The scholarship awarding organization may contact you for an interview after you submit an application. An official from the organization that will award the scholarship will typically ask you open-ended questions during the interview to find out more about you. Your eligibility for the award may be affected by how you answered the questions.
This article provides examples of typical scholarship interview questions along with sample responses. We then provide advice on how to respond to these types of questions.
How To Prepare for a Scholarship Interview
Practice your responses to some of the typical questions that are asked at most scholarship interviews; that is the most crucial thing to do.
These actions can also be helpful:
- Learn more about the funding organization and its vision, mission, and objectives by doing some research on it.
- Go over your scholarship application in detail so that you will be better prepared to respond if questions are asked about anything you’ve said or an experience you’ve described.
- Keep up with current events.
- Practice your responses in front of the mirror, or even better, record yourself so you can listen to them later and, if necessary, alter your tone and rate of speech.
- Prior to the interview day, make sure you have a set of professional attire, including shoes, that is ironed and prepared.
Scholarship Interview Questions
To help you get ready for your upcoming scholarship interview, use this list of typical questions.
1. Tell us about yourself
You can take the initiative in the conversation because this is an open-ended question. The interviewer is interested in learning what sets you apart from the competition. They seek specifics rather than broad statements. You can begin with a general statement about yourself before focusing on a particular story or idea. Additionally, this is an excellent chance to emphasize significant and useful skill sets.
Sample Answer – “I have a strong love for animals. I want to be a veterinarian, so I intend to major in animal husbandry. I’ve already taken care of a few small animals in foster care and frequently assist the animal shelter. I get to watch procedures take place and learn how to treat injured animals thanks to the traveling vet. For instance, I assisted him in bandaging a dog whose leg had been crushed by a car. I detest seeing animals in pain!”
2. What do you hope to accomplish professionally?
Your answer to this query should include a future strategy. What or who motivated you to pursue a particular field? Please explain. Include your career goals and your plans for after you graduate from high school or the program, as well as how this scholarship will help you.
Sample Answer – “When my sister needed assistance four years ago as she recovered from surgery, I first understood I wanted to look after people. My current goal is to become a registered nurse so that I can devote my time to helping people in a stimulating and demanding environment. I want to work in the neighborhood healthcare system after completing my nursing bachelor’s degree here at Jackson University to gain experience. After that, I want to get my nursing master’s so I can become a nurse practitioner. In order to be close to my family in case they need me, I see myself working in critical care in a hospital close to my house in Dallas.”
3. Why should we award you this scholarship?
That’s a hard one. Be open and sincere. You had a reason for applying for this scholarship, and now you have to explain it.
Sample Answer – “I’ve wanted to be a pediatrician ever since my cousin was told she had cystic fibrosis. Due to the high cost of medical school, this scholarship will enable me to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor and treating sick children like Maise.”
4. Who has been a role model for you?
Your response to this query can help your interviewer understand the kind of person you aspire to be in the future. Family members, professors, historical figures, politicians, activists, and more are some examples of role models. Identify the traits of that person you admire and why you find them admirable.
Sample Answer – “My late grandfather, who founded a successful textile business at the age of 25, is my inspiration. He was a brilliant man who started from scratch to build his dream and gave back to the community all of his life. I also respect how he managed to find time for his family while maintaining a work-life balance. He motivated me to pursue a business degree.”
5. Which book is your favorite, and why?
You are being asked to really display your personality in this question. To decide whether you would be a good fit for the scholarship, they want to get a sense of who you are. Additionally, they merely want to learn more about you; after all, this is your chance to address any issues that may have been raised in a different section of the application.
Sample Answer – “The book Finding You by Lydia Albano is my favorite. Isla, the protagonist, is initially hopeful that a former acquaintance will come to save her after she is sold into slavery. She believes she won’t be able to escape because she is weak and small. When she devises an escape route for them, she actually succeeds in saving a number of other girls in the end. This book appeals to me because I want to do my part to stop human trafficking. Isla inspires me to try even though, like her, there are times when I feel helpless.”
6. Why did you select this program or school?
Use your response to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the institution, sector, or topic. Specify the elements that are most important to you.
