How to apply

The Personal Interview – General Tips

To get a scholarship you will usually have to go through a written pre-selection, followed by an interview. This article will highlight some of the things that interviewers look for. It will also show you how to leave a good impression.
Act confident in your interview
Act confident in your interview

Interviews are typically conducted by a panel of interviewers although in some circumstances the interview can be one-on-one. It is normal to feel nervous. In fact most people are nervous, even those who appear confident. You should remember going into an interview that you have already made it through part of the process, so your application is of interest to the interviewers. This should help to boost your confidence.

Good preparation is the key to success

Interview preparation is essential, especially when applying for scholarships. Think about the questions that you might be asked and come up with answers. You will probably be asked about your CV so make sure you know it well. Think about how you will expand on the things that you have included in your CV when you are asked about them in the interview.

You should also research the organisation that you are applying to so that you can speak confidently about it during the interview. And you should prepare several reasons why you think you are the right candidate for the scholarship.

In terms of clothing, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. You will want to leave the best impression possible so the best advice is to wear smart business clothing. And it is also advisable to have a pen and a note pad with you.

The first impression counts

The first few minutes of your interview are important as you will want to leave a good impression. Greet you interviewers standing up. Make sure you smile and make eye contact, and use the interviewers’ names. Also, shake hands confidently and be ready for some small talk. With small talk it is best to remain positive at all times. For example, if you are asked about your journey, say it was fine, even if it wasn’t. It's all about how you present yourself to your audience.

Demonstrate motivation

Organisations that grant scholarships look for students who are motivated to achieve results for themselves and for others. So, show that you are determined and that you have clear goals in mind. At the same time, remain authentic and structure your arguments well.

And remember it is often not just about you. Organisations want their scholarship holders to be socially committed as well as personally motivated. You can show this by explaining how you have made contributions to your community.