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Mock Interview Guide

How to prepare for mock interviews

Mock Interview Guide

A mock interview mirrors an actual job interview. It gives you an opportunity to know 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 assess other factors such as your outfit, mannerisms, and body language. As they always say, “practice makes perfect.” Doing a mock interview will show your strong and weak points and boost self-confidence.


Mock Interview Guide


How to Prepare for a Mock Interview

A mock interview is a practice interview, but you need to take it seriously, just like you would an actual job interview. If you’re involved in a play, consider the mock interview as the dress rehearsal. Keep the following things in mind to ace your mock interview:

  • Choose your right mock interviewer. It’s so easy to ask a friend or a family member, but if you want to get an 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 earlier.
  • Bring the necessary items. Don’t forget to bring your resume and any other documents you may need. Also, bring a notepad so you can take notes about your mock interviewer’s feedback.
  • Dress smart and sharp.
  • Prepare your answers to common interview questions, but don’t memorize them. You may sound 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, preparing your answers for commonly-asked questions will be useful. The questions vary depending on the job level and industry you’re in, but it helps to practice answering the following questions:


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 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. Also, enumerate your weak characteristics but make sure to share what you’re doing 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.


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 suitable for what they’re looking for. You can also say something about your career aspirations and share how you can contribute to 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 you’re 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 you will see areas where you need to improve. By the time the real job interview arrives, you’re well-prepared.


More Resources

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:

  • Guide to Top 10 Interview Questions
  • Icebreaker Interview Questions
  • Questions to Ask the Interviewer
  • Thank You After Interview Email

Financial Analyst Certification

Become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing CFI’s online financial modeling classes and training program!