Sample Answer – “I selected Jackson University because it has one of only three Young Scientists of America programs in the nation. Working in its cutting-edge quantum physics lab would give me the chance to gain practical experience with the tools and technology I would use in my line of work. I was welcomed during my visit by the students and professors, and I immediately felt at home.”
7. What are your career goals?
They want to know if you also have a plan when they ask you this question. What will you do when you graduate from college? It would be wise to demonstrate how this scholarship will help you achieve your professional objectives.
Sample Answer – “My ultimate goal is to run my own farm. I always enjoyed going to my grandparents’ small farm when I was a kid. I gained an understanding of the significance of community food production through that. Since Iowa State University’s agricultural science program is well-known nationwide, I want to study there. After I graduate, I want to work at a nearby farm and make enough money to start my own fields. In honor of my grandpa, I even intend to donate some of the crops to homeless shelters.”
8. Tell me about a mistake you made.
They’re looking for self-awareness of your shortcomings, much like naming a weakness about yourself. No person is flawless. They’ll also want you to explain what you’ve learned from your mistakes, which is more significant. How has that experience helped you to develop personally?
Sample Answer – “I defaced the windows of our rival school in the seventh grade by spray-painting our logo there. Though I initially got into a lot of trouble, looking back, I’m glad I got caught. Along with being grounded and required to clean the windows on a Saturday, I was also banned from extracurricular activities, which prevented me from accompanying my baseball team to games. I knew I had let my teammates and coaches down because they were very disappointed. That error taught me an important lesson: my actions not only have consequences, but they may also negatively affect the people I care about. Since then, I’ve made sure to consider my options before acting.”
9. What does failure mean to you?
This inquiry is designed to gauge how you react in challenging situations. It’s crucial to avoid stating flatly that failing equals giving up because doing so will expose your lack of initiative and motivation. The best way to respond to this question is by drawing on personal experience and outlining the lessons you took away from it.
Sample Answer – “Failure to me is a lost opportunity. My freshman year of high school was the first time I ever played rugby, and I quickly learned that our team wasn’t very strong. We seemed destined to lose every game at times. But rather than allowing this to depress me, I saw the season as an opportunity for me to put forth my best effort and make an impact on the field. I kept getting better as the years passed, and our team became more cohesive. By our senior year, our losses had turned into learning experiences, and I had been proposed for the captain. Even though it meant that on the scoreboard we would inevitably lose more games than we won, I had done everything in my power to ensure that my teammates were successful.”
10. What activities do you engage in?
Don’t just list all of your extracurricular activities in response to this question. The two or three activities or groups that mean the most to you should be listed along with any skills they have given you.
Sample Answer – “I’ve been a member of my high school soccer team for four years, and last year we finally advanced to the state finals. I have gained the ability to work well with a team and learned the value of having a strong work ethic as a result of doing this. My interest in marine biology and conservation has been sparked by my volunteer work at the neighborhood aquarium. I would like to work in this industry.”
11. Tell us about your greatest strength and greatest weakness
It’s important to balance each response to this question. Discuss how you will overcome a weakness in the future or how you have already overcome one after highlighting a strength. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses that you believe will be most useful for your college application, such as high levels of creativity but poor time management skills, or strong analytical skills coupled with organizational difficulties.
Sample Answer – “Be careful not to avoid talking about your weaknesses. For instance, it’s not uncommon for students to claim that they are perfectionists, which some people might not even view as a weakness. You want to demonstrate that you are able to reflect on and acknowledge your shortcomings and that you are both willing and able to correct them. I gradually became more at ease speaking in front of crowds, and the more I performed the poem, the simpler it became to recall. I wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would compete at nationals and recite a poem in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators. Still, I did it. I even came in fourth!”
The illustration highlights the pupil’s interest in poetry and challenge (stage fright). It highlights how hard the student worked to get past a challenge and eventually achieve an amazing goal.
12. What would you say about yourself?
Your personality traits that are important to the scholarship should be highlighted. Mention those skills if you are aware of their needs! This is excellent for pupils who may not participate in extracurricular activities relevant to the scholarship but who nonetheless possess traits that would make them valuable to the group.
