Fulbright Interview Questions

Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Fulbright Pakistan | 71 comments

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Last year one of my very good friends applied for the Fulbright Scholarship program for U.S. Not having a very stellar academic record he was very skeptical of doing well on the Fulbright Interview Questions.

Nevertheless he made it to U.S. through Fulbright and is currently in his second year of Masters Program at a top U.S. university. A few weeks back I talked to him regarding his Fulbright experience specifically regarding his Fulbright interview Pakistan.

This is what he had to share regarding his Fulbright interview experience:

“I was invited for my Fulbright interview in Islamabad and was completely blank as to what the admissions committee was going to ask me. I did not had any counselling or guidance at that time to prepare for the Fulbright interview questions and answers.

Three people interviewed me of which two were Pakistani’s and another American. I had a below par academic record – a 2.9 CGPA at NUST and a 319 score on the GRE. I did not have any awesome recommendations or research publications but I had spent a lot of time on my personal statement.

I am an electrical engineer and I had worked towards developing an automated prosthetic limb as my final year project. I gave a few for free to the poor and disabled children from the 2006 earthquake. So I had a vision and I wanted to discuss that with the Fulbright committee.

I only emphasized on my long term goals of how I can contribute towards the field of Bio-medical engineering in Pakistan upon my return from the U.S. That how ambitious I am towards developing low cost but effective prosthesis in Pakistan.

Although I did not have a proper plan of how I would do it but I had a great dream. This is very important if you want to do well on the Fulbright Interview Questions Pakistan.

I promoted my ideas and my long term vision during my USEFP Fulbright scholarship interview. I would highly recommend that all of you Fulbright aspirants must focus on this. Even if you do not have exceptional and outstanding achievements, it doesn’t matter – be confident and be clear about your future.

If you look at the Fulbright scholarship’s purpose, you will know that it is to benefit Pakistan by building minds. For that Fulbright does not need book worms or top 1% of a graduating class.

Fulbright Pakistan interview is primarily designed and aimed towards sifting students who can contribute in a positive manner towards Pakistan’s growth. Those of us who want to stay back in U.S. and do not wish to come back should opt out of this scholarship program.

Infact Fulbright Interviewers needs visionaries and aspiring leaders.

So why does Fulbright need such people? It’s simple: Visionaries and leaders create ideas, identify opportunities and then work hard to achieve them hence bringing overall prosperity for the nation.

When I say vision or an idea, it doesn’t mean that you create fake stories of how your plan to change the world in the next 5 years or make Pakistan into Europe or America.

Just be sincere and clear about your thoughts. Your ideas and dreams can be raw or under cooked but they should be vivid, inspiring and different. You may not have a plan now but tell them this is exactly why you are going there – to learn, grow and make a plan.

Let me give you another example:

For instance if you are a female from a poor background who worked very hard to get into FAST or NUST or LUMS, the admissions committee will be impressed. But don’t stop there. Go on and tell them about what are you going to do when you come back or what is it that you aspire to do to inspire hope and betterment.

Don’t just brag about your past in your Fulbright Pakistan Interview, tell what you are going to do with the Fulbright opportunity if you get it. How will it help you get there?

That is what really sets you apart from the other candidates.


Don’t worry – allow me to layout the Fulbright Interview Questions asked me and will most definitely ask you during the Fulbright interview.

Use this template to layout your strengths, weakness and how you would improve your weaknesses.

  1. How did you prepare for the Fulbright Interview?
  2. Tell us about yourself and your project/research/publications.
  3. All of the Fulbright applicants have solid reasons for studying abroad. What makes your reasons set yourself apart from the rest?
  4. What has prepared you to pursue this field and complete it successfully?
  5. How do you rate your language competency that is needed to communicate in the U.S. and to get this scholarship?
  6. Do you have any understanding about the academic rigor of the U.S.? Can you be specific in your details.
  7. Discuss any issues relating to US academic that might be relevant to your research.
  8. What do you think are some challenges you will and may encounter in carrying out your education in the U.S.?
  9. Can you tell us the main purpose and background of this scholarship?

