Acing Scholarship and Honors College Interviews: Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
In this second part of a two-part series discussing college interviews, we take a closer look at how scholarship and honors college interviews differentiate from college admissions interviews.
Just like college admissions interviews, scholarship and honors college interviews give applicants the opportunity to put a face and a voice behind the application while still talking about accomplishments, passions, and future plans. It is another way to differentiate yourself from other applicants.
Preparation is the key to a successful interview. Most high school students are not used to selling themselves and have difficulty talking about themselves in a positive, engaging manner. Therefore, it’s important to do a good bit of self-reflection before an interview. At PFA, we give students a comprehensive list of self-reflective questions to answer, and this prepares them to confidently address whatever topics might come up in the interview.
Here are more interview tips for scholarship awards and honor colleges:
- Dress appropriately
In any interview situation, it is always better to slightly overdress than underdress. Business casual is acceptable for most college interviews. Often times you will be meeting alumni at a coffee shop or place of business. However, when interviewing for a scholarship or entry into an honors college, full business attire is recommended. This is another step up. You’ve already made it into the school, and now you’re going to be the cream of the crop. Dress for the award you want!
- Go a level deeper than in an admissions interview
You’ll need to talk in detail about how you’ll be an asset to the university, whether that involves community service, research, or other things that help distinguish you from the pack. Basically, what makes you special? Why do you deserve that scholarship money over someone else? A lot of self-reflection and articulation go into this type of interview, so practicing with a family member is important.
- Don’t be shy about touting your accomplishments
This connects to the previous tip. When students are practicing with me for a scholarship interview, sometimes they won’t mention their most notable achievements. I’ll ask why, and they’ll respond, “I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging.” Well, there’s a difference between bragging and outlining your accomplishments. You should be proud of the things you’ve done, and you can talk about them positively and confidently, without bragging. No one else is going to do it for you.
Georgia Boepple is a College and Career Counselor at Partners For Achievement. Read more about Boepple and the rest of the Partners For Achievement team.