Recently, I was shortlisted as a candidate for a scholarship interview. Considering that this was a very competitive scholarship, I assumed that all those who would appear for the interview would be the quiet studious people that one would presume them to be. Boy, was I wrong!
On the day of the interview, I made my way to the waiting hall and as I was signing my name on the attendance sheet, I was surprised by the sheer number of candidates with varying levels of diversity. Sitting in the waiting hall for hours, I could observe all the candidates, and so decided to write this post on the different people you are likely to meet at a scholarship interview.
1. The Social Butterfly
The first person you will see at any interview is the social butterfly, who skips from one person to another, asking, inquiring and exchanging information – whether voluntarily or otherwise. This person exudes confidence and charm, making you feel both in awe of them as well as intimidated by them. They are the happy-go-lucky people who can initiate a conversation with anyone about anything
2. The Worry-Wart
This is the usual person at interviews who is checking, rechecking and verifying all the documents. He/she continuously has his eyebrows furrowed, lips/nails bitten, hands fidgeting, while they mouth to themselves the answers to possible questions. They are also the people with the most amount of achievements. If you meet one of them, smile at them kindly. If you are one of them, relax!
3. The Stats-Spewer
This is the person who tells you all the details about the interview. Do you want to know how many people are selected? Do you want to know the specific criteria of decision making? Or, do you want to know how the previous years’ candidates fared? This person is armed with all the knowledge and is not afraid to share it.
4. The Desi-Hipsters
These are the people wearing kurtas, saris, carrying a cloth bag with the nerd glasses and looking every bit the Desi that they are, because westernised hipster is too mainstream. They corroborate their look with impeccable knowledge of various languages as well as their subject matter.
5. The Quiet Observers
These were my favorite kind of people at the interview. They would quietly sit in the waiting hall with their current favourite book, alternating between reading and watching how others around them interacted. They aren’t opposed to conversations, and will readily smile at you during any eye-contact. But they are content at being the passive observers than taking part in the events around them.
6. The Tensed Parents
If you think that this list only consisted of candidates, then you are sorely mistaken. Accompanied by most of the candidates are their parents, who are more stressed about the interview process than their children. While the children are on their phones or talking to people, the parents are making several trips to the organisers, asking them questions and verifying the interview timings. Sometimes they even randomly ask their children to include an achievement from kindergarten or high school, hoping that the prize will make a difference! Kudos to parents who are invested this much in their kids’ future. Also, if you are one of the parents who does this, take a deep breath… your kid has been shortlisted for this extremely competitive interview. Chances are, he/she will be completely fine and relaxed about it.
These were the different types of interview candidates I observed! Let me know in the comments if I have left out any particular category, or if you guys have come across any of these people!