Scholarship News

The Scholarship Interview; "Making" It or "Breaking" It


February 15, 2010
by Derrius Quarles
Now that you have made your scholarship list, gotten your recommendations, written your personal statement, created your scholarship application packet and applied for scholarships, you may be receiving e-mails and calls notifying you that you have been selected for interviews. This is it! This is what you worked so hard for! The only problem is, for some students, the interviews will be it, literally. Each scholarship will have a certain number of winners; more students will be invited to interviews than can be selected as recipients. This is why the interview is so crucial; it will be the determining factor of who is in the final group of winners. If you want to be in that final group, you have to set yourself apart, just as you did in your personal statement.  Speaking of personal statements, which essentially are essays, I like to think of the interview as an essay. There is an introduction, body, and a conclusion. Like your scholarship essay, the interview says something about who you are, how informed you are of a topic, what your opinions and thoughts are, and how eloquently you can state those opinions and thoughts. So here is the interview breakdown:  Introduction - Your appearance, handshake, ability to make eye contact, ability to state your name, posture, and overall attitude all add up to a great introduction.

Now that you have made your scholarship list, gotten your recommendations, written your personal statement, created your scholarship application packet and applied for scholarships, you may be receiving e-mails and calls notifying you that you have been selected for interviews. This is it! This is what you worked so hard for! The only problem is, for some students, the interviews will be it, literally. Each scholarship will have a certain number of winners; more students will be invited to interviews than can be selected as recipients. This is why the interview is so crucial; it will be the determining factor of who is in the final group of winners. If you want to be in that final group, you have to set yourself apart, just as you did in your personal statement.  Speaking of personal statements, which essentially are essays, I like to think of the interview as an essay. There is an introduction, body, and a conclusion. Like your scholarship essay, the interview says something about who you are, how informed you are of a topic, what your opinions and thoughts are, and how eloquently you can state those opinions and thoughts. So here is the interview breakdown:  Introduction - Your appearance, handshake, ability to make eye contact, ability to state your name, posture, and overall attitude all add up to a great introduction.

     
  • In every interview, your dress should be business casual, at the very least. Even if the interviewers did not specify a dress code, it is better to be overdressed than to be underdressed
  •  
  • The handshake should be firm, but not overpowering or held for too long
  •  
  • Eye contact is a sign of respect in American society, so always show respect by looking your interviewer in the eye
  •  
  • You should be able to say your first and last name confidently to each interviewer, maintain a good listening posture, and make the interviewers feel like you desire to be there and deserve the scholarship
  •  
 Body - This consists of the questions that will be asked of you. These can either be very open ended such as: “Tell us about yourself.”Or very direct such as: “What is your potential major?” Not only are your answers important but so, too, are the manner in which you listen and interact with the interviewers. 
     
  • The questions can get difficult, it is much better to pause and gather your thoughts before you answer than to answer prematurely
  •  
  • When the interviewers are talking give them your full attention and listen actively and be aware of your body language
  •  
  • Try to answer each question completely and give a complete answer, but do not talk unnecessarily or ramble
  •  
  • Do not be afraid to be yourself or throw some humor into your answers
  •  
 Conclusion - The time to wrap up everything you showed during the introduction and body of the interview. This includes keeping the same professionalism and great attitude you came in with, and reinforcing the answers you gave. 
     
  • When the interviewers are done asking you their questions, they may see if you have any questions for them. Even if they do not ask if you have any questions, politely tell them you would like to ask them some questions. This shows you are interested in them, just as much as they are in you.
  •  
  • When you get up to leave the interview room, make sure that you shake every person’s hand in the room and thank them for the opportunity.
  •  
 In addition to having a good intro, body, and conclusion there are simple mistakes that everyone should avoid, the way you would try to steer clear of spelling and grammar mistakes in an essay. 
     
  1. Always show up early for an interview
  2.  
  3. Turn your cellular device on silent mode or off
  4.  
  5. Do not fidget your fingers or give attention to other items such as a pen while others are speaking
  6.  
  7. Never leave the interview without showing appreciation and stating that you look forward to communication in the future
  8.  
 You worked hard to be chosen for an interview, and you deserve anything that you are awarded. Unfortunately, someone will have to “break it”, so take this advice and come into the interview ready to “make it”.

Derrius L Quarles is a 19-year-old freshman at Morehouse College. He hopes to go to medical school after he graduates with a degree in psychology and biology and a minor in public health, and to one day work on the public health policies of his hometown, Chicago, and beyond. To help him achieve those academic and career ambitions, Derrius has won more than $1.1 million in scholarships, including a full scholarship to attend Morehouse, since graduating from Chicago’s Kenwood Academy High School with a 4.2 GPA. Derrius was awarded a Gates Millennium scholarship and won a number of other highly competitive awards, many of which he found while searching for scholarships at Scholarships.com. He is the first in his family to attend college, and spent his childhood in the foster care system before becoming the “Million Dollar Scholar.” This is the sixth in a series of posts Derrius is writing for Scholarships.com on how he was able to fund his education, along with advice about the scholarship application process.

