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The Scholarship Interview: Part Three - Personality

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If you are on time for your interview and dressed to perfection, but your personality is insipid and withdrawn, expect NOT to be the winning candidate.

Your personality should exude enthusiasm, confidence, respect, knowledge, gratitude, and focus.

Here’s how:

  • Walk in the room with a smile.
  • If the judge greets you by extending a hand, grip his or her hand firmly and make eye contact. Let the judge release from the handshake.
  • Sit up straight and on the edge of your chair. Maintain a pleasant face, smiling often.
  • Do not fidget, yawn, slouch, stretch, or seem tired and disinterested.

When speaking, be sure to do the following:

  • Be articulate and speak confidently. However, do not ooze so much confidence that you come across as pompous.
  • Do not speak arrogantly, too loudly, or over the judges, and do not use over-bearing body language.
  • Make eye contact with your interviewers while answering the questions.
  • Be relevant. For instance, if you are speaking on strengths and weaknesses, include strengths that pertain to the scholarship you are applying for. Do not talk about your strengths in volleyball if you are majoring in psychology.
  • If you are discussing weaknesses, talk about how you learned from a mistake you made and how it will help you in your future at college.
  • Refrain from talking about personal issues, unless asked.
  • Be comfortable with using light humor and cultivating easy conversation with the judges, however, use discretion.
  • Be concise. Too much rambling and scraping for answers is bothersome to the interviewer and shows lack of knowledge on the part of the candidate.
  • Avoid negative talk and criticisms. You want to be as positive as possible.
  • Do not be wishy-washy. You must come across as thorough and earnest in your answers especially with regard to your goals.

Remember to Thank the Interviewer

At the end of the interview, thank the judges for their time and consideration. Leave with firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile. Also, consider sending a follow-up thank you note for the opportunity to meet with them.

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