Fully Funded Scholarships

Tips And Tricks To Ace Scholarship Interviews

Interviews are widely entitled emotionally draining and nerve-racking experiences. Especially for a scholarship program, they come with the added pressure of proving yourself worthy of financial aid. 

If you’re like most students, you would feel butterflies swarming in your stomach at the prospect of interviews. Well, it’s time to stop worrying, jump out of your cocoon and ace the scholarship interview!

Read on to make if you really want to make headway with scholarship interviews. 

1. Proper Preparation

The essence of every interview is preparation. You can begin this process by practising introducing yourself. You could talk about your passions, achievements and even some significant experiences. The sky is your limit. 

If there is one thing sponsors appreciate, it’s your research and knowledge about their organisation. Feed your brain the essential info about the scholarship provider, such as mission and vision, key leaders, latest news and nature of business.  

Knowing and preparing for some frequently asked questions can seriously up your game! Here are the top five,

  1. Where do you think you’ll be in five / ten years?
  2. Why do you see yourself as a deserving candidate for this scholarship?
  3. What are your highlights and challenges?
  4. Why did you opt for this course/degree/university?
  5. How much of a leader have you been in the past?

2. Dress Your Best

First impressions are most often the last impressions. So working on your appearance can affect the overall result of your interview. Go for a get-up that speaks for itself. Let your interviewers know that you’re not only serious but also respectful towards the organisation.

However, if there’s a specific dress code provided, do your best to follow it. A buttoned-down collared shirt (with unrolled sleeves) and dark-coloured slacks come under the heading of business attire. 

Say no to jeans and knee-length skirts. And no funky neon colours and loud patterns. Complete the picture with a good, clean pair of shoes and viola! You’re ready to go.

3. Punctuality Is The New Vitality

By arriving late, you’ll prove to the interviewers that you’re irresponsible and not good at managing time. That will not leave the best of impressions and thus lower your chances. So why let something as small as punctuality get in your way?

It’s best to plan out the trip beforehand. Calculate the time of commute and any unexpected situations you might come across on the way. Also, reaching the venue at least fifteen minutes early is crucial. That’ll give you time to locate the interview room. After all, the early bird gets the best worm!

In case you get late even after such careful precautions, don’t fret. Just make a quick call and save the interviewers from being kept waiting. 

 4. Cool, Calm And Collected

Here is a list of things you MUST NOT do during an interview.

  • Fidgeting
  • Biting Nails
  • Bouncing legs
  • Using too many ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’
  • Exaggerating or bragging

While giving the interview, don’t let your nerves control the outcome. Enlighten your face with a big smile, enjoy the moment and make yourself look confident. Also, act, think and talk as if you’re the best candidate for the scholarship. That will get you halfway there. 

During the interview, do your best to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. And be yourself. Here’s a tip. If you think you need time before answering, begin by saying, “That’s a good question”. You can also gain a few precious seconds by clarifying in similar words, “I’m sorry, I’m not sure if I understand correctly. Do you mean…” 

One of the most vital things while answering questions is truthfulness. Don’t let the pressure get you and make you lie, exaggerate or boast. That’s sure to get you nowhere. So let them meet the real you. It’s the authenticity that counts, not perfection!

5. Positivity Is The Best Quality

Positivity will get you places nothing else can. You ask how? Well, look here! Interviewers usually love to round up their interviewees in a tight spot. Don’t get me wrong! They’re not out to get you, but there to get to know you. That’s why they will ask you tricky questions to test you. 

What they are looking for is mainly composure and calmness. And greatly value individuals who regard the situation as challenging or interesting. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t reply with a simple ‘I don’t know. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or tell them to clarify. Be prepared, be positive that you’ll come out on top.

6. Master Patience

 Applied and interviewed for your dream scholarship? Now what? Are you getting second thoughts? Is negativity clouding your vision? Well then, it’s time to be Master Patience. 

Let me fill you in about this not-so-fictional character. Interviewees must learn the magic of Master Patience as it is crucial for sanity. What they must realise is that there are hundreds of students out there, who have applied and gotten interviewed. And maybe they deserve the scholarship more than the others at the moment.  

Every process takes time, and so does this one. Scholarships aren’t awarded in a day. The candidates must wait with patience and positivity to get the best results.

Patience also means not losing hope! Not getting a scholarship must not take the wind out of your sails. Try again, apply for another and you will finally succeed!

The Final Verdict

The above five steps will help you achieve a fantastic interview. But it doesn’t end there. You also need to be able to handle some tricky questions from the interviewer.

It’s important to know what to expect from an interview to prepare yourself accordingly. To gain the upper hand in your scholarship interview, try not to panic when you’re called in. Make sure that you’re well-prepared for the interview and have your answers ready. The more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be in the interview.

With these tips, you can come out with flying colours. You have everything it takes to ace a scholarship interview. It just requires some serious preparation and a little bit of skill. A few tweaks here and there and you’ll be on your way to academic and professional success.

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