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Chevening Scholarship Interview Questions and Answers

Chevening Scholarship Interview Questions and Answers:

In this article we will discus Chevening Scholarship Interview Questions and Answers from an award winner. She was selected for this scholarship in 2020 and now she discus her interview briefly with us.

My name is Kerry-Ann Harriott and I am a 2020 Chevening scholarship recipient from Jamaica and I am currently in the UK studying my masters of sustainability at the University of Southampton. And yes, I am in lock down and no it’s not great. Okay, so my Chevening interview process is lasted for approximately 50 minutes. I have I must say from what I know the points are graded based on four categories, of course leadership category, networking studying the UK and the career category is worth like for marks so you can get a possible Mark of up to 16. I don’t know how much I got they didn’t. Me all about that. They did tell me what the highest score in my cohort. It was which I won’t disclose but it was amazing. Right.

So like I said, I spent 50 minute sin my interview and the length of time that is spent for interview is no indication that you will or will not get the scholarship. I know of someone who spent less time than myself in the interview and actually got the scholarship. Then there is another person who spent over an hour in the interview and did not get the scholarship. So I was definitely grateful that I had the opportunity to be here pretty much so it was moving so as just get right into the questions. Apply for International GIST Scholarships 2022 in South Korea (Fully Funded).

Now, I was asked about eight questions. Like I said, it was over 50 minutes. So the first question if I can recall being asked was why Chevening and no other scholarship? so in answering I pretty much talked about I mentioned The Prestige of Chevening and how it would you know it’s a prestigious scholarship and what I find that sets Chevening apart from literally all other scholarship opportunities is the fact that they focus heavily on networking and collaboration And it’s true because the other scholarships that I applied for. They don’t really business about networking which Chevening does so I talked about the fact that because they focused so heavily, on networking, on collaboration It kind of proved to me that we do share similar Visions in terms of how important it is to work together to make a great impact and I wanted to further strengthen the partnership that already exists between Jamaica and the UK and you know, I also mentioned the fact that I was encouraged to apply to the program by my boss and they actually asked me a short follow-up question like who is she and all that? So if you were encouraged to apply by a former recipient, it’s good to kind of just drop that in there, you know. One thing though I have to say I was not asked tell us about yourself and I’m very grateful for that.

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Alright, so the next question I would have been asked was tell us about your leadership experience and I provided one example from my essay and I kind of expanded on that. So using the C.A.R. method or yeah using the C.A.R. approach context action and results. I answered my question pretty much by telling a story. So my example was about leading the implementation of a platform as an answer to an organizational problem. So I started by stating what my observation was. How did it impact the organization what I did how I led and influenced decisions and what were the results so in answering and I’m going to be reading this now guys, so don’t mind If you see me looking away, so answering I said. I’m probably would have said a leader to me is someone who utilizes their knowledge and skill set to impact positive changes around them in 2016. I shifted from private sector to civil service and went to company a while there I noted in efficiencies in data collection in relation to Quality and untimeliness and that basically contributed to, in completion of key performance indicators. I knew I needed to take initiative to improve this and I also knew what was needed and that we had access to the material.

I just have to convince the senior management team because this would have been a major transformation for the agency. So after presenting my findings and my solution to my director, I then went ahead to lead the implementation of company is platform in this and it was the first time doing something like that just to point.

I compared my leadership experience or my leadership and influence. I kind of compare it to a coin where I said on one side of the coin. I was leading a team made up of these kinds of persons across the organization with these roles and utilizing my leadership skills and then on the other side of the coin, I was influencing the senior management team.So on one side. I was leading on the other side i was influencing the senior management team because transformations of this magnitude required several meeting with Senior Management to ensure buy-in and that benefits would be impactful for the agency.

This platform has improved data collection quality and timeliness. Was you know an officer no longer needs to do this or that instead they do this and and the company has actually utilized this platform to complete indicators on the project such as this project where we have assessed this amounts of data that will contribute to the formulation of a particular plan. And I also talked about that it won an award. Alright, so the next question was did you receive any push back?

Okay, so this question is actually a follow-up from the last question and it basically talks about Did you receive any push back when making unpopular decisions? And how did you manage that this. For this question I really did not prepare for but as I said I just armed myself with enough points so that I could discuss things. Even if I didn’t prepare to talk about even if I wasn’t prepared to talk about them. I had a lot of mental bullet points. So I was able to you know fetch one of those and kind of answer based on the questions. So I reference the same project that I was talking about in my leadership question. And again, I use the C.A.R approach to answer the question. So in answering I would have said something like so let me start by giving you a bit of background about how the platform works and how it was made. So this is what happened.

