How to Conduct a Good Scholarship Interview

Imagine you receive a call or message scheduling you for a scholarship interview. You will first be excited, but that excitement can be overcome with fear. An interview can be a very stressful situation as the reality sets in that how you do in that 15-30 minutes may decide if you are awarded that particular scholarship. The truth is that there is no reason to get all worked up! Most times when someone is anxious or nervous in an interview it is because they are not prepared.

We’ll assume that you have already applied for your scholarship and booked the interview. You’re doing great so far, so be confident! The worst thing you can do is tell yourself you probably won’t get it. The scholarship provider or foundation board called you in for a reason and you have just as good a chance as anyone else.

Now get busy and get prepared! Go to their website and learn everything you can about the organization (mandate, vision, management team, board of directors) and read current and past press releases. Don’t be afraid to contact the organization in advance to ask questions. Make sure you ask good questions that will help you understand what they are looking for in a candidate. If possible ask about past candidates. Lookup common interview questions and practise with a friend. Try and make sure you have good answers prepared for the most common and most revealing questions. The research you do beforehand can go a long way so don’t just wing it!

Now that you’ve practised and you’ve done your research the actual interview is the easy part. Make sure you arrive early, dress appropriately and you have a copy of your application and support material nearby. Be yourself because the people interviewing you most likely have done this a thousand times so if you’re “faking it” they’ll see right through you. Also don’t be afraid to be humorous, as long as it isn’t inappropriate a little humor can help you stand out in a good way.