You know the saying, “practice makes perfect?” It definitely applies to your scholarship interview! While of course no one is perfect, a little bit of practice before you dive into your scholarship interview is a great idea. You’re probably wondering, how am I supposed to practice for this interview? Follow these series of steps:
1. Make a List. Write out a list of commonly asked scholarship questions and your answers to those questions on a note card. Read them to yourself over, and over again to familiarize yourself with the points you want to make. Just remember that “familiarize” is not the same thing as “memorize.” It’s never a good idea to be so prepared that you come across as a robot.
2. Role play. Find someone to play the role of interviewer, and practice your answers out loud with natural expressions and gestures. It’s best to choose someone that you don’t know very well in order to best simulate how the interview will really feel. Be sure to ask your role-play partner to choose from the common questions at random. It’s also a good idea to have them surprise you with two questions that aren’t on your list, so you have the opportunity to practice coming up with intelligent answers on the fly.
3. Practice your personality. I know this advice sounds a little weird, because your personality is yours after all. But keep in mind that in an interview scenario where you’re under stress, it’s very easy to lose sight of yourself. Take the opportunity in your role-playing to practice your personality and positivity. In other words, learn to act as natural as possible despite the circumstances.
4. Ask for feedback. After your fake interview is over, ask your partner to tell you what you did well and/or what you didn’t do so well. Their feedback will be valuable in helping you get better for the real deal.
5. Play the video back. You did set up a recording device to capture your fake interview scenario, right? Play back the video of your interview and be sure to overlook the things that bother you about how you look on camera, etc. Instead, concentrate on seeing yourself as a scholarship committee would see you. This should help you spot any areas where you might need to improve your performance.
6. Repeat. Think just practicing once is enough? Wrong! As I said at the start of this blog post, practice makes perfect, and that means practicing more than once. Repeat the first five steps as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable with the interview process.