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Preparing Yourself for Interviews

Interview is the final stage of scholarship application process where the scholarship offer or will assess whether the short-listed candidates actually have the qualifications to receive a scholarship. In other words they want to verify whether you actually posses what you boasted in your application earlier.

However many of us hate interviews as we don’t feel comfortable answering questions in front of a panel of interviewers. Unlike the previous stages you don’t have unlimited time to respond. Further you are unable to modify your responses as you did earlier by editing your writings over and over again. Above all you are on the verge of getting it. So you are excited and therefore the tendency to panic is also high.

However if you are to receive a scholarship you need to face the interview successfully and convince the interview panel amidst all these obstacles. So let us discuss some of the things you can do to face your scholarship interview successfully.      

Prepare in advance and practice

Before you go to the interview, make sure you remember everything you told them at previous stages. The interview panel will have all the documents you have sent, in front of them so the chances of you succeeding are minimal if you happen to forget it or what you say is not consistent with what’s on paper. Further it’s always good if you know something about the organization which offers the scholarship such as their vision and mission.    

Imagine as many potential questions as possible and develop comprehensive answers for them. Reproducing an answer for a question you have already expected is much easier than producing something instantly. Popular interview questions touch the areas such as your family background, educational extra-curricular activities, personal goals, strengths and weaknesses and so on. Further it will do a world of good for your confidence level if you stimulate the interview environment at home and practice the interview questions few times. During the practice sessions give your attention also to finer points such as maintaining eye contact, vocal variety and hand movements which all relate to your personality.

Decide what to wear on that day in advance and ensure you have all the clothing ready. Your dress should be clean and wrinkle free. Further select a dress which is appropriate. For instance wearing jeans would never do. Remember your dress is a powerful tool you can use to create a positive first impression which is critical. 

Find out where to go on the interview day and make sure you know all the directions. If you are not sure try a test run one day before so that you have an idea on when to take the turns, where to park the car or get off from the bus. 

What to do on the interview day? 

Preparing in advance is good but proper execution on the interview day is what matters. 

Get up early in the morning and have balanced diet. Dress smartly and arrive at the interview location at least 15 minutes early. Wait patiently till your turn comes. You can use this time to recollect all the questions and answers you practiced earlier. Greet the interview panel warmly at the beginning and at the end. Try to keep them interested by grabbing the momentum of the interview. You may make use of all the techniques you practiced such as vocal variety, hand movements and so on. 

What if they ask you a question for which you have not prepared yourself for? Do not panic because there is nothing to worry. Take your time, collect your thoughts and produce a simple answer. Avoid beating around the bush as this would give the interview panel the impression that you are not confident or you just cannot answer the question properly. 

I hope you will follow these simple steps and enhance your chances of getting the next scholarship. Good luck!

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