Many students dread the college interview process, especially when scholarship money is on the line. But it doesn’t have to be that bad. As long as you have an idea of what they’re going to ask ahead of time, you’ll be fine.
Here are 10 common college scholarship interview questions students face and tips on how to answer them.
Basic Questions To Start
Here is an idea of what to expect in the introduction:
Tell Me About Yourself – Colleges want to get an idea of your personality outside of class. Spend time thinking about your answer. Things to include when answering are:
Talk about what drives you to succeed or what your friends enjoy about you. Avoid being vague with answers, be as specific as possible.
Why Are You Interested In Our School? – Talk about why this school has your attention:
- Discuss your curiosity or interest in academic programs this school is well-known for publicly.
- If it has extracurriculars you like or a great on-campus culture, mention that too.
Don’t talk about the school’s rankings or fame. They know how good they are. They want to know why you’re interested.
Strengths And Weaknesses
Here they will want to see what your attributes are:
Where Are Your Academic Strengths? – Don’t be shy about listing your strengths. Be confident but avoid cockiness. To walk this line, discuss:
- How you first found your strengths
- When they are used
- How you plan to use them moving forward
Where Are Your Academic Weaknesses? – Don’t feel nervous about sharing where you’re weak:
- Be honest and discuss how you’ve worked on fixing them.
- If you haven’t fully succeeded, that’s ok. It’s better to show progress being made without quitting.
- Never say you don’t have any weaknesses. You won’t be believed and will be viewed as cocky.
How Do You Plan to Contribute to Our School? – Discuss your academic goals here and how you want to contribute to the campus experience. Remember that schools are looking for students to fill classes, but also grow and maintain campus culture:
- Talk about what you want to accomplish academically, but also list any activities you want to pursue on campus too.
- Make your intentions well-rounded.
Why Do You Want to Attend? – When answering this question, discuss how this school will do the following:
- Enable you to pursue interests,
- Aid your personal growth,
- Empower you to fulfill career goals.
As always, be specific with your answers. Discuss how this school provides the resources and environment to help you achieve those goals.
Your Past And Future
At this point, admissions boards will want to have an idea of where you’ve come from and where you plan to go:
What Is An Obstacle You’ve Overcome And How Did You Do It? – Think about a particular problem you’ve faced and required significant effort to overcome:
- Remember that it doesn’t have to be specifically school-related in nature.
- You could discuss a problem with family or a particular extracurricular you joined.
- The exact nature isn’t important; what’s important is communicating the challenge and what it took to overcome the problem.
What Makes You Unique? – Feel free to discuss traits that help define your well-being. It could be one thing or multiple examples. Think about any specific interests that sound out of the ordinary to most people:
- Do you come from a unique family background?
- Does your culture play a significant role in your self-image?
Give specific examples and explain them clearly.
Whom Do You Most Admire? – Your answer needs to be more than naming someone. Dig deeper and discuss why you admire this person:
- What impact has he or she had on your life?
- What lessons have you learned from knowing them?
- How do they inspire you?
Be able to clearly answer these questions. If you do, then you’ll be fine.
Where Do You Expect Your Life To Be In 10 Years From Now? – The worst answer to give is something generic and boring, like enjoying a successful career and helping the world. Answer these questions:
- What do you actually want to accomplish?
- Where do you want your life to be both professionally and personally?
- How do you want to get there?
Take time to really think about what you want your journey to be.
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