How to Ace Your Scholarship Interview in 3 Steps
Keneisha Charles - July 26th, 2020
So you wrote your scholarship essay and sent in your application a while ago. Now you’ve finally heard back from the scholarship committee—you have an interview! So how do you come prepared and show them why you’re the best candidate? Here are the top three things you can do to ace your scholarship interview.
Do Your Research
Scholarship committees want to reward students who align with the values and goals of their organization. It’s important that you know a bit about the organization before you enter the interview! Do some research about them. What is the organization’s mission statement? What are their values? What’s their history?
This will also help you tailor what you might want to talk about in the scholarship interview! For example, if one of their values is inclusion, you might want to talk about how you promoted this in your volunteer work or why this is important to you, too.
But most of all, knowing some background information about the scholarship organization will show them that you really care.
Know Your Application
Often times, you won’t get called for a scholarship interview until several months after you submit your application. Before your interview, revisit your application and make sure that you know what volunteer experiences you highlighted!
With the pressure or nerves you might be feeling at your interview, it’s normal to feel a bit tongue-tied and uncertain when discussing your experiences. This might cause you to downplay your achievements or forget to mention key information. A great way to prepare is to practice talking through your volunteer experiences!
The STAR acronym is a great tool to help you discuss your experiences!
- S — Situation (who, what, when, where)
- T — Task (your objective)
- A — Actions (what you did, how you did it, skills you used)
- R — Result (qualitative or quantitative proof of your success)
Follow this flow to make sure that you fully demonstrate your leadership and impact during your scholarship interview!
Finally, make sure to be authentic and show up as your full self. The purpose of scholarship interviews is to get to know you beyond your grades or experiences on paper.
Try to relax and think of it as a conversation and two-way dialogue instead of a strict question and answer between you and the interviewer. Ask questions, connect with your interviews—you can even use a little humour if that’s your style and it’s appropriate!
Try to show them your full self to stand out from other applicants and demonstrate why you deserve this scholarship.
With these three tips, you’ll ace your scholarship interview!
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