How to Pass an Interview for a Scholarship
Guten Tag! I am Ryosuke from the University of Tsukuba, majoring Environmental Engineering. I am going to study in Germany for Master’s from this September. Today, I will share my experience of an interview which I took for the DAAD scholarship.
The writer likes nature
What is the DAAD scholarship?
The DAAD scholarship is the most popular scholarship for those who want to study abroad in Germany. This scholarship provides you not only financial support but also the health insurance, language school’s tuition fee, travel expanse, and so on… It is a wonderful scholarship! If you want to know the detail, visit the official site. https://www.daad.de/en/study-and-research-in-germany/scholarships/
Steps to apply
When you apply for the DAAD scholarship, you will follow the procedures as following.
1. Apply via online and mail
2. Get the results of the document screening.
3. An interview as the final screening (Today’s topic)
4. Get the results of the interview
You can get information about the schedule and preparation for application in my last article.https://www.utsukubalife.com/post/daad-scholarship-and-application-schedule
Let’s explore how my DAAD interview was!
My scholarship program was “Study Scholarship – Master Studies for All Academic Disciplines, 2021/22”, and after I passed the document screening, I took the interview in December. At that time, the interview was held online due to COVID-19 although it is usually held face-to-face at the DAAD’s office in Japan.
I entered the meeting room. Six people welcomed. They have individual screen. The interview started in English. A German staff of the DAAD introduced me the judge and how the interview was going to be. After that, they started to ask questions on my research proposal. The atmosphere was so warm. They asked me very kindly, and the questions were easy to understand. They nodded to my answer and I felt very comfortable during the interview. At the last, I asked “Which German beer is the best?” They kindly answered me showing smile. The interview lasted for 20 minutes.
Who were the judge?
The judge consisted of two Japanese researcher (professor) + one German professor + two German staffs. The researchers or professors were chosen from universities in Japan and Germany. It is rare that you find a professor from the university you want to go or your supervisor in the interview. But they know much about German university so you should be honest to your research proposal.
Here I list up all questions I was asked in the interview.
Questions on my research proposal
1. Why do you like to research on wastewater treatment? (My research proposal was about wastewater treatment)
2. How many data set are you going to get and how will you analyze statistically? If you use any statistic methods, please tell us.
3. Please tell us about the procedures of your experiment.
4. Do you know how University of Stuttgart treats wastewater? There is no correct or wrong answer to this question. Feel free to answer!
Questions on my personality
5. How did you find and contact the supervisor?
6. If you fail university of Stuttgart (, which was my first choice), do you still want to study at other universities in Germany?
7. If you get this scholarship, how are you going to use? Do you want to go to many places to do some activities?
8. What is your future plan after Master’s?
9. A German researcher started asking me in German, and I said “Sorry I cannot understand German”. Then he asked me in English “Ok no problem, do you want to learn German? DAAD can provide German language course.”
10. Do you have any questions, or do you want to add anything?
Here, although I provided what I was asked, they are strongly related to my own research proposal or my motivation. Thus, to know the questions in other people’s interview will not help you very much, but some questions should be still similar. But they read your documents well and ask you questions considering your plan. Therefore, you should be familiar with your research proposal and your future plan.
Show your passion!!
In my opinion, the judge do not want you to answer very scientifically correctly. If you want to go to Master’s, it is not big issue that you cannot answer scientifically, or you do not know. They judge you whether you have strong passion to study in Germany! You can show your enthusiasm to them by a way of speaking, showing some pictures, and so on. I prepared a slide to explain my background, research proposal, household situation, and my strength. And I feel this worked very well. I will list what you should be careful in the interview below.
1. Show your passion
it is the most important
2. Talk brightly
It proves that you will be able to communicate well with students and professors in Germany.
3. Answer logically
To provide an answer to what they ask and well communication are important.
4. Be polite but not too much
You should be polite and do not lie but being too nervous makes you an introverted person. Talking brightly is more important!
The interview is conducted in a very warm atmosphere. Practice many times with your friends and prepare well. Do not be too nervous and show your passion and personality in the limited 20 minutes! When the judge feel your passion, you are passing the scholarship!!