Sample Answer – “I think that what makes up my character is my upbeat attitude and capacity for teamwork. I used to manage a group of baristas at my neighborhood café when I was a high school student. Delegating tasks and ensuring customer satisfaction were both equally important aspects of the job. Both my coworkers and the cafe’s patrons had a positive impression of me because of my passion for coffee and my ability to work in a team environment. Regulars have even admitted that they come to my cafe specifically for the joyful atmosphere I can foster.”
13. What is your ideal position?
Your response must be precise without being overly limited. You don’t necessarily want the scholarship committee to assume that you can only work with a certain kind of employer or that you are only interested in a certain kind of job. However, you also don’t want them to assume that you would require a wide range of jobs because you lack a specific interest.
Sample Answer – “Working as a producer or editor in the media sector is my ideal profession. I love hearing people’s stories and would love to come up with ideas for how we can use our reporting to raise more awareness. I could use my creativity in this line of work and still have a positive impact on others.”
14. Tell me about a personal accomplishment of yours that you are proud of.
If you burped the entire alphabet backward and forwards as your proudest accomplishment, you might want to reconsider. Talk about a challenge you faced. Perhaps it happened when your coach changed positions to take the lead. Maybe you earned your first A on a paper you worked really hard on.
Sample Answer – “I have crippling stage fright and am a naturally shy person. I adore poetry as well. When my English teacher suggested I enter a poetry recital competition, those two aspects of me fought. I was on the verge of backing out, but I really wanted to do it. I was just so afraid I’d freeze or mess up. I used to practice reading poems aloud to the book club in order to overcome my stage fright.”
The illustration highlights the pupil’s interest in poetry and challenge (stage fright). It highlights how hard the student worked to get past a challenge and eventually achieve an amazing goal.
15. Do you have any additional comments to make?
Always be serious when answering this query. You have the chance to discuss anything you feel the other interview questions didn’t sufficiently cover.
Sample Answer – “Yes! I want to express my gratitude for the scholarship opportunity. Recycling and maintaining a clean, green community are two of your organization’s main priorities. For the last four years, I’ve enjoyed helping out during beach clean-up days. Next year, I can’t wait to start a recycling group at my college.”
Being grateful for the opportunity to apply for the scholarship is a part of thanking the interviewer for their time and effort. This student’s response also referenced the sponsor’s own objectives and principles, demonstrating that they are an excellent match for the organization’s own mission.
16. What do you consider to be one of your greatest successes?
Explain a noteworthy accomplishment or project you worked on using this opportunity. Describe why it was significant to you in addition to the accomplishment itself.
Sample Answer – “We battled funding issues and had to find a new printer in mid-March, but we overcame those obstacles and maintained our dedication to quality to produce a beautiful and impactful yearbook. “I am an editor on my school’s yearbook staff, and last year we won the Interscholastic Award for Best Yearbook. Earning this award has been one of my proudest moments because, toward the end of the school year, we were unsure there would be a yearbook.”
17. What was the most instructive experience you ever had in school?
This inquiry is more sophisticated than asking you to name your favorite book. They want you to demonstrate to them how your academic experience has changed your perspectives on various subjects and shaped your interests.
Sample Answer – “I studied media and society in my senior year of high school. I clearly remember the last essay assignment, where we had to contrast two various media components. My project looked at how women are portrayed in video game advertisements. I initially felt a lot of anxiety about the subject—would I offend any of my gaming friends? I didn’t want to come across as a particularly sentimental female gamer. However, conducting the research gave me a better understanding of how women are frequently objectified in advertising. After discussing my project with my friends, they turned out to be very supportive, and we have since become more conscious of the types of media we are consuming.”
18. Tell us something about you that nobody else is aware of.
You have the chance to share a fact in response to this question that best describes who you are. As long as it’s positive and not overly personal, you can share something interesting or distinctive about yourself, such as an accomplishment, hobby, talent, interest, experience, etc.
Sample Answer – “I am very good at sign language. My passion for working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing in a clinical setting has always been strong. I have studied sign language since I was in high school, and I intend to continue studying it in college so that I can communicate with these kids without having to use words.”
19. What academic subject do you enjoy the most?
Instead of just listing off random facts about yourself in this question, you should demonstrate your personality. You should pick a topic that either relates to the scholarship or is one you are interested in deeply. Mention your enthusiasm for the subject, your motivation for studying, etc. Your response reveals your eagerness to learn and advance your education.
