Job interviews can be quite scary for those who are still starting out and have no experience in how the process usually works. Applicants who have not yet gone through this standard business practice usually answer basic interview questions with incoherent responses, confused looks, or stuttered replies. Some even break down from the stress. Of course, failing an interview is an upsetting experience. But you do not need to go through 10 job interviews so you can rid yourself with interview jitters and awkward responses.
As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. Yes, researching about your potential employers, excellent grooming, and learning proper business etiquette can help you a lot. But the best preparation for a job interview is to actually go through it via mock interviews.
A mock interview simulates a job interview and all the possible scenarios that might come up in the actual interview. Job searching specialist Alison Doyle says that mock interviews help you in four key ways:
- Mock interviews train and sharpen your communication skills and eliminate bad habits and body language
- They enable you to find answers to all likely basic and tricky questions an interviewer may throw at you
- They help you to develop response strategies
- They reduce the level of stress you are likely to experience prior to the actual interview, basically making you a more relaxed, calm, and composed interviewee
College graduates who have not found a job can go to their college career counselors and arrange for mock interview sessions. Community centers and employment organizations are also offering mock interview practice for unemployed individuals.
A professional mock interviewer may charge a fee but will thoroughly equip you with the skills you need to ace that job interview. They will also normally require specific information, such as company profile, the job title and its qualifications and responsibilities, and other significant details to make the mock interview as realistic as possible.
Usually, a mock interviewer records the session with a video camera. After the practice interview, the interviewer will then make a review of the video and provide you with feedback and give you pointers on where to improve yourself, habits and mannerisms you need to drop, and errors that you consistently make.
Here are some useful tips you can use to get the most out of a mock interview session:
- Take the mock interview seriously as you would with a real interview
- Mock interviews are usually done in an office setting. So dress appropriately, arrive at the location 10-15 minutes early, and brings your resume and other materials with you
- A notebook is very handy in taking down notes from your mock interviewer
- Do your research about the company and come prepared for the basic and difficult questions that a mock interviewer will ask you
If you are in a situation where you can’t get the services of a professional mock interviewer, you can ask your family or friends to help you out. Just bear in mind that you and your family or friends need to be serious about this and joking around will not help. Mock interviews have been a great help to job seekers, since they mirror what actually transpires in a real job interview.