5 Reasons To Do a Mock Interview
A Mock Interview is a practice job interview. Doing one before an actual job interview can significantly improve your performance thus improving your chances of getting a job offer. We offer this service here at the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development, and you can sign up by making an appointment with one of our career advisers.
5 Reasons To Do a Mock Interview
1. Reduce Your Stress Level
Everyone is stressed out by a job interview. After all, it’s going to determine whether you get the job offer. All the hard work you’ve already done to network, to find sources of jobs to apply to, to prepare, polish and tweak you resume and cover letter, to submit your application and maybe fill out a long application form come down to this one 30-60 minute job interview. Of course, it’s stressful. Not only that, you don’t know what questions you’re going to be asked and it’s a lot of pressure to come up with a good answer on the spot. I’ve seen stress either paralyze students so that they can’t speak at all or in other instances they start talking really, really fast.
But, here’s the good news. You can significantly reduce the stress level of a job interview by being well prepared. Just like for an exam in one of your classes, if you’re well prepared, you feel less stress. And you can certainly be prepared. You are not going to be asked a question that’s never been asked before in the history of the world. Job interview questions repeat all the time and you can anticipate them and prepare for them. There are other ways you can reduce the stress level as well. Remember, the job interview is just a conversation between two people. Even if you don’t get the job, it’s not the end of the world—there will be other jobs.
I’m not saying you’re not going to be nervous at all. That wouldn’t be natural. If you don’t have any nervousness, I would be worried. You may be too over-confident or a robot.
2. Improve Your Performance
The more mock and actual interviews you do, the better you get at them. You answers sound more thoughtful and fluid. There’s less of a chance that you’re going to be surprised by a question. You’ll radiate confidence and confidence is an attractive trait to employers. You’ll get to work on the most dreaded and mishandled interview questions such as: Why don’t you tell me about yourself or what is your greatest weakness? You’ll also get into the momentum of talking about yourself. I used to teach some courses at Brooklyn College and for me the toughest class was the first one after the summer after not having spoken to a class for three months. In your mock interview you will learn to market yourself in a objective and believable way that will not be considered as boasting.
3. You Will Get Advice about Your Interview Strategy
It’s great to be able to handle the questions, but just being reactive is still not quite enough. You have to have a plan and a strategy of what points you want to get across about yourself in the interview—what you want the interviewer to know about you. You never want to walk away from an interview thinking I wish I would have said X, but there was no question about it. If you have a plan, you can always get those points across because they’ll be questions like: Tell me about yourself; or what are your greatest strengths?; or why should we select you for this position? I’ll let you in on my greatest single secret for successfully handling an interview (you won’t tell anyone, will you?). That secret is to tell stories. Stories are very powerful and interviewers remember stories. They demonstrate how you solved a problem or how you handled a situation rather than just saying I’m good at this or I know how to do that. Stories are hard to come up with on the spot so think in advance of stories that you can tell that put you in a good light and relate to what they’re looking for in the job description. I’ve had a number of successful job interviews where I was subsequently told that it was the stories that I told that clinched the deal.
4. No One Will Mock You
Don’t worry about making mistakes. That’s what the Mock Interview is for. Better to do it with us than at the actual interview. We can point out some of the most fatal mistakes in an interview such as:
- Not having done sufficient research on the employer
- Not having re-read and understood the job description
- Answers that are too long or too short
- Not making eye contact or poor body language
- Not having questions ready to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview
5. How to Get the Most out of a Mock Interview
The most effective mock interview is one that takes place a couple of days before your actual interview. In advance of the Mock Interview, send us the job description and the materials that you used to apply for the position. In that way, we can make the interview as realistic as possible. Also, tell us whether the interview is in person, by phone, Skype or some other format because we can give you tips for handling each situation. However, even if you don’t have an actual job interview coming up, you can still come in to work on the most common interview questions.