A mock interview, also known as a practice interview, is a simulation of an actual job interview. It provides you with an opportunity to practice for an interview and receive feedback.
During a mock interview, the interviewer may use a semi-structured interview format rather than asking a formal list of questions.
A mock interview helps you learn how to answer difficult questions, develop interview strategies, improve your communication skills and reduce your stress before an actual job interview.
Types of Mock Interviews
Many college career centers and career counselors offer in-person mock interviews. If you’re a college student or graduate, check with your career office to see if they provide in-person or phone or video mock interviews. If you’re not affiliated with a college or university, a career coach or counselor in another option for practice interviewing.
You can make an appointment with a mock interviewer, and provide her with information on either a specific company with whom you are interviewing, or your general career field.
The more specific information you can provide for your mock interviewer, the better. The mock interviewer will often record the interview with a video camera.
Some career centers and career counselors also offer mock phone and online video interviews, and will record your interview on a tape recorder or with a webcam.
After the mock interview (which usually lasts about 30 minutes), the interviewer will then review the interview with you, and provide feedback.
How to Prepare for a Mock Interview
Be sure to take your mock interview as seriously as you would an actual interview. Get ready for the interview just as you would for an interview with a hiring manager:
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early, and bring your resume and any other materials you would bring to a real interview.
- Bring a notebook to take notes on what your mock interviewer tells you.
- Dress in professional interview attire.
You should also prepare answers to general interview questions before arriving. Here’s more information on mock interview questions including sample questions and answers you can review to get ready for your interview.
If you are having a mock interview to prepare for a specific job or career field, also review these job specific interview questions.
Mock interviews are an ideal way to practice for real job interviews, because you are in a situation that mirrors an actual interview with a company. When you review your interview with the interviewer, you’ll be able to modify your responses and interview behavior, if necessary.
Set Up Your Own Mock Interview
If you’re not in a situation where you can participate in a mock interview with a professional counselor, recruit a family member or friend to help you practice interviewing. The more you prepare, the more comfortable you will be with interviewing.