A scholarship can be extremely rewarding, and save students plenty of money during college. Scholarships can also be extremely prestigious and look impressive on resumes. However, scholarships require several steps students have to pass before receiving a scholarship. Benefactors hope to ensure that the money they are gifting is awarded to the most qualified candidate. Some scholarships call for essays, some call for interviews. Though less common than other requirements, interviews are a very real possibility for many scholarship applicants. It’s always best to be prepared, so here are some tips to help you rock an interview.
Do Your Research
If you are accepted into an interview, it’s imperative that you do thorough research on the sponsor. What do they stand for? Learn more about the history surrounding the scholarship. Additionally, what ideals are they trying to promote? What kind of students have gotten the scholarship in the past? What do you have in common with these students? Having this vital background knowledge will not only help you feel more confident in your answers during the interview, but it will also impress your interviewers. Additionally, researching will help enhance your own knowledge of why you are the ideal candidate for the scholarship.
Practice Your Responses
There are common questions that you might be asked in any interview. Why do you think you deserve this award? Why are you interested in XYZ college or XYZ major? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Find a list and practice your responses with a friend or parent. Practicing can help smooth out the conversation. However, this does not mean you should memorize a response verbatim. You don’t want to sound like a recording, after all. To remain authentic is a key part of an interview; interviewers should feel that they know you better by the end of the interview. On the other hand, they should not feel like they interviewed just another eligible student.
While individuality is important, there are some things that carry over from every interview: basic courtesies. There are a number of things that will be standard for every interview but are important elements that shouldn’t be overlooked. They include:
- Being on time (or, even better, early)
- Dressing up
- Having a good handshake
- Being courteous and friendly
- Taking your time
- Not interrupting the interviewer before they finish asking the question
- Bring the necessary supplies (pen, paper, folder, required materials, etc.)
These snippets of advice may seem like common sense. However, it is the basics that people tend to forget when they are nervous or preoccupied with other thoughts. In the end, though, the most important part of the interview is displaying your qualifications for the opportunity in question.
To get to a scholarship interview, students have to find scholarships first. For assistance in finding the ideal scholarship for you, visit the College Raptor and look through more articles like this one. Also, use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!