Sample Answer – “History is one of my favorite subjects because I enjoy learning about how people interacted with one another throughout history. It’s energizing to learn about significant historical figures and observe the various perspectives of various cultures. Every response influences how we view the world today, so I am confident that my studies in this field will aid in forming my opinions on society. I aspire to practice law someday, and I am confident that my interest in history will equip me with the perspective, research experience, and writing abilities I will need to be successful.”
20. Tell me about your experience in leadership.
This inquiry aims to ascertain whether you truly value education. No specific examples of how you excelled in the class are required. However, you should be able to articulate why you find that topic appealing.
Sample Answer – “Previously, I was one of the four co-presidents of the Amnesty International club at my high school. In this capacity, I planned and oversaw the planning of all gatherings and occasions we go to in order to spread awareness of social justice issues like refugees or endangered species. I’ve learned from this experience how to lead a team efficiently and adhere to a variety of deadlines.”
21. What will your life look like in five years?
To find out how goal-oriented you are, answer this question. You have the chance to demonstrate to the scholarship committee that you are prepared for college and beyond. You want your response to show that you have a strategy for moving forward; it doesn’t need to be incredibly detailed or unchangeable, but you should have some idea of what you hope to accomplish.
Sample Answer – “I adore economics. I would like to work in banking, specifically in international sales at J.P. Morgan, because I enjoy learning about how the economy functions. I am drawn to this line of work because it is dynamic and offers excellent room for advancement within the organization. As soon as I graduate, I also want to actively work toward earning my MBA.”
22. Why did you pick this college or university?
This inquiry is meant to determine how well you would fit into a particular college. Make sure you have specific assets or qualities that support your college goals with you when you apply. Choose something that is unique and hard to come by. A better response might be “the World Awareness citation offered through the Political Science department,” as opposed to “the diverse student body.”
Sample Answer – “Organizational studies and business are my intended double majors. The university is a leader in this field and offers a fantastic undergraduate business program. Given that I want to work in the Baltic region, I became particularly interested in a university program called “Eastern European Business.” To improve the success of my future career in this field, I want to learn more about the Eastern European market.”
23. Why should this scholarship be given to you?
Describe in detail what is written in your scholarship essay as one way to answer this question. An explanation of your motivation for applying for the scholarship is required. One strategy is to emphasize certain statements from your essay.
Sample Answer – “I’m submitting an application for this scholarship because I think my perseverance and work ethic make me a strong contender. The first high school student council blood drive in our county, which I assisted with organizing last year, was a huge success with a 100% participation rate. After that, the vice president of our student council encouraged me to run for secretary; even though I lost the election, I can still use this as a great example of my leadership abilities.”
24. How do you intend to use the scholarship funds?
To ensure that the scholarship will be effectively utilized, ask this question. If you are serious about applying for a scholarship and will positively represent the scholarship sponsor, the interviewer wants to know. They won’t be able to believe that this scholarship will be advantageous to either party if you don’t have a solid plan in place.
Sample Answer – “With this money, I would be able to finish my bachelor’s degree in sociology with a gerontology concentration. In order to learn more about this field, I would also take advantage of the chance to volunteer at a nursing home and shadow a gerontologist. Having this scholarship would allow me to concentrate more on my studies and worry less about finding a paid job to pay for unpaid internships or shadowing opportunities.”
25. What inquiries have you for me?
Asking questions will show your interest in the program, which is what the interviewer is looking for. Your answer should be customized to reflect your unique interests and any worries you may have had during the interview.
Sample Answer – “Which aspect of the scholarship program was your favorite? (Alternatively, what do students think is this program’s best feature?) What are the former scholarship winners currently doing, especially those who work in fields that interest me?”
26. Do you have any additional comments to make?
It is imperative to convey to the interviewer your seriousness about the program. You have the chance to add any further details or draw attention to anything you may have missed in your initial response when you respond to this question.
Sample Answer – “My educational background and future plans fit with what this program has to offer, so I think I am the perfect candidate for it. I am thrilled to be a part of this program, and I eagerly await your feedback.”