Okay, so you’ve successfully completed an educational course, have your resume polished to perfection, and even got a few invitations for a job interview in your inbox. Congratulations! However, the hardest and the most important part — the job interview— is yet to come. So you might be wondering, “How can I ace the interview to land the job of my dreams?” The answer is simple — practice!
In this article, we will introduce you to the concept of a mock interview and take you through the whole process so that you know exactly what you need to do. Are you intrigued? Then keep reading!
What is a mock interview, anyway?
To cut a long story short, a mock interview is a simulation of an actual job interview. It’s an excellent way to get yourself familiarized with the most common questions and practice answering them in a less stressful situation.
Typically, you go through a mock interview with a professional career counselor. This way, you can get valuable feedback, work on your responses, and even develop an interview strategy.
Now that you’re clear on the concept of a mock interview, let’s zoom into its benefits.
What do I get out of a mock interview?
Because a mock interview is the closest you can get to a real interview, it is the best hands-on way to get prepared. Working with a professional will help you reduce stress, boost confidence, and improve your communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.
1. Perfect practice
Practice makes perfect. The more you practice different scenarios, the better you get. So instead of being phased by unusual questions, you’ll be able to answer them with confidence. You'll also be able to practice maintaining eye contact and projecting confidence through body language.
As a result, you will be able to demonstrate your expertise, enthusiasm, and interest in the position. And with this attitude, you will definitely impress your interviewer.
2. Less stress, more confidence
Presenting yourself is never an easy job. And let’s be honest, a job interview adds a lot more stress to that. But the good news is that by preparing and practicing ahead of time, you’ll gain the confidence you need to destress and present your best self during a big interview.
3. Valuable feedback
Receiving feedback from someone who understands the industry can give you valuable insights into what hiring professionals in your field might be looking for, how best to prepare, how to handle your nerves, and what the best practices are for following up after an interview.
4. Standing out in the market
Good news for you — not many professionals are preparing for job interviews well enough, and even fewer are actually utilizing mock interviews as a practice tool. So why not take advantage of it?
Your first interview is always an evaluation of your abilities, regardless of who the interviewer is. And many job seekers make the mistake of thinking that an introductory call is nothing to worry about, but this couldn't be further from the truth.
Remember that preparation is key to acing any interview, but knowing what to focus on is often the most difficult part. A professional interview coach can help you identify any potential areas for improvement and make sure your prep time is spent wisely.
How do I prepare for a mock interview?
Step 1. Research the company
No doubt you should know the nuts and bolts of the company you want to work with. That’s why you should dive into anything you can find online — review their website, social media, and industry media. If you know the information inside out, showing off the research you've done on the company will be the easy part.
By doing this research, you will not only be able to show you’re interested in the company, but also mold yourself in their image and understand if you can see yourself working there.
Step 2. Select a mock interviewer
Ideally, your mock interviewer should be someone who understands the industry of the job you are applying for. This way, they will be able to ask you industry- and job-related questions, provide specific feedback on your responses, and give tips on what your potential employers might be looking for in their candidates.
Step 3. Recreate the interview setting
Try to create an interview setting that mimics a real office with a desk between you and the interviewer. Practice sitting down and putting your resume and portfolio on the desk just as you would in a real interview. It may seem like no big deal, but your movements and body language make the first impression,so you’d better make a good one.
If your interview is online, choose a quiet place with a good connection. Take care of your background and lighting so that it’s not too messy or too dark. If you want to know more tips on how to nail an online meeting, check out this article.
Step 4. Dress accordingly
Your appearance is just as important for a mock interview as it would be for a real one. So give some thought to the way you look. Your mock interviewer will evaluate your competence appearance-wise as part of the testing process so you can receive feedback about it as well.
Step 5. Bring your CV, portfolio, and other documentation
Make sure you bring a copy of your resume, portfolio, and any other documentation required. Your career adviser will probably give you valuable feedback on these. And you, for your part, will be able to make changes.
Step 6. Record the session
Recording a mock interview session is extremely helpful since it gives you a chance to review your performance in more detail. Pay special attention to your body language, tone and speed of voice, facial expressions, and eye contact.
Step 7. Review
Make sure your career adviser gives you clear feedback on all aspects: appearance, qualifications, communication skills, and body language. When this audit is done, you can practice again, focusing on the areas that need improvement. To get the most out of it, you might even try a few different people for this role.
Don’t want to waste time researching? Choose a reliable service! With Careerist, for example, you’ll get full-on assistance from your career coach. They will accompany you at all stages of the process — from writing an impressive resume and getting ready for interviews to finally landing your dream job.
A mock interview is a great way to find out your strengths and weaknesses and what makes you stand out on the market. And most importantly — it’ll help you work on what should be worked on to gain an advantage over your counterparts. So don't hesitate to try it out! And remember, practice makes perfect. Only with practice will you be able to nail the toughest interview and eventually get the job you were dreaming of. 😉