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Read This Before Your Next Mock Interview

Were you one of those students who studied hard, but your mind went blank when you saw an exam book? That same test anxiety could be holding you back in your job search. Mock interviews are an effective way to reduce stress and strengthen your skills.


These practice sessions allow you to rehearse your performance and receive feedback while the stakes are low. To maximize your results, take them as seriously as you would the real thing.


Doing well at interviews gives you more options and control over your career. Try these strategies for making a positive impression.


Person being interviewed by a panel of interviewer
 

SUGGESTIONS FOR PREPARING FOR A MOCK INTERVIEW:


Person preparing for job interview

1. CLARIFY YOUR PURPOSE.


Use your time wisely. Focus on the areas that are most relevant to you. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Reflect on the input you’ve received from others in past interviews.




2. DETERMINE YOUR FORMAT.

These days, you need to be able to handle in-person interviews, Zoom calls, audio calls, and online chats. If you’re preparing for a specific format, copy their arrangements.


3. SELECT YOUR PARTNERS.

Pick someone you trust. That might mean someone who works in HR or a colleague who knows your industry. For ongoing help, swap roles with a fellow job seeker, or ask a family member or friend.


Man standing in front of the mirror preparing for an interview.

4. GO SOLO.


It helps to have social support, but you can also practice independently. Find a quiet spot, and watch yourself in a mirror.







5. SHARE INFORMATION.

Make it easy for your partner to help you. Send them specific details about what you need and a summary of background information, including any relevant links.


6. WRITE DOWN QUESTIONS.

Remember that an interview is a two-way conversation. Have a list of questions you want to ask when it’s your turn. Design them to show that you’re a highly qualified candidate and want to learn more about the position.


7. DRESS UP.

Wear business attire even for audio calls. It will help you to feel more professional.


8. THINK POSITIVE.

Do something pleasant and relaxing before your mock interview to put you in a cheerful mood. Relax with a few moments of meditation and deep breathing.


SUGGESTIONS FOR CONDUCTING A MOCK INTERVIEW:


Person talking in a job interview.

1. DITCH THE SCRIPT.


Now that you’ve figured out what you want to say work on how to say it. Talk to your interviewer rather than reading to them. Smile, pause frequently, and use short words and sentences.




2. GIVE YOUR OPENING STATEMENT.

Start by telling them a little about yourself. Describe your academic and career paths, along with any unifying themes.


3. COVER COMMON QUESTIONS.

Go over the questions you’d expect at most interviews. Discuss your strengths and weaknesses, career goals, and why you want to join their team.


4. HIGHLIGHT YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS.

Share your most significant accomplishments. Choose those that are most relevant to the position you’re seeking. Have a variety of stories ready to illustrate your points.


Person smiling while in a job interview

5. Show enthusiasm.


Let your interviewer know you want the job. Be energetic and engaged. Focus on what you love about your work. If you’re meeting face-to-face, make eye contact, and lean toward your interviewer.





6. Time yourself.

Most interviews are an hour or less. Check that you can deliver your opening statement in about three minutes. Work at being more concise if any of your responses exceed that.


7. Record your session.

A video recording is an excellent tool for evaluating your performance and tracking your progress. Let your interviewer know if you plan to make one.


Walk into your next job interview prepared to dazzle the hiring committee. Use mock interviews to boost your skills and confidence and advance your career.



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