What Are Practice Interviews? (With Example Questions)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Attending a job interview is one of the most important steps in the job application process. Preparing for your interview can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome where a company hires you based on your performance in the interview. For this reason, it's crucial that you prepare for your interview by practising interview questions and preparing the right documentation. In this article, we explain why practice interviews are important and provide some example interview questions and answers.

Why are practice interviews important?

Practice interviews are important because the success of your job application often depends on the outcome of your interview. Positioning yourself as a candidate with the right qualifications for the role, having appropriate answers to questions and asking the interviewer questions can help you stand out from other candidates. You can also use this time to learn about the company and their culture, noting what attire best works for the interview and also maintaining your body language in the interview. Practising for interviews also helps you grow comfortable with the process.

Related: How to Prepare for an Interview

How to practise for an interview

Below are steps that can help you prepare for your job interviews:

1. Recreate an interview setting

To practise for your interviews, try to recreate an interview space in a room with a table and chairs. Putting yourself in an environment that mimics an interview setting can bring out authentic feelings and reactions as you're preparing and practising. Drawing from your previous experiences and recreating a similar setting allows you to get more comfortable with the interview space. It also boosts your confidence and creates opportunities to practise delivering your answers to the interviewer with the appropriate body language and manner.

2. Prepare a list of interview questions

Compile a list of questions that an interviewer typically asks. Draw from previous interview experiences and also note down questions specific to the role that interviewers may ask you to answer using technical knowledge. Remember to narrow the list of questions to those pertinent to your role, along with general questions. Sometimes, you can request someone you trust to compile questions and participate in a mock interview with you. In such instances, you can ask the other person not to reveal the questions ahead of the interview, to prepare better for the actual interview.

3. Pick the appropriate attire for the interview

Before your interview date, learn about the prospective organisation's culture. This can provide valuable information you can use to make yourself presentable in line with a company's culture. In some companies, casual attire may be commonplace, while other companies prefer formal attire at work. A company may sometimes inform you of any dress code that they expect for the interview. Plan your attire, ensuring that it's appropriate for the interview while also being comfortable when you wear the outfit. Whether the dress code is formal or casual, make sure that your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free.

Related: Guide to What to Wear for an Interview (And What to Avoid)

4. Conduct a mock interview

After compiling all the questions, selecting appropriate attire and having all your documentation in place, you can then plan a mock interview session. You may practise by yourself or with a person you trust. If practising by yourself, you may compile your questions onto flashcards and randomise them so that you can practise questions in different orders.

When practising with someone you trust, you can ask them to randomise the questions in a mock interview with you. This helps you to be more confident and gradually minimises anxiety after each practice session as you're able to refine your answers. Mock interviews like this can help you feel more relaxed once you enter your actual interview.

5. Request feedback

Once you've completed several mock interview sessions with someone you trust, it's best to request feedback regarding your performance. Ask questions that relate to how you come across as a candidate and the appropriateness of your body language, such as eye contact, confidence in your voice and the way you deliver your answers. Ask for advice and tips that you can use to improve yourself as you conduct further mock interviews.

When practising by yourself, you may record your practice session to evaluate your own performance or have someone you trust evaluate and provide feedback. If you're evaluating yourself, it might be helpful to take notes on aspects you want to improve.

Related: Interviewing Skills to Ace a Job Interview

Examples of questions for mock interviews

Below are some of the common interview questions that an interviewer may ask:

How would you describe yourself?

In asking this question, the interviewer seeks to learn about you as a professional and how your experience can fit the role. Answering this question consists of speaking about your skills, knowledge and experience from your previous roles and discussing your professional character.

Example: "I'm organised and driven by data and results. I've always had the habit of using different methods and tools to help myself stay on top of my goals, meetings and deadlines. In doing so, I also frequently check the status of my deadlines and goals, including what I have to do to achieve them efficiently. Over the past year, I've moved my team over to a new central database system that has cut waste and inefficiency by over 40% which also shortened our backlog to a significant extent."

What's your greatest achievement?

When an interviewer asks this question, they're trying to learn how you fit into their company's culture, your definition of success and the types of responsibilities you have undertaken. You can compile a list of achievements that you feel are relevant to a particular interview using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) method. Consider learning about a company's goals, vision and mission and then tailor your answer to align accordingly.

Example: "In my previous role as a sales manager for one of the company's stores, I was given a quota to achieve by the end of the year. It was a slow year and the sales targets were lower than half in the middle of the third quarter, which was a lot of pressure. I decided to learn about social media and became an influencer in promoting our products. I even asked our management if I could handle some of our social profiles, running campaigns. By the end of the year, we not only achieved our target but were able to exceed it by over 30%."

Related: Exploring How to Answer “What is Your Greatest Achievement?”

What makes you the best candidate for this role?

An interviewer asking this question wants to learn how aware you are of how your skills, experience and knowledge fit with the position and its responsibilities. Your answer can revolve around explaining any specific experiences, accomplishments and character traits that you feel add value to the position and the company.

Example: "In my previous company, we were looking for a lead programmer with significant experience in Python. Despite numerous interviews and applications, no candidate was selected. Expecting that the search may take time, I enrolled in an online course to learn Python. After receiving my certification, I applied for the role and was able to complete our project on time for deployment. I believe my ability to learn new languages and anticipate skills gaps and company needs can be an asset to this role."

Tips for preparing for an interview

Below are some tips to assist with preparing for your job interview:

  • Keep a copy of your CV: Retain a copy to use as a reference during an interview for when you want to highlight specific points in your CV to an interviewer. You can also give your interviewer a copy.

  • Prepare your answers: Rehearsing your answers from memory may come across as though you're reading from a script. Instead, break down your answer into several key points and build your answer around those points, as this can help you speak more naturally.

  • Prepare potential questions for the interviewer: Use the opportunity to ask questions to learn more about a company, its culture and its future goals. This shows the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in both the role and the company and are willing to learn.

  • Pay attention to your body language: From your mock interviews, be observant of your body language to ensure you present yourself as pleasant, competent and confident. Make a note of how you greet an interviewer, maintain eye contact, and sit so that you appear comfortable.

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