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Scholarship Interview

  1. May 5, 2009 #1


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    At the end of last year i applied for a scholarship provided by a fairly large oil and gas engineering firm. I just recently recieved a phone call informing me that i have been shortlisted and they want an interview with me.

    The scholarship provides an annual stipend that will pay for most of my undergraduate degree fees plus provide me with some work experience with the firm.

    Naturally, i am a bit nervous about the interview, especially since this is probably the most important one ive had to attend. Does anybody have any tips relating to scholarship applications and interviews? Anyone know details of what firms are generally looking for when selecting a recipient for a scholarship?

    I imagine that the interview panel will want to make sure that i know a little about the company, so i have read a little about some of their projects and history on the company websites and in their financial reports -- not too in-depth, but just enough to demonstrate some interest in the company.

    I realise that the specifics of the interview and application process will vary between scholarships, but i would be greatly appreciative if anyone has any advice at all, or knows a good resource that i should look into.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2009 #2
    Congratulations on a great opportunity! Sounds like you are on the right track :)

    In my experience with interviews, although they will be interested in how much you already know about them, they care more about you. So showing that you know what you are getting into is an important first step, but as you noted it is only the first step.

    I would recommend taking what you know about their projects and relating it to what you will be doing for the company. This will allow you to start to think about what subjects you may need to buffer up on and which you already know very well. In interviews I've had I've occasionally been asked how to solve a problem. In these instances the company was not necessarily looking for a precise result, where applicable, but gauging *how* I solved problems. If you think something like this may come up in your interview, I would recommend buffering up on a few weak areas you can foresee may arise. Like I said they won't be quizzing or testing you per se, in one instance of mine I was able to get "good marks" (so-to-speak) for explaining what further information I would need to look into in order to complete the problem. :)

    Otherwise I would treat it very much like a regular job interview, where you may be asked about your background and what you hope for the future and etc. When answering about the future I would recommend either limiting it to what you feel you could do for the company over the next year or however long you will be with them. If you will be with them only as a student, you may want to throw in how their company can help you accomplish your post-graduate goals :)

    Good luck!
  4. May 6, 2009 #3


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    Thanks for replying :smile: Some great tips there which i shall definitely consider.
  5. May 6, 2009 #4
    Remember, they selected you on the basis of your academic merits. The interview will test your interpersonal skills. With this in mind...

    - Make sure you have a good suit to wear to the interview. I would recommend business unless they specify otherwise... which means shirt, tie, jacket, shoes, belt, etc. The works.

    - Have a list of questions they could ask you, and literally practice saying response to them. Maybe get a friend or relative to ask you questions at random, and make sure you can actually say something to each of them without rolling your eyes, staring at the floor, saying "um" for 15 minutes, etc.

    - Make eye contact. Don't twitch. Don't tap your feet or fingers. Don't play with your hair, your buttons, your tie, your belt, etc. Hands above, not below, the table.

    - Cautious optimism and guarded confidence are appreciated... make sure they know you want the scholarship and that you think you would make good use of it, but at the same time don't act like you need the scholarship or that you deserve it.

    - Be on time, don't waste their time, and thank them for their time.

    Other than that... ?
  6. May 6, 2009 #5
    I've always found from my experience that it truly impresses representatives if you know about their company.

    Also, don't be afraid to ask questions or just be casual... Most people are intimidated when they walk in, which means they keep to themselves, and the interview doesn't stand out in the interviewers mind when the time comes to make a decision.
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