A mock interview imitates an actual job interview. This type of interview is helpful and allows you the opportunity to practice how you will act and what you will say during a real interview and receive feedback.
Regardless if it’s through online chat, webcam, or in-person, a mock interview is useful in reviewing how you’ll respond to common interview questions and assessing other things such as body language, clothing options, and mannerisms.
As they say, “practice makes perfect.” Hence, using this tool will help identify your strong and weak points and boost your confidence. The following information will discuss the common question, “What is a mock interview?” and explain everything you need to know.
What is a Mock Interview?
Mock job interviews are practice interviews that a professional career counselor usually conducts. Going through a simulated interview is an excellent way to practice answering tough questions, improve communication skills, develop new interview strategies, and reduce the anxiety associated with preparing for upcoming interviews.
Mock interviewers usually set up a semi-structured environment rather than simply asking off a list of questions. Though they’re commonly given by career counselors, in theory, a mock interview can be held with any individual with previous experience that allows them to understand how people talk in an interview. It also helps when they have experience in your industry, enabling them to provide deeper questioning and insight.
Types of Mock Interviews
That said, here are some options that can be used to conduct a mock interview:
Career counselors are individuals who give professional advice to anyone wanting to advance in a career. Choosing a career counselor to conduct a mock interview is an excellent option because they can provide tools and tips to use when speaking with a real hiring manager. This is especially useful when interviewing for your first internship or professional job, as it gives you the best introduction to expected etiquette.
A mentor is a trusted person you turn to for emotional support, motivation, and advice during your job search. This person can elicit a response from you regarding a career path and offers a more personalized approach to career coaching. A mentor can be someone you already know in your professional or personal life or can be a person you find in your industry. Just be sure they bring value and knowledge to the areas you’re lacking.
In this case, a colleague can be friends you know from work or school. When choosing a colleague, the best people to choose are those who have already held the position you’re interviewing for. Though this mock interview will probably be less formal, you should still get honest feedback from questions you’ve answered and maybe even a bit of insight about the position or company.
Either of these options is best when you need additional emotional support during a mock interview. Meeting with someone you already know and are comfortable around can ease the stress associated with the formal job interview.
Preparing for a Mock Interview
Just as you would any job interview, be sure to arrive at your mock interview prepared. After all, it’s supposed to emulate an actual interview to help you prepare.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to prepare for a mock interview:
Prepare for your mock interview just as you would an actual interview. This means bringing necessary materials such as a pen, notepad, and a copy of your resume – especially if it’s your first mock interview. After all, the way you present yourself during the practice interview is a great indicator of how you’ll perform around a hiring manager.
Focus on remaining engaged during your mock interview, as this will allow you to take good notes and further prepare later. Organize your notes effectively and also compile a list of questions to ask the interviewer. If you have time, it’s also a great idea to practice planned responses to general questions about your work style and background.
Regardless of what type of interview you’re seeking, it’s always best to dress professionally. This is an excellent way to create a credible experience and determine if you made a good first impression. You may even want to research modern professional styles and take inspiration for what to wear.
Bring along your smartphone or another device that allows you to record your responses. This will help you go back and check that your answers are clear and easily understood. Before recording, check with your interviewer and get their permission and also ask which type of device they prefer.
Mock Interview Example Questions
Mock interviews usually focus on more general questions, such as those found during a screening or first-round interview.
When scheduling your mock interview with a career coach or mentor, give them as much information as you can about your goals and interests. The more information you can provide, the better the person can tailor the questions for a more authentic interview.
If you know the industry, career field, and type of position you want, then job-specific questions should be asked.
For instance, if you’re looking for a tech job, the mock interviewer can ask a series of tech-related interview questions. This helps familiarize you with the questions that may be asked so you can frame your responses accordingly.
Suppose you’re hiring a mock interviewer because you already have an interview scheduled with a specific company. In that case, the person can tailor their questions to reflect those that the hiring manager may ask about the company. In fact, Glassdoor.com has lists of user-submitted interview questions for many companies.
At the end of the day, a mock interview is the best way to prepare yourself for the interview process. Even if the questions aren’t exactly what you’re ultimately asked, at least you’ve had some practice thinking on your feet during the mock interviews. And if you’re lucky, you hired a reputable career coach who also taught you lots of tips and tricks in dealing with hiring managers. So, if you’re ever uncertain or need help improving your interviewing skills, find a helper and conduct a mock interview.