BlogJob InterviewsHow To Get Ready for a Mock Job Interview [w/ Questions and Answers]

How To Get Ready for a Mock Job Interview [w/ Questions and Answers]

mock interview

To get ready for a mock interview, it’s best to research the company you’re applying for beforehand, dress appropriately, and ask for permission to record the interview in advance so you can study your behavior afterward. 

Since interviews can be unpredictable and stressful, the best way to alleviate that anxiety is to thoroughly prepare for them, and what better way to prepare for the real deal than with a mock interview? They let you practice for the real deal in a safe environment. However, you need to know how to set them up to ensure their maximum effectiveness. 

In this article, we’ll give you tips on how to get the most out of your mock job interview and what questions to focus on during it. 

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • A mock interview is a low-stakes imitation of a conversation with a recruiter where you can practice your answers with someone you know or who’s there to help you improve for a real meeting.

  • There are different types of mock interviews, based on who you take them with, including interviews with career counselors, mentors, colleagues, friends, and family members.

  • Mock interviews offer multiple benefits, as you can use them to get feedback, reduce anxiety, boost your confidence, get a better understanding of the interview questions, and improve your overall performance. 

  • To ace your mock interview, pick a suitable person to do it with, research the company that you’re applying at, dress appropriately, choose the right location, practice answering the most common interview questions, and record everything for future analysis.

What Is a Mock Interview?

A mock interview is a simulated meeting with someone you know or someone who can help you prepare for a real event beforehand. The goal is to create a situation that matches the actual job interview as closely as possible so that you can practice different aspects of it in a risk-free environment.

More than that, a mock interview gives you the opportunity to spot areas for improvement, whether through introspection or by listening to feedback from the person who’s helping you. You can find out whether you need to work on your body language, if there are some answers that you can improve, if you need to practice active listening, etc.

Leveraging mock interviews to practice is one of the best ways to become more confident in front of recruiters and to answer all of their questions optimally. This is vital if you have an upcoming job opportunity or if you’re changing careers. Also, mock interviews for students are a great way to prepare them for the business world.

Types of Mock Interviews

There are several types of mock interviews, depending on who you have them with

For example, you can have a mock interview with a:

Types of Mock Interviews

  • Career counselor. These professionals can perfectly simulate a real-life scenario and provide exceptional guidance and feedback.

  • Mentor. Here, an expert in your field leverages their competence to help you reach your goals.

  • Colleague. They can offer you their valuable, industry-relevant perspective.

  • Friend. This is easy to set up and results in a relaxed setting in which you can still get some unbiased opinions and actionable advice. 

  • Family members. This is where you’ll get the safest space for risk-free practice, even if they aren’t professionals in the field or completely unbiased. 

5 Benefits of Mock Interviews

Mock interviews offer numerous benefits. 

Here are five of the biggest ones:

Mock Interviews Benefits

  1. Skill enhancement. Navigating job interviews is a skill in itself. Using mock interviews to practice your communication, active listening, demeanor, and other aspects will make you better at it and improve your chances of having successful encounters with recruiters.

  2. Feedback opportunities. You can only receive another individual's feedback by having a mock interview. An outside perspective can help you spot weaknesses or aspects that you can enhance. This can help you give better answers, improve your body language, adjust your outfit, etc.

  3. Alleviated anxiety. Interview anxiety is common among job hunters. The vast majority of people experience feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. Preparing yourself with a mock interview significantly reduces nervousness and helps you perform optimally. 

  4. Increased confidence. Successfully completing one or more mock interviews increases your confidence in your performance. That way, you’ll present yourself assertively during the actual interview, impressing recruiters with your professionalism and expertise.

  5. Understanding of interview questions. By answering common interview questions during a rehearsal, you’ll gain a better understanding of what they are about and how you should respond. You’ll figure out which details to emphasize and whether to anticipate follow-up questions.

5 Tips on Acing Your Mock Interview

video interview

By learning how to ace your mock interview, you’ll know how to best prepare for the real one

Here are some expert tips to help you with that.

