Prayer For Scholarship Interview
5 Interview Tips to Help You Ace Master’s Admission
Here are five interview tips you need to remember to really ensure you show your best side.
Depending on the university, and even each particular program, the admissions interview can be a part of the selection process that every applicant undergoes, but in some cases only the pre-selected ones are actually invited, explains Iliana Bobova, international education and career coach at Advent Group. She highlights that in the latter case, those invited can celebrate that they have passed the pre-selection stage successfully, but they should take the upcoming interview really seriously because it can be a truly pivotal moment in their admission.
Interview performance is especially important for scholarship applicants because a scholarship is a reward for academic performance and potential for success in graduate school.
It brings financial aid that relieves the student of financial worries, but also acts as an incentive for the student to enroll in the particular program. The last simply says: We would love to have you in our next class.
You have really impressed us with your overall application.
Interview tip #1: Prepare
Preparation is key to acing the Master’s interview. Knowing what to expect, and preparing for it, means you are already halfway along the road to success. There are two main obligatory discussion topics during the admission interview: motivation and expertise.
However, you need to start by understanding the format of the interview and also who you will be talking to.
Is this going to be a telephone interview, a face-to-face interview, or a video interview? Also, who is going to be interviewing you? Is it going to be an admissions officer, a professor, an alumnus? Make sure to find out all these details before your preparations start in earnest. There are a lot of important details to take care of depending on the type of interview.
Motivation is the main theme of the Master’s interview. You need to be able to explain clearly why you want to become a student at the given university. This includes both the particular program and the educational institution itself. In most cases, the main part of this particular topic will be dedicated to the course itself.
Tell the interviewer what you want to learn and why.
Let’s say that you’ve applied to study Business.You say you want to start your own business one day, but that is not “motivational” enough. You have to be able to explain why you think this program will help you learn more about entrepreneurship, risk-assessment and management.
Let’s say that you’ve applied to study Finance.
You say you are fascinated with numbers and hard sciences. So what? Explain how one day what you learn during this course, will help you optimize the operations budget of, say, a manufacturing company.
The other major part of the interview will be about your professional or academic expertise, although this will also be linked to your motivation.
In my last blog post, I mentioned that you will be expected to have relevant experience in the field of your desired Master’s studies. At this point you would have already proven that you do, but now you must be prepared to talk about it.
Reread what you have written in your Master’s application (essays, questions, cover letter) and use that as the basis upon which to build your verbal arguments.
Explain how the Bachelor’s degree has given you broad knowledge in your professional field, but now you want to gain even more skills and an even deeper understanding of your profession. This will show the recruiter that you have the necessary background, but you also understand what a Master’s degree will ultimately grant you – an actual profession.
Finally, prepare something to say at the end of the interview. You will be given the opportunity to say a few words following your conversation with the admission officer, so have a closing statement prepared. It is best to say something personal – perhaps what has inspired you to study further. Just avoid any clichés. They will work against you.
Interview tip #2: Relax
This might seem the most obvious advice since your parents told you how to cross the road but many people feel enormous stress when talking to an admissions representative.. Don’t worry – it will be the same, or maybe it was, at your first job interview. However, as the Brits would say, you must keep calm.
The worst aspect of being stressed during the interview is not that your voice trembles over the phone. It is the very real prospect of you forgetting what you planned, or in fact knew for certain what you had to say. It’s that exam in high school. You thought you were well prepared but your knowledge mysteriously evaporated the moment you saw the questions.No, that was not a moment of temporary amnesia. It was the stress overcoming your brain.
Relieving yourself of unnecessary stress prior to the interview will allow you to have a clear and concise presentation. That will convince the recruiter that you are a confident and cool-headed person – someone the school will be proud to count among its alumni one day. Failing to fix that tangibly shaky voice will make you seem somewhat unprepared.
Interview tip #3: Articulate
If you don’t want your interview to be an annoying “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” ping-pong match between you and the admission officer, you absolutely must learn to articulate. This is an especially important phone and online video interview tip.
Some people have a general problem with articulation, and some of you might have even visited a speech therapist as a child.
If you have a known speech impediment, and I’m not talking about a problem with pronouncing the letter “R”, it would be best if you informed the interviewer at the beginning of the interview. For the rest of you, here is what you need to do:
• Stir up the muscles in your mouth. This is not a joke. Hollywood actors do it all the time.
• Extend your voice forward. Make sure it comes from the front of your mouth and not from the back.
