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What is a Mock Interview?
 
 
What is a Mock Interview?
If you can't get a career counselor, ask one of your friends or a relative to help you practice your interviews at home. They may laugh, but at least they will know you are serious in your job search. You will need a list of questions that are likely to be asked by an interviewer.

Also, make sure to take the time to research and think over your answers before the mock interview--for maximum realness and effectiveness. Wear something similar to what you plan to wear in the event of an actual job interview, as well. The more realistic, the better practice for you and the better interview skills you will have. Make sure you record your mock interview so that you can visually review it later.
After you have finished the mock interview, take a look or have someone else take a look at the tape, if you have one. After you or someone else has seen it, evaluate it. Follow any helpful critique given, or analyze it yourself and work on improving areas you felt were lacking.
Mock Interview Tips

Prepare for your interview by doing some research, reading interview tips, mentally practice or practice in front of a mirror.

Research a company in an industry you are interested in for the mock interview. You may end up getting that interview later!

Investigate and determine which skills and talents are sought after in your industry of particular interest; whether they be analytical, communicative, creative, or team-work oriented.

Mentally recite your answers to the questions to be asked.

Dress and prepare in the same fashion you would for a real interview.

Have questions prepared to ask your interviewer.

Make sure you are aware of your body language.
Feedback

Notice your facial expressions and gestures and take note of how you react to them; positively, negatively, or neutrally.

Take your own feedback into account when practicing or for your 2nd mock interview.
2nd Mock Interview
Want to learn more? Take an online course in Interview Skills.

Your second mock interview is often necessary if you feel your interviewing skills are not quite up to par. Most people find that they seem some flaw they wish to correct in their interview, and may wish to schedule a 2nd mock interview. If this is the case, the second mock interview is a good opportunity to really refine your interviewing skills. With a second practice interview under your belt, you are infinitely better off than someone who never thought to practice ahead of time.

If you manage to ace your 2nd mock interview, congratulations. Now you have the confidence in yourself that it takes to complete your interview.
Grading Yourself in Mock Interviews

In order to give the matter an air of seriousness, you should take some time and consideration to grade yourself, pinpointing your weak areas and building those up in the future. You will need to use the following guide to assess yourself.

1 - Poor

2 - Fair

3 - Average

4 - Very Good

5 - Excellent

Did you seem sincere and honest?

1 2 3 4 5

Were you interesting?

1 2 3 4 5

You seemed comfortable in your own skin; you were very natural.

1 2 3 4 5

Did you seem energetic?

1 2 3 4 5

Did you have a positive attitude?

1 2 3 4 5

Were you enthusiastic?

1 2 3 4 5

Did you see yourself as likable?

1 2 3 4 5

Did your body language seem strained or unnatural?

1 2 3 4 5

Did you appear self-confident?

1 2 3 4 5

Charming?

1 2 3 4 5

How well did you speak? Did you use correct grammar?

1 2 3 4 5

Did you look uncomfortable or fidget a lot?

1 2 3 4 5

Did you maintain strong eye contact?

1 2 3 4 5
Helping YOU Decide

The mock interview: is it a good idea to do two? Yes, it is! One is a fantastic idea that will result in remarkable improvement in most candidates, but two is even better!

Two is for overachievers who want to get the most possible experience there is, and it is worth it. Your second mock interview is easier than your first, simply because you've already done it once. Mock interviews are the best preparation for your real interview, remember that. Also, don't forget to meet with an insider (if available) from the company you are interested in before your mock interview, if possible. This way you go into your mock interview exactly as if it were your true interview.

Although mock interviews can be stressful, there will be less stress in the long run, because you will be chilled out and relaxed for your interview with the actual company. Well, you may still have some nervousness, but you will be far better prepared to deal with it since you will have already been through two mock interviews, and fully explored the company to the best of your abilities.

