Why you should do a mock interview - Global Connection

Career coach Marcelle Yeager regularly conducts mock interviews with expat partners looking for jobs in the US. She explains why and how.

Realistic

“A mock interview can help expat partners prepare in advance for common and more targeted interview questions so that they will feel confident going into interviews. I find that doing a video call over Skype is key; the mock interviewee can experience it as realistically as possible. It’s best if a coachee has a job of interest so that I can prepare questions directly related to that role, as well as more general behavioural questions that are typically asked in an interview.

Constructive

When I conduct a mock interview, I take detailed notes or record it. That way, I can provide the coachee not only with their responses to review and reflect on, but also give constructive feedback on their answers. If I think they could give a stronger example in an answer to a question, I will let them know. This is something we then talk through during a follow-up call after the coachee has a chance to review my notes and recommendations. They then have this document to refer to before going into an actual interview.

Honest

It’s usually sufficient to practise just once with a coach. However, I find that when someone is going to interview for a ‘dream job’ and we’ve only done a more general simulation, it’s helpful to conduct a mock interview for that particular job. In my view, role-play with a coach is more effective than role-play with someone who knows you well. It is difficult for a friend or relative to objectively assess your responses, and they may not give you honest feedback. You can expect a coach to be frank and to direct you as to how to improve certain answers.”

Original article

A Few Good Questions

I am often asked whether you need to ask questions in an interview if all your questions were answered during it. YES! YES! YES! You should always have several questions ready to ask at the conclusion of the interview when the interviewer says, “do you have any questions?” Asking questions shows the interviewer/s that you are truly interested in the position and that you are a thoughtful person.

The easiest thing to do is jot down at least three questions (five is better) on a notepad you will bring with you. Do this before coming to the interview when you are researching the company and the people with whom you will be meeting. If you get to the end and find that all of your prepared questions have been answered, here are a few good questions that I like to ask and like to be asked as an interviewer:

  1. How long was the person who held this position previously in the job and what are they doing now?
  2. What is one thing you like about working here and one thing you would like to change?
  3. How do you define success for someone in this position (for example, what qualities and accomplishments are most important)?

If you feel that the interview did not go very well and you are still interested in the job, you may want to ask “do you have any reservations about hiring me for this position?” If they say yes and are willing to tell you what those reservations are, you have an opportunity to address their concerns. However, this could be a risky question if you’re not prepared to assuage their apprehensions.