How to Prepare For a Scholarship Interview – [Total Guide]
Table of Contents Hide
- Have All the Information You Need
- Have an Idea of the Kind of Questions They’ll Ask You During the Interview
- What inspired you to want to be a part of our school or our program?
- Your role model?
- Your extracurricular activities?
- How have you demonstrated leadership?
- What would you consider to be your most outstanding achievement so far?
- Dress Appropriately
- Groom Yourself
- Stay Informed and Updated
- Build Relationships
- Get Ready for A Virtual Interview
Universities, colleges, and higher institutions prefer to interview their potential candidates to be sure that they will select suitable candidates.
Proper preparation would improve your performance at these interviews and help alleviate some of your pre-interview distress.
In this article, we will review how to prepare for a scholarship interview step by step. Let’s dive right in.
Have All the Information You Need
When going for a scholarship interview, the most important thing is to know what you are doing. Be at the top 10% of the knowledge pyramid.
Everything there is to know about the program must be in your mind: you can’t leave it to chance. When it comes to interviews, you should not leave any stone unturned.
There is nothing like minor or major details: every fact counts. The moment you flop at anything during the interview, it affects the overall perception of your competence and qualification.
You also need to know why you qualify for the program. The more you know about the university or the institution offering the scholarship, the more familiarity you’ll build with the interviewer.
Interviews are basically about relationships. If you can get along with the interviewer, you stand a higher chance of being perceived as a strong candidate. Come to think of it, most institutions and organizations love to admit candidates who display character and a good attitude.
By relating well with your interviewer, you will project a good nature to make them choose you over every other candidate.
The first impression is said to last longer. The only chance you have at giving a good impression is for you to prepare better than any other candidate that would be at that interview.
How would it feel if you walked into the discussion, knowing the name of your interviewer? You can’t afford to be caught unawares concerning any aspect of your interview.
When you demonstrate detailed knowledge of the purpose and values of the institution, your interviewer will be pretty impressed.
Have an Idea of the Kind of Questions They’ll Ask You During the Interview
An interview is an archetype question and answers session. The only thing that changes is the purpose of the session.
During the interview, the questions would predominantly border around who you are, what you know, your background, your qualifications, why they should choose you above everyone else, and see if you are the right candidate.
When answering interview questions, you need to demonstrate a high level of engagement and passion.
Once you can convince the interviewer that you are interested and willing to do all it takes to be a part of their program, they’ll have no choice but to give you what you need. Here are some examples of questions they might ask during a scholarship interview.
What inspired you to want to be a part of our school or our program?
This question is there to help them know how you perceive them and check if you are trying to join them as one of your choices or if you are passionate about what they have to offer you.
It would be best to convince them that you genuinely want this– show them 100% enthusiasm and passion.
If you wish to have this scholarship, make them see that you genuinely want to do it.
Share your dreams and how their institution would help you reach your objectives. Share their history and how they have helped people that you admire achieve excellence.
Tell them the kind of values they add to the world and how your values align with theirs.
Tell them how they’re making the world a better place and how you wish to align with their mission and join a community of vision-driven people to make the world a better place.
The answers to this question should be totally about them and not about you.
Your role model?
The role model question is a very technical question that most people answer wrongly.
The role model is a question that gives your interviewer a glimpse of what your future is likely to be.’
When you come to a scholarship interview, you don’t want to tell the tales of a role model that doesn’t align with the values of the institution you choose.
You may love and adore your role model so much, but when you come to face a person from a university, college, or higher institution, you need to be aware of the priority they place on ethics and standard of living.
You can’t mention a role model that society dislikes.
Your role model could be your dad, your mum, your uncle, even your brother, etc., provided they demonstrate quality social values that speak well of you and your future.
Your extracurricular activities?
Most institutions engage in many activities, competitions, and sports to gain visibility and public relations.
This question allows you to share your experience regarding any non-academic activities you perform.
It would increase your value to the institution, especially if the university or institution is highly involved in such activity.
They’ll ask for more information about your involvement and know how well you perform at these activities.
There is no need to tell lies or fake this. If you are not involved in any activities, let them know. They’ll likely ask you why; tell them why you couldn’t get involved in any activity.
