There are many aspects to MS applications that can contribute towards their eventual success or failure. Often students coming from good backgrounds and having the requisite accomplishments fail to make a mark in applications for overseas universities. This is due to the fact that students miss out on the key aspects of the applications, namely, the video/online interview, the elevator pitch and their goal statements. Together, these three factors play a key role in the university admissions process to get an impression of the students’ goals, background, and personality. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to prepare for these, what to say/write and the things to avoid.
For MS aspirants, their video interviews provide a chance to explain what they have done, what they like in a particular university and what they plan to do in the future. Along with written documents like Letters of Recommendation and Statements of Purpose (SOPs), the interview gives students the change to face the admissions committee (after shortlisting) and basically highlight why they would be fit for the particular university. This gives students a chance to present themselves in front of the universities and explain why they would be the best choice for them. Aspirants can also get a chance to explain or elaborate components of their backgrounds that have not been covered in their application documents.
Most overseas universities would require you to submit a short video at their portal which would answer the following questions:
Along with getting answers regarding the above questions, the admissions committee simultaneously judges the student’s soft skills, technical knowledge, attitude, and instincts. However, there is no reason to panic if you are prepared well. Here are a few key tips to help you prepare better:
The most important thing that you would be judged on in the interview is your subject knowledge. You may or may not have the requisite language proficiency, but your subject knowledge needs to be impeccable for the visa interview. While other aspects of the interview can be worked upon and improved on, your subject-based knowledge cannot be boosted in a couple of weeks and needs to be prepared well beforehand. There are several questions related to the subject of your specialisation that you would be asked; there would be a mix of easy, medium and hard questions. It is okay if you cannot answer a question correctly or are not aware of the answer, the important thing is, to be honest, and truthful about it.
The goal statement can really make a big difference to your application as it provides universities a chance to understand your mission and vision for your future. It must, therefore, be precise, realistic and accurate. The goal statement should also help the admissions committee connect the dots between your present and future. Hence anything vague, unrealistic or unquantifiable should not be mentioned. To prepare such statements, one should definitely take help from friends and peers or at least run it by them to get an opinion of how it sounds, what is lacking and how it can be made better.
An elevator pitch is something that can make even the most average applications sound special and preparing a good one is a surefire way to secure a place in the admission list. The elevator pitch is basically a chance to introduce yourself but in an interesting way. This pitch offers students a chance to promote themselves before the university and tell them what makes them stand out from the others. In an elevator pitch there are mainly four questions to be answered:
Interviewers prefer people who sound confident, knowledgeable, zealous and dynamic in their interviews. Hence you must work on what you have to say. While the first two questions would test your presentation skills, the last two questions would test your creativity and clarity of thought.
Therefore, to make a good and lasting impression you must prepare yourself in advance and practice as much as possible.
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