Essential Mock Interview Guide For Students  


One of the components of your job preparation may be a mock interview. This is an opportunity for you to walk through the interview process, learn everything you can about what to say and how to react, and gain confidence. You’ll use your mock interview as a type of practice for a real interview down the road.

It’s important to ace your mock interview. The better you do here, the more confident and ready for the real interview you’ll be. To help you, take a look at the following tips and how to prepare for a mock interview. With this guide and our no-cost training services, you are sure to be able to learn as much as you need about the interviewing process.

How to Prepare for a Mock Interview

The process of going to an interview starts long before you leave your home. You’ll need to prepare for the experience. This is something you’ll want to do during your mock interview, too. To prepare, focus on these areas:

  • Know how to express your personality and attributes in a way that is beneficial to the position you are applying for later.
  • Spend some time researching the company or organization you are interviewing with. Learn as much as you can about the company itself and the field it is in the position you are applying for, and any other insight into the field you need.
  • Have your goals explained and written down to help you know how well any position may help you work towards those goals.
  • Think about a few stories or examples you can provide to the interviewer that may show your skills, personality, or work ethic. Practice telling these stories, so you are confident in doing so.

Know What Factors Matter

A mock interview for students in a career development program can help you get a better understanding of what the interviewer is looking for to decide who to hire. Whether you are interviewing online or in person, you should be able to answer their questions and create the right first impression.

Consider some of the ways that interviewers will evaluate you.

Your appearance

Dress business professional. You want to be sure you are neat and appropriate, which typically means dressing more conservatively and less trendy. You can find professional, well-fitting, and appropriate clothing for your interview at a Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona location near you. It’s an affordable way to ensure your look fits the job.

Your introduction

How do you greet the person speaking to you? It is a good idea to stand to greet the interviewer. Use a firm handshake and a professional greeting. You also want to maintain good eye contact with them. Smile.

Your body language

Your body language tells the interviewer a good deal about you. Maintain eye contact with them throughout the interview. You also want to avoid fidgeting with things and maintain a good posture. It may be helpful to use effective gestures when speaking, but don’t let this distract you. What’s most important is using things like voice projection properly and reducing any nervous habits you may have.

Your willingness to work with others

Another factor that interviewers will look at is your willingness to work with others. Be sure to be sincere as you answer questions and demonstrate enthusiasm. You want to be genuine and positive whenever possible. When you talk about a challenge you’ve been through, don’t mention, blame, or judge others in telling that story.

Your communication skills

Practice answering questions with clarity. You want to speak clearly and concisely. You also want to be as tactful and polite as you can. Provide detailed information about you, but do not take up too much of the interviewer’s time on this process. Think about your response before you make it.

Be sure to speak with confidence. It’s a good idea to use the knowledge you researched to help you to show the interviewer you did your homework.

Steps to Take to Prepare Yourself

Having all of the right answers to questions during your interview is important. Yet, sometimes, it may not be easy to answer questions right off the top of your head. Do a bit of prep work to help you make better on-the-spot decisions later during your interview. Here’s are some things to start thinking about now.

What are your personality traits?

This is often asked. Be sure you can answer questions about your personality that are related to the job and industry you are trying to apply to or the work you plan to do.

What accomplishments have you had?

Focus these on things you have accomplished that, in some way, relate back to the industry or the job you are applying for, such as how the skills in those accomplishments may help you with a job in that field.

Write down the most important things you want a job interviewer to know about you. This may include a wide range of things from your experience, goals, education or special skills. What are three or so things that you want to make sure they learn about you?

What about the employer or program excites you the most?

You’ll need to do some research to answer this question. Your goal here should be to outline the things that help you feel excited to work with this company in this position. You’ll be able to mention that in your interview or even ask questions about it.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

This is perhaps one of the hardest questions to answer in some situations. To prepare to do so, have a good understanding of what the employer or hiring manager is looking for in the applicants for this position. One way to do this is to read through the requirements or goals listed within the job description. You can also look at job sites that list numerous positions in the field you are interested in. Look at what skills are important in this field.

What are your long-term goals?

Many interviewers ask this question. Be sure you have an answer for them. That may be you want to work with their company or in a specific position. You may not be sure, and that’s okay to mention as long as you talk about how this position fits into your long-term goals.

How to Wrap Up Your Mock Interview

Once you have answered all of the questions, you will need to conclude the interview. To do that, ask the interviewer for a business card. That will help you with the spelling of the interviewer’s name later. You can send a thank you note around 48 business hours later. If you do so, make sure to mention specific bits of conversation you had with the interviewer. That will help them to remember you.

A mock interview is an opportunity to practice key questions. No matter where your interview is taking place, in person or online, it is critical to know how to communicate your skills for the job. You also want to be sure you make the right first impression.

Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona can help. We offer free mock interviews, resume tips, career training, and much more. Check out all of our no-cost career services now.

woman engaging in a mock interview with man

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