It’s happened to all of us – we get asked a question that absolutely stumps us. Or we answer a question and think later, “Gee, that didn’t come out the way I meant.” When it comes to preventing these moments, practice in advance can be a great help.
Mock interviewing is a great way to practice answering questions in these tough situations. You can prepare for a number of life’s events; of course this includes real interviews, but it also includes icebreakers, parties and other networking events.
Of course, the most common way you’ll use the skills gained in a mock interview is on a real interview for a job or internship. The purpose of an interview is to learn HOW you did the things listed on your resume. It’s your chance to tell the story behind the bullet points. Mock interviews are just that – practice storytelling to prepare you for the real event.
While the CCD has always offered mock interviews with career educators and staff, we have recently launched fall and spring mock interviews with actual employers. Mock Interviews will take place Sept. 12-14; schedule your session in Handshake.
The first year, we had nine industries represented, and last year the event grew to 16 representatives from 13 industries. Over 125 BU students of all class years and majors have participated in mock interviews. What did they learn?
- They got ready for recruiting season by practicing their “storytelling” so that when the real interviews happened, they were ready.
- They got to connect with employers that may not have been on their radar.
- They got to ask recruiters the questions they were afraid to ask.
- They got helpful feedback about ways to strengthen their interview skills.
- They got to have casual career conversations with employers.
- They got internships! Yes, three students wound up being hired for actual positions after connecting with the employer who mock interviewed them!
So what is a mock interview like? Usually they are 30 minutes long and consist of two parts: first a Q&A “interview” (10-15 minutes) followed by 10 minutes of feedback. There’s always a chance for you to seek advice and ask questions. The mock interviews conducted by employers are much less intimidating than real interviews. Remember to treat your mock interview as a real interview; show up on time, wear business casual, and put your best foot forward.
If you can’t come to the CCD for a mock interview, then check out Big Interview, a virtual tool in Handshake. You can also check with your career office to see when you can schedule a mock interview with a staff member.
Don’t be afraid to practice your storytelling with mock interviews. You will only get better with time and effort!