A scholarship interview is one of the most crucial stages in the scholarship selection process for both the applicant and the scholarship provider. While most of the government scholarships are awarded in consideration of the mere fulfilment of the selection criteria, various corporate/private scholarship providers prefer to conduct a scholarship interview for the final selection of scholars. This helps them to refine the applications received and select the most deserving candidates for the scholarship.
A scholarship interview can be conducted in various ways – Online (via Skype/Zoom/Google Meet), Telephonic, or Face-to-Face. No matter which mode of interview is adopted, the questions asked are more or less of the similar kind. Some of the most commonly asked questions during a scholarship interview that every scholarship seeker must prepare for have been highlighted in this article. If you have received an interview call for a scholarship and wish to give your best, read further to deliver a cutting-edge performance over others.
Scholarship Interview Question #1: Describe yourself
This is one of the most commonly asked questions in a scholarship interview that allows you to start a conversation with the interviewer. Since it is a broad question, you might think of explaining it in detail. But remember, scholarship interviews are generally short and to-the-point. Thus, keeping track of time, try to cover the maximum relevant aspects in your answer in a short duration. To do so, you must plan the answer to this question in advance. To begin with, you can say something general about yourself and then proceed to highlight your skills and achievements. Given below are some of the key points that you must include in your answer –
- About your personality
- Your achievements
- Short-term goals
- Long-term goals
- Your values
Scholarship Interview Question #2: Share your strengths and weaknesses
When you are highlighting details about your personality, the interviewer may immediately ask about your strengths and weaknesses. Your answer to this question will highlight your level of self-awareness. While talking about your strengths, make sure you support them with examples as well. Furthermore, when it comes to the weaknesses, you need to express them in a way which shows that you are working towards their improvement or highlight them as an obstacle that you wish to overcome.
The table given below highlights some of the key characteristics that you can highlight as your strengths and weaknesses based on your respective characteristics.
|Fear of public speaking
|Too extrovert or outspoken/introvert or shy
|Tendency to procrastinate
|Lack of focus
|Fear of failure
|Good at time management
The list given above is just for your reference. You need to evaluate yourself sincerely to decide your own strengths and weaknesses. Make sure that you are honest to yourself.
Scholarship Interview Question #3: Why should you get this scholarship?
This is one of the toughest and most crucial questions for a scholarship interview. The members of the selection committee come across a number of candidates who have similar achievements. Under such circumstances, this question forms the basis of your selection. You need to be open and honest while answering this question. Given below are a few points that you must remember while preparing an answer to this question –
- Do not forget to recognize other deserving candidates
- Do mention ultimate goal for which you require the scholarship
- Tell your own story
- Be a little elaborative while sharing your story
- Highlight those abilities and skills that give you a cutting-edge over others
- Express how the scholarship opportunity will change your life and how have you planned to use the scholarship amount, if selected
Scholarship Interview Question #4: What are your professional goals?
The key objective of most of the scholarships is to support the education of students in need and give them a bright future. Thus, this is an obvious question that the providers will ask you in a scholarship interview. While answering this question, you need to share your plans for life post the completion of your education. Keep the following points in mind while preparing an answer to this question –
- Share an outline of your short-term and long-term goals
- Try to showcase the value that the scholarship will add towards your career goals
- A mention about the community will give you an added advantage
Scholarship Interview Question #5: Elaborate on your achievements
Achievements, too, play a crucial role in a scholarship interview. This is your chance to boast about your personality in front of the interviewers. Here, you can describe your academic achievements or any other personal achievement that has made you feel proud. To prepare an answer for this question, you can highlight any of the following instances –
- Performed extraordinarily in the previous and current academic year
- Overcame one/some of your weaknesses after continuous efforts and hard work
- Got recognition for talent/skills in extra-curricular activities
- Did some social work/community work
Always remember, just a mention of your achievement is not enough for this answer. You should rather combine it with your personal experience related to that particular achievement. This will add more value to your answer and might impress the selection committee.
Scholarship Interview Question #6: What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
Extra-curricular activities also play a crucial role in defining your personality. Brag about the activities in which you have participated over the last one year. These activities may include –
- Volunteering activities
- Leadership activities
- Competitive exams or Olympiads
- Creative pursuits
- Recreational activities
- Art-related activities
- Community activities
- Music or performance related activities
- Speech competition, and many more
Here, you can highlight each and every participation experience irrespective of your performance level. Your participation would show your motivation and willingness towards doing these activities.
Scholarship Interview Question #7: Who is your role model?
If an interviewer is asking this question, he/she does not intend to know details about your role model. In fact, it is an indirect way to know about the traits that you value. The answer to this question must be thought of beforehand. It is a specific question and requires a specific answer. A role model can be one of your family members or a famous personality who has inspired you. You need to elaborate the qualities/traits about your role model that attract you the most. Also, you can highlight the things that you have learned from your role model.
Scholarship Interview Question #8: Why did you choose this course or school/college?
This is considered a prominent question in a scholarship interview, especially in the case of higher education scholarships. Here, you need to be more persuasive in your answer. Make sure that your answer has all the following three components –
- Ethos – Start with establishing an authority on the topic.
- Logos – Add some logical points in support of the authority that you have established
- Pathos – Lastly, add an emotional connection
This completes your answer to this question.
Scholarship Interview Question #9: Tell us about a mistake you made and what you learned from it?
Humans are supposed to make mistakes in life. This is a similar question to the one about your weaknesses. While asking this question, the interviewer primarily intends to understand what you have learned from that mistake. Your acknowledgement of a mistake shows your maturity whereas your explanation towards your learning demonstrates how you have grown as an individual.
Scholarship Interview Question #10: Is there anything you want to add?
This is an open-ended question where the interviewer allows you to highlight the points that you might have missed throughout the interview. Here, it is advised to share such details that strengthen your candidature for the scholarship and show your accomplishments. You can further express your overall experience of the interview as well to conclude your answer to this question. Don’t forget to thank the interviewers for giving their time and considering you for the interview!