Job Advice

Mock interviews…they’re not just for College Seniors

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Mary Springer
May 1, 2019

In addition to our other recruiting efforts, our team also participates in everything from job fairs to classroom presentations, resume reviews and mock interviews in order to assist college students in preparation for their Indianapolis job search.  All of the aforementioned activities are extremely important for students to engage in, but I personally one of the most helpful things you can do is participate in mock interviews.  You can attend as many job fairs as you want and make as many contacts as you want, but if you can’t follow through with an effective interview, your efforts can be nearly worthless.

In the past, I have assisted with mock interviews at the Kelley School of Business and I have to admit I was a little disappointed when my list of students only consisted of seniors.  The value mock interviews can provide to underclassmen is often overlooked.

Mock interviews are the perfect setting for getting interview practice followed by valuable advice and feedback.  People underestimate how scary an interview can be when you are getting drilled with questions by an interviewer (or possibly multiple interviewers).  This can lead to short, non-detailed answers or long-winded, rambling answers – both of which are frowned upon by interviewers.  By going through a few mock interviews with different types of interviewing styles you can learn how to tailor your answers and adjust your answering style to meet the needs of the questions asked.

Mock interviews are also helpful for learning how your educational experience can be translated into strong examples during an interview.  The strongest collegiate interviewees are effective at taking school projects and experiences and translating those into life and business lessons.  Recruiters understand that you might not have a lot of relevant work experience, but we want to know that you can reflect back on past experiences, learn from them, and apply those learnings to future situations.

If you are going to participate in mock interviews or if you have already, make sure you are getting feedback afterwards.  Recruiters are going to be able to give you valuable feedback on how your answers match up with current hiring trends in your field of study and advice on how to tweak those answers moving forward.

Relate the mock interview process to a professional athlete.  Do they wait until the month before the big event to start practicing?  No, they begin the preparation process months and months in advance.  They even participate in a few practice events, trying different techniques and learning from their mistakes.  They need to be a well trained, conditioned athlete by the time their biggest competitions come around.  So why do we treat our Indianapolis job search or internship search any different?  I mean, this is only one of THE most important things you will ever do in your life.  The jobs and internships that you secure during college set the stage for what you will do and become at graduation time.  So why not get lots of practice and make sure that you are a top performer in any interview when the time comes?