Interview Hacks: Acing Scholarship Interviews

One of the most important things we look for while applying to colleges is the availability of scholarships and grants. Schools with lots of scholarships make us super excited. However, many of these grants may not be easy to come by. You may receive an invitation for a scholarship interview during the application process. scholarship holders. This article contains Joint Scholarship Questions and Answers as well as tips for those interviews which would help you prepare and ace such a crucial task.

Here is a video that would help you gain some insight into handling interviews.

Some schools automatically qualify you for scholarships when you are approved, while others do not. You will need to manually apply for a scholarship at these schools and go through the process. However, some other scholarships are so competitive that in addition to a good GPA grade, you will need to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for the scholarship.


When applying for such scholarships, you need to prepare yourself thoroughly. You need to know the types of questions your interviewers might ask and have the answers ready for them. You also need to know how to behave and what to do before, during and after the interview. 

Questions and answers about scholarships 

What questions do scholarship holders ask themselves? How should these questions be answered? What are you checking for by asking these questions? You will find all the answers to your questions here. 

Question 1: Tell us about yourself. 

These are the most common questions about scholarships. It is also the most likely first question that fellows ask themselves. When interviewers ask this question, it doesn't mean that you are touching on who you are and what you are not. No, it's not a life story. The interviewer basically gives you the opportunity to stand out from the pool of scholarship holders. Because of this, this can be an opportunity to point out your primary interest and its relationship to the fellowship goal, while also providing an overview of other interests. 


My name is Mohammed and I am currently a freshman at South Valley University (SVU). I love my studies there, especially that I am allowed to study American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. In addition, after technical progress, I spend a lot of time outside of my studies. To this end, I have a YouTube channel that covers the latest trend in artificial intelligence and robotics. When I'm not reading or listening to music I enjoy hanging out with my grandma. 

Make sure you list the interesting things about yourself without taking more than a minute. Mohammed's main interest is in the social sciences, although she talks about other interests also. 

Question 2: What extracurricular activities do you participate in? 

This is another common question about the scholarship. Here the interviewer tries to find out your other activities besides your studies. It also gives the interviewer some insight into your personality if you are responsible for it. Also, how to connect and interact with others on a team. Here, invite you to share your key extracurricular activities in your school and community and some of your achievements 


I'm currently on the school's baseball team. I play quarterback and mostly go with the instructor to coach the community's Ivy League team. At home, I often go to the gym to train kids who want to be boxers. I love their passion and determination. I also sing with the choir in church on Sundays. I am an outgoing person and these three activities help me share my knowledge and learn with others. 

From the answer to this question, it is clear that the scholarship holder indicates that he / she works well in groups and has some pedagogical skills. 

Question 3: What is your greatest strength? 

This question about the scholarship interview wants to know whether you are aware of yourself. So don't confuse them with your greatest interest. What you need to do here is simple: state your greatest strength and show an example of how you used it. In the meantime, don't try to be humble. 


I think I'm really good at getting other people to come up with ideas. Two months ago, I and a couple of classmates had a project to do an inventory of a real company. We should work as a team and have chosen a team leader. However, the team leader couldn't get us to do an inventory of a grocery store instead of a cafeteria, which others suggested.

I was able to point out to everyone on the team that taking an inventory of a cafeteria would help them realize that it is an effective accounting practice for their type of business. However, an inventory at a grocery store would be more effective as we would not only show them new trends in inventory but also save them the cost of acquiring the knowledge. In the end, everyone agreed that the grocery store was better. 

Question 4: What is your greatest weakness? 

 In this interview question, your interviewer tries to assess whether you examine yourself for mistakes from time to time. Of course, we are not all perfect, so you need to identify one of your weaknesses that could affect your success in college. However, you need to show that you are trying to improve or that you are trying to overcome this weakness completely. As well as your strength, give examples. 


I am not good at expressing myself in a crowd. However, I am constantly looking for ways to be more open. Throughout my school years, all of my teachers noticed that I hardly had a say in class even though I had an opinion on the subject. When I got into college, I joined the theatre club, owing to which I can now face the crowd and speak. Surprisingly, I began to overcome my fear of the crowd and better express myself with what I did. I am now playing in more pieces and my teachers are starting to comment on my progress. 

Here the scholar explains his/her weakness and shows a positive measure to overcome the weakness. 

 Question 5: What is the biggest mistake you have ever made? 

This may not be a frequently asked question about a scholarship interview, but like your greatest weakness, this question also tests your ability to spot a mistake. In contrast to your weakness, the interviewer also wants to see how you learn from previous experiences. To answer this, admit that you did something wrong at some point, but also show that you are better now. 


