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A mock interview, also known as a practice interview, is a simulation of an actual job interview. It provides job seekers with an opportunity to practice for an interview and receive feedback on their interviewing skills.

Mock interviews are an ideal way to practice for real job interviews because you are in a situation that mirrors an actual interview with a company. When you review your interview with the interviewer, you'll be able to modify your responses and interview behavior, if necessary.

What is a Mock Interview?

A typical mock interview is a practice job interview held with a professional career counselor. A mock interview helps you learn how to answer difficult questions, develop interview strategies, improve your communication skills, and reduce your stress before an actual job interview.

Benefits of Practice Interviews

The more you practice the various scenarios you could encounter on a job interview, the more you will be prepared. You’ll be able to show off all the research you’ve done on the company because you’ll know the information inside and out. Instead of being startled by unusual job interview questions, you’ll have an answer ready because you’ll already have heard them (or one like it)during the mock interview.

“Mock interviews are like study sessions that build your ability to perform well and boost your confidence.”

You’ll Feel Less Stressed After Mock Interview Questions

Job interviews are nerve-wracking and stress-inducing. Under pressure, it’s a lot harder to present your best self! There are several tricks to help you calm your nerves, but none will serve you as well as solid knowledge, preparation, and practice. Mock interviews give you the opportunity to shake out those jitters during several practice runs.

Career Specialists Provide Critical Feedback after a Mock Interview

When you role play with someone who understands you, the position you want, and the industry you hope to enter, you can receive helpful feedback about what you’re doing right – and wrong. Take that feedback and hone your interview skills.

Mock Interviews Boost Your Confidence

Have you ever done well on an exam because you knew the material? Mock interviews are like study sessions that build your ability to perform well and boost your confidence. Studies suggest that the power of positive thinking and self-confidence help applicants do better in interviews.

Types of Mock Interviews

  • A telephone interview -Telephone interview is a data collection method when the interviewer communicates with the respondent on the telephone in accordance with the prepared questionnaire. Usually, standardised questionnaires with closed-ended questions are recommended for this kind of questioning.

  • A face to face interview - Face-to-face interviews are structured interviews conducted by trained interviewers who use a standardized interview protocol and a standardized set of responses for recording participants' responses.

  • A Skype interview - A Skype interview, otherwise known as a video interview, is one in which the entire interview is conducted via video chat on your computer. As technology continues to advance, more and more interviewers are turning to Skype and video interviews as a way to connect with potential hires.

  • A video interview - A video interview is a job interview that takes place remotely and uses video technology as the communication medium. Video interviews are a popular tool for talent acquisition because they can save an organization time and money compared to traditional, in-person or face-to-face interviews.

  • A practice of your presentation - In order to become more confident, and even brush away some of those nerves, it is important to be well prepared for a presentation. Practicing can instill more confidence in a speaker and help produce an overall better product.

Examples of Mock Interview Questions

The questions asked during a mock interview are typically the more general employer interview questions that are asked during a first-round or screening interview.

When you schedule a mock interview with your college career center or a career coach, provide them with as much information as possible about your interests and goals. The more information the counselor has, the better able he or she will be to tailor the questions to fit the actual interviews you will have.

Job-Specific Interview Questions

For candidates who know what type of position, career field, or industry they are interested in, job-specific interview questions may be asked.

For example, if you are searching for a tech job, the interviewer can ask a series of tech interview questions to familiarize you with the types of questions that will be asked and to help you frame good responses.

If you're interviewing for a summer job, as another example, the interviewer can ask you the same questions you will be asked by the people who hire for summer positions.

Company-Specific Interview Questions

If you are using a mock interview to prepare for a job interview you have scheduled with a company, the interviewer may be able to ask you actual questions that are asked by hiring managers at the company.

Here are a few mock interview do's and don'ts:

DO dress appropriately. Wear professional clothes that you would wear to a real job interview. First impressions can have a huge impact so knowing what to wear to your interview will pay off.

DON'T just roll out of bed. Believe it or not, the way you dress can affect how you carry yourself so wearing your PJ’s probably isn’t the best decision.

DO prepare like a real job interview. This means bringing copies of your resume and preparing interview questions and answers.

DON'T wing it.

DO feel free to start over. Now is the time to practice your answers, so if you stumble or make a mistake, gather yourself, and start over.

DON'T freak out if you make a mistake.

DO take feedback constructively. Learn from the feedback you receive so you can better prepared for your real job interview.

DON'T take constructive criticism personally.

Set Up Your Own In-Person Mock Interview

Here are five key elements to acing your internal interview.

  1. Act like an external candidate.

  2. Use your knowledge to your advantage.

  3. Ask questions.

  4. Be prepared to challenge pre-conceived ideas.

  5. Share your accomplishments.

If you're not in a situation where you can participate in a mock interview with a professional counselor, you can recruit a family member or friend to help you practice interviewing. The more you prepare, the more comfortable you will be with interviewing.

Just as you would with a professional career counselor, provide your friend or relative with a copy of your resume and lists of the general and job-specific interview questions you think you’ll be asked. Dress as you would for a real interview, and remember to practice using an appropriate tone of voice and body language as you respond to your “interviewer’s” questions.

Online Mock Interviews

Another option for mock interviewing is utilizing an online program or application. Online practice interview programs provide job seekers with a pressure-free way to prepare and practice for upcoming job interviews. Some of these programs are very basic; users are given a series of random interview questions (either verbally or in writing) and type in answers. While these programs get users thinking about how to answer various questions, they do not allow users to practice verbalizing responses.

Fee-Based Interview Programs

Be aware, however, that some online practice interview programs cost money, particularly the programs that record your interview or involve actual career counselors. Thoroughly review any online practice interview program; make sure the program offers what you want at a cost that fits your budget.

Here are five things you MUST do in order to conduct an effective mock interview:

  • Find An Objective "Interviewer" Bigstock.

  • Treat Your Mock Interview As If It Were The Real Deal. Bigstock.

  • Prep Your Mock Interviewer. Bigstock.

  • Dress Like You're Going In For The Real Interview.

  • Get (Honest) Feedback From Your Mock Interviewer.

Key Takeaways

  • Mock interviews are a great way to practice for real job interviews.

  • College career centers, career counselors, and career coaches offer one-on-one mock interview services.

  • Online interviewing tools provide job seekers with an easy way to prepare and practice for upcoming job interviews.

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