Scholarship allows young people from all walks of life to pursue their studies and dreams.
But not everyone will get accepted, and not everyone will pass the interview with the scholarship committee.
Most schools get funds from the government, and they want to help as many students as they can. But the money they get can usually not cover the study expenses of all applicants. They have to make a selection…
In some cases, every second applicant will get a scholarship, in some other cases, just one of every twenty will.
You should prepare for the interview with the committee, trying to improve your chances of being selected for one of the grants.
The key is to show the people in the committee that you are serious about your studies, and that you really need scholarship to pursue them. Our list of common questions, and advice on how to answer each question, should help you to make a good impression, and land a grant at the end.
Common scholarship interview questions
Question 1: Introduce yourself
Usually, the interviewers will know nothing about you, or they will know just very little. They have seen only your scholarship application. When introducing yourself in this interview, you should focus mostly on two things: 1. Your dream to study at the particular college. 2. Your financial situation which does not allow you to follow your dream.
Use numbers and facts. Do not play with emotions at this point of the interview. Simply say them how much your parents earn, and explain that they have to support a lot of people with their money (your other siblings, paying their own debts, etc). Describe briefly, in facts, your financial situation and why you need scholarship.
Then you can say something about your hobbies, your private life. Perhaps you like to run, to paint, you play a musical instrument. To share some details of your personal life helps to improve the atmosphere in the interview room, plus it shows the people in the committee that you are human, and have you life outside of the college.
Question 2: Why have you decided for this school? Why have you chosen the particular subject of your studies?
Answer the question with enthusiasm in your voice.
Tell them about your future plans, and explain what you want to do once you graduate and earn your degree. Try to convince the interviewers that you are serious about your career path, and won’t leave the school after a year or two.
What is more, you can praise them for something (that is the second part of the question, the one that touches their educational institution). Talking about your reasons for choosing them (and not another school), you can point out their great reputation, excellent study programs, campus life, or anything else that caught your eye.
Questions 3. How do you plan to use your scholarship?
This is a very common question, and I suggest you to bring a breakdown of your monthly expenses to the interview.
How much do you pay for living, transport, and food? How much do you prefer to (or need to) invest in books, and in other study material? How much money do you spend each day in average?
You should simply break it down to individual items, and bring the list to the interview. This clearly demonstrates why you need the scholarship. Once they see it on a paper, they will have no doubt about the justness of your request.
Question 4. What makes you special to receive our scholarship?
If you are in a different situation, if you re not applying for a form of a social scholarship but for a merit scholarship, you can get this question in an interview. Actually you can always get it…
Tell them about your achievements, and show them how their school can benefit from having you onboard (in terms of their reputation, and of your representation of the school). Do not forget to ensure them that you plan to continue with your efforts to be a top notch student, scientist, or athlete.
At the end of the day, schools care also for their business. They prefer to grant scholarship to someone who’s willing to represent them.
Question 5: Do you plan to do anything for our college?
If you apply for a social scholarship though, you will have to come up with a different answer.
You can tell them that you would like to organize some events for other students, work as a resident assistant, or simply do something else for the local community of students, teachers and administrators.
Try to come up with a plan, with a particular idea. You do not have to really do it afterwards–one month later, nobody will remember the things you told them in a scholarship interview. But once you talk to the scholarship committee, you should do your best to convince them that you want to give something back.
Continue your interview preparation
Have a look at one of the following articles to continue your interview preparation.
- Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication? Do interviewers observe our gestures and movements?
- Physical, mental, practical preparation – Interesting insight on the interview preparation (guest post). Break it down and take care of each element of your preparation.
- What job is right for me? Starting your professional career? Deciding about your studies? Or feeling unhappy in your present occupation? The article should help you to find your true calling in life.
- Interview Success Package – One and only product you need to get ready for your job/scholarship interview. Great answers to all difficult questions, and a guide on how to impress your interviewers and win them over.