Last year I hit my little brother's face with a text. He was too slow to take up basic algebra. I taught him. He made a sad face and said I had made him look stupid, but he had no problem with my not giving him additional algebra lessons. I didn't know how wrong I was until a friend who taught me a dance routine did the same to me three months ago. Now if I am teaching someone and they don't leave quickly, I smile and ask them to take a break and then move on when they're refreshed. I haven't been impatient with anyone since then.


You will notice that the applicant took care to explain how they moved on. This is very important when answering this type of question in a scholarship interview. 

Question 6: Tell us about your leadership experience 

Some scholarships require you to have leadership skills. This is a common interview question for such scholarships. The interviewer just wants to know how much responsibility you can take for the good of others. When answering such questions, do not limit yourself to leadership roles in formal settings. You should explain how you have been able to lead people in a positive way that may not be easy for others. 


I didn't know I had the leadership skills in me until I became president of a book club, where I was an active member for three years. We have been able to make many changes in the way we work and through the church work we have done, it became clear to me that I like to involve others in solving social problems. Currently, I am the president of a fundraiser community through which I can involve people to solve community problems on a larger scale.

The scholarship holder indicated not only his leadership role but also his leadership style. 

Question 7: Who is your role model? 

This is another frequently asked question about the scholarship. Here the interviewer wants to know which traits you admire, whether they are positive. You know that the people you admire speak about you. To answer this question, you need to state who your role model is. It doesn't matter if the person is a family member, a teacher, or a celebrity. They will point out the qualities they admire, as well as their shortcomings because no one is flawless. Your answer will be richer if you can show how your example is trying to overcome his mistakes. 


I look up to my father who runs his own printing press. He started the business using the basement at home. This happened after he lost his job. Nobody thought the business would flourish or grow, not even my mother. Although he divorced my mother, I admire my father for his strong confidence and sheer tenacity.  However, if at some point I get to the height he has, I will discipline myself to stay true to my marriage. 

You will notice here that the applicant selected his father and while that number failed his marriage, it is clear to the applicant what quality his father would imitate. 

Question 8: Where do you see yourself in five years? 


This interview question is not only for scholarship interviews but also for job interviews. The interviewer here assesses how visionary you are, probably to see your vision merge with yours. While it's okay to get a picture of yourself that you're not so sure about, try to focus on service and professional success. They may not be interested in personal achievement. 


I love technology so much that I'll be trying to do an internship at Dell in the fall. I want to be a robotics engineer, so I'll be living in Silicon Valley by then. However, I am pleased that this scholarship is also available for master’s students. I started buying components for my robot and I think I can take the scholarship and research opportunity to build the world's smartest robot over the next five years. 

You should note that the applicant links their passion to a future achievement that they have already worked on. The applicant also provides guidance on how the scholarship will benefit them, which is good. 

Question 9: Tell us about a meaningful experience or class that you had in school? 

This is not a very common question about a scholarship interview. When fellows ask this question, they want to know how you value new knowledge. They also want to see how you express yourself. So be funny if you don't suckle on it. Otherwise, just tell a school experience in your own voice. 


The best moment in my class was when I was in 9th grade. We learned poetry, but it was just reading from books. Our teacher then introduced us to spoken poetry. He rolled up his sleeves, put his textbook aside, and began to write poetry. It was entertaining and educational at the same time. I could see the elements of poetry take shape in performance. That day I found it easy to write poetry. I realized that it was all about expressing your deepest feelings in words. 

It is evident here that the applicant received a teaching that improved their understanding of a particular subject and it had an effect on them still remembering it in detail. 

Question 10: What is your favorite subject in school? 

This particular scholarship interview question wants to know how much you love learning. You may not need to state how you excelled in that particular subject. All you have to say to the interviewer is what you like about the topic


Biology is my best subject. I love to study it because it teaches about all kinds of life forms. I also enjoy that it shows me how animals adapt to their surroundings. This year I learned that different species of fish can switch from male to female when the circumstances are right. It's the most interesting thing I've learned this year, and such interesting things happen in nature most of the time. 

In order for the applicant to give an example of the aspect of the subject they like, it is very clear that they like that particular subject. 

Question 11: What is your favorite book/movie/song? 

This may not be a frequently asked question about the scholarship, but your interviewers will ask it depending on the type of scholarship. Your interviewers don't ask this because they really want to confirm whether the book, movie, or song you like is worth liking. No, they want to know why you like what you like. It gives them a little glimpse of your personality.  To answer this, you need to give a reason for your favorite book/movie/song. 


My favorite music is Michael Jackson's 'Heal the World'. The late pop king in this song admonishes us all to be more sensitive to the sufferings of others. As a black American who became famous after his plastic surgery, the song reflects the inequality and injustice that exist in the world. I like the song not only because it has strong morals, but also because I would like to run a charity home. Like Michael, I can encourage people to care for others, not through music, but through action. 

This is a good answer as the student associates the music with their personality and career aspirations. 

Questions about the scholarship option 

You may have noticed that the popular scholarship questions above are very personal. However, in this section, we share with you questions pertaining to your interest in the scholarship. 