#1. Pick a Person Who Will Interview You

As we’ve already established, there are many different people that you can pick to interview you, depending on your goals and circumstances.

For example, a mentor or career counselor could provide you with a comprehensive experience, a realistic simulation of a real interview, and spotless feedback that could help you improve quickly. However, not everyone has connections with these professionals or is able to schedule a meeting whenever they need it.

On the flip side, friends and family members might not be as proficient in your field as you are, but they are typically easier to contact and ask for a meeting. Plus, they can still give invaluable feedback about various aspects of your performance, including your demeanor, body language, confidence, answers, etc.

#2. Research the Company You’re Applying At

The key to good preparation for both the mock interview and the real one is to research the company you’re applying to. The information you gather will be invaluable in answering questions and interacting with the interviewer, whether it’s your associate or the recruiter.

That’s why you should look into the company’s website and relevant social media pages, as well as recent news articles and other related publications. Read about their history, work, mission, goals, and values. Familiarize yourself with their products or services so that you can determine what kind of employees they are looking for. 

This is important every step of the way during the job-hunting process. It will help you write a resume that highlights exactly what recruiters want to see, prepare for the mock interview, and confidently ace the real meeting.

#3. Dress Appropriately

Most interviews have a dress code that you need to adhere to. Your choice of attire plays a significant role, which is why you should test it out during the rehearsal.

By wearing the planned outfit during a mock interview, the other party will be able to give you feedback regarding your choice. They’ll tell you how it looks from their perspective and whether you should consider some changes.

Furthermore, you should take the opportunity to evaluate whether you feel comfortable in those clothes or if you want to go with another option. Feeling relaxed and cozy during the meeting can significantly alleviate potential problems with anxiety, make you more confident, and overall help you present yourself in a professional manner.

#4. Choose a Location For Your Mock Interview

Choosing a location for your mock interview is important as you want it to mimic the real setting as closely as possible. That’s why you want to find an isolated space where there are no background noises and visual distractions so that you can focus on the experience, your interviewer, and their questions.

If you’re having a mock interview with a friend or a family member, you can choose a quiet room in your home. Some other options to consider include a library or a coworking meeting room. You just need to make sure you’ve booked those places in advance.

If you're preparing for a video interview, you can also take a mock interview online. This gives you a chance to conduct technical tests and verify whether your equipment—like a computer, webcam, and internet connection—works properly.

#5. Record Your Mock Interview

By recording your mock interview, you turn it into a video lesson that you can then use to extract valuable insight that will help you improve. A simple way to do it is to use the camera on your smartphone or your computer’s webcam to film both you and the interviewer.

You can watch the recording to assess your behavior throughout the interview and examine your body language, speech, outfit, and more. Focus on every aspect of it, including the specific details like vocal tone and the clarity with which you speak.

Additionally, you can combine the recording with the interviewer’s feedback to maximize the effectiveness of both and polish your interviewing skills.

7 Mock Interview Questions With Sample Answers

how to ask for a promotion

Here are some examples of mock interview questions that you can practice responding to during the test meeting. We’ll provide sample answers and explain why they work well.

#1. Tell me about yourself.

Recruiters ask this question to find out about your background and experiences. Your answer should be in the style of an elevator pitch, where you want to highlight skills, interests, and achievements relevant to the role that you’re applying for.

Here’s how you can answer a “Tell me about yourself” interview question:

Good Answer

“I have a background in digital marketing with a focus on social media. For the past five years, I’ve collaborated with a tech startup company on growing its internet presence and online audience. This gave me the opportunity to test out various innovative marketing strategies and polish my decision-making skills. Outside work, I particularly enjoy photography and dabble in graphic design.”

#2. Why do you want to work for this company?

With this question, interviewers want to assess your interest in their organization and whether your goals, values, and aspirations match theirs. This is particularly important in the current business climate, where cultural fit is becoming one of the priorities for both employers and employees.

