Scholarship Interview Questions
- What Is a Scholarship?
- How Do You Find a Scholarship Program?
- What Key Skills and Attributes Will You Need To Demonstrate At a Scholarship Interview?
- Common Scholarship Interview Questions and Answers
- Scholarship Interview Tips
- Final Thoughts
A scholarship interview is an interview for a scholarship grant which you can receive to help pay for your tuition.
Some students could rely on a scholarship as the only form of capital to pay for their entire tuition.
This could be someone from a low-income home or a student that could need a little helping hand to attend the institution of their choice.
But before you go through the scholarship process you will be asked to participate in an interview.
This allows reviewers to evaluate whom they are investing in and get to know the student better, amongst other things.
If you are looking for one, or a few, scholarships to help get you through school, in this article, we will analyze the ins and outs of the interview and the types of questions you might be asked, along with some examples.
With college and university fees soaring in recent years, it means more and more students wanting to go into higher education are turning to scholarships to help fund their places.
As mentioned earlier, a scholarship is the only chance they might have at going to college for some people.
In some cases, colleges and universities might scout students specializing in a specific subject, sport or talent.
This could mean that the institute wants to award academically excellent students that are high achievers when it comes to grades.
Here are a few different types of scholarships you might come across:
Some colleges and universities will offer scholarships to pupils that have a high academic record.
This could be for ABB, AA and A+.
You might wonder why these institutes will offer a scholarship for these students.
It is because they want the student to pick their university.
Some students who come from certain backgrounds, religions or care leavers might receive financial assistance from their local authority and community or religious organizations.
This is something to investigate with the state as it might differ from place to place.
As with an academic excellence scholarship, some schools might have a yearly remit of students they can award a scholarship to, and for what department.
For example, if you play a musical instrument at a high level or are a singer, you might be offered a musical scholarship.
A sporting scholarship could be for a high school quarterback if you play football or other high-ranking sports and the school level, especially if you have received a high sporting accolade.
You might be scoped out by several colleges and be awarded a scholarship.
A more classic scholarship is awarded to students who cannot afford to go to college independently.
Therefore, grants and bursaries are their only option.
This is something an individual can apply for with the hope of being accepted.
To be awarded, you might need to prove your financial situation to the board to consider.
Many other scholarships can be awarded to individuals aside from the ones mentioned above.
For example, some companies and businesses might award scholarships to students looking to do work experience at their company.
You might also be awarded for extracurricular activities like help in the community and charity work.
This is something to consider taking up earlier within your High School career, as it looks good when applying for colleges regardless.
Once you have done your research into what type of scholarship works for your situation, and if there is one available for you, you can start preparing for the interview and the type of questions you can expect.
We will go through some example interview questions later within the article.
Not sure where to start now you have decided you need a scholarship?
You can look to the college/university you are looking to attend and research their website for starters.
Each institute should have space online where it details a scholarship program.
However, there are also some lesser-known organizations that you can apply to if you are looking to go towards a charity route.
All of the above will provide you with all the information you need to get you started.
There are many different skills and attributes interviewers will look for when getting to know you.
For example, do you do any sport? Do you have any hobbies?
As well as your interests, they will also need to see some personal attributes, such as:
There is nothing more appealing to an interviewer than a student that has a bucketload of motivation for their chosen path.
This shows the board that you are eager and driven to learn and grow.
As well as motivation, passion is another attribute boards look for.
For example, if you are a student from a low-income household but have a passion for a particular subject, talent, sport, etc., this can make you stand out from the crowd.
It would be good to prepare a list of why you are passionate about something and what makes it so important to you? How does it affect your future and goals?
Being on the ball and analytical is also a key attribute to interviewers. It is good for them to see you think about things and analyze situations.
This does not have to mean you are just analytical about your chosen subject, but in life too. This is a good skill to home.
With interviews, it can sometimes be hard to keep your composure. It is a nerve-racking situation, after all.
