shanty, btw udah gabung di grup watsap IATSS alumni Indonesia?

    • September 28, 2016 at 7:57 am

      Hi Yuri. Salam kenal. Sempat gabung sama grup WA IATSS. Cuma karena kebanyakan grup WA, saya memilih ikut kabarnya saja di FB grupnya saja. Keep update info penting dong di FB Group IATSS Indonesia.


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