Interview anxiety is encountered by many job seekers. The anxiety most often results from not knowing what to expect from an interviewer and from being uncertain about the type of impression you project. However, as you have surely heard many times before, “practice makes perfect.” With interview preparation and practice, your interview anxiety can be significantly reduced.
A mock interview is the equivalent of a “dress rehearsal” for your real interviews. Consequently, we suggest that you dress professionally for your mock interviews, as you would for real interviews. Dressing professionally will allow you the opportunity to become accustomed to professional attire and to receive feedback on your professional appearance.
Find an opportunity to practice your interview skills through a mock interview session. These interview opportunities are designed to simulate job interviews that you will have in the near future.
Purpose of a Mock Interview
Obviously a mock interview situation will not be identical to an actual interview with a particular organization. However mock interviews are designed to help you:
- Identify the most difficult questions you might be asked during an interview, and develop appropriate responses.
- Decide what qualifications and information you want to convey to a prospective employer to influence him/her to select you for the position.
- Obtain feedback concerning the impression you project to prospective employers.
Preparing for the Interview
As with any interview, we suggest that you not go into your mock interview without adequate preparation. Do the following things to help you prepare:
- Research the company and position ahead of time.
- Read any information that is sent to you from the company.
- Anticipate what questions may be asked during the interview.
The Mock Interview
A Mock Interview is staged in order to determine whether you have an acceptable level of verbal and non-verbal proficiency during a job interview. More specifically, the mock interview aims to assess your “readiness” to conduct a “real” interview in your chosen occupation or industry. The interview provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your skills in a variety of areas including answering behavioral, functional, and other forms of questions.
A Mock Interview can be conducted by an expert in your chosen field. It is important to work with someone who is an experienced interviewer and can provide unbiased input. Interviewers must be experienced in interviewing skills, including types of questions and methods of employing “probes” (i.e. questions that probe into specific experiences), speak to the non-verbal forms of communication, and provide detailed feedback on grammar, word choice, intonation, and more.
The Mock Interview Process
Each Mock Interview should last for approximately 30 minutes. These interviews can be held in person or over the phone. We prefer to conduct Mock Interviews in person because it is also important to assess the non-verbal messages that you might be conveying during the interview.
You may interview with one to five people, depending on the type of interview arranged for you. For example, if you need practice with one-on-one interviewing, set up a mock interview with one person. If you need help with group interviewing, find a panel of five to interview you simultaneously. You will be interviewed for approximately 30 minutes, and then you should discuss the interview in great detail, reviewing and using video tape to assist you. You must remember that the interview should be staged to be as close to real as possible. The setting should mirror the work environment to give you the optimum opportunity to express yourself as you would in a “real” interview.