Whether you’re a working professional or a recent graduate, it’s important to properly prepare for all of your job interviews. Doing so helps ease your nerves, boosts your confidence and ensures you make a lasting impression with the hiring manager. Practice makes perfect – particularly with job interviews. For best results, don’t go into an interview cold. A mock interview can help you formulate smart answers and show you where your weak spots are.
Choose right panel
Unfortunately, many people make the rookie mistake of practicing with a friend or family member. Who you choose to practice with is an important decision, since you’re looking for an expert’s honest feedback. Ideally, you want to practice with someone who works in your industry and has real-world experience interviewing job candidates. You want someone who can objectively assess your interviewing skills. Many colleges have career advisors that will do mock interviews with students and alumni.
Choose professional setting
Choose a professional setting and dress in the attire you’d don for an actual job interview. It’s good practice to make mock interviews feel as close to the real thing as possible. If possible, mock interviews should be done in person so that you can practice greeting the interviewer with a solid handshake and enthusiastic smile – two things that can help you start off on the right foot. We recommend videotaping every mock interview so you can evaluate your body language and track your progress. You’ll see a dramatic difference between your first mock interview and your last.
Analyze the job posting
As you start preparing for a job interview, have a copy of the job description at your disposal. Review the job posting to help you understand what the company wants in a candidate. Consider the skills, knowledge and other qualities they’re looking for. Then, model your practice sessions in a way that helps you emphasize each of these qualifications.
Use your connections
If you know someone who works at the company you’re interviewing with, ask them for information that can help you during your interview. You can ask them about the interview process, what the new employee training was like and what they like most and dislike the most about working for the company. When you use your connections, it can help you create more succinct and relevant answers to the interviewer’s questions.
Practice interview FAQs
- Tell me a little about yourself
- What are your biggest weaknesses?
- What are your biggest strengths?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Out of all the candidates, why should we hire you?
- Why do you want this job?
- What do you consider to be your biggest professional achievement?
- Describe your dream job.
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- What was your salary in your last job?
Once the interview concludes, the hiring manager may ask if you have any questions for them. Make a list of questions you want to ask the interviewer ahead of time. While it’s important for them to understand how you qualify for the role, it’s just as important for you to determine if the company and the position you’re applying for are a good fit for you.