The Importance of Interview Practise (And How to Do It)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published June 18, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Candidates applying for a job usually prepare for interviews by practising answering questions the interviewers may ask. A candidate who readies themselves for an interview may have a higher chance of getting the job than individuals who didn't prepare. Learning more about how to prepare for an interview can get the position you want and advance your career. In this article, we discuss the importance of interview practise and provide a list of steps you can follow to do it.
Importance of interview practise
Job interview practise may help a candidate feel confident and comfortable during the real interview process. This can enable them to talk about themselves naturally and without feeling awkward when mentioning their skills and career accomplishments. Practise interviews may also help them choose the right words to use and determine impactful talking points.
Preparing for an interview is important to a candidate because it enables them to ensure that all the documents that may be necessary for them to provide to the potential employer are complete . They also get the chance to practise their posture and body language when speaking with the interviewer.
How to prepare for an interview
Practise interviews are often an effective tool for evaluating and improving the way you conduct yourself when interviewing for a job. These can help you make a positive impression on hiring managers or prospective employers, which may increase your employment chances. Here are several tips you may follow on how to prepare for a job interview:
1. Research the company and the interviewers
Studying the company's background may help you feel more confident in an interview. You may read through the company's website or review social media accounts to know more information about the company's goals and culture. This may help you position yourself and highlight the qualifications that make you a great fit for the company. Reading about the interviewers may also help you prepare for how to best answer their questions.
2. Prepare a space where you can practise
A quiet and clutter-free space may help you practise for the interview more effectively. Practising in an area with chairs and a table may help simulate an actual interview space. This may help you prepare mentally for the interview and feel more comfortable during the actual process.
3. Decide if you want to practise alone
Some people practise an interview with a friend, colleague, or family member because they find it more effective and realistic. They give their chosen partner, who acts as the interviewer, a list of questions. Some candidates seek help from mentors or career counsellors to train and coach them for job interviews. There are also candidates who find it more effective to practise alone.
4. Record yourself
You may record your practice interview using a smartphone, webcam, or a video camera. Afterwards, you can review the video to look for areas on which to improve. It's important to take note of body language, eye contact, and the way you answer. Recording the practice session may help you improve your overall manner in preparation for the actual interview.
5. Dress for your practice interview
When practicing for a job interview, it helps to dress the part. You may put on the attire you're planning to wear for the interview while practising so you feel more comfortable and confident in it. This also helps ensure that your chosen outfit is in good condition, without stains and with working zippers and buttons. It may help to ask the interviewer about the dress code or research about it, so that you may dress appropriately.
6. Review the job description
This technique can help you construct more suitable answers for the interview. You may review the job description, highlight important points, and take note of your experiences that may be useful for the interview. Doing this also allows you to identify details about your work history that may be helpful to share and skills that align with the job description and the company's requirements.
7. Prepare for a phone interview
Some companies conduct interviews over the phone or virtually through a video conference for the initial stages of the hiring process. You may prepare for this type of interview by reviewing phone interview etiquette, how to get ready, and how to set up a phone or virtual interview. You can also focus on improving your tone and language to provide a clear answer.
8. Practise answering common interview questions
Companies usually conduct interviews in stages. While the initial interviewer may come from the human resources (HR) department, the next individual you meet with may be the department manager. Interviewers from HR may ask general or behavioural questions that can give you the chance to highlight your soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership. Here are some examples of questions they may ask:
Tell me about yourself.
What do you know about this company?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Why do you want to work for our company?
How have your previous experiences prepared you for this role?
Why do you think you can do this job well?
What makes you qualified for this job?
Can you work with a team?
How are your communication skills?
How do you deal with a stressful situation?
What are your short-term and long-term plans?
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
How do you evaluate yourself?
Have you experienced conflict with your colleagues? How did you handle it?
You may consider practising answering these commonly asked general questions to prepare for the real interview. Doing this can help you be more confident and act and respond more naturally during the interview. To answer these questions, you may use the STAR method, which stands for situation, task, action, and result. Many candidates use this to structure their answers to appear more coherent and meaningful.
9. Practise answering job-specific questions
The department head or supervisor usually handles these questions. They usually ask job-specific or industry-specific questions to assess your technical knowledge and aptitude. This gives you the chance to highlight your past achievements, technical qualifications, and industry knowledge. Common examples of questions include:
What part of the job do you consider the most challenging?
What credentials do you have that make you the best candidate for this role?
What's the most challenging issue you have encountered in your past job? How did you handle it?
How do you prioritize tasks?
Are you interested in having advanced training or certifications?
If hired for this role, how do you plan to keep yourself updated on industry trends and innovations?
Describe a project you have worked on and your role in the project.
How do you gain the trust of the people you supervise?
What are your career goals?
What do you plan to accomplish in this position?
To answer these questions, you may review the job description so you can pattern your responses against it. Hiring managers often design these questions to measure your ability to perform the duties of the position. These also help them determine if you possess the right skill set for the role.
10. Consider scheduling a mock interview
You may seek the help of career advisers or counsellors when practising for a job interview. The practice session with a career coach simulates the actual interview process. After the session, they provide feedback and constructive criticism regarding your interview skills. This technique can equip you with the right attitude and knowledge necessary to be successful in a job interview.
11. Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer
Before the interview ends, some hiring managers and human resources interviewers may inquire if there are questions you want to ask them. This practice allows them to assess your interest in and commitment to the position for which you applied. You may prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer in advance. Asking good and smart questions demonstrates your professionalism and may result in a positive impression on the side of the interviewer. Here's a list of examples of questions you may ask during the interview:
What's the most important function of this role?
If given the role, how do you measure performance and how often does it occur?
What does a typical day look like in this role?
What are the usual challenges for this role?
What opportunities will I have to grow and develop?
If given the role, what do you want me to accomplish for my first six months?
Can you describe the team I will be working with if given the position?
Can you describe the company culture?
Are there any office or company traditions?
What are the next steps after this interview process?
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