NSLI-Y Interview Tips: From an Interviewer

Congratulations for receiving the interview invite! At this point, no matter if you are offered the scholarship or not, you have achieved so much.
Steps to a successful NSLI-Y interview:
  1. Read this post
  2. Comment with any questions
  3. Stop Googling for more tips or hovering over the Facebook page. You will just become more nervous and distracted. Instead please spend this time with your friends and family or academic or extracurriculars and make memories and gain valuable experiences. Not only will you be happier, you will also have more to talk about with your interviewer, your potential host family, new friends you make in the foreign country or your life.

What are the interviewers looking for?
*Disclaimer: every interviewer emphasizes different subjects

  • Excellence: You may be the only American the foreigner will meet and their perspective of our country may be built upon only you. Think as if you are appointed as the high school ambassador from the Department of States.
  • Flexibility, Adaptability: nsliy is investing in each student, once we send a student abroad, all the expenses are spent, and the opportunity is given. If a student return early, the opportunity goes to waste, and the spot is taken from others who could have used it to its fullest.
  • Diversity (personality, extracurricular, future goals, NOT racial)
  • Growth/ How this relate to your future goal: give a very good reason, and while you’re at it, think of another one and write both down. It does not have to directly be directly related to nsliy, but be able to say how this experience will help you as an individual.
  • Curiosity: whether you had international experience already or live in a place with minimal cultural diversity or have limited access to travel.
  • Why go on this trip? Is it a selfish, childish star-chasing reason, or does are you going for meaningful growth (vague but I don’t want to limit/shape the responses too much)
  • Are you sociable? can be introverts too, but give examples. what do you do in school and your community? How do you spend your free time? Personally, I prefer students who spend time hanging out with others than staying in on internet, playing video games and watch music videos(yes people say these), being out with others not only prepare you for the diverse world but also adaptability. For introverts, too, you may be spending time with less people, but you are still spending the time.
  • and most importantly who actually wants it? is it you, your mom, dad, relatives, classmates, or the students sitting beside you in the interview room
  • Final Tip: If you feel as if the interviewer are rephrasing the same question, please give us an example or a different example to back up your answer, we really do want our applicants to get through, too.
Please DO NOT wear skin tight black skirts! It is not! NOT appropriate!
Think business casual. Some location is more formal, some is more casual.
For my location, it is not formal, but it is always safer to be business casual.
It never hurts to ask how you should dress because it varies.
*Dress up as if you are going on a college interview.
Lastly, good luck!
Feel free to ask me questions on the comment section below.
You have accomplished so much already, be proud of yourself!

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