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The 10 Worst Mistakes in the Selection Interview

Interviews are a key part of many scholarship application processes. But how can you make your interview a success? Here are 10 mistakes that you should avoid.
Avoid mistakes in your interview
Avoid mistakes in your interview

1. Don’t be late

You should try to arrive early for your interview, and never turn up late, even if it is just a few minutes. It leaves a bad impression and some might even take it as a lack of respect. This can result in you losing the scholarship before you have had a chance to answer any interview questions.

2. Not being aware of daily events

Some interviewers will ask you about current events. This could be news about the organisation, or general news topics. You should make sure you are familiar with what is happening, particularly in relation to the subject that you plan to study, or the objectives of the organisation.

You should also form some opinions on topics that are relevant to the organisation to which you are applying. But keep your views close to the values of the foundation. Going against them will not leave a good impression.

3. Don’t wear casual clothes

You should not wear casual clothing to interviews at any time of the year. Turning up in shorts and a t-shirt shows a lack of respect when the interviewers expect a dress code that is more business-like.

Find out if there is a dress code. If you get no information or are told there is no specific dress code, you should not think that this means you can wear whatever you want. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed so wear smart, business clothes – suits, trousers, shirts, blouses etc.

4. Being unprepared

Many interviewers like to ask standard questions. If you are not prepared for this you will leave a bad impression. A common standard question is what are your strengths and weaknesses? Talking about your weaknesses is not easy so you should prepare your response before your interview. The same applies to discussing your strengths. Think about how you will respond to as many common interview questions as you find.

5. Asking silly questions

You should ask questions in your interview, but don’t ask needless or redundant questions. This shows that you haven’t done any research and might lead to the impression that you are not interested. So you should do some research before your interview.

6. Showing a lack of Interest

The wrong body language can portray a lack of interest in the scholarship. Avoid sitting back or slouching in your chair, and don’t give short answers to questions. Instead try to stay interested by sitting up straight and giving full answers. Smile and use positive body language. And when the interviewer is talking you should listen carefully.

7. Arrogance

Another reason which often leads to rejection is arrogance. Scholarships are there to help you – they are not a right. You should therefore show respect and avoid coming across as arrogant during the process. You should always make sure to present yourself in an adequate way.

8. Negativity

Another reason for exclusion is having a general negative attitude. If you are positive you are much more likely to be successful, so try to convey this to your interviewers.

9. A bad first impression

Usually the decision for or against a particular candidate is made in the first minutes of the interview. Therefore, it is important to make a good first impression.

A weak handshake, a look to the floor, or a missing smile are all things that will leave a bad first impression. So shake hands confidently, look your interviewer in the eye, and smile. And if you are in a waiting room before the interview you should stand up to greet your interviewers as they enter the room.

10. Extravagant Answers

Another mistake you can make in an interview is giving answers that are extravagant. Interviewers look for candidates who can express themselves eloquently, clearly and accurately. Therefore, extravagance should be avoided.