Shaping Your Future – Ace that Scholarship Interview with These 5 Ways
How much do you think today’s students spend annually for their undergraduate degree? If you answer around $6,000 then you are almost on the nose. According to Statistics Canada, nowadays, an undergraduate degree can set back students an average of a whopping $6,500 per year. If you think the problem ends there, think again. Not only have tuition fees increased, miscellaneous fees have as well. So that’s another $880 on top of the $6,500.
With such an exorbitant price tag, considering other resources to help fund college or university education is smart, such as scholarships. If this has crossed your mind, then pat yourself on the back because you’re on the right track. However, keep in mind that the world of scholarships is competitive, so much so that it feels like you’re training to run for a marathon, only you’re completely relying on your mental prowess, not your physical abilities ( in some cases).
A positive thing that you can hold on to is that most scholarships today are not entirely based on academic merit. There are several types that could fit your abilities and talents. However, scholarship committees usually conduct an interview with applicants before they make a final decision. So how exactly can you nail that scholarship interview and blow away your competition? Here are five tips to give you a head-start:
Make sure to research.
Nothing dims your chances more than failing to do research prior to your interview. Can you imagine applying for a position where you missed reading through the job description or learning about the company that posted the ad? It would spell trouble, right? Thus, before your interview, gather information about the scholarship committees or providers as much as you can—what they do and how they are involved in the community. Similar to impressing at a job interview, talk about specific things why you admire the organization, such as their unwavering support for literacy awareness programs, for example, or cite a previous recipient that has inspired you.
You won’t be thrilled to know this, but yes, generally, scholarship interviews share some common points with job interviews. One question you’ll most likely encounter is “Why should we choose you?” This query catches some individuals off-guard because they are not used to bragging or selling themselves. However, keep in mind that if there is a right time to toot your own horn, this is the time. Don’t be shy and happily state the reasons why you are the best recipient for the scholarship that’s up for grabs. Don’t hold back.
Do mock interviews.
It’s an idea that you’re not totally on board with because you might end up sounding robotic during the actual interview, but you’ll be surprised just how beneficial doing mock interviews can be. Practice with your friends or family, and you’ll find yourself relaxed and comfortable during the real interview even though there is a lot at stake. Be sure to add spontaneity to your responses so you’ll avoid falling into the trap of sounding like an automated message by injecting phrases such as, “That is an interesting question!” before you answer.
Dress for success.
You don’t have to go online shopping and blow your entire savings for designer wear for a scholarship interview. The goal is to make yourself look presentable without making it seem like you tried too hard or spent too much. It won’t score you any points if somehow you come across as someone who prioritizes wearing branded clothing more than your actual studies. Go for a professional, polished look that you feel at ease with.
Show your true colours.
While it’s an advantage of course to put your best foot forward for a scholarship interview, remember that scholarship committees or providers would like to have a clear idea just who they’re awarding the funds to. This is why it’s great to let your personality shine through by being genuine and honest with your answers. It’s fine to be serious about your scholarship goals, but this does not mean you need to act like a block of wood.
Hopefully, these five tips help you lessen the anxiousness on your upcoming interview. We wish you the best of luck!