Common Scholarship Interview Questions and Answers
If you’re invited to interview for the scholarship you applied to, that is great news. It means that you are a final contender for the scholarship and they are inviting you to share how this scholarship will help you achieve your academic and career goals. The idea of an interview can seem very stressful and you might be wondering how you can prepare for the interview. Well, with a little preparation beforehand, you have a better chance at making a good impression and scoring the scholarship. To help you prepare for the interview, here is a list of commonly asked scholarship interview questions and answers.
Scholarship Interview Questions and Answers
Tell us about yourself
This seems like a very simple and straightforward question and while there is no right or wrong answer, there is a correct way to answer it. First of all, you should avoid reading straight from your resume, as the interview committee already knows what you have done. Instead, show them who you are as an individual. This is an opportunity for you to highlight the skills that you have and set yourself apart from other students.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
When talking about your strengths, be sure to give examples. It is easy to say that you are a hard worker, but show the interview committee what that means. What have you worked hard on? When talking about your weakness, be honest, but show what steps you are taking to improve and overcome this weakness. You want to convince the interviewers that your weakness won’t prevent you from being successful in college.
Why do you deserve this scholarship?
In your answer to this question (see here for answer in essay form), you should avoid talking about your G.P.A. and extracurricular activities. Many students have a good G.P.A. and are involved in activities. Instead, talk about your skills and accomplishments that have gotten you to where you are today. Explain how this scholarship will help you achieve your goals. Give an answer which shows who you are and shows your passion and dedication, not an answer that you think sounds good to the scholarship committee.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Rest assured, nobody expects you to have your future planned out, but they do expect you to have some sort of academic plan. Consider where you want to be and what you want to achieve in the next five years. Do you plan to do a bachelor’s degree or continue to a master’s degree or Ph.D? Do you plan to do internships or participate in other activities that will help you accomplish your goals? How will this scholarship help you achieve your goals?
Who is your role model?
The interview committee wants to learn more about who you are and not about your role model. The people you admire tell a lot about you as a person. Whether it’s a family member, a teacher, or a celebrity, explain how their actions inspire you and affect you.
Talk about a time you overcame a challenge.
The main point of this question is to understand how you handle challenges. Give an example of a time that you were in a difficult situation and how you dealt with it. Have you stood up to a bully- how did you deal with this confrontation? Or have you experienced a difficult family situation? Discuss how you overcame this challenge. Avoid discussing grades in your response (for example, going from a C to an A); many students have had this same experience and it is less interesting.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Use this as an opportunity to talk about something that wasn’t discussed in the interview or something that the interviewers didn’t ask you. It can also be a good time for you to ask them questions you may have, perhaps about the field or if they have advice for you.
While these questions are not difficult to answer, you should put in some thought and time preparing your answers beforehand. Make sure that you know what you plan to say, so that you present yourself as confident and professional. Remember to give examples and show them how this scholarship will help you achieve your academic and career goals. The more details, the better. Come neat, organized, and dressed to impress. Always end the meeting with a thank you to the scholarship interviewers for their time and consideration. Be sure to let them know that you would be happy to answer anymore questions, should they have. Keep in mind to always make yourself stand out from other eligible participants.