This is how the platform Works once we prepared everything. Thing and I presented it to our senior management team. There were a lot of requests for changes. So then I made the decision to actually start over start over the project from scratch and of course did not good that did not go over well with the implementation team because it meant that there would be long evening sand I thought it would have been easier to start over rather than to try to fit in these requests are updates. So in navigating this push back, I made it a point never to leave my team hanging and to keep encouraging them

So the next question I would have gotten was that Chevening is based on networking. Do you have this character and tell us about an example? Again, I provided one example, and I told him what networking means to me and then I got into my example again using the C.A.R approach. And I followed this up by telling them what I would bring to this evening yet work. So in answering I would have said I’m going to read I strongly believe that networking transcends Beyond meeting someone once and then suddenly saying that there are part of your network to me professional relationships are cemented through collaboration by in lending support to projects and initiatives that your network is involved in and then the reverse is also true. For example, I met person a who is manager at Company B.

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We engaged in conversations about the potential for something and stayed in touched and and stayed in touch over the years through calls emails and by conversing at Industry events when I made the shift public sector in 2016.I engaged him in discussing furthering my initiatives through a separate organization that we are both a part of subsequently. I was invited to attend meetings at organization with him and then at my request we kind of further discussing utilizing my position within this organization to empower organizations with Geo spatial Solutions pretty much by advocating for a particular solution. Therefore there after presenting this solution at conferences seminars and workshops across Jamaica.

So I talked about my largest audience attending this particular event in this year resulted in key people within varying organizations reaching out to me for support in implementing the solution which I have gladly obliged so far assisting 10 organizations. and further enhancing my network through collaboration I believe that becoming achieving awardee would give me the opportunity of collaborating with global Professionals in environmental Sciences to find out techniques employed in their respective Nations to protect their environment against risks and Hazards and vulnerabilities through my local network through my local Chevening network to strengthened key relationships to better tackle Jamaica’s environmental sustainability.

The next question which was like a follow-up. How can the Chevening Community benefit from having you? This was not a question that I had actually practiced talking about pretty much but again, I had enough bullet points to come up with an answer. So I talked about the fact that I could promote the Chevening brand through the organization that I’m a part of. As well as YouTube because I mentioned that I had a channel so I could actually utilize the platform to promote the brand even further and then I talked about the fact that Chevening is a large Network and it would be amazing if within my own country if we could form, you know, smaller networks within each chevening,you know brought a network. For example, I’m a part of the Geo spatial and environmental Sciences field. So it would be good if we could kind of Form a network based on that so that any brand promotion. It could be a little bit more relatable because of course it would not want to be necessary.

I would not want to be an environmental scientists and definitely but I mean I want to encourage anybody still but I mean another person who’s invite who is interested in environmental science would possibly find my story a little bit more relatable than say a lawyer. Alright, so my next question would have been Why the UK and no other country in answering this I talked about what the UK is doing in my field of studies. I’m in climate change and sustainability.

So I talked about different plans and policies and initiatives that the UK’s apart of and how they are key drivers in the world of sustainability and that I wanted to learn from that then I can Starting to talk about the universities and how they are performed. And again, I Getting that. I wanted to be in a place where they’re not doing talking the talk, but also walking the walk. Oh God, my voice is going on you guys. I’m talking I’ve been talking for a while now.

So in answering I would have said something like The UK like Jamaica It doesn’t take up a whole lot of space both like Jamaica but they experience climate change challenges. So the UK has managed to rise to the occasion of adapting to climate change through initiatives like their carbon plan, their carbon plan energy Alternatives forming communities and agencies all also through policies like the climate change and sustainability Act of 2006 and as a result of this, you know, they become a key driver in our world in terms of in terms of environmental sustainability. So I found it imperative to look to the UK as a model in creating sustainable.

Solutions for this country and people and I want to be able to learn about these principles and take them back home to my own country. And the I’ve realized that the UK has one of the best environmental and climate change platforms and it has been among the most earliest of adapters for of climate targets by setting goals. For instance by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to make Zero by 2050 and worked to reduce carbon emissions by 44 percent as of 2018. So I I wanted to gain a higher quality education and study under professors in a world-class location as well.

As you know, with other International students to be able to kind of gain a different perspective for those who also want to protect their country against risk and Hazard as well. As you know, developing my own skills and having access to the latest research in my field of study. You know, there is that reputational benefit of having a degree from a UK University, especially if it’s from a world leader in climate change, you know such as this country is in chaos such as the UK. Okay. So be the last question. Okay. So my other question would have been why did you choose your universities.

