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6 Tips to Optimize Mock Interviews
Hcareers / APRIL 06 2021
Summary

Congrats! You landed an interview after hours spent crafting a cover letterresume and applying to hundreds of jobs. Now you need to prepare yourself for the interview, and the best way to do so is with a mock interview. 

What is a mock interview?

A mock interview is a practice interview to run through common interview questions and how you plan to answer them to help ease your nerves and feel more comfortable heading into the real thing. 

With video interviews being the preferred method still, mock interviews can also help you ensure all technology will work as well.

Grab one of your family members or friends and your computer and get ready for your interview with these tips. 

Tip #1: Find your interviewer

Ask one of your family members, friends, or mentor to play the role of the interviewer. It’s an added bonus if you can ask someone who is already in the hospitality industry, but not necessary. 

If you are still in college, your career office may already have a program for mock interviews, so make sure to check with them. 

Tip #2: Create the questions

Find some common questions asked during interviews in hospitality interviews, and if possible, questions that a specific employer asks. Most companies ask similar questions, but some are known for less common questions. For example, Google is known for asking brainteaser questions that test your thought process.  

Create a loose script for the interviewer with all of the questions they could ask and let them pick which ones they will ask and what order without telling you. 

Tip #3: Set up the interview and background

For a video interview: If your interviewer is comfortable and able to, have them send you the video call link, preferably using the same platform your real interview will be on. Make sure to download the right platform and set yourself up in a room with a clear background space, good lighting, and no distractions. 

Try to avoid having your bed in the background, or distracting art on the walls. Remove any phones or other technology that could make noise unexpectedly. If possible, set up in a room where others won’t be walking around. 

For an in-person interview: Pick a location for the interview, like your house or theirs or a public space. If it is at one of your houses, try to set up the area to resemble an office as much as possible to really get yourself in the mindset.  If you can’t set up somewhere like a kitchen table. Avoid sitting on a couch or bed, since your real interview won’t take place on either. 

Tip #4: Wear your typical interview outfit

Whether you’re doing a video interview or an in-person interview, wear what you plan on wearing to the interview. If you are worried about getting it dirty the day before your interview, wear a variation of the outfit. 

Make sure it is a professional outfit that fits well, and you are comfortable in. You’re pants or shirt shouldn’t be too tight so when you sit you can’t move or breathe. Make sure you aren’t wearing distracting colors or patterns, and wear shoes you are able to walk in that are professional.

Tip #5: Layout or Pack your interview essentials

For a video interview: Place your resume, cover letter, writing utensil, and notebook next to your computer. You want to make sure you can quickly look over your resume or cover letter during your interview or take notes on questions that pop into your head or information you want to look up later. You can also keep a list of questions you want to ask handy. 

For in-person interviews: Pack the same essentials into your bag so you can take notes during the interview if needed or hand the interviewer your resume if they need to reference it. It is less likely you’ll need these during an in-person, but it will show your preparedness and organization. 

Tip #6: Record the interview and ask for feedback

As awkward as it may feel to watch yourself in the interview, you will be able to critique yourself and evaluate your answers and demeanor during the interview to improve or do the exact same thing during your real interview. Ask your interview for their feedback as well! 

Make sure you are fully prepared for your interview with more tips here.