Scholarship Tips

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Acing scholarships & admissions interviews
by Amanda Chong


Here are 4 strategies to ace that scholarship/admission interview.

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

An interview is like any other oral examination that you had to sit for back in primary and secondary school. Not only do you have to speak proper English, you have to be eloquent and concise.

Set­up a mock interview and video it. You’d be surprised at how much you fidget! Alternatively, talk to yourself in front of a mirror.

2. Be You

Making it to the interview shows that your grades are good enough; the interviewers are more interested in knowing who you are and why you deserve the scholarship award. Be sincere and passionate about the community projects or extra curricular activities you are involved in ­­ have confidence in what makes you YOU.

3. Know­Your­Stuff

It is always important to do a check on your knowledge inventory before an important interview. These are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do I know enough about the school?
  • Who are the important people that I must know?
  • Do i know the latest news?
  • What is the scholarship about?
  • What questions do I have for the interviewer?
  • Why do I deserve the scholarship/admission?
  • What kind of questions will I be asked?
  • How should I react if I get asked a hypothetical question?


4. Make Eye Contact

Make eye contact with your interviewer. Listen actively and ask questions. Respond with nods or a smile. Nobody likes talking to a wall. Don’t overdo it and come across as as a creep!

Tips on making eye contact naturally:

  1. Imagine that the interviewer is your friend
  2. Focus on the eye area near the eyes. For example, his/her eyebrows or the corner of his/her spectacle frame.


“The biggest advice I can give is be passionate and know what you want from the degree you are applying for ­­ and be vocal and enthusiastic about it during the interview.” ­ Joey Chua, 21, Year 2/WKWSCI, USP Scholar.