Interview preparation and mock interview
A job interview is not a test of your knowledge,but your ability to use it at the right time.
Interview is the FINAL step in landing a job. You may be just a step away from landing your dream job. A new type of test starts now. This test is akin to a live performance with various audience. You need to put up an act with solid knowledge of the subject and your skills behind you.
Understand your interviewer and keep assessing throughout the process if they are with you. If you think that their attention is wavering, bring them back to focus on YOU.
The metrics you will be judged on are various and across a wide range of areas. You will be judged on your ability to communicate, your ability to think on your feet, personality and the way you dress up. All this in addition to your skills that align with the job profile and troubleshooting expertise.
How should an ideal interview go?
You have made it to the interview process means that your skill set is adequate for the job profile. Now the ball is in your court.
Display your other talents in order to be at your best.
YES, you read it right. Resumes, as in more than one. You need to edit your resume as required by the job that you are applying for. You cannot and should not have one resume for all of your job search. Highlight the points that you think are most relevant to the job. Use your critical eye and re-read the resume to make sure that it has no errors in terms of skills, and more importantly the grammar part. Research online about the job profile well before you apply so that you can tailor your resume to fit the position.
Be sure to read the resume and the points you have highlighted as you may be discussing these in the interview.
- Profile on professional networking sites
Site like LinkedIn is the online space where recruiters tend to stalk their candidates. If your online persona and interests don’t match with your real life persona, you will be out of running before you snap your fingers. Start modifying your online profile before you start applying for a job.
- Social media presence
As a job seeker, be careful of what you post. Don’t post controversial articles, or comments and stay away from bad mouthing other companies or previous and/or current employers.
Do your research on the company and the interviewer.
Online stalking is a good approach to researching the company. You can go through their company website and also follow their press section. Keep yourself updated on the happenings in the company and their overall performance.
Check out the interviewer information online. The social media footprint will tell you what type of person is going to be interviewing you. You may also find a topic that resonates with both of you. This will make you feel more comfortable during the interview
- Dress the part.
You are a professional. So look the part. This is a superficial yet necessary requirement of an interview. Fake it till you make it. Choose the clothes for the interview in advance. If you are generally uncomfortable with the type of clothes, for example, a suit, you must wear for an interview, wear it a few times before the interview. This way you won’t be fidgeting and making yourself look bad.
References play an important part of your job search process. Don’t assume that a person will give you a reference just because they said that sometime in the past. Keep in touch with them. And when you mention someone as your reference, make sure that they are already in the loop and are willing to give you a glowing commendation. Keep yourself connected with your references in the social media networks.
- Current Affairs
Be updated on the general current affairs and going ons in your neighbourhood as well as the latest information about the company and their major competitors.
- Follow up on the interview.
Once you get back from the interview, write a quick email to the interviewer thanking them for the opportunity. Also take some time to reflect on some of the discussion and work them into the email. Double check the content and make sure the tone is personal and is addressed to the correct person.
There is a next round of follow ups and you should learn the fine difference between following up and making a general nuisance of yourself. After the email you send on the day of the interview, wait for two week before shooting off the next email. Know that most of the people are busy and unless they have an urgent requirement, they will take their own sweet time to hire a candidate. If there is no reply, send another one next week. If there is completely no contact from the employer side, assume that it is time to move on.
Dressing up and resumes and stalking sessions apart, how can one ace an interview? The answer lies in your behavior, your way of answering and your general body language. The best way to make sure that you are equipped to handle the interview is to attend mock interviews.
Mock interview is an interview session which is not real but real enough to practise your interview giving abilities. The exercise resembles the actual interview and in a way gives experience to the candidate. The interview will be conducted by professional career consultants who will share their opinions on your performance. Take notes on the areas where you are lacking. Work on them with due diligence.
Everyone prepares an answer for the prospective questions for an interview. But the trick is to answer them without sounding monotonous and rehearsed.You need to articulate clearly what you need and what you want. What is the core requirement? Does your strengths play into core competency expected. You can use the feedback from the session to correct yourself and come back to have a shot at it again.
Benefits of mock interviews:
- It gives you experience but without the pressures of having to land the job.
- This will reduce interview anxiety.
- Mock interview helps you to reassess your strengths and weaknesses.
- Attempt any number of times before the actual interview process.
- The practise interview is almost always videotaped so you can go back and see how you fared.
- You will be working on your soft skills and body language, and also your attire.
- You get to review the interview with the career coach and work out methods to improve.
- You can also use the mock interview for technical interviews along with HR interview and Personal interview.
With all the work you have done with mock interviews, you will find yourself brimming with confidence and excitement as you face your interviewer rather than being a nervous wreck who is terrified to face the unknown.
As is with everything, some Disadvantages of Mock interview:
- Since you would have answered the questions multiple times in mock interviews before turning up for the real one, the repetition might give birth to complacency in you.
- You may also become overconfident that might leak out in your answers. This will seriously jeopardise your chances of landing the job.
- Also the whole process of preparing for the mock interview, appearing for it, then analysing the feedback all takes out a humongous bite out of your available time.
- They can also be costly.
- Different interviewers have different methodology and different standards and style.
But overall, to get ready for an interview, follow the rules and once you are ready, attempt practice interviews and then get cracking with real time job interview for your dream job.