Scholarship interviews have a slightly different slant from job interviews. The interviewees are generally still schooling and lack working experience. And they also tend to lack interview experience. But, it also means that there is a lot of room to up their interview capabilities by learning good techniques, and putting it to practice.
1. Adjust your mind set from story telling to a clear succinct sales pitch
Most youths who are still in school approach questions (especially questions on themselves), with a narrative pattern. Adjust your mind set that during an interview. The reason for each question is not because the interviewer is interested in the story. They are interested in knowing more about you - meaning how you responded, what was the result, what did you learn from each scenario you talk about.
2. CAR technique - Context, Action, Result
We like to use the CAR technique to assist our clients to succeed at interviews. Explain the Context - the situation or experience you were involved in, demonstrate the Action you took and why, then emphasise the Result or the outcome of your actions. What did you learn from it, how have you changed, or how has it prepared you better for your future undertakings?
3. Do your research
In the era of information technology, there is really very little excuse for not knowing in great depth about the organisation that you are applying to. Be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge, be prepared to demonstrate that you are ready for any conditions relating to the scholarship as well for eg. scholarship bonds.
4. Know yourself
In our experience, most candidates for scholarships are very capable of talking about most issues involving their passion, world issues, and most other academically related subjects. But the one thing that they falter on is when they are asked about themselves. Who are you?
Prepare for this question, by doing your own soul searching, be clear about your own personality and behavioural preferences and practice answering the question of "tell me about yourself". This is also usually an opening question, which will help calm your nerves if you know you can confidently answer it well.
An interview can be challenging for anyone as its a battle of handling your nerves as well as being able to think on your feet. Its arguably more difficult when you are unsure what to expect, especially because this may be the first time you are exposed to an interview setting. Interview coaching can be very helpful so that the candidate gets an understanding that each question that the interviewer asks usually has an objective to it and that objective is not to know the story - but to know more about you.