Interview Tips: The Presidential Scholarship Program

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In an effort to help alleviate your stress as you prepare for the Presidential Scholars Weekend, The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has compiled a list of tips, including how to prepare, potential interview questions, dos and don’ts, and what to wear.  Take a peek!

What should I expect during the interviews?

Both interviews will involve at least one professor and a current Presidential Scholar. You’ll meet with them Saturday of the event on campus for a brief interview. The interview will go more like a conversation, truly! We want to get a better idea of who you are, beyond the essays you wrote on the application. What do you bring to High Point University that is unique and will add to our extraordinary culture? (Below you will find a more detailed list of common interview questions that will also help you prepare.)

Preparing for the Interview

1. Do a little research on relevant facts related to the Presidential Scholar Program. Primarily, read about the various levels of the Presidential Scholarship here. This will help refresh your memory about what the interviewers are looking for in potential Presidential Scholars, which will help you answer questions more precisely.

2. Review your application and the essays you wrote so you will be prepared to address any questions related to what you wrote.

3. Think about how becoming a Presidential Scholar will influence your education and career development and be prepared to talk about that.

4. Have a couple of questions prepared to ask the interviewers. Asking questions that reveal your interest in contributing to the High Point University community helps show your high level of commitment.

5. Pick out your interview outfit ahead of time. Be appropriate and professional (see below for more “what to wear” details).

6. You do not need to bring anything to your interview. The interviewers will have copies of your Scholarship Application and official transcripts.

7. Relax and be yourself! The Scholarship Committee already thought you were pretty great, that’s why you were invited to interview! These conversations are your chance to prove that the Committee made the right decision.

Potential Interview Questions: These are not necessarily questions you will be asked, but they are known to be common interview questions. If you have a few prepared answers for these, it will be helpful.

1. Tell us about yourself. Your background, your accomplishments.

2. What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

3. What are your academic goals? Career goals? Where do you see yourself in ten years? How will the Presidential Scholarship help you achieve those goals?

4. Tell us about the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in school or school-related activities and what you learned from it.

5. What personal achievement are you most proud of?

6. You’ve accomplished many commendable achievements already. Where do you think you can improve, or where do you have room to grow?

7. You’re very involved in community service (student government /athletics/church, temple, etc). What project are you most proud of and why?

8. What leadership roles have you held in your extracurricular activities? What have you learned as a result of those roles?

9. What are the things most important to you in life? What are your deepest personal convictions?

DOs & DON’Ts


1. Be on time. When you check in on Saturday morning you will receive your interview times and locations. Ask an HPU staff member where the building is located and arrive a few minutes early to ensure you have time to find the correct room.

2. Introduce yourself to the interviewers, look them in the eyes, shake hands firmly—show your self-confidence!

3. Be yourself! We want you to answer all the questions honestly, so just relax and be you! This is the time to emphasize your accomplishments.

4. When asked a question, listen carefully, think about your answer and respond with interest, enthusiasm and confidence.

5. Maintain eye contact as you speak.

6. Say “thank you” at the conclusion of the interview. Everyone likes good manners!

7. Practice! Conduct a mock interview with a friend, parent or teacher.


1. Be critical about teachers, your high school, other universities, or friends. This only reflects badly on you.

2. Chew gum, bite your nails, wear revealing clothing, fidget, yawn, slouch, tap your foot/hand/knee, etc.

3. Assume the interviewers know all about you. Even if you’ve included information in your application, they may not remember all of your accomplishments.

What should I wear?

Friday’s activities are business casual dress for both students and guests. Business professional attire is recommended for students on Saturday. Wearing a suit to your interview shows your commitment to excellence and professional demeanor. The more professional you look, the more serious we think you are about wanting the scholarship and being an outstanding High Point University student! Refer to the image below for attire suggestions for guys and girls. 

What to Wear2


As always, you can contact us via phone or email: 336.841.9216 &