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.