Prepare for your Fulbright Interview

The University of Vermont campus deadline for Fulbright Grants has come and gone. The next stage of the process will be a campus review of the applications, which includes an interview with the University of Vermont Fellowships Committee. It’s important to prepare in advance for the on-campus interview; get plenty of rest the night before and show up to your interview looking professional and ready to go.

Below is additional advice on how to prepare for your interview.

A Fellowship Interview Is…

Your opportunity to engage in an interesting and intellectual conversation with a group of smart people.

A Fellowship Interview Is Not…

A painfully nerve-wracking experience, as long as you do the work to prepare yourself in advance. If you prepare for your interview, you will be cool, confident, and ready to wow the committee.

There are three things to keep in mind as you prepare for your fellowship interview:

1. Know your Application Thoroughly

2. Stay on Message

3. Be Yourself

Know your Application Thoroughly

The majority of the interview will focus on information that was in your fellowship application. This includes your research proposal, personal statement, transcripts, resume and anything else that was included. Be ready to dive into your proposal in depth. If you did a research proposal make sure you can go deeper into the issues than what is included in your proposal, and also be ready to defend the research you have done. Before your interview, talk to your professors, ask them to help you anticipate where questions may come up. Develop a list of questions that may come up in the interview and practice answering them. If your proposal included a personal statement, be sure you remember what you said in that statement.

Stick to the vision, goals, and narrative you outlined in that statement, and be ready to expand on how the vision of who you are and what you want to become has played into other areas of your life. Always be prepared to answer questions regarding jobs or activities listed on your resume, as well as any classes that may appear on your transcript.

Stay on Message

Before your interview, pick three things about yourself that you want the fellowship committee members to have burned into their brain. It should be something about who you are, what you want to do, and how this fits into the mission and goals of the fellowship you are applying for. Try to bring whatever you are talking about back to the core: you, the fellowship, and how you are meant to be together.

Be Yourself

Above all, relax and enjoy the process. Be open and honest about who you are and what you want to accomplish. Be confident in your proposal; at this stage you’ve put a lot of thought, sweat, and tears into your project, and you should be proud of what you’ve produced. Finally, be confident in yourself; you’ve put an incredible amount of work into getting this far, and you have earned the opportunity to be in front of the committee. So enjoy it.

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