If you are preparing for an upcoming interview, appearing for a mock interview with a domain expert/recruiter is one sure-fire tactic to ensure you're at the top of your game.
Mock interviews are simulated interview-like sessions that serve one purpose: to get you confident and ready for your big day.
From helping you refine your responses to common interview questions, to helping you improve your verbal and non-verbal communication skills, mock interviews should be your go-to interview strategy for getting interview-ready.
But how do you get the most out of your mock interview practice session? Here's 6 tips for success!
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Maximizing the Value of a Mock Interview: 5 Tips for Improvement
Here are some actionable mock interviews tips for success:
1. Be open to constructive criticism
Listen to the feedback provided by the mock interviewer with an open mind, even if it is critical. If they point out specific areas that require improvement, request them to provide suggestions on what you can do to overcome your weaknesses. Ask questions to get clarity on their perspective without getting offended.
For example, if they tell you that your body language doesn't project professionalism or confidence, ask them what specific gestures or postures you should avoid to appear positive and self-assured.
Here's some feedback you should ideally seek from a recruiter or expert from your target company and role:
- Whether you have thoroughly researched the company and the role you are applying for
- Whether you have assembled specific examples of your experience and qualifications to cite for relevant behavioral questions
- Whether you possess the key skills and qualifications that your target company is looking for
- Whether your resume and cover letter effectively highlight your skills and align with the job role
- Whether you are prepared for potential objections that the interviewer might raise pertaining to your answers
- Whether your body language, tonality, and other nonverbal cues demonstrate confidence and professionalism
2. Note down improvement points
After the mock interview, make a note of the feedback provided and reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Thereafter, make a plan to work on them.
For example, if the interviewer says that you aren't articulate in explaining your thought process, find out how you can be clear and concise in your communication. You might practice with a friend or colleague to get better.
Similarly, you can practice maintaining eye contact, smiling and speaking confidently to improve your body language.
3. Get your resume and cover letter reviewed by mock interviewers
It can be beneficial for job applicants to have their resume and cover letters reviewed by mock interviewers. They can provide helpful feedback on your resume content, structure, and format, and provide suggestions on any changes that you should make to better highlight your qualifications and experiences.
Interview preparation platforms like Prepfully provide this service; you can choose to have your rese reviewed by a recruiter or domain expert regardless of the target company and role you are applying for.
You can choose to have a 1:1 session with your reviewer or receive written feedback. Check out what Prepfully's resume reviewer covers here.
4. Record your responses
While mock interviewers provide detailed feedback on your performance, it can't hurt to review your interview skills and get a sense of how you come across.
Which is why, you might consider carrying along your smartphone to capture the mock interview process (with permission from your mock interviewers, of course). You can listen to it later and pinpoint areas that require improvement, such as the verbal or nonverbal communication aspects of your responses.
It will help you analyze the quality of your answers and body language, voice tonality, and other nonverbal cues—which can be refined to demonstrate enthusiasm and passion during an interview.
The other advantage of doing so is that you can get your friends and colleagues to review your performance and provide objective feedback.
5. Be proactive; ask questions
It's important that you take an active approach to improving your interview performance. One effective way of doing so is by asking your mock interviewer(s) questions you might have about the interview process, company you're applying to, the position you seek, as well as your interview skills.
Here's a list of questions you might consider asking your mock interviewer:
- Can you give me an overview of the role and the company?
- Can you give me specific examples of the types of questions or scenarios that I may be asked in the actual interview?
- Can you give me feedback on my responses to the questions and scenarios presented during the mock interview?
- Can you provide me with any insights or tips on how to improve my interviewing skills?
- Can you give me advice on how to handle difficult or unexpected questions during the actual interview?
- Can you give me a sense of the company culture and what they value in their employees?
- Can you give me an idea of what the interviewer will be looking for in a candidate?
- Can you give me tips on how to stand out from other candidates during the interview?
- Can you give me a sense of the next steps in the interview process?
- Can you give me any information on the company's growth plans and opportunities for advancement
6. Don't stop at one mock interview; take as many you need to get confident
One mock interview may not be enough to cover all the aspects of an interview; you are likely to feel more confident after several practice runs.
So, it's important that you take as many mock interviews as you need to get interview-ready.
Consider taking mock interviews from different sources, for example, start with your colleagues, or friends and family, then interview with a professional mock interviewer (hiring managers or employees in targeted positions) to get different perspectives and insights on your interview performance.
So, those were our tips on how to get the maximum value from mock interviews to seal your preparation and get ready to impress. We hope they help you!