The Mock Job Interview

Prepare for a mock job interview in the same way you'd prepare for a real job interview

Here's a list of dos to help you prepare for both interviews:

• Study the company where you're applying. You need to understand the company's goals, problems, industry, culture, and anything else you can find about it.

• Find out about the job that's being filled.

• Make a list of your strengths as you see them. Then, ask your friends, family and coworkers what strengths they see in you. Give weight to both. Sometimes we confuse talent with passion, our friends will help us see the difference.

• Make a list of your likes, what you enjoy doing. Even if you are not good at your likes, the mere fact you enjoy doing them will make you better at them.

• Make a list of dislikes, what you absolutely dislike doing. It's important to be fully aware of your dislikes so you don't end up accepting a job you may hate.

• Make a timetable of where you want to be in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and even 10 years from now.

• Prepare answers to the most common interview questions.If possible prepare answers to as many interview questions as you can get your hands on.

• Have a clear idea of what compensation package would be desirable. Go beyond salary and benefits. Include items that are not apparently or easily quantifiable, but are important to you.

• Have a professional looking outfit that's clean, well pressed and makes you look and feel your best. Avoid new clothes if possible, you want something that's familiar to you, something that won't take attention away from the interview itself.

• Pump yourself to a high level of energy and a positive, self confident attitude.

• Now go do a mock interview.

Videorecord and Analyze the Mock Job Interview

Ask a friend to role play with you. If this is not possible, just read the interview questions to yourself and then proceed to answer them.

Ideally, you'll videorecord your answers so you can study the recording. When you replay the recording:

• Look for repetitive mannerisms that can be distracting in a conversation. You may not know you have them until you see yourself on video.

• Listen for repetitive words or expressions that you may be overusing without being aware you are doing it. Replace them with similar expressions and practice saying the new expressions so they come naturally to you.

• Look for any nonverbal gestures that may appear as negative, such as hunched shoulders, averting or dancing eyes, touching your hair too much, wetting your lips, and other gestures that may be ok in normal conversation but not during an interview. Practice replacing them with positive nonverbal gestures. You may want to read more about to read job interview body language.

• Notice your voice, especially the volume of your voice. This is the time to catch if you tend to speak in loud voice or whispers. Either extreme is not recommended. The volume of your voice is under your control, so find out where you're at right now and make any adjustments as needed.

• Notice if you tend to misrepresent or exaggerate certain parts of your resume. They may be areas you're not fully confident about. Even if the real experience leaves a lot to be desired, it's best to avoid misrepresentations of your experience or knowledge. I'm not saying to undersell yourself, I'm just saying not to lie.

• Observe if you come across as negative in any of your answers about previous employment or about anything in general. Clean it up so you don't show your negativity, even if it's there. Ideally, you'd work on letting go of any resentment or judgments you may have about a previous employer – for you own peace of mind. But if you can't let go of the resentment by interview time, then just keep it to yourself.

• Check if you get distracted or seem distracted. Focus your attention on each interview question as if you had never heard it before, as if you never hear it again and as if your life depended on it. It just may.

Alternatives to videorecording the mock job interview

If you don't have a means to videorecord yourself, ask a friend to give you feedback on the pointers listed above. If that's not possible, then rehearse your answers a few times while looking at a mirror. Your repetitive gestures and expressions will come through after a couple of rehearsals.

Good luck to you! Just remember to be self-assured, energetic and 100% present (or focused) during the interview. Practice being this way during your mock job interview and you'll ace the real job interview.