How Does a Mock Interview Work: Setting Goals and Feedback Expectations

author profile pic · Looking to elevate your interview game? Mock interviews are your best bet!

Want to know how mock interviews work? Here's a few details to help you get the best value out of mock interviews:

how does mock interview work

What are Mock Interviews?

Simply put, mock interviews are practice interview sessions wherein a mock interviewer (typically a HR professional, recruiter, or domain expert) assesses a job applicant's interview performance and provides insightful feedback and advice. 

Mock interviews follow the same format as a real interview, with the interviewer asking questions similar to those that a candidate might expect in a real interview. For instance, if you are appearing for a software engineering mock interview, you can expect questions related to programming languages, data structures, system design—basically anything that helps gauge your technical knowledge, problem-solving abilities, leadership, and communication skills.

Mock interviews should ideally be the final step in your interview preparation. They provide the perfect opportunity for candidates to practice their interview skills, and receive tips and strategies to boost their chances of job conversion on the big day.

Schedule a Mock Interview

Practice with Expert!

How are Mock Interviews Conducted?

Mock interviews can be conducted via phone, in person, or virtually via Zoom, Google Meet, and so on. It typically depends on the preference and convenience of the job applicant. 

Like actual interviews, mock interviews take between 30 minutes to 1 hour. It's up to candidates whether they wish to practice interviewing with an expert or simply glean feedback on their skills, qualifications, resume, etc.

Choosing your Mock Interview Partner

Mock interviews needn't necessarily be with a professional mock interviewer (recruitment specialist, mentor, or field expert); you can also choose friends/family or colleagues to be your mock interview partner.

Your friends or relatives know you closely and can give you an idea of how you come across to someone from an unrelated field. 

Your colleagues can critique your skills and qualifications in a professional setting. 

However, neither of them possess the industry-specific knowledge and experience to provide a realistic simulation of an actual interview. 

Only a professional mock interviewer can provide valuable feedback and insights specific to the field or industry you are interviewing for. They can help you demonstrate skills and experiences that are desirable to potential employers.

You can look up mock interviews websites reviews from credible sites like TrustPilot to find a mock interviewer that best suits your goals. Have a look at some of the reviews people have left for us:

mock interview website reviews

Outcomes of a Mock Interview Session: Setting Goals and Feedback Expectations

Ideally, a mock interview session should be tailored to your requirements and goals; for instance, if you are preparing for an interview at Google, you should be better positioned to project Googleyness at the end of the mock session. Or feel better equipped to tackle Google's brain teasers and puzzles. And so on.

Begin with determining what goals you hope to achieve from the mock interview. It could be:

  1. Improved interview skills (communication skills, body language, etc)
  2. Increased confidence and reduced stress
  3. Insight into your strengths and areas of improvements
  4. Better clarity of what is expected of you by the target company/role 

After your mock interview, assess for yourself if the session has brought you closer to your goals. Here's a list of questions candidates can ask themselves to assess their interview-readiness post their mock interview: 

  • Do I feel more prepared for the actual interview now?
  • Did I receive valuable insights on my performance and areas of improvement?
  • Do I feel that I have a better understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do I feel more stress-free and confident about my upcoming interview as compared to before?
  • Do I feel more prepared in my ability to answer potential interview questions wrt to my qualifications and experiences?
  • Do I feel more familiar with the company and position I am interviewing for?
  • Do I feel that I have a better understanding of what my target company is looking for?

You might even ask your mock interviewer in-depth questions about your performance:

  1. Did I effectively communicate my qualifications and skills during the mock interview?
  2. Did I provide specific examples of my past experiences and qualifications to support my answers?
  3. Did I make a good first impression during the mock interview?
  4. Did I make good use of the time during the mock interview?
  5. Did I demonstrate my understanding of the company and its values?
  6. Did I show my enthusiasm and interest in the role?
  7. Does my body language, voice, tonality, etc project confidence and professionalism?

If you're not satisfied with your performance and feel you need another go or two at a mock interview, don't hesitate to do so.

A professional mock interviewer can also review your resume and relevant documents, and point out any inconsistencies, red flags, format issues, etc to set your resume for screening conversion. 

However, not every mock interview website offers this service; make sure you check beforehand if they cover resume reviews.

Leverage Mock Interviews for Success

It's important that you choose mock interview partners who are genuinely interested in helping you. While friends and colleagues can provide constructive feedback on your behavior, verbal/non-verbal skills, only a professional with related experience in your field can gauge your role-specific knowledge and technical acumen.

Which is why, you must prioritize your mock interview with a domain expert who can actually help you boost your desirability for a particular job and therefore, increase your chances of success. 

Get in a few practice runs with your relatives, friends, and even colleagues initially. But ultimately rely on the expertise and knowledge of a professional mentor or domain expert to give you a well-rounded perspective regarding your suitability and help you improve yourself.

If you're seeking a value-driven mock interview experience, Prepfully is an excellent option. With mock interviewers from MAANG, Intel, PayPal, Twitter, and 600 other companies, you can drive tremendous value and gain real experience by interviewing with an expert from your target company/role.

Additionally, you can have your resume reviewed by industry experts or recruiters and receive text-based or 1-1 feedback on your resume.

Schedule a mock interview with Prepfully now!