The board might like to see someone focused on the task at hand and their ability to keep composed under testing circumstances.
There are many ups and downs in education, so keeping your wits about yourself is important.
You might wonder what working as a team has to do with going on to higher education.
Well, many jobs require teamwork and Its employees to be able to work together. This is a skill that works at college, too.
Especially if you are aiming to go into team sports or something that requires a group.
These are just a few of the attribute’s interviewers will look for when selecting students to award.
They would also like to see confidence and foresight, among other things.
You will be asked several different sections of who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, your academic achievements, career goals, and why you are the best candidate.
To start, they will want to get an understanding of who you are as an individual, so they might ask you this simple question:
For this type of question, you could be asked what you want to study, why you want a scholarship, your interests and any extracurricular work you do.
Example answer to “Why do you want this scholarship?”:
I want this scholarship because I am really passionate about art and the path that it could take me on. I have spent years learning about the subject and it is something I want to continue to grow in. I have won artistic awards and my work has been shown at galleries as an apprenticeship showcase. I think I have what it takes to develop my career in this field.
This is just a snippet of an answer; your reasons can be lengthier and have different reasons.
But this answer displays the student’s passion for the subject, their accolades, passion and how they want to grow.
It also shows growth and motivation, some of the personal attributes a board wants to see.
A question on strengths and weaknesses could look like this:
Now, this is quite an open question as there are many ways you can answer it without turning your strength into a boasting session.
For example, you could answer like this:
I know what it takes to work to deadlines and achieve targets set out to me, whether it be individually or part of a team. I can also recognize the skills you need to become a leader when required.
This answer is a composed way to highlight you can reach targets, become a leader and work as a team. Therefore, you have given three strengths, inadvertently.
This is an excellent way to show you are a human and how you learn from mistakes. After all, everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
Last year, instead of studying the given amount for a pop quiz I had the next day, I was overly confident and decided not to revise for it. I sadly failed the test. This has taught me that every test, quiz, or situation deserves attention to detail, and time dedicated to it.
This answer shows that you are truthful about your mistakes, why you made the mistake in the first place, and how you have learned not to put yourself in that situation again.
When it comes to questions about your academic experience, here is a few question examples you might be asked:
For this, try to stay relevant to the scholarship and answer how your favorite subject led you to take your current path.
My favourite subject at school was art. It was the only subject I felt I was at home with, I was excited for each lesson and to learn more and more about different artists and different themes and genres of the subject. It led me here, to wanting to grow my passion into a career and keep excelling. There is just something about the process, the colours, and the attention-to-detail I cannot get enough of. It makes me feel alive.
This answer highlights the question right initially and shows your depth, passion, and motivation for the subject.
It is also relevant to the board as you are discussing the subject you want the scholarship for.
The answer is also confident and composed.
Scholarship Interview Tips
As well as knowing what it is that you want to study when you go on to higher education, there are a few other tips you need to know before you get to the interview stage of the process. For example:
It is important you know about the institute you want to get a scholarship for. You might be asked a question about why you have specifically chosen that place
Step 2. Practice your answers to the commonly asked questions (and get someone to roleplay an interview with you)
Practice makes perfect. As with all interviews, you can sometimes get flustered, but you will not be unprepared if you have prepared beforehand
The STAR method stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This is where you will be asked a competency-based question where the answer will need to follow this structure. You can practice this beforehand, too
Always think before you speak, especially when answering your questions
You need to be concise and not talk about irrelevant things when answering the board’s questions. Try not to deviate from the question too much, and keep things short, snappy, and engaging
Eye contact and body language are essential in a face-to-face interview. Always look at the interviewer when they are speaking to you and retain eye contact throughout the interview. This shows you are present and listening
Getting to the interview stage of the scholarship process is something to be applauded for, as nowadays, many students are applying for the same ones, so competition in this arena can be challenging and testing.
But do not worry. As long as you do your research and know exactly what path you are aiming to take, then there are several avenues you can turn to when it comes to scholarships and financial aid.