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How To Apply & Interview

How To Apply And Interview for Scholarships

Scholarships (and college applications) often ask for the same types of information over and over. You can minimize the amount of time and energy spent on applications if you develop some basic, standard information and save it on a computer.

Scholarship Interviews: How To Prepare For Them​

Before The Interview

  • Make sure you know where the interview location is and you know how to get there. Google directions if you are unfamiliar with the location.

  • Make sure you arrange for reliable transportation well in advance of the interview date.

  • Plan to get to the interview location 10 to 15 minutes early.


What To Wear

First things first:  do not feel like you have to go out and buy clothes for the interview.  If you don’t have any of the items listed below, consider borrowing from a friend (or even a parent, or a friend’s parent), or if you think you might be doing more interviews in the near future, check out the local thrift stores.  Lots of great deals to be found for clothes and shoes at thrift stores for these kinds of clothes.


  • You do not need to wear a suit

  • Nice pants (khakis or slacks)

  • Button down shirt or a shirt with a collar (a tie is not necessary, but if you have one, it never hurts to wear it)

  • Nice shoes if you have them

  • Sweatshirts and tshirts are not appropriate for interviews


  • You do not need to wear a suit

  • Nice pants (khakis or slacks)

  • Skirt (note: skirt should come down to just above the knee at minimum; NO short skirts)

  • Shirt: nice blouse (avoid sleeveless blouses), button down shirt, nice sweater.  Avoid showing any cleavage.

  • If you wear a dress, follow the rules for the skirt length and shirts

  • Keep jewelry to a minimum

  • Shoes: avoid flip flops or sandals

Other Things to Consider

  • Fragrances:  some people are very sensitive (or even allergic) to heavy scents.  If you normally wear perfume or body spray, skip it on the day you have an interview.

  • Hair: neat and away from your face.  If you have a habit of pulling on or playing with your hair, pull it back for the interview so that you are less likely to do this (it gets distracting from an interviewer’s perspective).

  • Do NOT chew gum during an interview.


How to Handle a Group Interview

Scholarship interviews usually involve an interview panel of 3 to 4 people.

  • Scholarship interviewers are generally people who really like students and want to see them succeed.  That’s a good thing to remember when you get nervous.

  • The interview panel will take turns asking you questions. Try to make eye contact with the person initially asking the question as well as with a few other panel members for each question.

  • Be yourself when you answer questions.  Yes, interviews are formal situations, so you end up being a slightly more formal version of yourself, but we still want to meet you.

  • If the idea of being in an interview makes you really nervous, consider practicing with a friend or family member.


End of the Interview

  • You will ALWAYS be asked, “Do you have any questions for us?”  You should always have a question.  It might be about the specifics of the scholarship, it might be a specific question about the organization (that shows that you did a little research already), or it might be a more personal question for the interview panel members (“what was your major in college?”  “where did you go for college?” “what do you do for a job now?”).  You might get a scholarship AND a lead for a potential internship or information interview about a career you are interested in.

  • Thank the interview panel for their time and shake hands with each member.

  • Write a short follow up thank you note to the interview committee.  Believe me, they will remember this extra effort.

We hope you enjoy the interview experience!