The scholarship interview is your time to shine! It’s your turn to sit across from those judges and let them know why you are, hands down, the best choice for their scholarship award. The best way to impress the judges during your interview is to give thoughtful, insightful, and all around fantastic answers. In this blog post, we will go over what makes a good answer.
Think of it as an essay. My first piece of advice is to think of each interview question as a mini-essay. You can prepare for these “mini-essays” by following some simple rules: 1. Be honest and true to yourself, 2. Strive for creative and unique answers, 3. Be positive and passionate, 4. Don’t volunteer information that reflects badly upon you as a person.
The why. A second important rule of thumb is to remember that no matter what someone asks you, you should always add the words “and why?” to the end of every question. For example, if the judges ask you what your career goals are, you should give them your answer PLUS explain why those are your goals.
And because. The word “because” is best friends with the phrase “and why?” This is because when you combine the two, it reveals qualities about yourself that the scholarship committee wants and needs to see. No matter what the committee asks you, they are always looking for the underlying personal qualities that make you the best choice for their scholarship dollars.
Reveal personal qualities. When you answer their questions, your responses should scream at least one of these things:
- I am an enthusiastic and passionate person
- I am goal-oriented
- I am a good person who cares about the world
- I know what I want out of life
- I don’t allow obstacles to stand in the way of my dreams
- I face challenges head on
- I understand what it will take to succeed in the career of my choice
- I get along well with others
- I am determined and dedicated
- I want to right the wrongs in the world
- I have confidence in myself and my abilities
Practice and preparation makes perfect. You can give yourself a serious leg up over the competition just by thinking through your answers to common interview questions ahead of time. I’m not telling you to memorize your notes verbatim – it will make you sound like an insincere robot! But, you should take the time to prepare complete answers and know the main points you want to get across.