5 Reasons to Schedule a Practice Interview

It is often said that a good resume will get you in the door, but a good interview will get you on the payroll. Employment statistics overwhelmingly support the claim, demonstrating time and time again that your performance in the interview actually tends to have a disproportionate impact on your likelihood of being hired. Nevertheless, studies find that a large number of jobseekers – including college students – hesitate to sign up for practice interviews. In case you, too, are on the fence about scheduling a practice interview, here are 5 benefits to consider.

1. Reduce stress and anxiety

For the majority of people, the interview process is a dreaded, high-pressure, anxiety-riddled ordeal. Unfortunately, not only is that very uncomfortable, but it can also negatively impact your performance. All too often, nerves and stress during an interview can make it difficult to recall your experiences and maintain a constructive two-way dialogue. A practice interview allows you to familiarize yourself with the interview atmosphere in a low-stress environment, giving you time to learn how to best manage your nerves and reducing some of the anxiety associated with feeling underprepared. It also presents an opportunity to speak with an interview specialist about nerve-calming techniques that you can utilize for your upcoming interview. Check out our Interviewing Guidebook for more ways to calm pre-interview nerves. 

2. Boost your confidence

When it comes to interviewing, confidence is key. Even the most qualified candidate may be overlooked if their personality and expertise do not come through during the interview; after all, you have to believe in yourself for others to believe in you. By enabling you to practice responding to new questions, identifying what you can improve before the interview, and guiding you to strengthen your overall performance, a practice interview can provide you with greater assurance in your own capabilities. Going through the process of interviewing – even if it does not count – will help ensure that you are well prepared for your real interview, and in so doing, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to do well. 

3. Learn techniques to help you answer unanticipated questions

Anyone can rehearse answers to a set of questions, but one tricky aspect of most interviews is that the interviewee does not know in advance which questions they will be asked. A benefit of practice interviews is that the majority of the appointment is focused on giving personalized feedback on how to answer specific types of questions, rather than on how to answer only those asked in the mock interview. During your appointment, the interview specialist will go over the general categories of questions that are asked in interviews, explaining what is being assessed through each and how to best structure your response. Being aware of what to look for will help you identify the best way to answer even the most unanticipated question when it is time for the real interview. You can also take a look at these Center for Career Development blogs on preparing for unanticipated questions and answering tough interview questions.

4. Receive constructive feedback from an interview specialist

So, what sets a practice interview at the Center for Career Development apart from a practice interview with a friend or by yourself? When you schedule a practice interview with us, you are signing up to meet with a specialist that has the necessary expertise to assess and advise you on both your nonverbal and verbal performance, helping you identify areas of improvement and highlight your strengths. We apply data provided by a vast network of employers to give you personalized advice on how to tailor your experiences and achievements to different types of questions, suggesting ways to frame your responses so that they effectively convey to the interviewer that you are an ideal fit for the position.

5. Prepare for a Virtual Interview

As we adjust to working remotely, virtual interviews are exponentially replacing the traditional in-person interviews of the past. For many interviewees and interviewers alike, this process is very new, and we’re finding ourselves facing a new set of challenges as well as questions. In particular, a growing number of interviewees are seeking personalized advice on their specific background, lighting, and camera angle, as well as clarification regarding these “new norms” that we have been dealt. These questions can be particularly tricky because many of them require personalized responses, and therefore cannot necessarily be answered through a quick Google search. One of the greatest benefits of a practice interview is that you can ask those lingering questions and be certain that the individual responding is giving you an answer that is not only grounded in expertise but also tailored to your specific concern. During your practice interview, you may also be pointed towards additional resources that we provide to further prepare you for virtual interviewing, such as Big Interview and our Tips for a Virtual Interview Supplement. You can also take a look at our blog on how to answer questions related to quarantine and COVID-19. We’re here to help you get through these changes as smoothly as possible. 

From reducing nerves and boosting your confidence, to giving you personalized advice and equipping you to pursue your professional goals, practice interviews have been found to have a number of significant benefits. CEO’s, politicians, and celebrities all pay good money well into their careers to continue benefiting from this service, so perhaps it is time to consider whether you should try it as well. 

At the end of the day, practice makes perfect; and what better way to practice interviewing than through a practice interview? Click here to schedule yours with the Center for Career Development today!

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

By Irene Soteriou
Irene Soteriou