A mock interview mirrors an actual job interview. It gives you an opportunity to practice what to say and do during an interview and get feedback. Whether it’s face-to-face, online, or through a webcam, a mock interview is useful in reviewing your answers to common interview questions and assessing other factors such as your outfit, mannerisms, and body language.
As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” Doing a mock interview will show you your strong and weak points and boost your self-confidence.
How to Prepare for a Mock Interview
A mock interview is a practice interview, but you need to take it seriously, just as you would an actual job interview. Consider the mock interview as a dress rehearsal. Keep the following things in mind to ace your mock interview:
Choose the right mock interviewer. It’s easy to ask a friend or a family member, but if you want to get objective and honest feedback, you may want to ask someone with experience in interviewing job candidates. You can also choose a professional who works in your industry.
Choose a professional setting. You need a venue that simulates the environment of an office.
Be early. Arrive 15-30 minutes early.
Bring the necessary items. Don’t forget to bring your resume and any other documents you may need. Also, bring a notepad so that you can take notes from your mock interviewer’s feedback.
Dress smart and sharp. Wear the same kind of attire you expect to wear to the actual interview.
Prepare your answers to common interview questions, but don’t memorize them. You want to avoid sounding like a robot with canned responses. Bear in mind that you’re doing an interview not to take a test but to engage in a conversation to determine if you’re suitable for the job.
Common Interview Questions
You may not know the exact questions that the interviewer will ask you, but preparing answers for commonly-asked questions can be useful. The questions vary depending on the job level and industry you’re in, but it helps to practice answering the following questions in your mock interview:
1. “Tell me something about yourself”
It doesn’t mean that the interviewer wants to know your life story. This is your opportunity to explain how your educational background, knowledge, and skills that suit the job you’re applying for.
2. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
When it comes to your strong traits, focus on your skills or accomplishments that align with what is needed in the job. When stating your weak characteristics, make sure to share what you’ve done to improve them.
3. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or ”What are your career goals?”
It may be tempting to say that you aim to climb the corporate ladder and be a senior manager in five years’ time, but a more appealing answer would be about the skills that you want to develop or further improve over that time frame.
4. “Why do you want to be part of our company?”
This is where your research about the organization comes in. Make sure to know a bit more about the company before the interview. Learn its mission and the culture. To answer the question, explain how your knowledge and skills are well-suited to what they’re looking for. You can also say something about your career aspirations and share how you can contribute to achieving the company’s goals.
5. “Do you have questions for me?” or ”What questions do you have for me?”
This is your opportunity to ask well-researched questions, not only to know more about the company but also to show the interviewer that you did your homework and that you are genuinely interested in the job.
Doing a mock interview is a great way to practice for an actual job interview. It gives you an idea of what you need to do and sets your expectations. Practice so that you will see areas where you can improve. By the time the real job interview arrives, you’re well-prepared.
Thank you for reading CFI’s mock interview guide. CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:
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