Students & alumni have different opinions and experiences about the Fulbright interview tips, we at Scholar Den has condensed those and have conducted our own research to present you with these invaluable tips to help you ace your Fulbright interview.
1) Connect with Fulbright Alumni or Current Fulbright Scholars:
Nothing can be more valuable to you than connecting with Fulbright alumni or seniors in the same discipline as you have. For example, if you are pursuing a career in Psychology you should connect with someone who has already availed the Fulbright scholarship in psychology. You can seek direct guidance, inquire about their own experiences and the questions asked in the interview and prepare using the newly acquired knowledge.
2) Persuade/Convince the committee in a Logical way:
The committee wants to hear your realistic and logical goals, how will the scholarship help you in your career and most importantly how will it the people of your country on your return home. You need to convince the committee that you will bring a positive change on your return to the people and society in general. You should also be able to explain in clear and concise terms how your past, present, and future aligns up with your plans and how Fulbright Scholarship plays a vital role in it. In essence, you should know and should be able to convey the answer to the question “Why should they send YOU to the USA on a Fulbright Scholarship”
3) What difference will you make once you come back to Pakistan?
Whatever you say – should be aligned with your application. Don’t change your stance from what have you mentioned in the application. Your application was strong enough to convince the committee to shortlist you – stick to it and be confident. A little confidence goes a long way.
4) Students belonging to remote areas of Pakistan:
Students that belong to remote areas of Pakistan are at some advantage because the Fulbright Scholarship wants to promote students from remote areas & they’re given a slight priority. You need to make sure that you can convince them that you would bring a valuable change to the remote area from where you belong on your return and how the degree you are pursuing will help you and your community to bring about a positive change in their lives. The bigger the impact the better it would reflect on you and on your chances of success of getting the Fulbright scholarship.
The Fulbright committee can question you on the challenges you might face in future and how you would overcome them? You need to convince them by giving logical answers and if possible giving them examples from your past where you overcame challenges & adversity in your life and stood out as a success. You need to be pragmatic, realistic and above all truthful.
6) Don’t Ever Say you want to work or Live in the US after Scholarship:
It’s the biggest red flag and can get rejected instantaneously. They don’t want you to settle in the US, they want you to come back and bring positive impact in the country of your origin.
7) Your Scholarship should have a purpose:
Fulbright is not about sending students abroad for vacations or family reunions. It is geared towards developing you professionally and academically so that you can do the same when you return. You need to show the committee that you are passionate to make a difference in your life and the community you are a member of.
8) You should have an outstanding story:
Either academically, professionally or through social work, you should be able to stand out from the crowd. What story do you have?
9) Be confident and Passionate:
Confidence and passion are your philosophers’ stone use them intelligently for maximum impact.
10) Plan B:
You need to have a plan B which should include directly applying to US Schools as well. FB has limited slots every year (180 in total on average), failure is imminent for most candidates. If you have made so far you should be able to get into top 50 US schools (with scholarship).
11) DONT LIE:
Truthfulness is an excellent trait to have, in academia, in professional life, in your relationships the value of truthfulness cannot be understated. You need to be truthful all the time, you should answer all your questions with nothing but the truth. If the interviewer asks you that you had applied previously and got rejected instead of lying accept it and let them know that you have improved upon your weaknesses and have gained more experience & acumen and you need to be reconsidered.
12) What difference Fulbright will bring to your career and goals:
That would help the community and Pakistan in general? The bigger the impact the better your chances of approval will be, your answers should clearly convey that you are serious about bringing a change not only in your own self or your community but rather your country and the whole world. You want to uplift and transcend lives irrespective of face religion or geographical region.
13) Be well Prepared:
The better prepared you are the better the chances of success will be. Make sure you know every part of your application, brainstorm the questions that might be asked, intelligently craft your answers to those questions, try mock interviews, know your goals, know your value proposition, be confident and be truthful. Prepare for all the points mentioned in this document and also for the questions in the unsorted document (Uploaded on files section).