by Hafsat
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One emotion most Chevening interviewees have in comm Is anxiety. But with adequate preparation, you can reduce your anxiety levels to the minimum. I have already written about how to prepare for the interview, now how do you go about the interview and what are the possible questions to look out for?

Here’s what a Chevening interview should look like. You are to go to the venue at least 15mins before time. Venue will most likely be the British High Commission or Embassy in your country. You are to remain seated and wait for your turn. You may be called in at the allotted time, you may be called in later. Just be patient. Clear your head. Tell yourself you are going to ace this. Don’t be overconfident, don’t be under confident, be like Goldilocks, just the right amount of confidence.

Each interviewee should have about an hour. But that hour includes grading after you are done and prep for the next person so typically, 45 mins or less. The time isn’t fixed. You will be made to feel at home from the onset. 

Once in the interview room, you are to observe decorum, greet the panel, wait to be offered a seat, sit up straight, look at the panel, wait for them to introduce themselves, tell them you are pleased to meet them and only respond when asked.

Be calm. Answer the questions as required. You are allowed to think a question through for a while before responding. You are allowed to ask them to please repeat a question. Be humble. Be respectful. You can be funny in a respectful manner. Be at ease. You can drink water (it will be provided). You are not to refer to any notes. If you don’t know an answer to a question, please tell them. Lie NOT! Try not to fumble but even if you do, don’t panic, just pick the baton right up and keep on racing. 

Don’t forget to start with your strongest points. If you are giving a leadership example, give your strongest example first. This is because you may have time for only one example. Think on your feet.



47 mins. 

-Tell us about yourself and why Chevening (3mins)

-Everyone has different ways of being a leader. What is yours and how have you implemented it.

-‘It is not what you know but who you know’ according to Chevening. How will you use you network with other Cheveners to impact your community (I made sure to still mention an example).

-A panellist that studied at the Uni of Aberdeen asked me why Aberdeen.

– According to Chevening, it is not what you know but who you know. Do you agree?

-Why I decided to convert to Psychology and why in the UK.

-My career plans. Some follow up questions like have I done a feasibility study on whether the University I work in will give priority to Counselling of students when I come back to restore the department?

There were some follow up questions. Nothing out of the ordinary. They asked if I wanted to maintain my course choices and Uni. I told them I wanted to change my last Uni because it doesn’t have the requisite accreditation. They held a consensus that it is a good reason.

1. Leadership- What is leadership to you, stick to the STAR approach 

Situation- Explain a situation where you made decisions as a leader

Task- Mention what was the task! Ie problem that needed to be solved 

Action- What did you do to resolve the issues eg hold seminars, developed an online marketing strategy, and reduced carbon emissions by 4%.

Results – Show your impact as the result of your decisions. You can use numbers and percentages to show the impact. 

conclude by showing how Chevening will influence the leadership traits, remember to quote their leadership events 

2. Networking – What is networking to you? Remember it’s a two-way process- What you can get and what you can give. Stick to the STAR approach 

Situation- Mention the names of the Network, event, dates 

Task- Why you connected with the network, how did you connect with your network, 

Action- How did you maintain your network eg frequent emails, attended their events, volunteered for their programs 

Results – Quantify the influence of your network eg introduced you to a program, course or introduced you to another network. 

3. Study Plan- Why do you want to study in the Uk? Is it because you have identified a problem in your country and studying in the UK will help you with necessary skills to proffer solutions? Mention that. Mention the problems and the solutions and don’t forget the stats. Always mention the statistics and the facts to back up your points. Now mention your three universities and why them? Ranking? Do they belong to a body? Will you get a professional accreditation? Is their program unique? Do they have modules you know will be beneficial to your long term plan? Have you encountered lecturers who are experts in your intended field? Round up with why you want to study in the UK under Chevening. Places you want to visit, things you want to do.

4. Career Plan- Short term, medium term and long term career plans, Mention institutions you want to work with after your program, gaps you will come to address, tell how you will influence the bilateral relations between the UK and your country

Your career plan must be SMART.

Best of luck on your interview. You’ve got this!

From Hafsat, With Love

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