A Struggle of Being A Job Seeker: PCPM Bank Indonesia 32 (2016)

Hi! Few times ago, I decided to apply an enabler position in Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia. During that process, I was feeling grateful because God let me pass every stage, even sometimes I felt clueless to prepare or pass it. So, to repay the good karma, I want to share my experience here, as a PCPM (Penerimaan Calon Pegawai Muda) Bank Indonesia batch 32's candidate in enabler, precisely in Public Relations (PR) division. However, please notice that this information is limited to my experience and perspective. So, do not forget to compare it.

Before I start my story about PCPM Bank Indonesia batch 32, let me explain you about PCPM. Simply, PCPM is one of various recruitment process in Bank Indonesia, which has a good management and career path, because it prepares the candidate to be the next leader in Bank Indonesia. So, after pass the recruitment process, the PCPM candidate will be placed first in G3 position, as an Assistant Manager. The scope of duties are all over Indonesia.
source: PPM Management. link: http://tinyurl.com/z9gqovb

Then, let me give you some tips before you want to apply a position in Bank Indonesia (or any other companies). It is kind of mindset anyway, which I always apply whenever I have to pass the recruitment process. Here they are..

  • Always find a good motivation about why do you want to become part of the company.
  • More importantly, find what will you want to do for others if you successfully pass the recruitment process. In my opinion, this makes you not selfish and more happy if you know you can do something impactful (not only silly reason to be rich or work in prestigious company).
  • Ask yourself, do you think you have a same value as the company? If it is not, then please, do not apply. You are not only a job seeker, darling. Please remember that we are not only working, but working on something we really love, whether it is the vision, the work atmosphere, etc.
  • Always find a happy thing in every process. Believe me, it will make you not feel burdened and relieve your stress.

Well, that is all the introduction from me. Now, let me tell you about my journey, as a candidate in PCPM Bank Indonesia 32's test, in enabler, particularly, PR division. There were 6 steps to pass and all of them spent around 3 months. Here is the schedule.

source: PPM Management. link: http://tinyurl.com/z9gqovb 

  • Step 1: Registration
This stage was just a common procedure in every job test. So, read the instruction meticulously (including the background color of your photo), fill the form, then submit it.

Comparing the registration form from one company another, I think that usually the BUMN (Badan Usaha Milik Negara) or government sector require this:
  • Organizational or experience, which shows your good leadership, position (at least, be a coordinator in a division) and responsibility. Your participation in short-term events as a committee or volunteer does not count.
  • Achievement.
  • Work experience (or at least, internship experience, part time in several months, or an enterprise experience) --> Please, have recommendation letter or contact of someone who can recommend you in the final test.
  • Sport or art or language skills --> Please, have a TOEFL ITP's certificate.
  • Course experience which can develop yourself. 

Yes, all of them are difficult to fulfill. Even I just comply several of the requirement. What made me sad was, perhaps I ever did it, but did not finish it (such as my Dutch course, piano course, etc). So, I couldn't sell that ability in my personal data.


If you have no enough time to do it, then sell yourself, your experience and achievement, your strength and good motivation, your skill, value and what would you like to achieve in life, in interview stage. How to do it perfectly? By not only describing yourself, but to story tell it to your assessor. Believe me, it works.

Anyway, I heard some complain that candidates who pass this stage usually came from a state, not private university. However, I do not if it was true or not, since I do not the assessment indicator. So, keep positive thinking! If something is destined for you, then it will be yours :)

  • Step 2: Test about Basic Potency

Here it is my test card.

This stage held in two days in Semarang (particularly, in Universitas Negeri Semarang), each held in three shifts. As I remember, the PPM's staff said that there were around 87.000 candidates who applied in PPM's website, and Semarang had around 6.000 candidates to continue into this stage. 

As I remember, this stage was test of candidates' verbal ability (consisted of: synonym, antonym, analogy), quantitative ability (consisted of: string of numbers, mathematics), syllogism ability (I find the questions were similar with the test to determine the mental health in RSUD Ketileng, Semarang), spacial ability in 2D and 3D. 

Overall, I thought that this stage was super easy--except the quantitative ability, particularly in mathematics, which always be my weakness. Hehe.
  • Be confident and do your best, it just a heating test.
  • In my opinion, everyone should be able to pass this stage, just if they have an equal ability in all of it (not strong in some aspects then weak in other aspects). 

 What makes me happy at this stage: Met some friends, from ES until college friend.

Moreover, my college friend, Putri, lend me his 2B pencil (mine was disappear, somehow). Without her pencil, I could not continue until the last stage, hehe. Anyway, Putri was the only one friend who survived until the Final Interview stage with me. Hurray!

