All job interviews are different, and in some respects, all interviews are the same. As a humble job seeker, how are you supposed to be prepared for different forms of interviews, different people as interviewers, and the myriad of different questions you could face while under the spotlight? Performing a mock interview with a career counselor, trusted mentor or close friend or family member is an excellent way to prepare. The practical experience you gain while simulating a situation similar to a job interview can prove to be invaluable, with plenty of benefits. Take a look at what some of those benefits are and perhaps try a mock interview out for yourself.
1. You learn to think on your feet.
While this may seem like an oxymoron, (how can you learn what you’ll do on the spot?) practicing improvisation can definitely polish your performance for the job interview. Without knowing the questions you’ll be asked, you can’t practice the exact answers you’ll use during the interview. However, participating in a mock interview can help you hone the skills necessary to answering on-the-spot with confidence and clarity. This can include learning to create a coherent and informative story when faced with a question like, “Can you tell me of a time when you disagreed with your manager? What did you do?” You can also develop the skill of organizing your thoughts in a logical manner so you’re not stuck in front of an employer barreling forward and them pedaling backwards in order to explain something you’ve already said.
2. Boost your confidence and calm your nerves.
Many people have trouble finding the confidence necessary to perform well in an interview. A mock interview can give you the chance to build your confidence in front of someone you don’t know well or someone you don’t know in a professional setting. Once you’ve faced this situation, it will be easier to face it a second time in the actual job interview, and it may help calm your pre-interview jitters. A mock interview is also a safe space to practice selling your abilities, skills and professional qualifications with confidence.
3. Receive feedback on your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
A potential employer most likely will not pull you aside after a job interview to tell you how well you did. In a mock interview however, you are free to solicit feedback on your performance, which you can use to help prepare for future job interviews. Though it’s nice to hear about your strengths, also inquire about the areas in which you can grow. Maybe schedule another mock interview in a few weeks to have the same person assess you in those areas again to see if you’ve improved with time and practice.
4. Learn to be comfortable with common questions.
In this article from Money and Business, author Erick Nielson suggests that while all interviews are different, there are some common interview questions that a mock interview can help you get used to. At times these questions, while the most common, are the most difficult to answer. For example, questions about your weaknesses tend to throw a job seeker for a loop. A mock interview can help you face those questions and craft the best answers.
Do you use mock interviews to prepare for and get comfortable with job interviews? Let us know in the comments section below!
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