The New Grad's Guide to Mock Interviews
Sunday marked six months since I graduated college, so I’m unsure if I should still be labeling these “The New Grad’s Guide,” but I digress, I’m sticking with the name. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but today is we’re tackling an interesting subject. Today, we have The New Grad’s Guide to Mock Interviews.
But Laura, what’s a mock interview?
Well, it’s an interview you have for a job, but you don’t actually interview for the job. Back in April while I was in the process of interviewing for my job here in Austin, I did a mock interview up in DFW. In all honesty, I should have done a mock interview way beforehand (like in January), but I never got around to it until I realized that I was getting far in the process.
Here’s how my mock interview worked. There is a group up in the DFW area that specializes in mock interviews, or practice interviews as they call them. I emailed them, set up a date to do a mock interview, and then sent them my resume and the job description.
The day of the mock interview, I showed up ready to go. I had questions prepared, I felt prepared, but nervous. I was dressed nice, and I wanted to do this.
Mock Interviews are a great way to improve your interview skills. Here's what you need to know. Click To Tweet
Because it’s been a while, I’ll cover some of the high points, but overall I was prepared. The questions these guys asked were much tougher than the ones I was asked during my actual interview. I also want to cover a few pointers I got after.
1. Keep the cLothes Calm
Blue is my color. I made the mistake of forgetting to take off my scarf, and I also had bright red shoes on (I had broken my toe the day before). Oh, and make sure your nail polish is full and neutral. Nothing crazy. These were middle-aged men who interviewed me, so their expectations on what someone should look like in an interview are a little old-school, but always better to dress up than dress down. And I say that wearing t-shirts and tennis shoes to work every day (casual for the win)!
2. Take Notes.
Take notes about what your employers (or mock employers) say from work expectations to the perks. Write down the answers they give you to your questions. Taking notes (on pen and paper!) implies that you’ve heard something you want to remember. That’s good.
3. Ask for the job at the end
I’m usually super great about this, but during my mock interview, the one guy asked multiple times if I had any more questions. In my mind, I knew that there was some question I was forgetting, but I couldn’t remember it. Ask for the job. It can be as simple as “What are the next steps?” or “When should I expect to hear back from you?” Something that shows you want to own that job, and you’re expecting it.
Remember, mock interviews are a chance for you to hone your skill on interviewing. After rocking it through the interview, I felt pretty darn confident the next week when I went back down to Austin to interview with the CEO (my boss) of the company. In fact, I got the job offer that night.
Interviews are hard, and they can be scary, but like anything else in life, practice will make you better! So, google “mock interviews x city” (fill that out with your city), and book a mock interview.
The day of the interview, take your resumes with you, take a deep breath, and be a rockstar.