Interviews can be very stressful, especially if you don’t know what questions to expect, or if you’re not sure how to demonstrate your skills and experience. That’s why preparing for job interviews should involve more than just reading up on the company: it requires knowing how to crack the code!
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a job interview is by doing practice interviews or “mock” interviews. They give you the opportunity to try out answers before sitting down in front of a real interviewer. Plus, they help build confidence and reduce pre-interview jitters.
In this article, we are going to share with you my guide on how to ace your interviews using mock interviews! Read on for an insider’s look into getting ready for your big day.
What is a Mock Interview?
You can’t try to figure out how to ace your interviews without knowing what a mock interview is in the first place, are we right, or are we right?
So, simply, the mock interview is a practice job interview that replicates a real-world job interview. It can help you feel confident and sharp when that “big day” arrives!
Mock interviews give you the opportunity to learn, practice, and become comfortable with various types of questions posed by real employers, as well as get feedback on your responses.
It allows you to experience a simulated, yet realistic job interview environment with access to professional resources who can provide constructive criticism about possible weaknesses in your interviewing skills.
During a mock interview, you bring your own resume and other documents necessary for the job search, such as letters of recommendation. You will also be asked to simulate an actual interview by answering questions that cover both general topics related to job interviews like preparing for an upcoming meeting or problem-solving scenarios!
How can Mock Interviews Be Beneficial?
You might be thinking that something like a mock interview would not be beneficial because how can a fake interview have any benefits right? Wrong!
Mock interviews are incredibly helpful to help you prepare for the real thing. It can be nerve-wracking to go into an interview without having any idea of what questions you might be asked.
Mock interviews can provide a sense of security going into the real interview so that you know what you’re in for. They give you an opportunity to hone your skills and practice answering any type of question with confidence, grace, and ease.
Not only that, but mock interviews can also dramatically reduce job interview stress because it will make it easier to answer difficult questions when they come up during the actual interview. You will have already had practice answering them beforehand in a mock interview setting and feel more prepared.
Moreover, mock interviews can improve body language as well since it gives applicants knowledge on appropriate body language such as maintaining good posture and making eye contact when speaking with the interviewer!
Still, see no benefits? We don’t think so!
Shall we move on?
Different Types of Mock Interviews
The most common type of mock interview is the ‘traditional’ format. During traditional mock interviews, a friend or mentor will ask you questions about yourself and your skillset, similar to the questions a real interviewer might ask.
Another type of mock interview worth doing is the video call format – recording yourself answering questions on camera as if in an actual job interview. This helps you familiarize yourself with appearing on camera and helps boost your confidence when it comes time for the real thing!
It’s also good to do role-playing exercises. Here, the role-player takes on the role of an interviewer and asks specific and more difficult interview questions than those in a traditional setting.
Sometimes universities can also provide something similar for you so you should check to see if there is any program for things like this. However, if you don’t want to go through that hassle you can just try out one of the options we listed for you above!
How to Prepare For Your Upcoming Interview
If you are slowly but surely making your way through this article, you might have already realized the benefits of going through mock interviews before your actual interview.
But you might be thinking, okay preparation is easy, I will just ask my mother or whoever else is available to listen to me in my pajamas talking about all of the experiences I have, well, if this is the scenario you have made out for yourself, then that will not work.
A mock interview may be for practice and it won’t actually change anything in that sense, however, when you are preparing for a mock interview, you have to take it as seriously as you would your actual interview. That is the only way you will be able to actually ace your real job interview!
So how do you prepare for it? We have the perfect tips for you!
Choose The Right Interviewer For Your Mock Interview
When you choose your mock interviewer, it’s important to pick someone who will give you as close to a real experience as possible. This is especially true for job interviews where the stakes are high and the competition is tough.
Choose an interviewer who has a good understanding of what makes an ideal candidate and can provide genuine feedback on how well you are presenting yourself.
Pick someone with experience on both sides of the job search process. A career coach or recruiter might be able to provide valuable insight into how to make the most of your interview performance. Alternatively, a mentor or coworker may be able to offer some constructive criticism based on their own experiences in job interviews.
If needed, practice asking common interview questions in front of a mirror first before going live with a mock interviewer. That way, when it comes time for your actual interview, you won’t have any problem demonstrating that you are ready and confident!
Find a Professional Setting
If you want to ace your interview, find a professional setting to do your mock interview. It’s important to select a location that mimics where you’ll be interviewing.
For example, if you’re interviewing for an office position, dress up in business attire and set up your meeting in a boardroom or public library. Or if it’s a sales job, practice for the pressure of being in a customer-facing environment rather than in the comfort of your own home.
When finding a space for your mock interview, think about how the environment can boost or hinder your performance. Don’t forget to get there early to give yourself time to settle into the space and ensure you have all the tech equipment or materials that you need!
Don’t Be Late
This might seem like it is a little over the top for you, but it is definitely something you should do just to get yourself in the right mindset for your real interviews!
So, make sure you set your alarm early enough and make sure to leave your house with ample time to spare. That way, the moment you walk into the room, you will be in a good mindset and ready to take on whatever comes your way!
Bring Whatever is Necessary
Being prepared is key to acing your interview. That’s why you should arrive with whatever documentation, certificates, or awards you have that demonstrate your success or skill set in the area in which you are interviewing for.
It’s also important to bring copies of your resume, just in case the interviewer doesn’t have it handy. You may even want to print out a few extra copies for your own note-taking during the interview.
These things are minute but they will make a difference, at the end of the day if you have nothing to lose but everything to gain then why not?
Dress Properly for Your Mock Interview
The way you present yourself is of utmost importance during a job interview. So it’s important to dress appropriately for any type of mock interview.
During a mock interview, dress similarly to how you would if you were interviewing in real life. That means wearing professional attire and making sure you look clean and neat.
Your clothing choice should reflect the job that you’re applying for – so if you’ll be interviewing with a company that prefers conservative business wear, then make sure to abide by that standard (at the very least for your mock interview).
You want to come across as professional yet personable during the entire process, regardless of the setting. Dressing properly will help reassure the interviewer that you have what it takes to do well in the role.
Do Not Try to Memorize The Answers You Give in The Mock Interview
Mock interviews are a great way to prepare for an actual job interview, but they only work if you don’t try to memorize the answers you give. The best way to practice your mock interview is by making sure that you’re responding honestly to the questions asked.
The reason why it’s important not to memorize what you say during a mock interview is that the goal is to practice answering questions naturally, in your own words. When you pause and think out loud, instead of relying on rote memorization of answers, recruiters are more likely to believe that your answers are genuine.
Your goal shouldn’t be saying the “right answer” – it should be practicing how to answer questions confidently and calmly. That way, when you actually go on an interview with a potential employer, your nerves won’t betray you as easily!
Now that you’ve learned how to practice and prepare for your interview, you are well on your way to acing it! Do a few mock interviews with a friend or mentor, and be sure to take notes after each one to track your progress.
Make good use of the feedback they provide as you continue practicing. Remember that interviewing is as much an art as it is a skill, so don’t be afraid to try out different approaches until you find what works best for you.
Be confident in yourself and make sure you exude positive vibes when the day finally comes for your real interview. You got this!
At the end of the day, having the right amount of knowledge about the job and some great interviewing tips can go a long way in helping you ace your job interview. Good luck!