3 Ways Mock Interviews Prepare You for the Real Thing

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Whether you’re joining the workforce for the first time, returning after a long break, or simply looking for a change, the job search can be demanding, time-consuming, and disheartening if you don’t see the expected results. It’s important to remember that you’re competing against dozens or even hundreds of other qualified applicants, so it’s natural to be rejected—take rejections in stride and use them to fuel your determination. 

Once you land an interview, you’ve already beaten most of your competitors, but now you’re facing the true battle. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about an upcoming job interview, especially if the stakes are high, but it’s important to turn your nerves into positive energy and channel it into preparing for the big day. Just about everyone feels anxious before a job interview, even veteran professionals, so all you can do is focus on getting ready and practicing so that you feel more confident when you face the interviewer.

A mock interview is a great way to prepare for the real thing and be able to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the role. You can set up a mock job interview with one of our experts, who will provide constructive feedback to help you improve your answers to personal and behavioral questions, come up with good questions to ask the interviewer, and learn to be mindful of your body language. A mock interview gives you the chance to mess up and fix any issues before the real meeting. It’s also a good idea to record your practice run so you can see how you come off. The reality may be a far cry from how you picture yourself, and the objective eye of your camera lens can give you insights you can’t glean from others’ opinions.

So, how can mock interviews help you prepare for the real thing? 

1. Mock interviews boost your confidence 

Confidence can be gained through practice, and it’s a key skill to have to succeed in a job interview. It shows when someone fully understands a subject, and you have to know yourself and your industry very well to make a good impression. If you come across as confident, the interviewer will instantly be biased in your favor, even if they may not realize it. 

Mock interviews are a great way to help you practice talking about yourself, your employment history, your professional goals, and your expectations, as well as communicate clearly with the hiring manager, whether they’re asking about your greatest challenges or your most productive hours of the day. Mock interviews are also an excellent opportunity to practice truly listening to the interviewer, not just pretending to listen as you rack your brain for the best answer to a question. The more closely you listen, the more pertinent your answers will be and the better rapport you will establish with the interviewer.

If nerves make you freeze or get stuck, a mock interviewer can teach you how to overcome those mental blocks and manage your reactions in such situations. Practice makes perfect, and when you’re confident in your answers, it will show in the way you present yourself and handle the pressure of the interview. Although you can never know exactly what questions you’ll be fielding, ample practice ensures you’re better prepared for whatever comes.

2. Mock interviews prepare you to answer tough questions

It’s not just the softball questions you have to practice, such as those about your strengths and weaknesses and where you see yourself in five years. You must also be ready to answer tough questions, solve hypothetical problems on the spot, and think on your feet. Your mock interviewer will challenge you with different types of questions you’re likely to encounter, preparing you for all sorts of difficulties you may face during your interview.

Obviously, there’s no way to predict exactly what questions you’ll be asked, but a mock interviewer will keep you on your toes and can even throw in some industry-specific questions to test your knowledge of the field. The goal is for you to feel comfortable with all types of questions and problems and to be confident in your answers. Besides, even if the questions aren’t exactly the same, you still gain tremendous value from formulating answers in a mock interview. For the most part, employers always look for the same sort of information, and mock interviews are a great way to learn how to identify what a given question is asking and modify your answers accordingly.

3. Mock interviewers give you feedback

The best thing about doing a mock interview is that you can review it afterward (always record it if possible) and get feedback from your interview partner. If you conduct your mock interview with a professional, they will give you even more pointed feedback about your demeanor, responses, and overall presence and communication skills. They’ll also offer you time-tested tips on highlighting your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses. They may even be able to give you industry-specific pointers to further improve your chances of success. 

This constructive criticism can help you hone your interview skills, which will boost your confidence before the meeting. Moreover, simply sitting down and going through the motions of a mock interview will make you more confident since you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and can draw on your experience during the real interview.

You should always prepare for your mock interview and take it seriously. Do your research and practice beforehand, wear something appropriate, be ready about 10 minutes before the scheduled time, and be polite, respectful, and positive. Pretend it’s the real interview (you’ll get more value out of it that way), but don’t let the pressure get to you—this is an exercise meant to help you learn and improve, and you’re allowed to make mistakes. Your mock interview is your chance to practice, and mistakes won’t cost you anything—in fact, they may translate into invaluable learning opportunities.

To learn more about setting up a mock interview with one of our experts, check out our job success services and reach out to our team right away!   

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