What is a Mock Interview?

A Mock Interview is a practice interview designed to simulate a real job interview as closely as possible.  Mock interviews are one of the best ways to improve interview skills and prepare for an interview.  The practice gained in a mock interview is invaluable.

Mock interviews can be completed in person, by phone or by video conference.  All three methods work well.  The key to success in a mock interview is recreating the interview experience as much as possible.

One benefit of a mock interview that is often overlooked is the confidence gained after completing a mock interview.  Most job seekers are at least a little intimidated by the interview experience, and some are absolutely terrified when interviewing.  This fear can dramatically hurt a job seeker’s interview performance.  By completing a mock interview, the job seeker will be more comfortable in the real interview.  Like anything, the more you practice, the more confident you will be.

Mock interviews, like real interviews, can take a wide range of forms.  They can be traditional interviews, behavioral interviews or other types.  The interviewer can be friendly and make it easy for the job seeker, or the interviewer can be tough and challenging.  No matter the type of interview or the style, practice will help, but to get the most out of the mock interview, the session should be tailored to the type and style of the interview the job seeker is likely to encounter.  This requires researching every company and learning as much about how they interview as possible.

The biggest style decision in a mock interview deals with follow up questions.  Some interviewers foster a dialog with a lot of follow up questions, while others take the answer from the job seeker and move on to the next question.  In most cases, candidates struggle more when they are not asked follow up questions, but each job seeker is different.  The mock interview should mimic the style of the upcoming interview if possible.  If the type of interview is not known, then work on types of interviews are more likely to be a problem for the job seeker.

Choosing an interviewer for a mock interview is an important decision.  The interviewer should have experience interviewing.  The interviewer should not be a close friend of the interviewer.  The interviewer should have a background that the job seeker respects as an equal or superior.  The goal is to find an interviewer who will be respected by the job seeker, and possibly intimidate the job seeker.  It is important to simulate the stress, anxiety and fear of an interview situation and the interviewer needs to fill this role.