Why Mock Interviews are Helpful and Even More Crucial Right Now

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  • Eight months later, we are still at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Job seekers WILL appreciate the opportunity to hear the much needed feedback on their interviewing skills. It is certain that there are questions that job seekers had since the start of the pandemic, that they awaiting for. This is a good time for interviewers to schedule a virtual interview using platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, especially career experts and coaches to patiently and holistically give job seekers their answer and provide them with insight on the job prospects.
  • You have another person (such as a career expert) who can give you so much insights on how to answer behavioral or situational questions, how to outline your strengths/weaknesses by providing some good examples and key takeaways, how to be more structured in your answers, etc. You can use those tools and their constructive feedback to practice on — before going on your actual interviews, such as telling good examples or stories with answers and telling stories in a concise and easy way to digest.
  • Job seekers will be able to gain more perspective on what they had initially perceived as impediments, such as their employment gaps and lack of professional experience. With the interviewer’s feedback, not only will the job seeker be able to gain more confidence with what experience he/she already had, but he/she will also have a better understanding on how to present their strengths (plural here!) and weaknesses.
  • You can always practice with a professional (like a career coach or a friend/family member who is very well rounded with the interview processes) who is great at giving constructive feedback that’s also actionable! Job seekers would appreciate this as they would love to hear more of the in-depth perspective from their interviewer’s side on why some of their answers weren’t as successful. One of the areas that interviewees often get stuck on is where specifically they can pull back or delve deeper into… and this depends on the type of questions they are asked and how they formulate their answers.
  • Job seekers will find it very helpful in their answers to questions where they lack confidence in themselves. They will most definitely use their interviewer’s ideas going forward in their job search. (Note to interviewer: Make sure your input is valuable and gives meaning to the job seeker!)
  • Obviously, mock interviews offer job seekers/interviewees this opportunity to practice with their interview skills. It is definitely going to be a wonderful/life changing experience for them to learn more about the things that they should be doing and not be doing in the actual interviews. When they have someone to practice with, it allows interviewers to catch things and point out mistakes that the job seekers did not catch or notice — and this is where their suggestions come in handy for the job seeker’s interview and resume. And this begins with the interviewer’s patience in answering all of the interviewee’s questions and concerns to set them up for success.
  • Many job seekers need that guidance and help with acing their actual interviews! To make it as informative and helpful as possible to the job seeker, interviewers should take their time to explain where the interviewee did well, where he/she needed to improve, and provide some examples/situations of how to handle certain interview questions.
  • Mock interviews allow job seekers to learn something and walk away with new knowledge and tools to use for their future interviews (for example, they may learn a new way of answering questions when it comes to identifying a problem and being able to articulate how they solved it). In a nutshell, job seekers will gain that valuable experience which felt “real”. More importantly, it should help the interviewee self-reflect. Not only does it help improve the way the interviewees answer questions or ask questions, however it will allow the interviewer to provide excellent critique of their resumes and body language, as well as tone. This will certainly help job seekers with future prospects, boost their confidence/speech as it will allow them to prepare more professionally.

How do you know when you are in good shape to make a case for your candidacy with employers?

  • You’re thoughtful and well spoken about your experiences and skills.
  • You’re creative and solution-oriented and offered a great example of such an instance.
  • You’re succinct and articulate in framing your experiences.
  • You prepared a number of stories and situations from your previous experience to concisely demonstrate skills and capabilities that the interviewers will be looking for.
    • You developed a strong pitch outlining how your experiences and strengths match the role’s job description.
  • You did a wonderful job in walking through your past work experiences in showing concrete and numeric examples of how you succeeded by training your storytelling muscle, as well as getting into the nitty-gritty of your projects.
  • You focused not only on your soft skills, but you strongly infused your responses for your hard skills/technical abilities.
  • You discussed about your strengths and weaknesses.

Suggestions on how to be more ready and how you can improve:

  • When describing these scenarios to your interviewer during the mock interview, you could definitely insert just a touch of levity to the story so that it would resonate that much more with the prospective audience.
  • If applicable, you can emphasize your past leadership experiences more, where you have led teams. This is a hard to come by skill and you have one or more instances that you can speak to. Be more assertive in announcing this experience. If you add more humility, you could advocate more for yourself by calling this out. You can also highlight your listening skills as having developed when you were leading teams, but also highlight that team leadership.
  • When providing examples from your past experience/s, you should outline the challenge or problem that you have faced, and then key levers that you used to resolve it. This framework will help the interviewer understand the situation from the outset and ensure the main points are lost in the story.
    • With more preparation, you can select examples that better demonstrate the challenges that you have previously faced and how you overcame them.
      • For example, managing deadlines. This example can be shaped to show the actions that you implemented and how you established visual tracking of work to confirm on time completion rather than focusing on frustration at missed deadlines.
  • Show that confidence when providing examples of your experiences. You can practice to be more confident, and show that — that you own your attractive skill set to prospective employers.
    • An example can be, how you conducted data analysis. Expand on it by highlighting your achievements and accomplishments, and not just mentioning what you did.
    • Sometimes job seekers may dilute these examples or apologize to their interviewer for lack of complexity, however you should remain confident in your experiences and present them as such.
  • You may have great experiences and past roles that position you well for upcoming interviews, but you will need to refine the way you deliver the examples to better demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the role.
    • Example: You may have experience on building pages during your tenure at Deloitte, but this example can be enhanced to demonstrate your executive communication development and experience, your ability to summarize complex issues as well as outcomes from your analysis and modeling.
  • Using the STAR Method could help you build your base and hit home on the results of your past work experiences/projects.
    • Tying this in with the concrete and numerical examples into your responses for the behavioral questions, could really drive home your skills and successes.

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