Focus on these questions and prepare them well. Make these part of your personal statement or statement of purpose that you write to the Fulbright admissions committee. Spend a lot of time writing your Fulbright Personal statement and Fulbright interview preparation.

In my next post I will write about the essential tips needed to do well on the Fulbright interview. Till then stay tight and if you would like, read on about the advantages and the disadvantages of the Fulbright program!

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  1. how can a candidate be able to attain a minimum bench-mark GRE score with 100% urdu medium back gorund????Said candidate is in full time profession as well!!!

    • Hi Mahsoon,

      GRE is a very difficult exam and students who have no English background will have to work super hard just to pass the exam. I would suggest that one should evaluate them self by taking a GRE practise test…this will help decide if you are up to the required calibre… thanks


  2. sir do you give any consultancy about fulbright particularly?

    • Hi Fatima, A lot of students do come to me for consulting regarding Fulbright. If you or someone else is looking for help regarding that, you are most welcome at my office.



      • thank you for your reply, yes, kindly tell where you have your office?

      • hi i did my master in history .coud i apply for fullbright scholorship?

    • hi sir what is difference b/w GRE and TOFEL?

      • Hi Ali,

        TOEFL is an English language test which check your proficiency in speaking, reading, writing and listening English Language. It only checks very basics to medium level adeptness of English. However GRE is an aptitude test which checks your logical and analytical reasoning skills. GRE is an extremely challenging exam which requires thorough preparation and effort.



      • Wow!! How dumb are you exactly? Google kro bhai mere!!

  3. I graduated from the University of London’s external programme, After this i appeared for my CSS exam, and qualified the written portion. I recently gave the interview, and hope to join the Central superior service. I’m considering applying for a Fulbright scholarship, and for a programme in Public policy. I have yet to take the GRE. I’m not entirely sure if i’ll be considered, given that have a 3.0 gpa. I’d really appreciate any guidance.

    • Let me be very assertive on the fact that gpa is not the only criteria for Fulbright scholarships. That said, GPA is important but not very. I have seen people with a 2.2 GPA get a FB.

      Focus on GRE a lot. It is a very important indicator for success to getting a FB. Other important elements are your personal statement and recommendation letter all of which you must strive to work hard towards.

      Don’t deter from applying to FB if you have a low GPA. You will definitely get this scholarship inshAllah.

      Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions.

  4. Dear Talha ,

    I am Jarvan Chinoy from India – Mumbai. have secured my admission in Hult Business School in the U.S for my intake this year. I would appreciate if you could me by guiding me as to how do I apply for the Full bright scholarship or what is the link for that and whether I would be eligible for the same . I would be grateful if you could email me my required information on my email address jarvan4@hotmail.com. Thanks.

    Warm Regards,
    Jarvan Chinoy.

    • Hello Jarvan,

      Thank you for your email. Unfortunately for FB you cannot get admission first and then ask them to give you scholarships. What you need to do is to apply to FB directly and they will get you an admission and funding for the university of their own choice. http://www.cies.org/Fulbright/india/

  5. Assalamualikum Mr talha i m doing mphil. i also want to apply for fulbright. My math is very weak and also having a weak command in speaking English and i wish to apply for the scholarship after doing mphil or after 2014. can u plz help me in preparing for GRE and also let me know about TOEFL…..

    • WAS! What sort of help do you need in preparing for the GRE? Can you please be more specific

  6. Hi Mr Talha ,
    I am Mir . I have a Bachelors from UET Lahore with a GPA of 2.95 and have an experience of 2.5 years in the Power Sector-1.5 years in KESC and 1 year in NTDC . Currrently I am Assistant Manager in the National Power Control Centre . I want to pursue a my masters from US through FB . I am in a fix as whether I should go for Masters in Energy Policy or Pure Electical Engineering . It will be a great favor if you can guide me in this regard plus if you could mention some schools too . Finally what odds do i have of getting a scholarship ?