How have you demonstrated leadership?
This question is not pretty common in most interviews, but it could surface. Leadership doesn’t mean that you managed a group of people or you stood in front of a large group to tell them what to do; it only means when you were able to get things done through other people.
It could be at home, in your church, mosques, or street. You can share an experience where you had to get things done, and you brought people together to get it done.
What would you consider to be your most outstanding achievement so far?
There is no perfect answer to this question. You only need to share something that projects you as an achiever.
You need to face these people and share a story of something you’ve done, why you did it, how you did it and what good resulted from it.
It doesn’t need to be limited to academic achievement unless they say you should talk exclusively about academic achievement.
During your interview, they’ll ask you series of questions, but it’ll mainly be similar to the ones above. No matter the questions, you need to answer them competently and confidently.
Therefore, proper preparation would insure you against poor performance.
You need to prepare adequately and find out the likely questions they might ask you during your interview.
It will also help if you find someone who has attended a similar interview and inquire about the nature of their questions.
You don’t want to go to an interview dressed like a farmer, chauffeur, footballer, or referee. Every occasion has its outfit: ensure you fit in.
Dressing well to an interview could mean the difference between success and failure.
Facts show that black and white colours speak well during any official meeting.
You should maintain black and white unless you are excellent at combining colours.
If you don’t know what to do when it comes to official dress, ask for help. It is not a crime to ask people who have had this kind of experience to help you out.
Thousands of people will gladly lend a helping hand if they know that you need one. In a nutshell, dress well. It is the right thing to do.
Closely related to your dressing is grooming. Think hair, ear, facial hair, nails, body odour, teeth, mouth, and every other part that could appeal to or repel your interviewer.
Communication during an interview is not limited to the answers you provide to the questions; it also includes the cues that you project through your presence, appearance, and deportment.
If you come off as an unprofessional, low-minded individual, it would affect your presentation. You must groom yourself well and look presentable.
First impressions are essential, and as the saying goes, “you don’t get a second chance to make the first impression.” Dress appropriately for all of your interviews and appear presentable.
Female students should choose the business style suit for their interviews. One thing to be sure of is that you can’t be wrong if you do it right.
Stay Informed and Updated
A lot of underperformance that occurs in any interview results from misinformation or improper planning.
Many people fail to keep up with changes in their program, and they miss out on vital details that are involved in their interview, which results in endless surprises during their interview.
You must stay up to date and follow every information necessary to help you succeed in this interview.
One thing about the human race is that we love our tribes. The human race has been forming tribes from the beginning of ages.
When we see people who look like us and act like us, we get drawn to them.
It will help if you establish relationships with students of the institution you choose. Doing so would help you blend in and establish rapport with the people you’ll meet during your interview.
Life is about culture. The more you project an awareness of their culture, the more attractive you become to them.
It’s similar to a soccer match. If you wear a club’s jersey, they’ll perceive you as a better fan than someone who doesn’t.
Once you begin to interact with students of the institution, either online or offline, you will get a feel of how they think and behave, making it easier for you to project similar qualities.
Get Ready for A Virtual Interview
With the current trend in video conferencing, interviews are becoming more virtual than in-person.
It is cheaper to conduct interviews over the internet than to pay for the infrastructure and personnel needed to execute a live interview session.
When you think of a virtual interview, you need to think of your devices and ensure that they are working correctly.
It is also essential you check your power supply to prevent sudden power cuts or interruptions.
You would not be the only one on the ground for the interview; try as much as possible to keep to time.
Connect to the best internet provider and prevent interference from noise, traffic, or people.
There is hardly any difference between the offline and online interview sessions; you still need to maintain a high sense of professionalism and discipline, notwithstanding the form of interview you are taking.
Interviews are simply invitations to prove yourself and your worth. There is no need to be anxious or perplexed.
All you need to do is go there and build a relationship with them. View your interview as an opportunity to meet someone new and exciting.
There are several guides out there about how to prepare for a scholarship interview but the most important guide of all is; “Don’t hide anything important to them, and don’t hesitate to ask questions from them too”. Give it your best, and you will surely ace it all. Good luck!