Tips for Scholarship Interviews
Like the rest of the scholarship application process, the interview part of winning a scholarship can cause a lot of stress for students. We completely understand, which is why we are here to help.
Not all scholarships require you to have a face-to-face interview. For some of the more prestigious awards, this may be a requirement. The interview is a chance to meet with you one-on-one to see your character and personality. They want to make sure that you are a solid candidate for the scholarship.
As nerve-wracking as it is, if there’s a lot of money on the line that you can win, you will definitely want to come and impress as much as possible.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself before showing up for the scholarship interview. Check out the following scholarship interview tips.
Prepare Ahead of Time
You might be wondering what they are going to ask you in the scholarship interview. Well, there are some common questions that the scholarship committee may likely ask.
Before the interview, you should think of thoughtful answers to these questions. Write them down, and practice answering them out loud.
Here is a list of some common scholarship interview questions:
- Tell us about yourself.
- What is your biggest academic achievement?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- Give us an example of a time you overcame an obstacle.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- How do you plan to use the degree?
- Why do you think you deserve this scholarship?
Grab a family member and have a mock interview. Let them play the part of the interviewer. Practice going over the answers until you feel comfortable and you know what you are going to say.
Review the website of the organization website who is awarding the scholarship. What is their mission? What do they stand for?
Finally, it’s a good idea to come up with some questions to ask the interviewers after they finish interviewing you. This shows that you are thoughtful, responsible, and serious.
Dress to Impress
First impressions are very important. You should always try to dress up, rather than dress down. Dressing nicely makes you look more serious and it’s important to show the committee your serious side.
You don’t need to dress formally, business attire will do. You should wear nice slacks and a buttoned-down collared shirt, or a knee-length skirt or dress. Make sure you wear nice shoes that are in good condition.
Be On Time
We cannot stress this one enough. Nothing leaves a worse impression than showing up late. It is way better to be very early rather than late. Make sure you look up directions to the interview location a few days prior and that you give yourself enough time on the interview day to find the place. There is nothing worse than getting lost or running and stressing right before an interview.
If you are running late, the best thing to do at this point is to call the organization and tell them you will be running late. This at least shows that you are thoughtful.
A pro tip: know who your interviewer will be. It doesn’t look good if you show up and don’t know the name of your interviewer.
We know this can be tough when you are sitting in a room with a few interviewers and you know that a lot of money is on the line. But it’s important, regardless of how nervous you are inside, to speak clearly and show that you believe in yourself and in your abilities.
Be sure to sit up straight during the interview; slouching does not give a good impression.
You are probably going to be nervous on the day of the interview, and that’s okay! It’s natural to have butterflies in your stomach. Plus, interviewers understand and expect you to be nervous.
But don’t focus on being someone that you aren’t! Don’t try and say things that you think the interviewers want to hear. It will be obvious to them. There is a reason why they invited you to come for an interview and it’s because you already impressed them.
Be the amazing, unique individual that you are and they will love you for that. As long as you prepare for the interview, you will be great.
Finally, try to get a good night sleep before the interview day. Lay out your clothes the day before, plan a good breakfast to eat, and review your interview answers one last time. Read any instructions the interview committee sent to you.