    Thank you in advance
    Regards ,

    • I would say go for Energy policy…its a hot favorite for FB these days…so EE is out of question..it is very competitive.

      • Thanks a lot sir !

        • You are welcome 🙂

          • Dear Sir,
            I have a request

  7. AoA Sir! I completed by MBA a year back n now i am doing job. I want to have a masters dgree from a forign university and for that purpose i am applying for fullbright scholarship. can you please giude me what program shold i apply for besides as i have completed my 16 years education so shold i apply for masters program or MS.Preferably i would like to go for MBA again.

    • hello Zahra,

      Another MBA would not make sense and in fact you will have to be super convincing if you want one. Moreover FB does not really ‘like’ MBA applicants because of the fact that FB is focusing on programs that would solve problems that Pakistan faces at the moment such as water, energy, power and public policy/economics. I would say search for an MS program in one of these fields and make a case for your reasons to pursue it. Hope this helps!



  8. Dear Sir,

    I would like to ask General or Subject GRE is required for availing the full bright scholarship,kindly confirm me.


    • Hello Uzma, The GRE general test is required to avail the FB scholarship. Best,


  9. Hello sir,
    I want to inquire that are there any chances for a person having a low CGPGA but a good GRE score to get the full bright scholarship.

    • A good GRE score is vital. Indeed it will make up for your low GPA. Good Luck!

  10. i recently took the GRE and got 142 in Verbal and 150 in Quantitative. i have done Electronics Engineering and got low GPA, 2.41. i was thinking of applying for Fulbright Scholarship and i want to select power side. do you think i have any chances of getting this scholarship? have you ever seen a student with 192 marks in GRE has got Fulbright Scholarship? i am applying for it any way, but i just wanted to know if there is any hope for me to get this scholarship?

    • Chances are low since engineers have high quant scores. However FB depends on a lot of factors. This is just one of them. Apply and write a good SOP and study objectives. Do well on the interview and you will do fine. Good Luck!


  11. Hello Dear Talha…..I recently completed my B.a and awarded by Gold medal on behalf of my Academics…..My subject was Journalism and Social work…….Nw tell me the top tips and criteria to go abroad through fullbright scholarship………………………….and i want to be a journalist…..help me and Guide me?

  12. Can you guide for an institute in karachi for GRE preparation??

    • I am sorry but i am not aware of any.

  13. can u tell me the list of universities which comes under FB Scholarship?

  14. Hi sir
    What is FAST or NUST or LUMS you mentioned ?

    • These are top universities in Pakistan.

  15. Dear Talha,

    I would request you to comment on my chances o securing a phd:

    GRE: V149 Q142 Awa 3.5
    GPA 3.15
    Publications: 4 (3 international) + 1 project under review = 5

    I am not very optimistic keeping in view my gre scores… as i have already applied this year for fb, please advise what should i do at this stage

    • Yes you are right. GRE scores are extremely low. Please retake the GRE and improve your scores. Send the new scores to USEFP asap. Or reapply next year in case you don’t get it this year. Thanks


  16. edit to previous msg:
    my field is -biological sciences. I am from aga khan university doing my 4 year postgrad.

  17. thanks for your reply. whats the min score i should keep in mind. ( please sugesst based on sections).
    As my field is biological science, can i get away with low math score? many thanks

  18. Assalam-O-Alaikum

    Sir, have you any idea about, when the interview process for fb start at USEFP…??? I have applied for the fb, but have not received any call yet….On 20th june, I received an email confirming the receipt of my application but after that no update……Kindly inform me if you know about this….

  19. Hi Tahla,
    Its the time of the year :). Is there a next post to this thread with essential tips to doing well on the interview?