Me and Nirmala was offered by a Madam to ride her car--her daughter also attend the test along with us--until Tugu Muda, Semarang. After that, me and Nirmala changed our cloth in Cathedral Church's toilet, strolled around Lawang Sewu and had a dinner at cafe wedangan D'Museum, inside Museum Mandala Bakti, near Tugu Muda, Semarang.
  • Step 3: Test about Central Bank, Economic Sectoral and English Test.
This stage held in two days in Semarang (particularly, in STEKOM Semarang), each held in two shifts. As I remember, the candidates were diminish until half of the amount from the stage before.

Moreover, in my opinion, this was the most difficult part in PCPM Bank Indonesia batch 32's test (aside from the Final Interview, off course). I thought I have learned well, but the question was tricky, and some questions, even though it followed the latest economic issue, were asked in the way that did not make sense. For example, "What is the content of the 6 policies which planned by President during the meeting of the acceleration of development?" Err... Even I, who always read newspaper frequently since I was in JHS, did not know the answer.

What made me confused was, every question had two similar answers. It was hard to think which one is the truest answer. So, yeah.. It was such a miracle that I could pass this stage. Hehe.

After the test about central bank and economic sectoral, we had an English test. It was not difficult at all because the difficulty of the test was equal with TOEFl-like test. However, the staff shorten the amount of time, perhaps because it almost dawn, so we needed to hurry up finished all the questions. 

  • Read about central bank and economic sectoral from constitution, website www.bi.go.id, newspaper, etc. Make sure that you understand the logic in economy and central bank, because the question is very detail. 
  • In my case, I also learned from a module about central bank, which owned by Universitas Terbuka (UT). Tante Ika, my father's colleague was the reviewer of that module and she gave the .pdf version to me. So I think, I have to thank her, anyway :)
  • Finish every questions quickly and meticulously.  
What makes me happy at this stage: Meet my little brother, Didit (actually, he is a son of my father's friend in SHS, Om Mamo) and got a ride to Yogyakarta, haha.

  • Step 4: Psychology test, Locus Group Discussion (LGD) and interview
This stage held in two days; first day was allocated for psychology test and second day was allocated for LGD and interview. Both of them held in STEKOM, Semarang. As I remember, the candidates were diminish until half of the amount from the stage before.

In psychology test, you'll ask to finish several test: fill the personal data (it's quite similar with the registration form in step 1), EPPS test, 20 things about yourself, Baum test or tree test, Draw A Person (DAP), Wartegg test, and Pauli-Kraepelin test.

This test spent around half day. Mine was finish around 18:00 because I started at 13:00.
  • Know yourself; your strength and weakness, your life value, etc. Then, keep it on your mind. It will help you to be genuine and consistent while finishing the test.
  • Read a book which discuss about psychology test and understand what is expected from every test. Then, prepare and practice what you want to do, so you will not waste your time by thinking about how to finish it.
  • Make sure that you have enough energy, consistency and endurance to finish the psychology test perfectly. 
The PPM's staff said, after finish the psychology test, we could see our schedule of LGD and interview test around 22:00 in website. Lucky me, my schedule held the day after tomorrow, from 08.00 morning until 18.00. The division of LGD's group and the order of interview would be announced in notice board at STEKOM, Semarang, on the day of the test. For your information, the LGD's group was divided by the function and consist of 7 persons, which sorted by the member's earliest alphabet name.

Fortunately, the LGD's case this year was quite common; a problem in HR division about millennial people who wants to work in bank industry and how to solve it. So, to prepare myself, I read some insights about the character of millennial people; what makes them no longer perceive a job in bank industry as something prestigious, why does the turnover quite high in bank industry, etc.

  • Pray, pray and pray that He will give you a heartly group.
  • Suggest your group to spend some times to introduce each other. Then, remember the member's name and try to respect them, by calling with their actual name.
  • Make sure that you have an out of the box and solutif answer. Then, write the points at paper, which provides by the evaluator. 
  • Then, at the very first second, offer your role in the discussion. I know some people said that it would be good if you can show off your organizing ability by being the moderator. However in my opinion, it may be tricky if you do not have a good system and time management. So, choose your best role: as a time keeper, notulen or even, devil's advocate--that is my favourite role, anyway. 
  •  If people reject your idea to choose everyone's role because they think that it is a LGD, so we should not suggest everyone's role, then say to them that you only want everyone to involve in the discussion. 
  • The most important: I strongly recommend you to give THE MOST EFFICIENT AND STRONGEST ARGUMENT when it comes to your turn. Make sure you answer ALL of the questions CALMLY, and make it efficient by only telling them the point. 
  • Do not use term only you who know. Remember, people do not come from the same educational background like you.
  • Enjoy the discussion and be enthusiast in other members' opinion. Show them your respect, do not only spend your time to note their answer in your paper if you want to receive their respect back. 
  • It is okay to praise and critique the other member if they do a mistake, but please, do it politely and casually. 
  • Do not be an annoying person by dominating the discussion. Give a chance to the (weakest) member to speak.
Actually, that was some tips which I wrote based on my experience during the selection of Danone MT Star 2017. However, the LGD situation was totally different between Danone MT Star 2017 and PCPM Bank Indonesia batch 32.

