How to Handle a Scholarship Interview
If you are applying for a scholarship, the interview process can be intimidating, but unavoidable. The interview is typically schedule after the scholarship provider has received applications and is narrowing down their choices. If you have been invited for an interview, they like your application and are interested in you. This gives you an advantage over the other hundreds of applications they most likely received. By preparing for your interview, you can be sure it goes smoothly.
Research the Provider
In order to prepare for the interview, you should first learn as much as you can about the provider of the scholarship. Learn about their company and organization, their history, what their business offers others, and the history of their scholarship program. This can give you insight into why they offer the scholarship as well as what kind of people they're looking for. You will also be able to find out the requirements of the scholarship and if you have details about your life fitting those qualities, you can bring them up during the interview.
Meeting the Qualifications
One of the things the interviewer will ask you is about your qualifications as they relate to what they're looking for in a scholarship candidate. Since you have done your research, you already know the qualities and qualifications they want. Be honest and upfront with how you qualify for the scholarship and why they should choose you. Don't be pushy; this isn't a sales pitch. But answer their questions openly and honestly, including any details you think are relevant. For example, if the organization is giving out scholarships for art students, show your portfolio and explain when your passion for art began and how you will use the scholarship to further your art career. If you have done art for non-profit organizations or volunteer groups, mention that.
The interviewer will not only be looking at your application and qualifications, but you as well. Be presentable, similar to applying for a job interview. You should dress appropriately and professionally, showing that you're serious about the getting the scholarship. Be groomed and clean, and show good manners. Don't try to manipulate the interview, but remain quiet and respectful until the interviewer asks you a question. However, you should also be confident about your qualities and show you're ready to take on your career and how the scholarship will help you get there.
Finally, once the scholarship interview is over, you want to follow up. Don't hassle the organization, but send a thank you note a few days after the interview to show your appreciation for being considered.
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