• Speak clearly. Don’t just think about doing it. Practice it.
• Do not mumble. Emphasize the phonetic sounds that characterize each word.
• Pronounce the words in their entirety. Think of the words you’re saying as constructed of different parts that make up the whole, not as one word that you have to spit out as fast as possible.
• Maintain a steady pace in your speech.
Interview tip #4: Impress
Admission officers will judge everything you say. This particularly applies to the most demanding universities. Many parts of the interview will move away from the subject of admission.
You should prepare to discuss your interests and hobbies as confidently and concisely as you answer questions related to the classic interview topics of expertise and motivation.
When you say that you are interested in politics and current affairs, you should be able to talk about the latest developments in your country or internationally. This part of the conversation is designed to evaluate the width and depth of your interests and the extent of your curiosity.
Other things to consider here concern your overall presentation and here are some more interview tips:
• Talk about things that you know about. If it is not related to your admission, there is no harm in saying “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with this topic”
• Be polite and well-mannered. If the connection is bad or the accent of the admission officer is too unfamiliar to you, kindly ask to hear the question again. You have only one shot to show how effective the first seven years of your life turned out to be.
• Do not try to use language above your current level. Your TOEFL or IELTS test score already attest to your overall language skills.
• Do not try to speak with a native English accent, but also try not to sound you’ve just pronounced your first English word.
Check out: 8 Challenging MBA Interview Questions
Interview tip #5: Smile
You know that feeling when you can actually “hear” the smile on someone’s face when you talk to them on the phone?
Admission officers are very experienced in dealing with potential students, but they are only human, and everybody s a positive person. So be that person. Be positive. Remember to smile whenever appropriate and to enjoy the conversation.
However objective an admission officer is, you have everything to gain by making a good personal impression.In the end, what is a Master’s interview but two people talking about their common future?
Check out: Interview Preparation Tips for B-School Admission
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Here’s Your Ultimate Guide to Winning International Scholarships
Higher Education is a multi-billion dollar industry, thriving on the expense of students seeking to build their skills and develop their career prospects. Unfortunately, the staggering costs of postgraduate (Masters) education is a deterrent from applying, for many talented students worldwide.
But if you are smart, talented and passionate, you will be able to uncover a reservoir of opportunities waiting to be explored. Many organizations and governments understand and respect this passion for knowledge.
Hence, they award numerous scholarships and bursaries to train future leaders for a better tomorrow.
When they hear about scholarship schemes (especially fully-funded schemes), many students pessimistically assume that the breakneck competition will not allow them to win and therefore, it is not worth trying.
While it is true that such scholarships are ferociously competitive, the right mix of talent and passion can easily help you ace the challenge. In 2017/18 many global scholarships just around the corner. I’d to walk you through some strategies to win that scholarship you so covet.
But before that, here is a list of my favorite international scholarships, you should look out for this year.
Fulbright Scholarships – USA
The Fulbright scheme run by the USEFP is one of the most widely recognized international scholarship schemes for postgraduate and PhD studies.
To apply for this scholarship, you would need to sit the GRE exam and the English language test.
This fully funded scholarship covers majority of the courses in US universities including some top ranked ones such as Stanford, Caltech, University of California Berkeley and Cornell.
Commonwealth Scholarships – UK
The Commonwealth scholarships are also fully funded postgraduate awards granted on academic excellence and student motivation. They are course-specific. So watch out for which universities and courses are offering the Commonwealth scholarships this year. The Commonwealth split scholarships are available for PhD studies.
Chevening Scholarships – UK
Another fully funded, one year postgraduate degree scholarship for future leaders from around the world has been offered by Chevening. It has country-wise quota and list of priority areas. The good news is that the Chevening secretariat has recently quadrupled the scholarship quota for Pakistani applicants!
Rhodes Scholarships – UK
One of the most prestigious and competitive scholarships, the Rhodes is for all-rounders aspiring to study at the Oxford University in the UK.
Endeavor Scholarships – Australia
If you wish to study in the land of the Kangaroos (Australia), apply for the Endeavor scholarships. You would need some professional experience and decent grades to sail through this one.
Erasmus Mundus Scholarships – Europe
If you are a travelling and exploration enthusiast, this scholarship is for you. Each study semester is in a different European (sometimes non-European) country.
So, you get to travel, improve your qualification and network with people, all for free.
