A mock interview mirrors an actual job interview. It gives you an opportunity to practice what to say and do during an interview and get feedback. Whether it’s face-to-face, online, or through a webcam, a mock interview is useful in reviewing your answers to common interview questions and assessing other factors such as your outfit, mannerisms, and body language.
Many college career centers and career counselors offer in-person mock interviews. If you’re a college student or graduate, check with your career office to see if they provide in-person or phone or video mock interviews.
If you’re not affiliated with a college or university, a career coach or counselor is another option for practice interviewing. You can make an appointment with a mock interviewer, providing her with information on either a specific company with whom you are interviewing or your general career field. This will help the interviewer to create mock interview questions similar to those you will eventually encounter in your actual interviews.
Who you choose to practice with is an important decision, since you’re looking for an expert’s honest feedback. Ideally, you want to practice with someone who works in your industry and has real-world experience interviewing job candidates.
Unfortunately, many people make the rookie mistake of practicing with a friend or family member, but you want someone who can objectively assess your interviewing skills.
You may not know the exact questions that the interviewer will ask you, but preparing answers for commonly asked questions can be useful. The questions vary depending on the job level and industry you’re in, but it helps to practice answering the following questions in your mock interview:
“Tell me something about yourself.”
It doesn’t mean that the interviewer wants to know your life story. This is your opportunity to explain how your educational background, knowledge, and skills that suit the job you’re applying for.
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
When it comes to your strong traits, focus on your skills or accomplishments that align with what is needed in the job. When stating your weak characteristics, make sure to share what you’ve done to improve them.
“What are your career goals?”
It may be tempting to say that you aim to climb the corporate ladder and be a senior manager in five years, but a more appealing answer would be about the skills that you want to develop or further improve over that time frame.
“Do you have questions for me?”
This is your opportunity to ask well-researched questions, not only to know more about the company but also to show the interviewer that you did your homework and that you are genuinely interested in the job.
Doing a mock interview is a great way to practice for an actual job interview. It gives you an idea of what you need to do and sets your expectations. Practice so that you will see areas where you can improve. By the time the real job interview arrives, you’re well-prepared.
With Wavely, you chat with companies directly before your interview, so it won’t seem so intimidating. Sounds good? Let’s do this!