Sounds shocking right? You might think why would you spend your valuable time, effort and most importantly money on giving mock interviews, even when you are stable at your current job. A perfectly valid thought any sane individual will have!
Before describing why you are wrong, let me first tell you the story behind why I chose to write about this topic.
Recently I came across 2 candidates:
- One who had not switch his job since the last 11 years and recently lost his job due to the Covid Pandemic. One of the negatives of being at a very high position is that you get fired the first when there is cost cutting.
- Another candidate (a senior engineer) who had 5 years of experience at a top company. He passed out from a premium college and since then working for the first company he got placed into. He now wanted to switch his job as he was not satisfied with his growth and year on year hike.
After having discussion with them, I realised that both of them were easily getting interview opportunities at top companies because of their past experience and elite profile. But neither of them were able to crack the interview.
Digging dip into the problem, I figured out that neither of them gave any interviews after they last took a job offer. They completely lost touch of giving interviews. As a matter of fact, they both were very good with their concepts and project knowledge. But still, they failed in interviews. The reason - lack of interview practice and not being able to answer typical interview questions.
Now, you know where I am leading to and why I want to specifically talk about the significance of staying relevant by giving mock interviews (Even if you are not going to switch your job atleast for a couple of years). Let's dive into the real part then.
Having seen a large variety of problems that candidates face, I will try to give you some valuable insights into many career benefits of engaging in mock interviews. We will talk about how giving mock interviews regularly can greatly impact your career. We will then talk about the benefits of giving mock interviews specifically via online platforms. In the end, we will discuss why mock interviews become even more relevant if you wish to excel in your career and switch to FAANG companies.
What is a Mock Interview? (For people who don't know!)
A mock interview is a replica of an actual job interview in a simulated environment. It is a set-up where a professional mentor asks specific interview questions from prospective job candidates and gives them feedback. Mock interview services are primarily used for training and occur in a close-to real or typical interview scenario. The aim is to train the candidates for the actual interview and provide practical job-interview experience to them.
Significance of Giving Mock Interviews
After understanding all the different situations that might happen when you loose touch of giving interviews, I have compiled an extensive list to put across my point. Here are the significant ways mock interviews can boost your career and how you can use them effectively:
1. Stay relevant to current interview trends
Mock interviews are a productive platform to know the latest interview trends in the recruitment industry. The professional trainers are aware of the recruiter’s expectations and new interview software tools introduced in the job industry, such as video interviewing, resume filtering, and virtual assignments.
A regular mock interview practice makes the candidates extremely well-versed with the ongoing interviewing techniques and prepares them well for the interview. Hence, take regular mock interviews to get acquainted with the current interview trends.
2. Be ready if the opportunity comes knocking on your door!
Ask yourself a question, ‘’If opportunity knocks on my door, am I prepared to open the door and embrace it?”
As they say, a person who is prepared to face the challenges wins half the battle. Mock interviews prepare you for giving the correct answers in the right tone using the right set of words. So when you meticulously frame your answers and gain the right interviewing skills, you get ready to take on the opportunities that knock on your door.
3. Build strong concepts
Even if not looking for a job switch, perform mock interviews consistently to increase your general knowledge of interviewing techniques and industry swings. You can often come to know of your weak concepts while trying to solve interview questions and tricky problems on them. Improvisation of your answers during the interview preparation strengthens the technical and non-technical concepts of your chosen stream.
Not only this, you can come across new concepts and problems during mock interviews that can help you grow your expertise. You might have misconceptions about a few topics that can be solved by discussing them with experts.
4. Build logical and quantitative reasoning abilities
Lot of recruiters ask situation-based & hypothetical questions of logical (scenario-based) and quantitative reasoning (involving numbers). These are highly-rated skills to master not only for interviews but for all types of problem-solving that you might face in your career. Mock interviews are an incredible avenue to build and strengthen these skills. The more you practice these types of questions, the more expertise you get to give accurate answers to them.
5. Handle pressure situations well
Every one of us knows the pressure of an interview. There are situations in interviews where you need to handle tough scenarios and quickly come up with solutions. Your capabilities and image are at stake. Trying to handle such situations repeatedly prepares you for every type of pressure situation you might face in actual interviews and even during your day to day problem solving and job activities.
Handling pressure well is one of the highest-rated quality of any candidate. Regularly going through such scenarios will immensely help you in your career. You will see the difference in your daily job. You will start feeling the confidence to handle stressful situations well - a major criteria for any individual to grow up the ladder.
6. Increase the speed of solving problems
As they say, practice makes a man perfect. Mock interviews can significantly help you in gaining proficiency in solving complex issues in day-to-day professional lives. The more you practice in mock interviews, the more is your pace to solve professional and job-specific problems.
7. Grow connections and build a high-quality network
Mock interviews are a constructive platform to build relations and connections with distinguished people in your field. You can develop relations with a community of mentors and even use it to get help in the future (referrals, company info, interview process info, career advice, resolving queries, etc.).
Besides this, giving mock interviews with different interviewers help. Every interviewer has a different way of evaluating candidates and hence, an opportunity to understand different types of perspectives and interview questions. Also, feedback from different interviewers can give you a broader level of validation and different angles to strengthen your weak areas.
Professional mock interview sites like Preplaced have come up these days. These sites give access to a network of influential professionals who can guide you in your job search and enhance and upscaling your career.
8. Understand your weaknesses & strenghts - both technical & non-technical (soft skills)
The candidates can use constructive feedback from the trainers to introspect their strengths and weaknesses. They can learn to highlight their strong points and work on the weak or improvement areas. Giving mock interviews will help you get candid feedback on your technical, aptitude and interviewing skills. A genuine feedback can go a long way in structuring your career.
