How a mock interview can help your interview preparation

Most of us hate watching or listening to our recorded selves. The shock of hearing or seeing ourselves as others do can be cringe inducing.
But playing back a recording of yourself answering questions in a mock job interview is a shock worth getting over. You can learn some really useful things about how you come across through mock interviews. Only then can you address any negatives.

In a job interview, you want to come across as competent, assured, and, for most jobs, personable. Our self-awareness does not always reach to how we come across and sound, particularly in a pressurised situation such as a job interview. So it’s best to check.

Come up with a few questions you think you are likely to be asked at interview and prepare answers. Then record yourself answering them. Don’t read your answers as your reading voice isn’t your natural speaking voice, and of course you won’t be reading answers in the live interview.



    1. Have someone else act as the interviewer

It will up the stakes, making the exercise more useful and it will improve your performance by 100%.
When you watch yourself in the playback, put yourself in the shoes of the employer. Are you allaying their fears? Do you come across as somebody who would be an addition to the organisation? Can you be managed? Will you fit in?

    1. Vocal variety

We’ve probably all come across that person who sounds equally monotonous whether she’s telling you she’s won the Lotto or repeating the shipping forecast. If she sounds like she’s bored by what she says, imagine how the listener will feel. Switched off.
Sounding interesting takes quite a bit of effort. If you listen to a really engaging speaker, you will notice how hard they are working. Try to vary your pitch, pace, tone and inflection to give colour to what you are saying.

This will take practice – people with small children have an advantage as reading children’s stories aloud is a really great vocal variety workout!

    1. Weed out waffle

Note how long it takes you to answer each question. You will quickly spot waffle or repetition. Give too much detail and you may come across as boring or a know-it-all, too little and it can look like you are trying to cover up a lack of real experience. Everything you say should be making a good case for you. Watch out for verbal ticks like “D’you know?” or “Yeah?” at the end of a sentence.

    1. A nice gesture

Are your gestures distracting? Do you constantly flick your hair out of your eyes for example (if so, make sure to have it tucked out of the way on the day). How is your eye contact? Rather than eyeball your interviewer, just make sure you look him or her in the face, meeting the gaze from time to time. And remember to smile.

Sitting back into the seat, placing your feet firmly on the ground and sitting up straight will help you look and feel more confident.

Aside from learning so much about yourself, you’ll be more confident when it comes to the real thing because you’ll already have answered some of the questions, so don’t dodge the difficult ones in the mock interview. Now, are you ready for your close up?