Did you have any criteria for choosing So my answer for this was a little bit different from what actually wrote in my essay because I really got specific about aligning My criteria about aligning my study criteria with my career plans. So I started by talking about how it is important to me to find a university that is instrumental in sustainability. And I found the University of Southampton to be my top choice. I talked about the course modules. I planned on taking and These actually linked to my career and of course other features that stood out about the universities and to be honest. I actually really focused on my first choice and I don’t even remember if I talked about my other two choices to be honest.

If I did I would have spent like one sentence talking about them, but it definitely came up because one of the panelists they actually went to UCL and UCL was my second and my third choice and I remember that the panelist made a joke about that. You know, like how dare you pick UCL as your second choice, it should be your first but you know, it was pretty much what I wanted to do. So. So in my answer I talked about the fact that it is strong and environmental GIS is strong in research strong in policy formation and consultancy.

I Said or I would have said, you know, I was very purposeful in my search for the right courses. I wanted to be a part of a community that is actively practicing sustainability. I had a set number of criteria that had to be met to equip me with the capacity to execute my short term goal with this company as well as my medium term goals with this organization or through this organization. And as well, as you know, my long-term goals. Alright it also had to provide me with a strong foundation for my long-term plan. So in that regards the sustainability program stood out to me as my top choice because it literally checked all my boxes.

It was or it is strong in GIS, which is my first Passion and this will go a long way towards achieving my first my short term goals with this company additionally, I do aspire to be an environmental consultant with a policy background in order to you know, kind of close gaps relating to you know, this issue. So I wanted a course that would allow me to expand my capacity in consultancy in a bit of project management as well as environmental law and policy also, what really stood out about this University was the fact that it possesses only DNA lab in any UK University in terms of its geography department and this is what they were doing. This is what they are doing with the lab and this is what I want to do with it and how it’s going to apply.

Right, so I did not actually use the car approach to answer this question. but instead I just talked about as I said the modules and how it would apply to my career goals, but I didn’t spend too much time talking about the actual career goes itself because of course that’s not the question and I knew that I would have been asked about my career goals as well. So I didn’t spend a lot of time talking about the career goals.

My voice is almost Gone guys. Hmm. All right. So my next question would have been what are your short-term goals medium-term and long-term goals. And of course my answer it kind of acted as a follow-up to my previous question or to my previous answer because you know, I had the context to kind of expand on my ideas from previous answers so it could have been more detailed so I literally talked about about following the program I would return to my job in Jamaica to execute some particular actions and the results of those actions would contribute to a particular result I talked about that. And then in the medium term I want to introduce policy mapping to define areas that are in need of policy interventions and that I wanted to do that through the organization that I am a part of and how you know it provides a perfect platform to do this because you know we are policy focused as well and then I reminded them that in the long-term plan I said I wanted to be an environmental consultant there’s a shortage of professionals with in Jamaica within this field and I want to be one who kind of fills that Gap in terms of contributing to Environmental Solutions within Jamaica. And again I talked about how the my aspiration you know, it’s based on closing the Gap relating to analyze and spatial data to make more informed decisions in terms of policy strategies. So yeah, that’s pretty much where I talked about there. And that was the last question that I got as I said it lasted 50 minutes and then the next minute I would have don’t know or the next thing that they would have asked was if I had any questions and I actually um actually had like two questions and one was for the the person that was on the panel.

So I asked him. Where was he from? So It’s like a two-part question, so I asked him where in the UK are you from? And if I were to visit that area what should I do when I go there? So I asked him that and he answered and then the following question I asked would have been to the the the other two panelists that are two panelists and there are actually two chevening alumni and I asked you know, what was it like being on the other side of the table, you know because they were once In my position, but what is it like, you know being on the other side so, you know, they both gave an answer to that and it was was pretty good. Like I said, of course it went well because I’m here now.

What I think that to me questions that that you asked I don’t know why I didn’t it’s just my opinion that I don’t believe that if that you can actually Google and find the answers to I don’t know if those are the best questions to ask to be honest. I don’t know but at the same time you’re not necessarily being marked for those questions, but you know because I suppose that kind of wanted to be memorable. I asked questions that were a little bit different. So right yeah, that is just pretty much my experience. So in the next video I mentioned in the last video that I’m going to be releasing my practice answers so you can look out for that. That would be released immediately following this one. Alright, so this is a long video guys, but thank you for staying on to know.Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you in the next video. okay by one take!

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