Do A Mock Job Interview For Instant Feedback
Employers aren’t your personal Yelp. If you want your interview performance rated privately, read on.
Got pre-interview jitters? Hard to hide ‘em. Nauseous from nerves. Teeth clenched like a vice grip. Your deodorant drowned by rivers of sweat.
After it’s over you anxiously plead for feedback. Were the interviewers floored by your brains and charm? Or appalled at things you did unwittingly (e.g. mumble, drool, flap your arms madly). You’ll probably never know. Employers duck legal backlash by zipping their lips.
So how to find out how you actually perform when grilled? By doing some mock interviews first. They’re practice sessions that replicate the real deal. You get a private, instant critique. For expert tips on this, we spoke to Mike Pabian, a Certified Staffing Manager and Full Cycle Recruiter in the Edmonton, Alberta office of Randstad, Canada’s largest staffing firm.
Monster.ca: What’s A Mock Interview Anyway?
Mike P: Consider it a realistic role play. You arrange for someone you know to serve as the job interviewer. Provide them with details of the position and employer you are applying to. Give them a list of questions and prompts that simulate the real deal.
You come prepared, just as if this were an actual meeting. Do your research beforehand. Rehearse the answers and stories of achievements you will tell. Know what you would like to ask the interviewer. When it ends, they will give you an immediate review of your performance.
Monster.ca: Why Should Job Seekers Bother?
Mike P: Mock interviews are safe settings to practice before meeting with employers or recruiters. You can make mistakes and feel comfortable. The criticism you receive will be direct and actionable so that you can learn to present your best self.
The process works exceptionally well if you are able to video the meeting. There will be aspects of yourself captured that you might never be aware of otherwise.
Monster.ca: How Do You Make The Mock Seem Real?
Mike P: It really helps to hold the gathering in a setting that resembles an office. Local libraries usually have some free rooms available. At a minimum, try to be somewhere with privacy. Arrive dressed for success.
As for the session, structure is key. Include a typical beginning, middle, and end of the meeting. Even starting with light conversation, and conclude by mentioning next steps.
The person asking questions should be thorough. Have them pose open-ended queries, and use follow-up prompts. This way you can figure out how to navigate a winding conversation.
Monster.ca: Who Should You Snare To Interview You?
Mike P: Try reaching out to contacts who have some experience doing hiring. In a pinch, just about anyone who will volunteer – friends, family members, teachers, career counsellors – will do.
If possible, find people who are analytical and unafraid to be honest. What you want is a feedback sandwich: identify what you do well, where improvement is necessary (and why), plus steps you can implement moving forward. Avoid ruthless commenters who will tear you to shreds.
Monster.ca: What Should They Glue Their Eyeballs To?
Mike P: Beyond the usual, get them to observe your body language and eye contact. Those are often overlooked in impression making. How do you respond to bizarre questions? Watch too for overuse of conversational crutches like umm and aw.
If you can stay on topic, keep your responses to an appropriate length, and show genuine enthusiasm, you are well on your way