Just because there are millions of college scholarships out there doesn’t mean you have time to go searching, and many won’t even match your profile. We’ve done the work and Scholarships.com is totally free. We have the search algorithms and scholarships database, saving you time in searching, finding and applying to thousands of dollars in college scholarships. Get instantly matched to scholarships that meet your unique talents, skillset and strengths, only those you qualify for. Access a complete list of college scholarships now by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
Facebook is returning to its roots with the launch of Facebook Campus, a college-only space designed to help students connect with fellow classmates over shared interests, according to the press release. The social media giant, which had originally started its life as a networking site for college students, is now refocusing its efforts on connecting students, particularly in the wake of COVID, even if they are away from college. Here's what you can expect from the new Facebook Campus platform if you are a college student:

Facebook Launches New College-Only Student Platform

September 15, 2020 3:30 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Facebook is returning to its roots with the launch of Facebook Campus, a college-only space designed to help students connect with fellow classmates over shared interests, according to the press
Today marks the 19th anniversary of the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States of America. We honor those who lost their lives in the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, as well as the first responders who gave their lives rescuing survivors, and the passengers of Flight 93 who thwarted the hijacker’s plans. The events of September 11, 2001 touched the lives of all Americans and redefined a generation. Now, even in the midst of another national crisis, we feel it is appropriate to take the time to remember this tragedy.

Remembering 9/11

September 11, 2020 11:02 AM
by Izzy Hall
Today marks the 19th anniversary of the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States of America. We honor those who lost their lives in the attacks on the Twin Towers and the
Coronavirus has led many collegiate athletics leagues to cancel or postpone the fall 2020 college sports season. These cancellations affect more than just the players and coaches. Fans – both on and off campus – miss being spectators to high-energy competitive sports like college football that inspire school spirit and foster community. As a result, some schools are turning to competitive Esports to help fill the gap in their fall college athletics.

Missing Fall Athletics? Try Tuning in to College Esports

September 8, 2020 11:43 AM
by Izzy Hall
Coronavirus has led many collegiate athletics leagues to cancel or postpone the fall 2020 college sports season. These cancellations affect more than just the players and coaches. Fans – both on and
With many uncertainties surrounding back-to-school plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, high school and college students are relying more than ever before on increased support and resources in their college and scholarship search and application process. To help, Scholarships.com has put together a list of top Back-to-School Scholarships worth applying for during this extraordinary academic year. This list features scholarship opportunities that are ongoing despite the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to also regularly check our Coronavirus News for Students section for the latest impacts on college and scholarships, here.

Top Back-to-School Scholarships 2020

September 4, 2020 1:36 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
With many uncertainties surrounding back-to-school plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, high school and college students are relying more than ever before on increased support and resources in
As part of promoting safe living and social distancing on college campus this Fall 2020 semester in the wake of COVID-19, colleges and universities holding in-person classes have cut down on the number of students who can reside in the traditional college dorm. Many colleges have invited just a fraction of the class back to school and are altering traditional double and triple rooms into singles.  Because of this, there are students who would like to live on campus for the fall semester who cannot. Some students have taken to renting rooms at nearby hotels to capture some of that campus magic.

Hotels Make Room for Fall Students Amid Coronavirus

September 1, 2020 11:08 AM
by Izzy Hall
As part of promoting safe living and social distancing on college campus this Fall 2020 semester in the wake of COVID-19, colleges and universities holding in-person classes have cut down on the
The Common Application opened up for the 2020-2021 school year on August 1st. This one-stop application streamlines the college application process, allowing students to use a general form to apply to nearly 900 colleges and universities. One of the most essential elements of the Common App is the personal essay, where students craft thoughtful responses to one of seven essay questions. But this year it introduces a new free-response section for students (and their school counselors) to describe how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them and their education.

New COVID-19 Question Added to 2020-2021 Common App

August 27, 2020 10:53 AM
by Izzy Hall
The Common Application opened up for the 2020-2021 school year on August 1st. This one-stop application streamlines the college application process, allowing students to use a general form to apply
On Monday, as many students were beginning their first week of online college classes, Zoom experienced a five-hour outage. The outage began in the East Coast at about 9 A.M. and lasted until just after 1 P.M. During that time, the outages spread further west across the country, including certain areas of the Midwest.

Zoom Outage Impacted Online Classes

August 25, 2020 10:51 AM
by Izzy Hall
On Monday, as many students were beginning their first week of online college classes, Zoom experienced a five-hour outage. The outage began in the East Coast at about 9 A.M. and lasted until just
Between the new, hidden COVID-related college fees and increased demands for tuition rebates, financial aid and leaves of student absences, college affordability is a top concern for parents and students in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Aside from changing schools, taking a gap year or delaying enrollment, families are largely dependent on college financial aid now more than ever.

Top 10 Colleges for Financial Aid in Wake of COVID-19

August 20, 2020 3:02 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Between the new, hidden COVID-related college fees and increased demands for tuition rebates, financial aid and leaves of student absences, college affordability is a top concern for parents and