How A Mock Job Interview Can Triple Your Chances Of Getting A Job
Sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, dry mouth. It’s job interview time. Doesn’t matter whether it’s your first accounting job or your fifth. Job interviews are stressful. And you know you’ve to get good first impression over the second you step through the door.
We’ve interviewed a huge number of candidates over the years and it’s very easy to tell who’s nervous, who’s over-confident and who’s got it right. It’s a bit like Goldilocks and the Bear’s porridge!
OK, so how do you become one of those candidates who’s got it just right? Easy.
The Mock Job Interview.
So, we’re going to give you seven ways to prepare for these life savers (or should we say job savers?).
Getting Ready For A Mock Job Interview
- Research Like A Pro. You should already have a good idea of what the job actually entails from the job description or conversations you’ve had with your employment agency. That means you can research the company, its industry, products and management. But you can also speak to friends who are accountants and ask them about their roles which could give you insight to what your role might be like.
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) – you know you’re going to be asked a set of standard questions about your background, your strengths and weaknesses. So pull together a list of those questions and your answers. Go further and actually write out how you’ll introduce yourself and describe your experience and qualifications. You’ll tailor this for each job. But - most importantly - be prepared to talk about your careers successes and how they are relevant to the job you’re interviewing for.
- What Will You Ask THEM? Never….we repeat NEVER go to an interview and not be prepared to ask your own questions. It shows a complete lack of interest and it’s just plain bad manners. Seriously. Ask about the company culture. Demonstrate you really do know about the products or services that they sell. Be a great communicator.
- Choose Your Mock Interviewer Carefully. Ideally you’d find someone who’s already an accountant, who interviews candidates regularly and is not scared to give you some strong feedback. Could be a friendship test! Nope. Not at all. That person is likely to be your best option by a long shot.
- Begin With End In Mind. You need to be clear with whoever is helping you exactly what you want out of you mock job interview. Clearly tell them you need direct feedback about your answers, your body language, your eye-contact…and any annoying mannerisms. For example, we suggest you don’t laugh hysterically at everything an interviewer says. They know they are not meant to be particularly funny!
- Go Local. Ideally your mock job interview should be held in a similar environment to the real thing as possible. So, if you do have an accountant friend who’s going to help you then meet them at their office.
- Do Not Be Scruffy. A bit like method acting, you need to get into the part. Put on your real interview suit or dress. Polish your shoes. Do your hair properly. Again, ask your friend for real feedback on how you look. Better to get an honest answer now.
How To Conduct a Mock Job Interview
- Go On Record. Now this may be very uncomfortable but recording your mock job interview is a great idea. Yep. We know it will be excruciating for you to watch or listen to it again but you will earn a huge amount about yourself. Are you a fidgeter? Do you say “Um” every three words. Get the iPhone or Android to work.
- Rinse & Repeat. Now this may cost you a few drinks or meals but ask your friend if you can schedule a couple of these mock job interviews. It’s a big ask as everyone’s time is precious. But if they are ok with it then get them to mix up their questions and interviewing style with you. Ask them to be aggressive towards you to see how you handle it.
- Open and Close With Sincerity. Shake hands firmly. Ask them how their day has been. Smile. Strong eye contact. Prepare a sincere yet concise closing statement that lets them know you’re genuinely interested in the job. Do not try to fake these crucial elements of a job interview.
- Feedback. Make sure that after every session you get your feedback straight way. Don’t wait. Build it into the time you have with that person. Write down exactly where it is you need to improve.
- Mirror, Mirror On The Wall. Maybe you should do this when the house or apartment is empty! But try to interview yourself in front of a mirror. Awkward to be sure but you’ll see yourself like never before. Good and Bad. Where are your hands? Are you grimacing or smiling? A couple of tries at this and it becomes a lot more comfortable.
- Go Pro. Depending on where you are in your career path you may able to engage professional mock job interview services from your university, the employment agencies you’re dealing with. There are many companies that specialize in helping candidates like yourself. However, it’ll cost you, so make sure you get a recommendation from someone you trust before using these services.
The Interview Ball Is In Your Court
Completing a mock job interview may seem like hard work. That’s because it is. But they are so worth the effort. The competition for accounting jobs is fierce. You must grab at anything that gives you an edge over other candidates.
You want to come across as professional, confident and well-informed. Interviewers can spot a fake a mile-off.