In Danone MT Star 2017, the candidates were more aggressive, my coordinator was somewhat dominant, the discussion time was tight (around 15 minutes to conclude the case) and the assessor made us more discipline in managed the time and expressed our opinion (since there were two assessor and they sat around us).

Meanwhile, in PCPM Bank Indonesia, all of the member were agree and praise each other's opinion so the discussion did not develop well, the coordinator was soft, the discussion time was loose (around 45 minutes) and the assessor was not intimidating (it just one assessor, she did not sit around us and somehow I perceived her as quite ignorant, haha). In that situation, I just focused on my list of opinion and ran my role as devil's advocate, lol.

After LGD, the candidates had to wait for their turn to be interviewed one by one, by their LGD's assessor (yes, they were the PPM's psychologist). It was tiring because each candidates spent around 45 minutes-1 hour to be interviewed.

  • Once again, make sure that you have enough energy, consistency and endurance to finish the interview. Without that, the assessor will perceive you as people who do not have an endurance and enthusiast energy in such a tough time.
  • Tell the assessor about yourself, all of your experience and achievement, your strength and good motivation before you applied for PCPM Bank Indonesia, your skill, value and what would you like to achieve in life. I mean, it is your time to sell yourself in front of people.
  • Be genuine and do not oversell yourself. People hate it.
  • Keep humble and respecting people--I mean, your assessor.
  • If you are type of person who easily confused in answering an unexpected question, then make sure that you remember what you wrote on the personal data before (because the question was based on it!) and anticipate the developing question based on that.
  • Additional tips: Since I lived in egalitarian school since I was in SHS, then I am easily consider others, though older, as a friend. It helps me to be close yet confident at the same time. 

What makes me happy at this stage: Had a time to talk to my assessor in interview stage. I mean, since I love to meet people and hear their story, it makes me happy :)

  • Step 5: Medical Check Up (MCU) and psychiatry test
This stage held in two days; first day was allocated for MCU in Pramita Lab, Semarang and second day was allocated for psychiatry test in Bank Indonesia's head office region Central Java in Semarang. I remember, the candidates who still eligible to enter this stage in Semarang was around 255 persons. 

In MCU, the sequence after registration were: urine test, blood-taking stage one (3 tube), height and weight check, then EKG test (to check heart's condition). After those four steps, we had to eat breakfast. Later, the test continued in this sequence: lung's x-ray, blood-taking stage two (1 tube), physical check by doctor (including hemorrhoid's check). The candidate who wore eyeglasses needed to check their eyes condition too.

  • A required instruction by PCPM: do not smoke, drink any caffeine, and use drugs which includes some elements around three days before the MCU test.
  • Have a healthy and nutritious lifestyle since the beginning of the test.
I'm quite lucky because I'm an adherents of healthy lifestyle which promoted by the vegetarians. It means, I never ate any MSG (I replace it with Totole, a merk of vegan's MSG made from mushroom), instant and junk food, including soft drink.

You will be horrified if you know how many sugar which is used by the producer in one pack of soft drink, because 1 tablespoon of sugar= 4 grams. Well, honestly I'm very strict with my consumption of sugar since my grandmother was passed away when I was 3 y.o, because of diabetic. Doctor said diabetic includes in hereditary diseases, so I don't want to take a risk.

I hate to eat gorengan too, and never eat chicken since a long time ago because I couldn't stand with chicken smell and blood.

So yeah, to prepare myself for MCU, I just ate red rice (which contains less sugar), vegetable, fruit and mineral water. I even couldn't eat meat and egg because I was afraid it would raise cholesterol.
  • Consume honey or hot orange water routinely to keep your immune system remains good and avoid sickness which force you to consume drugs. 
  • Some people (including my mother) suggest to drink green coconut water or Bear Brand's milk to detox any toxic, but please, don't consume it in one time if you don't want to poisoning because not familiar with it.
  •  If you take initiative to do an earlier medical check up, then you already know your weakness (ex: high/ low blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetic, uric acid, etc). So, avoid eating foods which potential to raise that weakness.
  • Keep your body health by doing exercise, at least by walking or running.
However, how good I was to prepare myself, I just could not control my body not to faint when the Pramita Lab's staff took my blood stage 1. Yes, I have a phobia to blood since I was in JHS or SHS (I forgot), so it really scared me.