Question 12: Why did you choose this college? 

This is a very common scholarship interview question for scholarship holders. The interviewer here wants to know if you have enough interest in their college. To answer this question, one would have to choose something really interesting but unusual about college. You need to omit the general characteristics of the school, such as its diverse student body. 


I love the Peace, War, and Defense at UNC, Chapel Hill. It's arguably the best in the country. The Chapel Hill people were so nice and kind to me when I visited. I couldn't stop long after mine Visit to think of their kindness. The school's code of ethics also states that my belongings are safe without any extra security measures and that I would be close to my family at Cary School here. 

It is interesting to note that this applicant spoke of his/her interest in the school based on criteria that praise and benefit the school. This is a smart answer. 

Question 13: Why do you deserve this scholarship? 

This is a common question that you need to be well prepared for. It happens so often that your interviewer will hardly skip this question. This is where the interviewer wants to make sure you know what the scholarship you are applying for includes. However, you need to show them that you have the characteristics that they listed in the scholarship advertisement. To answer this effectively, you need to be familiar with the software grant description and the characteristics that they are looking for. 


My focus throughout high school was on service, academic excellence, and Citizenship Jefferson Scholar should demonstrate. Since the Student Service League was founded, I have had the opportunity to serve, serve, and direct in the county. As a member of the school board, I have also started implementing strategic policy changes in my hometown. The Jefferson Scholarship supports my studies at UVA and helps me become a policymaker. 

The applicant gives a balanced answer and lists the previous success with knowledge of the scholarship and its benefits from the scholarship. 

Question 14: How do you plan to spend the money? 

This question is pretty simple and straightforward. The interviewer just wants to know how you would like to achieve your academic or important financial goals with the prize money. So you would do well to explain exactly that to them without incurring an insignificant expense. 


With the scholarship money, I can visit France the summer before I enroll. I've always wanted to go back to Nantes to experience the culture of the place my family came from. I would take the opportunity to visit the family's carrot farm and learn how to grow the famous Scarlet Nantes carrot. I will also be able to decide whether I really want to have a career in agriculture. 

It is clear from the above answer that the applicant wants to use the money wisely to relate it to their career and family. That's a cool answer. 

Questions to ask in a scholarship interview 

The next questions that you are about to read are the final questions of the scholarship interview. Although these questions are intended for the fellows, they are an opportunity for them to ask some questions of the interviewers. This section is very important and you should use it. 

Question 15: Do you have a question for us? 

The interviewer with this question would like to know if you are really excited about the scholarship. They also want to know if you are a robot and only answer the questions they ask you. Also, prepare for this phase during the interview. Write down the questions the interviewer asked you and ask up to four questions based on what you learned from the interview. 


Yeah, is there anything you wish you knew when you were in my shoes? 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take part? Concordia University? 

As a former scholarship holder, did you find out what made this experience so special? 

Are there some things that you think are the greatest challenges for people who want to break into this field? 

You will find that these questions demonstrate how futuristic the scholarship holder is. You are already thinking and planning for your studies and not just sitting during the interview process. 

Question 16: Is there anything else you would like to add? 

While this isn't a question to ask questions about, it is a platform for you to interact with the interviewer. This is a time to review everything you've talked about and see if you've neglected anything. If you think you've made the wrong impression at any point, this is a time to change your impression to good. At this point, the most important thing is to thank the interviewer. 

You can also thank the interviewer in a letter. See How To Write A Scholarship Thank You Letter (Best Samples) 


I think we've covered everything related to this opportunity. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me. I really appreciate that. 

This student thought the interview was satisfactory and thanked the interviewer. This gesture makes the interviewer feel respected. 

The answers to these questions are merely a guide for scholarship holders to structure their own answers. We don't expect you to respond in the same words that we used here. Keep in mind that each scholarship opportunity is specific. 

Good luck with your interviews. 

Of course, you don't just have to prepare yourself to answer questions about the scholarship interview. Your answers to the questions they ask you in the interview make up the majority of the interview grade. But there are also things the scholarship holder is looking for, aside from how you answer their questions. There is a way to dress for interviews. There are also things to do before, during, and after the interview. You may not qualify for all scholarships if you apply for a specific college with financial assistance. 

Thus, not all scholarships are easy. Some scholarships need you to clear interviews so that you can access them. 

You don't want to qualify academically for a scholarship and flop in the interview. Our list of questions and answers will surely help you ace those nerve-racking interviews. Moreover, these hacks would also help you succeed in other interviews such as job interviews as they all have a similar structure. Once again, good luck with your scholarship interview.


Read this article to know Why Smart Attire is Crucial For Successful Interviews

Check out this article to know about the 6 Common Kind of Interviews.

Written By - Khaled Jamal Hamed

Edited By - Bhanu Jain

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