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Career Advice

How to Conduct a mock interview

Hands up who has ever done a mock interview?

By ‘mock interview’ I don’t mean, that time you got a mate to ask you a few questions loosely related to your chosen field, and then giggled most of the way through your answers.

I mean a real mock interview, one which mimicked as closely as possible the typical conditions of a formal job interview.

Not many of you I’m guessing, which is a real shame because, whilst recreating the particulars of an interview environment will never have the same impact as the real deal, the benefits which can come from a little practice session can be numerous and rewarding.

Here we will provide you with some really useful tips and advice on how best to emulate the conditions found within the typical interview situation.

(You can put your hand down now if you havn’t already done so!

What are the benefits of doing a mock interview?

The benefits of completing a mock interview will vary from person to person, often depending on the aspects of the interviewtelephone interview process you find most challenging.  Some include;

  • A reduction in the stress and anxiety associated with the interview process
  • Good practice in interview etiquette, including greeting and thanking your interviewer
  • Giving you the opportunity to work through some of the questions you could be asked in a real interview
  • Getting honest feedback on your interview techniques and suggestions on some ways that you could improve

Tips and Advice for a Mock Interview

Of course, to get the maximum benefits from the mock interview process will take a considerable effort on your part.  Here are a few of our top tips to help you along the way.

Get someone to interview you – Whilst it is certainly possible to conduct your mock interview yourself, where possible it is much better to ask someone else to do this for you. This is mainly because it give you a focus when answering questions and will encourage you to perform as you would in an interview, rather than cut corners and blag your way through

Film yourself – Okay, we know for most this will be a cringeworthy experience, but if you can overcome the discomfort interview3associated with it, watching how you act during an interview can really help you to identify issues with your performance and then take steps to amend them.

Write the questions yourself – Unless the person interviewing you is an expert in your field, having them script some questions for you to answer will be an exercise in futility.

Make sure that you are thorough and comprehensive when creating the questions so that you are challenged to deliver answers akin to what would be expected in a real interview.

Time the interview – Setting a specific time frame in which you must have completed your mock interview will provide a little pressure and keep moving the whole thing forward by providing a tighter structure to the exercise.

Dress for success – You wouldn’t go to an interview in a onesie (we hope) so nor should you carry out a mock interview in anything other that what you would wear to a real interview.  The reason for this is that the clothes you wear, ultimately have an impact on the way that you act, move, sit and deport yourself.  The mock interview will give you the opportunity to assess whether or not your choice of clothing is fully comfortable and suitable to wear in an interview.

Observe the formalities – Whilst it might seem silly shaking hands with and introducing yourself to someone whom you have known for years, it can be very beneficial in establishing the atmosphere and formality of a real interview. You should ensure that you try, as far as possible, to maintain and uphold the illusion of reality and behave in a manner which you would within a genuine interview.

Choose your interviewer wisely – As much as it is important that you prepare as thoroughly as possible for the mock interview, this will be completely in vain should you choose an interviewer who is unlikely to take the situation as seriously as you will. Select your interviewer based on how well you think they will react to being this situation, and how seriously they will view their role within it.

You should also be mindful of the content of the interview and, where possible select someone who has at least some knowledge of the role for which you are applying. This will make it easier to get comprehensive and useful feedback which you can then apply within a real life interview situation.

Fingers crossed these tips will help you to conduct a beneficial and realistic mock interview.

You might also like to check out some of these recent articles on the subject of job interviews;

5 ways to deal with interview stress

How to answer the question “What is your greatest weakness?”

Some tips on how to recover from a bad interview


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