7 ways to ace the Chevening scholarship interview

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Are you a Chevening aspirant? The Chevening Scholarship lets some of the brightest international students from eligible countries to pursue their master’s degree in the UK for free. Part of the application process involves an interview process, which serves as a platform for you to explain why you deserve the scholarship.

Preparing for an interview can always be a nerve-racking process, but here are seven essential interview tips that can help you ace the all-important Chevening scholarship interview, as recommended by Chevening themselves.

Interview tips: Focus on these seven aspects

Reasons to join the growing list of Chevening alumni

Not only do Chevening scholars get to study in the UK for free, but they have the grand opportunity of participating in engagement programmes tailored to expand their network to include other Chevening alumni, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), high profile speakers and partner organisations.

This makes it important that you give out frank and well-thought-out reasons why you’d like to be part of the 50,000 — and growing — Chevening alumni, and how building networking opportunities with them can leverage your long term career goals.

Interview tips: Justify why you want to join the Chevening alumni network

Chevening scholars join the ranks of an extensive network 50,000 Chevening alumni (and growing). Source: Oli Scarff/AFP

Pick up essential facts about your course and university

An important factor that decision-makers take into consideration when picking out the right candidate to receive the coveted Chevening Scholarship is how invested they are in their university programme.

The candidate must also be capable of justifying a strong reason why taking their specified course can help them achieve their long-term career goals and ambitions.

Dian Maya Safitri, a 2019 alumnus of the Chevening scholar, said the “bystander training” sessions in her Public Policy course at University College London (UCL) helped prepare her to be sensitive to cultural, racial and gender differences in society which may come in handy for her career prospect as a future policymaker.

Practice your listening skills

There’s the famous saying which goes, ”The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.”

The tricky part about the interview process is formulating an answer that is well thought-out and appeals to the interviewer. Some may miss the mark because they were too quick to answer a question without taking into consideration what the interviewer is looking for.

On the day of your interview, ensure that you turn off any distractions, make eye contact with your interviewer and wait until they’ve finished asking the question before replying. Do not be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you missed it the first time.

Plan your short, mid and long-term career goals

A question that almost every interviewee might anticipate during an interview, whether for a scholarship or for a job is, “Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?”

For a Chevening scholar, think about what impact your studies in the UK can have on your home country — and how you can contribute to it. Ensure that you can clearly articulate the impact of achieving your career goals would have in your home country.

Highlight your achievements 

Chevening interviewers would love to hear about all of your achievements to date.

Ensure that you can elaborate on your achievements so that it has a lasting impact on your interviewer. You could, for instance, provide examples using the STAR (situation, task, action and result) method based on what you’ve listed in your application form.

Explain your reason for wanting to study in the UK

You might want to look up some interesting facts about the UK. Impress your interviewers with the research you have done. You may also come up with your own reasons for wanting to study in the UK and tie it back to your long-term career goals.

For instance, getting the chance to carry out research projects alongside seasoned academics and having access to world-class research facilities can give you the foundation to pursue your ambitions and career endeavours in the future.

Interview tips: Reasons to study in the UK

The UK is one of the most popular study abroad destinations for international students. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

Justify why you’d be the right fit for a Chevening scholar

Chevening scholars come from different walks of life. Their reason(s) for wanting to obtain the coveted Chevening scholarship may be different to yours, so it’s important to give distinctive reasons why you think you’d be the right fit to receive the scholarship, and your desire to create positive change.





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