Like any other skill or talent, you can get better at job interviews with practice and patience. In fact, it’s always a good idea to conduct a mock job interview before going to the real thing. A mock interview helps you “get in the zone,” allowing you to practice things like:
- Answers to common interview questions
- Your 5-minute elevator pitch
- How to behave in an interview setting
Listed below are 4 steps to help you run an effective mock job interview.
Find Someone to Act as Your Interviewer
Whoever you choose as your mock interviewer, it has to be someone who can provide an objective assessment of your interviewing skills. Many job seekers, however, make the mistake of asking a friend or family to stand in as the interviewer, defeating the purpose of objectivity altogether.
Instead, here’s what you can do:
- Ask friends or family to recommend someone you haven’t met before to act as your mock interviewer.
- If you’re in college or recently graduated, look into your school’s career services center. They may have advisors that conduct mock job interviews with students or alumni.
- Look up professional online mock job interviewers. These paid services let you run practice interviews and get professional feedback on how to improve.
Conduct the Mock Interview in a Professional Setting
Pick a professional setting for the mock interview and pick an attire you’d wear to an actual meeting. The dining area is okay if you don’t have a spare room, but make sure the place is free of distractions like kids, pets, and other people. It’s also a good idea to get the mock interview on camera so you can evaluate your answers and body language. This allows you to identify habits like fidgeting, not making eye contact, or rambling.
Don’t Be Mechanical
Your mock job interview may be an opportunity to rehearse your answers to common questions, but try not to sound like a robot. In other words, don’t focus on memorizing answers. Canned responses sound fake, and fake means you aren’t sincere. You want to practice your responses and elevator pitch, but only to form the general layout of how you might answer questions in the real interview.
Practice Frequently Asked Questions
Although the actual job interview will depend on the industry you’re in, the company, and the interviewer’s style, most hiring managers tend to fall back on these frequently asked questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why made you choose to apply at (insert company here)?
- Where do you see yourself in X years?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What’s your most significant career achievement?
For more interview tips and insights, be sure to follow this blog. If you need help in your job search, contact the staffing specialists of Top Notch Personnel to learn how our services can help you.