Other scholarships to keep in sight include the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded scholarships to study in Japan, South Korea and Singapore and the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) scholarships for Masters and PhD in China.
How To Get These Scholarships?
So, how to put together a winning application that is so irresistible that the panel cannot help but grant you the award? Here are a few handy tricks to keep in mind
1. Research the scholarship
Gather all possible information on the scholarship provider. Focus on eligibility criteria and scholarship mission/objectives. This is where you will derive your motivation letter from.
2. Apply for university courses
Start your application process early as it can be time consuming. Most scholarships will only consider applications already admitted to their University course. Make your University and course choices carefully.
3. Sell yourself through your motivation letter
This is the most critical part of the process. Many students are deterred by the prospect of writing the scholarship motivation letter but honestly, it is not that difficult. Highlight your academic and professional achievements (without sounding ostentatious).
Never lie on your motivation letter. Many scholarship providers will detail exactly what they are looking for (sometimes in the form of questions). Respect the word limit and answer all these questions/points.
Show that you are passionate to learn and help your country through this opportunity.
While the GPA/percentage marks could be important in scholarships academic excellence, many others are keen on picking future leaders with a vision and passion.
So don’t let your low scores demoralize you. Cover that by marketing your extra-curricular activities and professional experiences, if any.
4. Review all documents and send before deadline
Get your reference letters, double-check all required documents, proofread motivation letter, say your prayer and send.
5. Ace the interview
Some scholarship providers conduct panel interviews with shortlisted candidates.
The purpose of interviewing is to know the applicant in real time, ensure that motivation letter is genuine and assess personality and language skills of the applicant. Therefore, it goes without saying, don’t lie.
Review your application before the interview. Be prepared to justify any anomalies on your application such as career gap, low score in a course, resignation from a previous job or university choice.
With this, I wish good luck to all applicants this year. Now is the ideal time to start applying for university courses. I would also take this opportunity to request parents not to demotivate children who wish to adopt other professions besides medicine and engineering.Groom them to be future leaders from their school days and encourage non-academic skill building exercises. Pakistan is well-endowed with some of the brightest minds in every field.
Create your opportunities, go out there in the world and show them that we are intellectuals, not terrorists.
How I failed my Fulbright Scholarship interview
This year for the first time in my life I decided to apply for Scholarship programs in my country and I ended up submitting my documents to Fulbright Scholarship.
I was shortlisted as a semi-finalist and invited to the most awaited fulbright scholarship interview with a three-person panel which later turned out to be a five-person panel.
Anyway, even though I did my homework and prepared for the interview well in advance I failed it, unfortunately,
But I am not giving up here. I will be applying again next year and I will probably apply to other scholarship programs from my country and/or via We Make Scholars. If you have already applied for any kind of scholarship programs or if you have already been invited to one, today I am sharing with mistakes I have made that lead to failure during my interview.
And you as my reader stay safe and successful. I decided to share my experience with you and possibly add value a to your future.
So let’s go!
This is an e-mail notification and invitation I got from US embassy in Tashkent. I received it on 25 June 2015 and I submitted my application on 27 May 2015 (deadline was 30 May 2015). I always try to manage my time well so that I am well in advance from any deadlines.
Dear Fulbright Foreign Student Program Applicant:
We are pleased to inform you that the selection committee for the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of State, has reviewed your application and selected you as a semi-finalist.
This was a very competitive selection process and it will continue to be so throughout the final selection stages.
You are now invited to an interview with a three-person panel on July 7-9, 2015. Please send us a scan of your passport, so we can provide you access to the embassy on the day of the interview. Interview date and time is not negotiable and you will be informed of it, when we receive your passport copy.
For applicants from the regions, accommodation and transportation expenses will be covered by the program. To qualify, you need to inform us which region you will be traveling from, and request to reserve a room for you (if you need one) by July 1, 2015.Once again, congratulations on becoming a semi-finalist and we wish you the best of luck on your upcoming interview.
Public Affairs Section
U.S. Embassy Tashkent’
Then on 14 July, 2015 I received this e-mail saying that I had not been selected to participate in the next level. My interview was on 7 July 2015. So I heard from them after 7 days. They were quick and very efficient.
Thank you for applying to the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of State.
The selection process this year for this highly prestigious program was especially competitive. We interviewed many impressive candidates and we regret to inform you that after careful consideration you have not been selected for participation in the 2016-2017 Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Thank you again for your interest in the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. We wish you the best in all of your future endeavors.