Lucky me, the staff did not see it because I almost fainted when the process was over and I was sat back to my chair. Hehe. However, two of my friends in PR division, Nirmala and Susan was quite unlucky. They fainted in front of the staff, and my friend said, that situation made the staff added a note in their card. I did not know if that accident which made them could not pass this stage or not.

Then, in psychiatry test, we had to fill 567 questions in MMPI test by fill the circle, not cross it. So, you can imagine how torturing it is, to fill 567 circles while your right hand still bruised after the blood-taken.

Tips: Be consistent in answering the question in MMPI test. 

What makes me happy at this stage: Got a help from a stranger (actually, he was my friend's friend in her LGD team), Nizar when I nearly fainted in MCU, after the Pramita Lab's took my blood stage one. Oh, I really happy to know that there are still good people in this world. Hehe.

Also, I got a patience yet considerate doctor in physical test. She checked then explained to me about my body's condition very detail. I just happy when I knew she also happy because my body's performance was excellent. Yeay!

  • Step 6: Final Interview
This stage held in two days; first day was allocated for Moneter division and second day was allocated for SSK (Sistem Stabilitas Keuangan), SP-PUR (Sistem Pembayaran-Pengedaran Uang Rupiah), and enabler.

My companion said that there were 53 candidates to be interviewed in Bank Indonesia Semarang, as the head office of the Central Java region. At the first day, they had 27 candidates, and at the second day, they had 26 candidates. Both of them were divided in 3 groups. Each group had 3 interviewer, all of them were in Director Level (G6).

In 30/45/60 minutes, the directors would ask you several questions, mostly about Bank Indonesia, your division and your character. To pass this interview test, you had to reach minimum score 85, because if your score was under 85, then it meant that you did not fulfill PCPM Bank Indonesia's standard, so the directors would  give you no recommendation at all.

At that time, I was interviewed in fifth (after luch) by Pak Herwanto, Pak Teddy from DSDM (Departemen Sumber Daya Manusia) and.. sorry Sir, I did not know your name. He was very calm and kind to me, but I did not know his name because he sat behind me at the introduction section at briefing.

At first, I thought that the interview questions would be similar with what I heard from other group; the director would ask more about your character, even they would tell you about the result of your test before (such as psychological test and psychiatry test, etc), and in the end, they would evaluate your interview,  in front of yourself.

However, I was quite shock because the directors who interviewed me asked very deep about my function--90% of the questions was about Department of Communication. Gosh, it was the most difficult hour for me. I had trying so hard to survive during the interview, when the directors asked me about trust and distrust in Bank Indonesia, communication crisis and how to handle an event--it is my weakness, actually--social media, mainstream mass media and how they portrayed the economic issue in Bank Indonesia, "jale" for journalist, how to handle a doorstop, parliament and comission XI, the spokesperson and PR consultant, UU Keterbukaan Informasi Publik, every Bank Indonesia's staff as a PR, etc. I was breathless when trying to explained it, and suddenly feel sad because Pak Herwanto said for two times, that I had an unclear distinction between fiscal and monetary issue. Oh, I was so sad at that time. I guess that was why Pak Teddy asked me, what would I do if they placed me as a staff (G2).

  • Pray, pray and pray. Do not forget to ask your parents for their blessings.
  • Please, have a clear understanding about Bank Indonesia and your division's job, and prepare all the most possible emerging question, related to it.
  • Be genuine, be humble and be kind.
  • Keep your endurance and never give up. The final interview may be tiring both physically and mentally, but you have reach this stage. Set your mind! Show your value!
  • After the final interview, forget everything. You should not be down, because if something were meant to be, then it will be :)
What makes me happy at this stage: Reach this final interview, after passed all the tiring--and sometimes, made me clueless--stages before. For me, it was beyond blessed. I could met new people, new friend, and most incredibly.. met the directors (that certainly will not be met if it was not for this final interview) and encountered such a hard-to-get experience and a whole new level interview. Even Pak Herwanto was able to compliment me as "frisky" at the beginning of the final interview.

You know? I had done my best and I should be happy because of that.

But sadly.. I do not pass the final interview.
Yhea, I fail to be one of the PCPM Bank Indonesia 32's staff. At 4th January 2017 (delayed about two weeks from PPM's plan), Bank Indonesia announces the final interview's result in www.bi.go.id. From 487 candidates who were interviewed in final interview, they only choose 125 candidates (which means, a quarter), and.. surprisingly, they only provide 1 seat to fill the PR position. I was quite shock because of that, because previously, I estimated minimum 3 or maximum 10 seat in PR position.

Well, perhaps I just out of luck, but still.. I have to be happy no matter what. I will try it next time ;)

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Inez Hapsari media & public relations enthusiast | children stories writer | jazz lover | I live to the fullest to be young and in love.