    • Lollzzzz I am still awaiting my students to come back to me after the interview and share their experiences with me 🙂 As soon as that happens I ll put up a new post soon 🙂

      • I have 11 students taking up interview within this week and the next so hopefully i will have lots of information to share with you all soon 🙂 Meanwhile i don’t expect to see any major differences in the questions this year than the last. But let’s see fingers crossed 😉

  20. Please share it soon dear Talha (nail biting) , I have my interview next week 🙁 and I am extremely worried of what I am gonna do. I hope you post something before that. Your posts are definitely helpful n relieving.
    P.S: I had always wanted to comment and now must say that you are doing a great job and helping and supporting everyone including me out there with your mentoring. Thanks a million 😀

  21. I have 165 in quant section of GRE which is 91 percentile and I want to improve it to move to 169 or 170. Do you offer any prep course which is focused specifically to improve my quant score. I am aware that it becomes harder to improve score once one moves above 90th percentile.

    • Hello Umair, I am sorry but I have no focused course like you are looking for…However my normal course is geared towards getting people beyond 165…I have seen students get 167 plus pretty consistently…

  22. hello
    i got a call for FB interview and is scheduled for the 3rd of sep. i applied for an ms in public policy.
    i hv done my ms in computer science with a gpa of 3.6 from SZABIST and im a banker by profession . i have had a 10 year work experience on the product develoment side, my gre was 149 verbal and 151 quant.im really nervous about the interview and am not sure if my line of profession is even relevant to the field im applying for. i dont know if i wud be able to effectively link my intended major with my work experience. cud you plz guide me how to prepare for the interview ! your help will be really appreciated!

    • I would suggest you read this….and also the comments at the bottom 🙂

    • Zara, your credentials look a lot like mine! I did my BS from FAST, joined commercial banking soon afterwards, and after putting in around 9-10 years in credit risk, I am now looking for a masters in PP. However, I’d be applying for the FB scholarship next year. (2014 that is).
      Since you had received that interview call a couple of months back, I am hoping to learn a thing or two from your experience. Can we get in touch? I’d be available at salman.nasir@gmail.com
      Hoping to hear from you.

  23. hey…another question popped up and i will be really greatful for your answer. i am a medical student so we dont have GPAs. we have percentages but we get them converted to GPAs from WES. any idea what is the GPAs range acceptable to fullbright or for universities abroad. taking into consideration a medical student.

    • Hey make sure you are eligible to apply because medicine is not eligible for FB

  24. Hi,

    I am Chartered Accountant Finalist student. I want to make preparation of Job interview. Please suggest me the best solution.


  25. you are great Talha Omar , helping out every one.Allah bless you.

  26. It is good to have someone like you arround always

    • 🙂

    • I am going through the questions and then the replies given by Talha.
      Really impressed the way he answers every one in such a detail and friendly way.
      May Allah bless you Talha .
      By the way my questions has not been answered yet…lolz

      • Don’t worry we will reply when your turn comes 🙂 Usually it takes 3-4 days to respond to the query in the order in which they are received :))

  27. I have not attemted GRE exam before, but I am now preparing to apply for the
    FB, can I get the Scholarship or be qualified for it when i do very well in the interview so that i will be given a chance to take the GRE exam

    • You can only apply for FB after you have taken the GRE exam – that is how it works in Pakistan.

  28. I have done M.Sc Economics In 2015, I have neither attend GRE nor TOFEL, May I apply for this scholarship?

    • You can only apply for it after you have given the GRE exam.

  29. sir
    i want to apply for MS in Information System
    i am right know working in Pakistan Television Corporation ( national news channel) in IT field
    i had done Bachelors of Business information system (BBIS) from UMT Lahore with 2.96 CPGA
    plus i have web designing n development certificate+ ERP SAP Business One which is related to Information system
    if i score 300+ in GRE what are my chances that i get scholarship?
    and kindly send me some sample personal statements regarding my field.
    thanks a lot sir

    • Hello. Chances in this area for someone of your profile are pretty strong!

  30. Hi Talha,
    I have good CGPA but low GRE scores. Can I get the chance of being accepted in FB?

    • Hello Yes definitely can but depends a lot on your majors and application.

      • Btw, How much GRE scores shall I need for Masters in Cognitive Psychology?

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