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Fulbright Scholarship Interviews
Uzair posted a topic in Fulbright DiscussionsHi everyone, This year's applicants to the Fulbight Scholarship Program must be eagerly waiting for the second phase of the application assessment: interviews. Candidates will start receiving calls for interviews in the second-half of August, with interviews being scheduled in September. In this thread, I invite Fulbright alumni to discuss their interview experiences, and try to answer questions that applicants may have about the process. So let's start Interview Logistics Interviews are held at the USEFP Office in Islamabad, generally in the first-half of September. Back in 2013, around 400 candidates were invited for interviews, from which 150-180 were awarded the scholarship. Looking at these numbers, I personally think that the main aim of the interviews is to separate the principal candidates from the alternate candidates. Please note that the USEFP does not reimburse travel expenses for the interviewees. Interview Panel Each candidate is assigned to a panel of 3 to 4 interviewers. The panel can include USEFP staff, Fulbright alumni, and even officials of the US Embassy. My interview panel had representatives from each of these groups, and contained an equal number of Pakistani and American interviewers Interview Duration and Questions Each candidate is interviewed by the panel for a maximum of 20 minutes. The interviews are carried out in a very cordial atmosphere, and there is no "grilling" involved, so relax. Although interview questions can be different for each candidate, I think that the questions do follow certain themes: Candidates will certainly be questioned about their area of interest. Why did you choose this field of study? Why is it important for Pakistan's development or progress? What are the challenges that Pakistan faces in this field? What makes you a good candidate for the scholarship/degree? Or why should the scholarship be awarded to you? What will you do to serve Pakistan when you return after your studies? More questions from the candidate's CV/resume may be asked. These can be about academic or extra-curricular activities, for on other topics too. For e.g., my resume showed that I had worked in a bank but I had applied for a degree in public policy. As a result, I was asked how my work experience would help in my future field of study. Keep in mind that the overall purpose of the 20-minute interview is to decide whether the field of study is beneficial to Pakistan, and whether one is a good candidate for the scholarship, given your interests and future plans. I think a good review of the candidate's application form, the essays written in it, and their CV will really help in preparing for the interview. I hope this helps. I request other alumni to share their interview experiences here too. Current applicants, please post your questions about the scholarship interviews here and we will try to answer them.