Let's talk about non-technical skills. There is so much focus on mastering the technical skills in the industry today, that most people take soft skills very lightly. This often causes their downfall as most interviewers give preference to candidates with better soft skills. Hence it is very important that you understand the importance of soft skills and put effort towards developing them.
9. Revise your concepts
Practising interview questions in mock interviews is a revision of the fundamental concepts of your field. When your mentors ask the same questions differently, it results in the reformulation of answers in distinct forms. Thus, you get the opportunity to revise and re-learn your concepts.
Thus, whether or not you are looking for a job, practise mock interviews to derive these benefits that can help you grow your career and land a dream job in future if required.
How frequently should you take mock interviews?
Many of you might have thought what do you mean by "take mock interviews regularly". How frequently should you take one? There is no perfect answer to this question. It can be very subjective and might vary from person to person
I, on a personal level give mock interviews once every six months. This helps me understand my weaknesses and areas I should strengthen. Most importantly, it helps me come across new concepts and problem scenarios which I would have never thought of. Apart from this, I also take interviews and guide other candidates at Preplaced which helps remaining in touch with things.
From a different perspective, few of my friends keep switching companies and give mock interviews very frequently (almost every month). Some of them use it for learning a new concept and interacting with experts in their domain. So it all boils down to what are your immediate goals in next couple of months. But on a worst case, i would suggest to atleast take mock interviews every six months.
Benefits of Giving Online Mock Interviews
With Covid, online interviews have taken a driver seat. Online interviews impose new challenges of their own. Hence, it is necessary that you must now practice for certain nuances related to giving interviews online. Here are some points:
1. A boon in the current situation
Giving mock interviews online has become a new trend in the recruitment industry, specifically during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. Since conducting face-to-face interviews is not feasible in the present circumstances, companies are hiring through online platforms. This makes online mock interviews extremely beneficial as the candidate will understand various techniques required for online interviewing, which were not needed before.
2. Recording of mock interview for future reference
The candidate can even view the recorded video of the mock interview for future reference and self-analyse his or her interviewing skills (answers, body language, confidence level, etc.).
Looking back at your mock interview recording and analysing your mistakes can bring significant improvements. It seems like just an add-on feature, but trust me, this should be one of the key features that you focus upon while choosing a mock interview platform. It helps immensely!
- John Dewey (American Philosopher)
If you do not wish to reveal your identity or professional details, then online platforms will not disclose your profile. Many of the sites arrange for free mock interviews that are anonymous and ensure the privacy of the candidate’s identity.
4. The convenience of taking online interviews from home
Web-based systems are the most popular method used for online interview preparation. With the advancement in digital technology, job candidates explore the online world for arranging mock interviews from the comfort of their homes! Several online interview sites provide conducive platforms for conducting interview practice online and organise online interviews for prospective candidates using the latest video calling methods (such as Skype).
The Necessity of Mock Interviews for Placements in Big Companies (FAANG)
Mock interviews are a productive approach to landing a job in Tier-1 companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. If you are not looking for a new job immediately but aspire to crack the interview of any of these companies in the future, definitely consider regular practice by taking the mock interview services offered by various online sites or platforms.
These sites arrange for a mock interview session with the hiring managers of top tech companies popularly referred to as FAANG (Facebook/Amazon/Apple/Netflix/Google).
FAANG interviews are tough, and getting through one is a tough nut to crack. So many applicants apply for a single opening in FAANG companies. So how can you increase your prospects of selection?
By practising of course!
Most FAANG interviewers suggest taking at least five technical interviews before appearing for an actual interview to have a chance.
Like other big companies, FAANG companies have a cool-off period of six months, which means you cannot get a second interview chance before six months if you fail. Even more, this is the reason to practice your interviews more so that you can grab every opportunity you get.
Online mock interviews are a beneficial tool that will help you prepare perfect answers to help you get through the FAANG interviews in one go. You can even purchase exclusive interviews with professional interviewers from FAANG companies. Search for the following keywords to find services who provide these interviews:
- Google mock interviews
- Facebook mock interviews
- Amazon mock interviews
- Faang mock interviews
Mock interview websites are a beneficial platform for arranging mock interviews with interviewers from big tech companies (Usually hard to get their time for free, so going through professional websites is recommended). A word of caution here - only a few mock interview platforms provide FAANG interviewers. Also, it is an excellent opportunity to get guidance directly from interviewers of FAANG companies. So choose the right platform that facilitates the proper FAANG mock interviews for you.
In a Nutshell
Hone Your Skills by Practising Mock Interviews Online
Anxiety is a natural phenomenon that candidates experience while appearing for the interviews.
Mock interviews come in handy in such stressful situations. They facilitate in honing the interviewing and presentation skills of the candidates. Mock interview platforms, such as Preplaced, provide valuable services for preparing the candidates for interviews.
In a nutshell, give mock interviews, even if you are not looking for a job switch, to prepare for a lucrative opportunity that may knock at your door. If you have any other doubts regarding mock interviews, here's an extensive guide that covers all the common FAQs on mock interviews.
Preplaced - A Recommended Mock Interview Platform
If you are planning to search for mock interview platforms, my suggestion is to opt for Preplaced. This is not only because I am one of their mentors but because it is one of the thriving interview preparation platforms, that work with a mission to remove "lack of guidance" from the industry. By making a large community of mentors accessible to everyone! I have seen them go out of their way to help people crack their interviews.
The eminent recruiters of top companies and mentors from leading tech giants provide personal mentoring and guided curriculums to help you embark on your career journey. So whether you are a student or a professional, I highly recommend enrolling in your preferred course with Preplaced to skyrocket your confidence, revamp your interviewing skills, and get direct referrals to top companies.