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Getting a scholarship is not a one-day process. It takes months to get prepared to apply for this opportunity: gather all required documents, write an inspiring and motivational cover letter, have an impressive cut-off and extracurricular activities. You need to be focused on reaching the goal and stay in tonus all the time as you never know what happens next. Perhaps, you need to pass a scholarship interview, the most stressing and nerves-wasting part of applying for a grant.
Most of the prestigious universities and colleges include the interview with applicants to the main part of applying for a scholarship. Even though your essay may be perfect and the recommendation letters cover all your strong sides, an application board will take the decision only after the interview. Moreover, the interview will be a decisive point that will determine your future. This creates the necessity of proper preparation and preliminary research that can help you pass the interview with flying colors.
Of course, being the major step of applying for the scholarship, the interview is a rather stressful experience. However, you can always tackle stress with a preparation. Mostly, all interviews have the same structure and questions so you can use the experience of other students to build your own strategy for a successful interview. Here are 10 most important tips that you should use in your preparation to get the results that you expect.
1. Understand the Importance
First, you need to understand why the interview is so important for the universities and organizations. As a rule, the competition for the scholarship is very high. The members of the scholarship board need to determine only several applicants who will get the desired reward. That is why they need to take into consideration not only study progress but also your personal qualities. Only after a face-to-face meeting, the decision is made. If you are a prime candidate, you get the desired scholarship. But if your personality does not suit the requirements of the scholarship, you are declined.
2. Never Be Late
You need to create a proper impression from the first seconds of the interview. All your previous achievements, grades, essay results and cover letters can be useless if you do not come on time. Being late, you demonstrate the scholarship board that this grant is not important for you. They are looking for people who will justify their expectations and who really deserve to get money for education. If you cannot even come on time, you probably will not come on time with your papers during the study.
3. Dress Properly
Of course, no one judges the person on his or her clothes or appearance. However, your clothes do matter when you come to the interview. If you want to attract the attention of the commission, it is better to do that with your experience, not with your appearance. Choose the clothes of neutral colors, with minimal details.
4. Know Yourself
One of the question that creates multiple problems for students and for job seekers is ‘Tell us about yourself’. In fact, this is the question that you will most likely hear in every interview, so you need to be well prepared with the answer. This is the step where you can attract board’s attention and express yourself as an individual. Preparing yourself to this question beforehand, you can create an impressive and memorable speech that will stand you apart from other applicants. It is better not to rehash your biography facts but to add something interesting about your achievements, hobbies and current fields of activities.
5. Know Your Plans
The scholarship board members will definitely ask you where do you see yourself in a few years. This is the basic question that predetermines the success of your interview. If you have a vague idea on how your life will develop, you will never get a scholarship. Every university needs determined and goal-oriented students especially if the university pays all fees. Develop a plan for your future self-growth. Even though you still do not know what happens in 5 years, you need at least to have an overview of what you should do. Answering this question, tell about your plans in detail.
6. Provide Impressive Examples
A common mistake during the interview is to tell about yourself in general phrases. If you really want to catch the attention of the scholarship board members, add your personal experience to support the facts that you present telling about yourself. It is better not to rely on your grades but to demonstrate a profound understanding of problems and provide your own vision on how these problems can be solved.
7. Give Yourself Time to Think
Do not be in hurry to answer complicated questions. It is better to take a pause and think that to start talking immediately and do not give a clear and concise answer. The commission assesses not only your ability to speak but your ability to speak correspondingly to the situation. You need to sound confident and present your ideas in such a way everyone understands them. Besides, you need to keep eye contact with the members of the board. That will give you additional points.
8. Do Not Pretend to Be Someone Else
When you apply for the scholarship, you want to change your life for better. When you come to the interview, do not show that you have already got everything that you have ever wanted. Be yourself and show your desire to get the scholarship. Of course, the desire should not be desperate but it should demonstrate your passion and readiness to overcome all the obstacles to getting the education of your dream.
9. Do Not Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Though the conditions of the scholarship are regularly provided for all students before they even apply for it, still you probably have some questions concerning the process of education, your possibilities to take extra classes, etc. Asking these questions, you show the board members that you are really interested in the process of education and want to get all the benefits of studying.
10. Know Why You Should Get the Scholarship
The commission will definitely ask you why you deserve to get the money for education. They need to know your intentions and see that you are the best candidate for the scholarship. Prepare the answer to this question in advance. Analyze your strong sides, find undeniable arguments why you need it, and explain the scholarship commission how much you can achieve in future if you get the chance for education now. All candidates have equally important reasons to get this grant, but you need to find proper words to make your reasons stand out all the rest.
The process of applying for the scholarship takes a lot of time. Do not be in a rush when it comes to the most important step. If you have spent several months to write a good essay, you need a few more months to prepare for the interview. After a long and careful preparation, you will feel confident sitting in front of the scholarship board and will be able to answer all the questions and behave properly.