A scholarship interview can be a great chance to impress the people reviewing your application. Most of us communicate better in person than we do in writing, and an interview will give you a chance to really show them who you are and how much you deserve the scholarship.
Plus, many people simply like to meet the students whose education they’ll be supporting. In fact, in some cases, the interview is nothing more than that: a chance for them to meet you and put a face with a name. If that’s the case, they’ll usually notify you beforehand that you’ve been awarded the scholarship.
In most cases, though, the interview is considered an important step in the application process and is usually reserved for the students who are considered finalists.
How long do scholarship interviews last?
This is a difficult question to answer. There’s no standard length for a scholarship interview. It all depends on which organization is awarding the scholarship and who is doing the interviews.
Sometimes, they might be interviewing a few dozen students, in which case they have to keep the interviews fairly short, just to get them all done. But other organizations may only have three or four finalists to interview, and they can then take their time to interview them thoroughly.
Even then, however, it’s unusual for a scholarship interview to be very long. The people performing the interview have other things to do — nobody is a full-time scholarship application interviewer, after all. Often the interviewers are volunteers — alumni from the school or members of whatever charitable organization is offering the scholarship. They aren’t paid to do this, and they’re taking time away from their work to handle these interviews.
That means they’re going to want to keep the interview brief. It’s highly unusual for a scholarship interview to last more than an hour. Some interviewers may only take 15 minutes. Thirty minutes is probably the average length of an interview.
Should I be worried if the scholarship interview is too long or too short?
It’s easy to overthink things and to wonder why your interview lasted an hour or why it was done in just 15 minutes. Did they hear something that worried them and made them ask extra questions? Did they just decide quickly that I didn’t deserve the scholarship?
Don’t worry. The length of the interview doesn’t tell you anything about how well you did. More likely, it’s just about how that particular interviewer likes to conduct them. An hour-long interview is no better or worse than a 15-minute interview. All you should worry about is making sure you have the date and time correct, that you’re on time (or early!), and dressed presentably.
And finally, don’t be nervous! If you’ve been called in for an interview, they’re already impressed with you. Just be yourself, and you’ll do fine.