THE BENEFITS OF A MOCK INTERVIEW
A mock interview is a simulation of a job interview used for preparation purposes. The interview strives to imitate a real interview accurately so that the interviewee would be better prepared in future job interviews.
A mock interview is vital when preparing for a real interview. When I was in university, we were encouraged to attend mock interviews. We would approach a lecturer or a 3rd year student and they would ask us questions similar to those asked at interviews. Of course, the questions were fairly general:
Why do you want to work for this company?
Why should we hire you?
What do you consider to be your strengths?
What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
Give us an example of a situation where you demonstrated the ability to practice teamwork.
After the mock interview was over, we would receive feedback as to how we had done as an interviewee.
A lot of the time we polish our resumes, we send them off, and if we are fortunate enough to be given an interview date, then we read up on the company (if we haven’t already). But what we don’t do is practice.
Would you perform in a play without rehearsing your lines? Would you give a speech without committing it to cards or to memory? Interviews are a form of performance. You want to leave an impression on the minds of the interviewers so that they don’t toss your application at the bottom of the pile. Interviewers like individuals who are confident, who are charismatic and who are articulate. Your resume got you to the interview but it is your aura and poise that will get you that job.
It doesn’t matter how smart you are, if you can’t engage the interviewers without blanking, saying ‘uhm’ and losing their interest, you won’t get that job. Sometimes, a clever quip can save the day, but you won’t know that if you never give it a try.
As far as mock interviews go, if your university does not organize them, you can always set one up yourself. Ask a family member or a friend who is an employer of graduates to sit you down and interview you. After the interview is done, listen to the feedback that they give you and then on a later date, take your mock interview again.
If you suspect that a panel will interview you, then have more than one friend mock interview you at once. After you have done this a couple of times you will find that you approach your interviews with more confidence.
Remember, maintain eye contact, don’t fidget, answer questions concisely and smile.
Interviews can be daunting; don’t set yourself up to fail by going to your interview unprepared.
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