When preparing for your interviews, make sure you have given whoever is helping you with your mock interview all the necessary paperwork such as: your resume, a list of interview questions you expect you'll be asked, the job description, and the company's website URL(the company you are interested in applying to). Also when you are preparing for your interviews, take a little while to get into the same state of mind as an interviewer, so that you may better identify what s/he is looking for in a candidate. You can do this by knowing what interviewers want from potential employees.
What Interviewers Want To See
  1. 1. Your interviewer primarily wants to know if you are capable of doing the job you are applying for. Don't let yourself get worked up on this part; most of the time, if an employer doesn't think you are qualified, you won't even get an interview. This one is actually the least of your worries at this stage.
  2. 2. Enthusiasm! Think for a moment about this statement. Do you honestly think an interviewer wants to see someone who is not interested in their company? No, they don't. They want that sparkle, that interest, and that desire to achieve more than ever. They want someone who actually cares about their company, someone who won't blow off their customers or come to work complaining every day. You must show this to your employer, show him or her that you can be all of those things and more!
  3. 3. Charm. Like it or not, an interviewer is a person. They are just as susceptible to you and me to a charming personality, and that is what you must present. Anyone is capable of presenting their best side, all you have to do is go into an interview with that attitude and it will come naturally, as long as you aren't too nervous or thrown off by the new circumstances, which is why the mock interviews come in so handy.
  4. 4. Ambition, innovativeness, intelligence. If you present yourself as all of the above, you've pretty much got a hit. If you are ambitious, you will show your interviewer all of your goals and accomplishments and you will show him/her your future goals and plans for the company and for your career. If you are innovative, you will bring up times when you came up with a solution that stumped everyone else and left them scratching their heads for a few minutes, but then they were on board and your mission was a success. These are examples, of course, but that is what you will need to tell your interviewer. If you don't feel you've ever done anything that exhibit any of these qualities, then you have to show that you came extra prepared and are willing to make up for it.
  5. 5. Interviewers want candidates who are well-informed. If you know your industry, know the company, and already have a plan to improve--who can turn that down?
Remember, preparation is your best friend! If you are serious about getting this job, you will do whatever it requires. It isn't that hard, either, but it will take some determination. Mostly, though, it will take desire to move ahead with your career. If that isn't what you want, perhaps you should work on figuring out a different step to take, if possible. I don't recommend putting a lot of effort into something you aren't sure you want--it usually doesn't work out to your advantage. If you don't feel you are up to the challenge, then take a vacation! Start on one of your own personal projects, but don't give up on your job search, of course.
Interview Mishaps
  1. 1. Sloppy personal appearance. This is a big no-no in the interviewing/job hunting world. You'd think it was a no-brainer, but plenty of interviewees step into an office looking like they just grabbed whatever clothes were lying at their bedside. Don't make this mistake; most employers do care about your personal appearance. Save slovenly attire for that fancy dinner party at your girlfriend's parent's house. They won't judge you.
    2. Lack of interest. Big surprise here, right? A passive, uninterested candidate is a candidate that doesn't get a call back. Indifference isn't always cool and stoic, kids.
  2. 3. Obsession with salary and benefits. Do not mention this right off the bat; there will be a discussion about this later, after the interviewer brings it up. When interviewing, try to be vague about what sort of salary you want. Save it until you've got the offer, or give a big range. To give you an idea, you can also ask your employer what the typical salary range is for that position.
  3. 4. Negativity. If you diss your old employers and co-workers, it will send out a red light to the interviewer. Do not, under any circumstance, bash your previous employer. Stay positive, skim over fights with other co-workers. The last thing you want is to get hot and bothered and go spouting off about how Suzy from the cubicle across from yours stole your honey bun and lied about it. Not only does your interviewer not care, but it will make you seem immature for complaining about it.
  4. 5. Lack of eye contact is also a huge no-no. This will make you seem either weak or untrustworthy; neither of which are desirable traits. Don't you think people are a little strange when they refuse to make eye contact and you're trying to be nice? Well, even if you don't, most interviewers do. Remember this.
  5. 6. Weak handshake. It sends pretty much the same message as lack of eye contact; you aren't interested in the person you are meeting with. You are unsure about this person or the interview itself. Either way, your interviewer will notice.
  6. 7. Lateness. Don't be late to your interview. Simple enough, eh?
  7. 8. Lack of respect for interviewer's time. See above. Don't be late, don't talk about irrelevant topics, be respectful.
 
 
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