Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My first weird job interview

The clock indicated '9:00am' and it was time for me to go for my first job interview at Karisma Publications. One of the local publishing company here in Malaysia. I only applied for the job - Editorial Assitant just for the sake of applying. I think I've heard about the company but never have encountered any books published by the company. So yeah, I did some research prior to the interview.

So I was there at 9am sharp. I pressed the door bell and a lady opened the door. I sat there at the waiting room dressed sharply with a folder with my transcripts and certificates in one hand. I was prepared to answer questions and ask them questions on the salary and benefits. A lady came up to me and asked me to sit in a meeting room. She was the editor dressed in a baju kurung and wearing a tudung. I salam-ed her to show respect and she asked me to sit down and handed me a paper.

When I looked at the paper, it said ujian = test. The editor said that 'ada ujian sahaja. dah habis buat, boleh balik.' In my heart I was like 'ohh....okayyyy......'

The first question asked me to edit a rather long text using the copyediting symbols. I couldn't remember the whole symbols as the last time I studied copyediting was in part 3.. or was it part 4? And now I just finished my part 6. Two semesters = a year. Anyway, the text was in Malay and everything looked right. Like the word di dalam, di antara... Are they supposed to be a word or two? Yes, the Malay language is my weakest link.. Since I couldn't remember all of the words and the text was tough (it was on history) I just did a few slashes on words that I thought was not needed and did a double underline on letters that was supposed to be in small or big capital... i guess that's about it.. If I'm not mistaken, the marks for this is over 10. And I think I probably scored 3 or 4 tops. I bet my former copyediting lecturer would be devastated if she knew about this. lol.

So the next section was the translation section. The second text of the exam was in english and I had to translate it in Malay. And yes it was tough indeed! It was on Islamic history with words like Ikhwan al-Muslimin (of course you don't need to translate that) but trust me.. history words are mind-boggling. I was too shocked that I had to do the test to the extent my brain could not function properly. I was like.. 'what am I doing?' I wrote and scribbled whatever I could think of and proceeded to the third section.

The third section - translation from Malay to English. I think I did okay with this part. Yes, just okay. There were some Malay words that I didn't understand so I just wrote whatever my head could interpret. Again, if my translation lecturer knows about this, she'll be devastated as well. I could score as I've learnt this before but, I wasn't prepared to face any tests. Especially during a job interview.

Here comes the worst section of all.... translation from Malay to............. Jawi! Yes Jawi. The last time I wrote in Jawi was probably during high school... I think. I think the text was so tough! It talked about Malaysia and it's 50th celebration I think... How do you write 50 in jawi? At that moment I only remembered number 1, 2 and 3.. and I assumed 5 was the shape of an onion and I couldn't remember how to write '0' so I did the onion shape on the right and 0 on the left. I bet if the editor marks the paper, she'll be shaking her head. Not that I am buta jawi. I can read it but not write it in one sentence. Only alphabet by alphabet.

The next section asked me why I wanted to be an editor and what contributions can the editors make... in Malay.

Oh by the way, the editor did come and see me during the third section and asked 'dah habis ke?' I really thought that I could take my own sweet time. But then I realized that in the first page it said that I had to do the test under 1 1/2 hours and I think I did way over the time. lol.

It was bad.... I'm not surprised if I don't get the job. But I don't really intend to work there anyway cause my dad wants me to work elsewhere like Petronas. Somewhere that gives you many benefits. And yes, he is right..