A mock interview is a simulation of an actual interview. They allow for someone to practice their interview skills, body language, and answering common interview questions.
Benefits of a Mock Interview
The main benefit is the feedback from a mock interviewer. This person typically is someone who is more knowledgeable about the recruiting process, and they can assess your body language during the practice interview.
By practicing interviewing skills, it creates a less stressful real job interview. It allows for the interviewee to create good habits while interviewing.
As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect” so keep on practicing!
Types of Mock Job Interviews
Mock interviews can be held by a career counselor at career services, a career coach, a recruiter at an organization, a family member, or with just a webcam.
College students should take advantage of their career services offered by the career centers at universities. The individuals there will have high-level knowledge of what recruiters look for in a job candidate in the interview process.
If someone does not have the opportunity to receive help at a career center, it can be beneficial to contact a career coach. They will have that same level of knowledge, but the downside is it will come with a cost.
The next best thing is to recruit a family member or a friend to pretend to be an interviewer. They will provide feedback as well. They may not have the expertise with their feedback. But, it is important to get practice interviewing, regardless of who is asking the questions.
The final option can be to do it via webcam with a live person on the other end, or someone can review it later with feedback. A platform can feed you a list of questions that may be asked in the real thing. A benefit of this way is that it helps in an online job interview, especially with making eye contact with a camera.
How to Prepare for a Mock Interview
To prepare for a mock interview is exactly how you would prepare for an actual job interview. View this as a dress rehearsal.
You want to pick out a location that is a professional interview setting in order to mock the process as best as possible. This is applicable for both in-person mock interviews and phone interviews.
For a mock interview, prepare answers ahead of time, but do not read off of anything or have answers memorized. Then, arrive 10 to 15 minutes early with all materials that you would bring to a real interview. But, bring along a notebook to make note of any feedback you receive in debriefing the interview.
Types of Mock Interview Questions
There are three main question types that will be asked in an interview, whether that be a mock or a real one. These types of questions are basic questions, situational/behavioral questions, and knowledge/skill-based questions.
These are the “get to know you” questions. They are the “tell me about yourself.” While they seem innocent, a hiring manager can tell a lot about an interviewee by their answer.
For more information on answering the basic interview questions, read our blog post on that topic here.
Situational and Behavioral Questions
These questions are the more in-depth questions. The answers share how a potential employee will handle situations and act in the workplace.
For more information on how to prepare for these questions, read more here.
Knowledge and Skill-based Questions
These types of questions are almost like a test. They will be very industry or field-specific. For example, an accounting interview will test a potential employee about their knowledge of balancing spreadsheets, but a graphic designer interview will test if a potential employee knows how to operate Adobe Photoshop.