How to Stand out at the Scholarship Interview – Tips for Polytechnic Graduates

Written By: Cudy

23rd April 2023

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Scholarship interview tips is the important tips for the scholarship candidates. After submitting your scholarship application, the next step is going on to the scholarship interview. The scholarship interview is an opportunity for you to prove to the scholarship provider that you are the right person for their scholarship.   It’s also an opportunity to let them know why you want the scholarship program and what you plan on doing with it.  

Photo by George Pak from Pexels.

Scholarship Interview Tips - How Do I Pass a Scholarship Interview?

First of all, scholarship interview tips isn’t just about getting money – it’s about getting students an opportunity. Some scholarship programs require that recipients commit themselves to further study and employment after graduating from school.

If you get a $10,000 per year scholarship but have to go back and study another four years, the value of your new degree isn’t as great as it seems. So make sure that you know precisely what a scholarship will require students before jumping at the offer.

Secondly, understand what the person who is interviewing you wants from your interview. Is it about making sure that you’ll be able to handle the workload? Maybe is it about finding out how you feel about school and your career?

Or is it about finding out what your passions are? Whatever it is, make sure that you cater to their needs.  Another consideration is time. Ensure that you know how long the interview will take and prepare accordingly.

If the scholarship provider wants an in-depth analysis of every one of your extracurricular activities, expect the interview to last at least forty-five minutes. On the other hand, if they're going to know why you want the scholarship and what you plan on doing with it, plan for about ten minutes.

Finally, remember that a human being is interviewing you. So to some extent, it is their role, and they’re performing a job description when they do an interview – but a good part of that job description is making sure that they get applicants who are right for them and their scholarships.

They’re not going to like every applicant, but they’ll enjoy most of them. It’s difficult to be rejected by a human being – but it’s much easier than being rejected by a computer.

Do you need tips on pursuing your degree, formal scholarship interview, or even job interview? Learn more about how to handle common interview questions on Cudy Blog!

Scholarship Interview Tips - How to Nail a Scholarship Interview

This will be different for everyone – but some things are generally applicable to all school scholarship interviews.

Rule #1: Be on time – and make sure you know where you’re going

For the applicant, being late is a terrible first impression, and it will probably get you the wrong kind of attention – so leave enough time to get there and check-in with the receptionist or secretary if they have one. Make sure you have plenty of time to prepare before the actual interview day.

If you don’t know where the interview location is, call them beforehand and ask for directions. If you know where it is, give yourself an extra twenty minutes if the traffic is bad or something else goes wrong. 

Rule #2: Dress appropriately for the occasion

You don’t need a three-piece suit, but you need to look like you’re ready to work. So make sure that your clothes aren’t wrinkled or stained and fit correctly. Don’t wear sneakers or sandals – opt instead for casual shoes. And make sure that your hair is combed and styled appropriately.

Rule #3: Be polite

A scholarship interview isn’t a time for rudeness, even if you don’t like the person who is interviewing you – so smile, answer their questions nicely, and thank them when the interview is over. Remember the interview's goal – to get a scholarship – not to prove how smart you are or how good an orator you are. 

Rule #4: Don’t be nervous – be yourself

If it helps, pretend that nobody else is there. It might seem silly at first, but it works surprisingly well as an anxiety reducer. If this doesn’t work, remember that you’re in control of the interview – not them.

The interviewer is there to answer questions from students and make sure that you’re the right person for their scholarship. You’re there to get a scholarship.

Photo by Visual Tag Mx from Pexels.

Rule #5: Be honest – and tell them how you feel about school and your career

Remember that this is a college interview – not a test. If you feel uncomfortable answering any of the questions, or if it would be easier to talk about something else, don’t be afraid to say so. A good interviewer will appreciate honesty – and they will respect your feelings.

Ensure that they know what you want from your education – what you want out of life and why you want it. And don’t be afraid to say why you don’t want certain things either – for example, if you think employment after graduation is essential but feel like money won’t help much in your situation, don’t be afraid to say so.

Rule #6: Be prepared for any questions

If the interviewer asks a question that you don’t know how to answer, ask them if there are any other ways in which you could answer it – and say them. Remember: this is an interview – and interviews are supposed to help both parties gain information about each other. So never be afraid to ask questions or give input if something doesn’t seem to be working.

Rule #7: Be humble.

You’re not supposed to brag about your accomplishments, but you should talk about them. Don’t be afraid to say that you worked hard or did something well – but never be too proud of your accomplishments.

If you just won a scholarship, don’t say, “I won this scholarship because I worked hard and deserved it.” Instead, say, “I worked hard and deserved this scholarship, so I was lucky to win it.”

Rule #8: Be confident

Don’t worry about what the interviewer will think of you if you have trouble answering the questions or don’t know what they want from the interview – ask them if there is anything else they want to know.

If there isn’t, then go on with your life and remember that there will always be other opportunities. But if there is, then try your best to answer their questions and get a scholarship.

Rule #9: Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself

Interviewers want to know who you are as a person – so don’t be afraid to tell them. Be honest and open about your background, interests, goals, and anything else that might help the interviewer decide that you’re suitable for their scholarship.

And if they ask you for more information than you can give – for example, if they want to know why you’re so interested in history – then give them the best answer you can without being rude or condescending.

Achieve Your Goals with a Scholarship

The scholarship interview is an essential step on the road to achieving your educational goals – so make sure that you take it seriously. Remember how important the discussion is – not just for getting a scholarship but also for finding out whether it is right for you.

Read our other tips and tricks. Browse now!

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Cudy is an online marketplace for real-time learning where students can achieve mastery over their subjects by learning live from educators who are passionate about providing the best learning experience for their students.

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