How to Stand Out in Scholarship Interviews: Insights from Scholarship Committee Members.

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If you are applying for a scholarship and want to stand out from the crowd, it’s important that you prepare. Scholarship committees often ask unexpected questions about your background, goals, and character in order to see how well you would represent their organization and institution. Say’s Dr. Julian Mitton, we spoke with several current members of various scholarship committees about what they look for when interviewing applicants and how they prepare for interviews with candidates. Here are some of the tips:

Prepare for the interview question in advance.

  • Prepare for the interview question in advance.
  • Think about what you want to say and what questions you would like to ask.

Bring all relevant materials with you to the interview.

The interview process is all about you, so bring all relevant materials with you to the interview. This includes:

  • A copy of your resume
  • A transcript (if applicable)
  • Any other materials that the interviewer may ask for

Dress professionally for the interview.

  • Dress professionally for the interview. You never know who will be on the committee, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Dress as though you were going to an interview for a job. This means no jeans or shorts, but also not too formal (you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard).
  • Avoid wearing anything that is too casual. While it may seem obvious, many people forget this step when preparing for an interview! What would you wear if you were meeting with someone at their house? Probably something similar to what they would wear themselves–so avoid any type of pajama pants or sweatshirt unless specifically asked otherwise by your interviewer(s).

Be prepared for difficult questions about how you would spend a scholarship, if awarded one.

You may be asked to provide specific details about how you would use the money. For example, if your scholarship is for $10,000, what would be your top three priorities? If it’s only $1,000 and this is just a supplemental award for college expenses, how would that change things?

You should have an answer ready before going into any interview.

Follow these tips from scholarship interviewers and you will be much more likely to secure a scholarship offer!

The best way to prepare for a scholarship interview is by researching the organization and its mission. You should also be familiar with their website, as well as any other materials they’ve published that relate to your field of study.

If possible, take a moment before your interview to read through some of these materials so you can ask informed questions during the meeting. This will show that you’ve done your homework and demonstrate that you care about this organization’s mission.


We hope that this guide has helped you understand the scholarship interview process, and given you some tips on how to stand out in scholarship interviews. Remember that preparation is key! If you follow these guidelines, then you will have a much better chance of being awarded a scholarship–and sometimes even winning one before an offer is made. Good luck!1

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