5 Tips on How to Ace Scholarship Interviews

Getting a scholarship is the dream for most students. Not only can it help to reduce the financial burden on your family, but it also serves as a testament of all the hard work that you’ve put in throughout your years of studying. 

However, there are usually limited slots allocated for scholarships, especially with so many brilliant students vying for them. Therefore, it’s essential to know how you can stand out from the other candidates during interviews in order to have a better shot at obtaining the coveted scholarship.

Here are 5 tips to help you fare better in that all-important scholarship interview:

1. Prepare for both the expected and unexpected

It goes without saying that you should be prepared for commonly-asked interview questions like “tell me about yourself”, “why should you get the scholarship?”, etc.

However, you should also anticipate questions that might not be asked so often so that you do not get caught off-guard. Being prepared makes you less nervous and helps you to think on your feet better, which is a trait that will paint you in a good light with the interviewers.

Watch this video on common interview questions to prepare for.

2. Dress well

This should be a no-brainer by now. The key is to look presentable without going overboard. Take time to do personal grooming 1-2 days before the interview. Go for a haircut, iron your clothes, cut your nails; these simple self-grooming steps go a long way. Looking sharp and presentable gives interviewers a good impression of you, as it signifies that you actually put in effort to even the minute details. Also, when you look good, you naturally become more confident of yourself.

This article is useful in highlighting what to wear during your scholarship interview.

3. Practice makes perfect

Getting a scholarship can be a big step towards achieving your academic goals, so do not squander this opportunity because you were gung-ho and went to an interview without practising. According to successful entrepreneur and business consultant, Dan Lok, “Don’t be afraid to prepare a script of what you want to say and memorise it”.

To make sure that you are thoroughly prepared, you can also have mock interview sessions with your teachers, parents, and elder siblings. This can help to have a better grasp further how the actual interview will be like. Also, consider watching videos and tutorials conducted by hiring managers and CEOs on how to answer questions to be better equipped and ready when the day comes.

4. Prepare questions as well

Interviews should not be a one-way process, where one party asks and the other answers. The rule of thumb to remember is, “whoever asks the questions, controls the conversation”. Have a set of questions that you want to have the interviewers answer as well.

Asking questions to the interviewers shows that you are not to be taken lightly, and that you have a clear idea of what you want.


5. Be appreciative for the opportunity

Regardless of the outcome, being shortlisted as an interview applicant is a big deal. It means that you have been chosen from thousands of potential candidates to have this opportunity of progressing to the next stage.

Show your appreciation by thanking the interviewers for their time and this opportunity. If it is a face-to-face interview, give them a firm handshake and say “Thank You”. If it’s a virtual interview, drop them a follow-up Thank You email after the interview has taken place. Getting the scholarship is the ultimate achievement, but it doesn’t hurt to be nice too!

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