Get Ready for Your College Scholarship Interview

Get Ready for Your College Scholarship Interview
  • Opening Intro -

    With the cost of higher education as high as it is, students should apply for college scholarships to help defray their expenses.

    Billions of dollars in college scholarship money is offered every year with awards ranging from one-time gifts of a few hundred dollars to full-ride scholarships at top-notch universities.

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If you have applied for one or more college scholarships you may find that the scholarship provider wants to interview you in a bid to choose their candidate. Here’s what you need to do to prepare for your interview.

Know Your Provider

Chances are you know something about the company or organization that wants to interview you. It is important, however, to learn as much as you can about the scholarship provider in advance of your interview.

You should learn about the provider’s history, read up about its previous scholarship winners, and gauge what other important factors may have a bearing on why scholarships are offered in the first place. For instance, you may discover that the founder was not college educated, but had a heart for students who could not afford college. In honor of his wishes, the company may have set up a scholarship fund to make college possible for financially challenged families. When you’re being interviewed you may reference those details, perhaps stating that you want your education to honor the legacy of its founder.

Are You Qualified?

Simply because you are being called in for a college scholarship interview does not mean that you are qualified to receive an award. Likely, there was something in your application that caught the attention of the provider, but you still need to make a case for yourself.

Expect to stress what talents and interests you have that align with the provider’s philosophy. For instance, if you are planning to attend engineering school and have made a working model of a power plant, then bring that model with you to the interview. If the model is too large, then have someone record you standing in front of it demonstrating how it works. A “show and tell” effort may enable the provider to understand what you know and whether you’d be a worthy recipient of their award.

Dress for Success

Just as you would for any job interview, you want to dress for success. That means wearing the attire appropriate for an interview: a suit for men and a dress or suit for women. Men should be clean shaven, women should wear light makeup. Both should avoid dousing themselves with cologne or perfume and jewelry should be limited. Turn off your cell phone!

Arrive at the interview about 15 minutes before it is to start, shake hands with the interviewer, and look this person in the eye. Sit up straight, do not interrupt, ask questions, and avoid responding with rambling replies. Practice your interview with your parents, a sibling or with a friend. Review what you have learned about the provider.

After the Interview

As with a job interview, you want to follow up by sending a thank you note to the interviewer. This is common courtesy and it may also help the interviewer recall your conversation and perhaps be the deciding point for a scholarship award.

See AlsoCollege Scholarships in the Unlikeliest Places

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Categories: Featured, Scholarships