Let’s see an example of an answer:

Good Answer

“I’ve been following your work for a while, and I am impressed with your positioning as a leader in the architecture industry. Your “Going Green” project and commitment to sustainability align with my personal values of being environmentally conscious when choosing construction materials in development. I am excited to leverage my knowledge of organic materials and proficiency in zero-energy buildings to contribute to your dynamic team.”

#3. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Your answer to this question shows your long-term career goals and aspirations. Recruiters want to see if you’re proactive about your professional development and whether your objectives align with their company’s, making you a good fit.

Here’s an example of a good answer:

Good Answer

“In five years, I see myself having a leadership position in a company and leveraging my extensive knowledge and experience to guide others toward achieving common goals. As I’m committed to continuous learning and professional development, I believe that your organization’s large-scale projects will allow me to achieve these goals and grow into a position where I can take on more responsibility.”

#4. Do you have any questions for me?

By asking this, recruiters want to gauge your enthusiasm and interest in the role and the company that you’re applying to. 

Simultaneously, you get the opportunity to find out more about the job and the team that you want to join. That’s why you want to come up with meaningful questions to ask interviewers that’ll highlight your curiosity and give you relevant information.

Here’s an example:

Good Answer

“I am curious to learn about your company’s approach to a hybrid work model and how you have navigated last year's change from an in-office standard. Additionally, I am interested in the team dynamic and how you foster collaboration between interdisciplinary groups of professionals.”

#5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

The inquiry about your strengths and weaknesses is all about recruiters assessing your self-awareness and introspection capabilities. Your answer also helps them find out what you’re particularly good at, what you do to improve yourself, and how you overcome obstacles.

Here’s an example:

Good Answer

“One of my biggest strengths would be my communication skills and ability to connect diverse teams to facilitate seamless collaboration. On the flip side, I find my time management to be one of my biggest weaknesses. However, I’ve been taking courses on prioritization and organization techniques, and I’m working on implementing time management tools to improve my productivity and enhance my focus.”

#6. How would your boss/coworkers describe you?

This question gives you the opportunity to talk about your interpersonal skills and your demeanor in a professional setting. You can also highlight your workplace ethic and your teamwork tendencies while talking about how others have perceived you.

Let’s see that in a good example:

Good Answer

“I believe my bosses and coworkers would describe me as a reliable professional and a dedicated team player. I’ve always been objective-oriented and willing to go above and beyond to help achieve organizational goals. Moreover, I always strive to maintain open communication and ensure everyone’s opinions are heard, which garnered me positive feedback on multiple occasions.”

#7. How do you handle stress?

This question probes into your resilience and emotional intelligence. Your answer tells recruiters how you behave during intense and stressful situations and what you do to manage your tasks and priorities.

Here’s an example of a good answer to this question:

Good Answer

“Depending on the situation, I utilize my time management techniques, prioritization skills, communication prowess, or a combination of these abilities to handle them. My main goal is to create a manageable timeline with realistic steps and to break down big goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. Meanwhile, I’m making sure that I have open communication with the team and upper management, ensuring everyone is on the same page and everyone gets the support they need.”

Final Thoughts

While the very meaning of a mock interview is that it’s not a real deal and the stakes are much lower, you should still take it with the same level of gravity as you’d take the real meeting. That’s the best way to prepare for the discourse with the recruiter and convey confidence and professionalism that match your skills and knowledge.

That’s why you want to take every aspect of your mock interview seriously, from dressing the part to answering all the tricky interview questions. By paying attention to your performance, considering the feedback, and examining the video recording of the experience, you’ll optimize your presence and maximize your chances of success!

Sheila Kravitz
Sheila Kravitz
Content Writer & Head Editor
By day, Sheila Kravitz writes stellar content and works as a head editor. At night, she spends her time winning at trivia nights or playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Whether she’s writing or editing, she gives her maximum effort and ensures no error gets past her watchful eyes. When she’s doing none of the above, Sheila likes to spend time with her cats and her partner, endlessly watching crime documentaries on Netflix.

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