More companies and hiring managers are utilizing technological advances, such as social tools for workplace collaboration and video conferencing to save time and resources. Taking advantage of a mock interview online is an ideal way to prepare for the upcoming job interview, be it in-person, on the phone, or online.
What is a mock interview?
A mock interview is a simulation of a real job interview. While it is practice, you should take it seriously because it is a useful tool to help you ace your next actual interview. After all, practice makes perfect.
Many college career centers, career coaches, and even online services like Interview School, offer mock interviews. It is not intended to be a straight question and answer session. Instead, a mock interview evaluates all aspects that a legitimate hiring manager will likely assess.
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What is the purpose of a mock interview?
The purpose of a mock interview is to get all the nervous jitters out of the way. It is an opportunity for you to gain confidence by practicing your responses to interview questions, improve your communication and interview skills, and become aware of your mannerisms and body language.
This interview practice may even offer insight into all the aspects of the interview process before you receive the job offer.
What is the difference between a mock interview and a mock interview online?
While a mock interview may be in-person, more and more companies are opting for video interviewing. As a result, there are technical interview factors that you will also need to consider that are very different from an in-person meeting.
A mock interview online will prepare you for all types of interviews, especially video conferencing with a potential employer. Additionally, with online practice, you can review your answers as well as your body language, amount of eye contact, and how your interview attire looks on camera.
Necessary Tools for Taking a Mock Interview Online
Because this is not an in-person meeting, you will need to provide your own technology and set it up yourself.
For a video interview, you will obviously need a computer. Companies may ask you to download a video conferencing program, such as Zoom or Skype, to use for the interview. Alternatively, there are web-based video conferencing tools, such as Google Hangouts. It is imperative that you make sure that your computer can sufficiently run these video platforms.
Especially if this is a tech interview, how you prepare and use the technology is crucial. Download the program well in advance to test the platform before your scheduled meeting.
2. Webcam and Microphone
To communicate with the interviewer, you will need a webcam for video and a microphone for audio.
Your camera should be eye-level. Most computers sit on a desk and aim straight at the user’s chest. While you may be tempted to simply point your camera up, it is not the best angle to demonstrate professionalism.
Instead, you want to look straight at the interviewer. Therefore, try to elevate your webcam if you are using a desktop computer. If you are using a laptop, consider a laptop stand or put books underneath to raise your camera to eye-level.
While it is not required, a headset is usually recommended for video calls. It eliminates echos so that your interviewer does not hear him or herself through your computer’s speakers. This playback can be distracting for both parties. Additionally, some headsets have a noise-canceling feature, which can be incredibly useful during live video meetings.
Furthermore, check your computer settings to select the proper camera and microphone to use during the interview. For some computers, there are more than one video and audio input and output options. Make sure the video platform is using the one you want during the mock interview online.
One of the most critical aspects of an online practice interview is a stable Internet connection. If there is a lag or delay in the streaming, you may find yourself talking over the interviewer or awkwardly waiting for the audio to come through.
Having a hard-lined Ethernet connection is ideal. Alternatively, you can use WiFi, but try to limit the number of other devices on the network. Always run a speed test before the practice interview.
It is not necessary to have a perfect home office for this interview. However, be mindful of your environment and what is visible in the video frame. It is best to have a plain neutral colored wall or a clean office-like background.
4. Noise Level
The best place to conduct your mock interview online is in your own home. You likely would not interview with a potential employer in a coffee shop. Similarly, your environment should be professional, quiet, and conducive to a conversation.
The interviewer will want to see you clearly during the video conference. Unfortunately, ceiling lights often cast shadows on your face. The best lighting comes from in front of you.
Think about what you know about photo shoots and movie sets. The lights are usually pointed in the same direction as the camera in front of the subject. Tech Radar has a great explanation of effective lighting techniques.
While you don’t need the newest equipment for your mock interview online, you will need to invest some time and preparation to make the most of it. Be sure to choose a service that will also give you proper feedback on your answers. For example, a service like Interview School uses AI technology to evaluate your tone, confidence, and duration of your response.
A mock interview is ideal for providing constructive feedback in a low-stress environment. This can reduce your stress and anxiety while boosting your confidence. Take a look at our online interview tips, practice out loud, and you’ll soon be ready for the actual job interview.