Finally, here are the reasons that made me fail:
1. Having wrong expectations of interview format
I have attended a lot of successful job interviews and I have successfully coached some of my friends. But I guess interview for scholarship program should be different.
So as soon as I entered the room and took my seat, I was asked the first question which was rather direct, I thought. I actually expected the panel members to welcome me, briefly introduce themselves, and ask a few questions about me.
That would help me to familiarize myself with a new place and people around me easing the tension that I had.
See More: Crucial tips on writing a successful application to Fulbright programs
2. Taking panel members’ attitude too personal
But something that really killed my spirit during the interview was how panel members looked in general. To me, most of them looked tired, bored and disinterested in what was going on. This is something for which I was not prepared, to be honest because well Fulbright is an American scholarship program.
And most of the Americans are very open, approachable and smiling, right? But that was not the case that day. Maybe it was part of their strategy or maybe they were really and really tired because the interview was held 3 days from 7 to 9 July. So if they spend 30 minutes for each semi-finalist, they interview about 10-12 people per day.
And I can tell you as a teacher of English that bores a lot of people to death, really.
See More: 5 Quotes to keep you motivated during Scholarship Search
3. Not paying attention to day & time
It also slipped my mind that if I am invited to a second day of the interview at 4 pm which is end of the busy working day I should have prepared myself accordingly.
I should not have expected for the panel members to be enthusiastic, energetic and interested.
I should have told myself to take the things easier and ignore how they would look and how they would react and pay more attention to questions and answers that I was supposed to give.
See More: Top 10 fully funded scholarships that will cover all your expenses
4. Running ideas too quickly
I was also in a difficulty to keep talking about my ideas when I was asked questions during the interview. But on the flip side, the nature of the questions was also not so much thought provoking, I would say.
For example, questions asked at the fulbright scholarship interview are as follows:
1. Why do you want to take part in Fulbright Student Program?
2. How will you know if a specific university is suitable for you or not? Do you have any criteria?
3. What will your language center do when you go to the USA to study?
4. How often do you blog?
5. What challenges do you think you may have while studying in the USA?
6. What will you do after you return to your home country?
7. Are you still a member of Uzbekistan Teachers of English Association?
8. Is the content you create 100 % original?
9. Who is your audience?
Questions I actually expected:
1. Why should we award you over other applicants?
2. Why do learners in Uzbekistan need your website?
3. Why do you blog? How do you manage blogging and teaching at the same time?
4. Can you tell us more about your project and challenges you are facing developing it?
5. What skills do you want to learn and develop studying in the USA?
6. What is the core goal of Fulbright scholarship programs?
7. Why did you decide to become a teacher? Do you your job?Why?
8. Why do you blog?
9. Why did you choose US for higher education?
10. What is your biggest significant achievement so far?
11. When was the last time you failed? What did you do?
12. What is your greatest weakness?
13. Why do you think now is the right time to do MA?
5. Not having a prior mock interview
I had a close friend who thoroughly helped me with my application process and together we made sure that my application was as perfect as possible. Together we did everything we could to ensure that selecting committee would have no choice but shortlist me and invite me to an interview. Same friend also suggested having one or two mock interviews before a real one.
To be honest, I was a bit skeptical because anyway I would not take my friend that seriously and I would not work hard to give best answers. And I was also afraid of presenting myself as a coached and fake applicant during the real interview.
So I said it would be better if we could just meet, brainstorm possible questions and talk about answers I could give. And we did it and I thought that would be enough. I just thought that I should be natural and be myself during the interview. But I guess I was wrong.
Maybe I should have done that mock interview anyway.
See More: 15 Things you should avoid if you want to win a scholarship of your dreams
6. Keeping too many thoughts in mind
I also had too many things going on in my mind, to be honest.
I have my kids, family, flat to sell, house to build, language centre, groups to teach, my website redesign, first e-book, guest posting, online courses I am taking and so on and on and on.
Maybe, that’s why I could not collect all my thoughts and come up with brilliant ideas during the interview. I said above, I was running ideas and in between
I even became silent until one of the panel members asked extra questions to keep the conversation going. That is a negative sign. As a person attending the interview to get a scholarship, I should have talked non-stop and create an impression that I was just bursting out of a lot of endless extraordinary ideas and so on.
STAFF PICK: CLICK HERE TO APPLY TO FULBRIGHT STUDENT PROGRAM