Some scholarships require items that fall outside of the main items we have covered. Many of these items give you a chance to highlight talents, personality and creativity to scholarship committees. Music recordings, artwork, videos and portfolio submissions are items that you might need for job opportunities down the road, so think of this part of your scholarship application as a jump start to your career.
- Art, music, and video submissions
Some scholarships require an interview in order to meet you personally and get to know you better. Preparing for interviews can be very stressful, but preparation can make all the difference to your confidence and performance in the interview.
How to prepare for your interview
Be prepared to answer questions about the following topics:
- Your personal background, challenges and achievements
- Your academic and employment history
- Your academic challenges and achievements
- What motivates or inspires you to pursue your degree and career
- Any questions that you might have for the scholarship committee
Whatever the scholarship committee asks, answer questions clearly, completely and honestly. But know when to stop talking: when you’re nervous it’s easy to ramble and get off-topic. After answering, it’s okay to ask if you have answered the question satisfactorily. Sometimes a question may stump you. If so, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification or pause to consider your response. Be yourself, and remember that it’s good to laugh and have fun during the interview.
Practice your answers, either by staging a mock interview with friends and family members, or on your own in front of a mirror. Try to create as formal an atmosphere as possible to simulate a real interview; you might even set up an interview space and dress professionally for the occasion. Ask your “interviewers” to take notes about your answers and the general impression you make during the interview.
How to make a good first impression
- Be early.
Check and double check the date and time of your interview and allow twice as much time as you ordinarily would for dressing, travel, and parking. If possible, visit the interview site beforehand to make sure you know where you're going.
- Dress appropriately.
It’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Clothes should be clean, pressed, coordinated, and fairly conservative in style. Make sure you hair is neat, your nails are trimmed, and that you are wearing little or no cologne or aftershave and minimal jewelry.
Enter the interview room smiling warmly. Make eye-contact with everyone and give them a moderately firm handshake. When you introduce yourself, say both your first and last name. When you sit down, adopt a good listening posture - relax, lean slightly forward, and maintain good eye contact. Don’t sit with your arms folded across your chest, just place your hands comfortably on your lap.
- Ending the interview.
Once again, smile and make eye-contact with everyone in the room, and shake hands. Make sure to thank the interview committee for the opportunity they have given you.
Art, music, and video submissions
- If you are submitting your artwork or music samples through electronic formats, contact the scholarship agency to confirm the type of file format they can accept.
- Make sure your name is on the materials you turn in.
- Make sure that you submit your materials in a high-quality resolution.
A portfolio is a series of work compiled together. You want to take special care with a portfolio for you don’t want items to get separated, damaged or misplaced.
- If you turn in hard copies, make sure your name is on every piece of work
- Cover any artwork to protect it from damage; this can either be a plastic folder, a clean envelope or a covered binding.
- Create a cover letter which states your name, the scholarship you are applying for, what is included in the packet, and if you need copies back, a phone number and email to reach you to give the materials back.
- Before you submit your only copy, ask the scholarship agency if they will give your work back, or if you need to submit a copy of the original.