Mock Interviews: Do They Help?

by Vibrant Publishers

Yes, they do. Mock interviews offer a significant amount of positive contribution towards your job interview preparation. They are not only a great way to practice your answers, but also allow you to work on your body language, attitude, and your overall non-verbal communication skills. Here’s everything you need to know about how to arrange and prepare for mock interviews.

1. What is a mock interview?

A mock interview denotes an interview-like set-up where you can practice interviewing as a means of preparation before your actual job interview. It simulates a real interview, giving candidates a chance to practice the interview process beforehand so that they know where their weaknesses lie and the potential stumbling blocks that need attention. A mock interview session usually lasts for around 30 minutes and can be in the form of an in-person interview, an over-the-phone interview, or an online interview.

2. Who offers mock interviews?

Your institute might have mock interview facilities as a part of the grooming process. Ask the career office of your institution whether they provide mock interviews. Or, you can visit a career counselor who offers such training sessions. When you approach a mock interviewer and make an appointment, you’ll be asked to provide information on the company you are interviewing for or the career field as a whole.

If you don’t feel comfortable with paid services such as career counselors and/or professional mock interviewers, you can also arrange one yourself by asking the senior members of your family or acquaintances, or even a friend who is well-experienced in interviewing. Today, there are software and programs like InterviewBuddy that offer online mock interviews, usually in the form of a video recording with a timed blank part for you to answer. Platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor provide lists of commonly-asked questions and sample answers given by professionals across fields.

3. How mock interviews can help you

Mock interviews stimulate real interviews and give the candidate an opportunity to practice common questions and answers with confidence. After your mock interview session is over, take notes. Listen to every input your mock interviewer has to offer and write them down for future references. Your actual work starts after your mock interview is over, because, now that you know your weak points, you’ll need to work on them in order to improve. Some mock interviewers also record the mock interview session, so that you can watch the playback and see what you have done wrong (or right).

4. How do you prepare for a mock interview?

Since the purpose of a mock interview is to rehearse before the actual interview, the preparation for a mock interview should also be similar. Imitating the actual preparation process as much as possible will help you get the most out of a mock interview. Here are some ground rules to follow, to prepare for a mock interview.

  1. “My real job interview is 3 weeks away. I will prepare later”- Tell yourself things like this and the whole purpose of attending a mock interview goes into the drain. Instead, start preparing well in advance.
  2. Dress in formals and groom yourself really well, just like you’d do in a real interview.
  3. Keep your phone in silent mode, or better, keep it switched off.
  4. Carry a few necessary items with you, like the hard copies of your resume, a pen, and a notebook.
  5. Appear 10-15 minutes early. Drink a glass of water and try to relax. Offer a firm and sweat-free handshake to the mock interviewer.
  6. Listen to the interviewer carefully and take your time before answering their questions. Try to remain calm and composed the whole time.

5. Benefits of a mock interview

Studies and surveys have shown that mock interviews can help a candidate in the following ways:

  1. They give you a visual guide of the real interview setting and enrich your experience. As a result, you feel more confident during the actual job interview.
  2. They allow you to work on your overall presentation. You can recognize and rectify your mistakes well in advance and increase your chances of cracking the important job interviews.
  3. Mock interviews can bring about valuable feedback from the career coach or the experienced mock interviewer. Experienced mock interviewers might provide you with a bunch of relevant questions which you happened to overlook beforehand. Working on their feedback will not only improve your attitude and body language but also your overall study-related preparation too.

Prepare your subject-related questions from special interview preparation books that are just a click away.

Vibrant’s interview preparation books like Innovative Interview Questions You’ll Most Likely Be Asked and HR Interview Questions You’ll Most Likely Be Asked offer exactly the kind of interview simulation you need to do well on your interview day. Practice with friends or family members using the questions in the books to understand what the real interview will be like.  

All the best for your interview preparation!

We hope you enjoyed this series of blogs and feel equipped with the knowledge you need to perform well in your future interviews.

Find the entire list of Interview Preparation Blogs here.

Previous blog in this series: Top 10 tips for Acing Technical Interviews