13 Most Important Mock Interview Questions

Wouldn’t it be great if you could read the mind of your interviewer? Well, to nail that job interview, you do not need any magical power, but to practice the common mock interview questions.

 

What is a Mock Interview?

Mock interview is a practice interviewing session that aims to provide you with the relevant experience of facing the final interview. You can practice it with anyone- your friends, family or colleagues. Practicing some common interview questions and answers prepares you to react confidently. Whether it is your first job interview or second, a mock interview is the best way to gauge your preparation, knowledge, behavioral competencies, and industry knowledge.

Here is a list of 13 common ‘Mock Interview Questions’ and tips to answer them:

 

mock interview preparation

 

1. Tell me about yourself

This simple question can really make many interviewees to get nervous, as it is mostly the icebreaker between you and the hiring manager. How you tackle this question is vital, but do not take this question as an invitation to recite your life story. Instead, use this opportunity to introduce yourself and relate to why you are a right candidate for the job. The interviewer has your resume with all information about your education and employment history.

Tips to Answer:

Follow the ‘Present-Past-Future’ pattern to answer this question. Start with present information and then segue into your past sharing your experiences you gained in your previous work.

Close your answer relating to your career plans and how this particular opportunity seems right for you.

 

2. What do you know about the company?

When the hiring manager asks this question, he wants to know how well you understand the company’s mission and vision statements. Although anyone can get this detail from the company’s ‘About Us’ section on the official website, but it is important how you understand and explain it to your future employer.

Tips to Answer:

The best way to answer it is by making a personal statement and relating it to the company’s goals. For instance, use keywords from the company’s website and share something like, “I personally believe in this value or approach because…”

Sharing a couple of examples to demonstrate what you believe makes it more relevant for the interviewer.

 

3. How did you hear about the position?

This question gives a close idea to the employer about how serious a candidate is about the job offer and how did he hear about the vacancy. You can fully utilize this interview question to show your interest.

Tips to Answer:

Whether a friend or a career network shared this job opening with you, or you made efforts to search jobs on various online job portals regularly, you can tell the hiring manager about why you have applied for this job.

– It is the best time to share the correlation between the job requirements and your skills. Employer prefers to hire people who are dedicated and passionate about the job. Share why you want this offer.

 

4. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

The purpose of asking this question is to check your self-awareness and honesty. Of course, no one likes to share weaknesses, particularly with your future employer! However, answering it appropriately and confidently can earn you some brownie points in the interview.

Tips to Answer:

When answering, share your true strengths and weaknesses, and not those you believe the interviewer would be happy to hear.

Neither be over-confident by saying that “I have no weakness as I’m perfect”, nor share unprofessional things like “I’m too lazy to work”. It is imperative to maintain a balanced answer followed by an example of how you demonstrated your strength in a professional setting.

Similarly, when mentioning your weaknesses, support it with examples clarifying how you are working on it to overcome it.

 

5.  Can you share your one greatest professional achievement in the last company?

There should be no confusion about why this question is asked! Every employer prefers to hire an employee who is a performer. Answering this question is the trick to convey that why the interviewer should hire you.

Tips to Answer:

Your record of achievements is a clear answer for this question. So, do not hesitate to highlight your professional achievements.

Share a situation where you successfully managed a process or a project along with mentioning the actions taken and the result (achievement). For example, “As a quality analyst in my last job, I streamlined the entire process that reduced errors on our products by almost 40% every month”.

 

6.  Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

With this question, the hiring manager wants to know how much clear you are about your career plans (planning skill), how do you think to achieve it (execution), and do you have realistic expectations (logical). Also, it gives a clear idea about if you consider this job as a ladder to reach your career goal.

Tips to Answer:

Think logically about your goals and analyze how the job will align with your professional growth. If you are applying for an executive post, saying that you see yourself as a CEO in a company is unrealistic.

Even if you are not sure about what future holds for you, it is OK to mention that at present, you are not quite sure, but you see the experience from current job offer to identify it for you.

 

7.  Why are you leaving your current job?

This is one of the trickiest questions to answer. You should understand that being negative about your previous employer is not going to be in your favor. So, think of a positive, but honest reply.

Tips to Answer:

Everyone looks for new career opportunities. Sharing your dedication to get new responsibilities and opportunities is an acceptable reason.

Saying it is not sufficient. Your reply should also be focused to convince the employer about your willingness and capability to fit in the new position offered by the company.

 

8. How you spend your time after office hours?

Interviewers also ask personal questions to know if you can fit in with the company’s culture. Asking personal questions enables them to understand your personality and confidence level. Hence, it is OK to answer such questions.

Tips to Answer:

How you spend your time outside work or sharing your hobbies could be anything. However, keeping it semi-professional is what can really make you look a suitable candidate.

For instance, if you tell them you like taking few beers everyday till late night is going to give an impression about your hangover issues on the next working day!

 

9.  How would your co-workers/associates describe you in one word?

With this question, the employer intends to assess your relationship and behavioral competencies at workplace. He will also evaluate your traits, work style and the capability to work in a team. Hence, be honest, as your hiring manager will perform background check with your previous employer.

Tips to Answer:

Here, pull out the traits that you have not yet discussed in other aspects of the interview.

Moreover, do not limit your answer to a single word, such as “Honest” or “Trustworthy”. Explain it with instances that can support your statement. For example, “My coworkers always said that they could always rely on me for professional or personal help as I used to help them in their projects.”

Sharing a few recommendations in written (a letter or reference on professional networking sites) can support it well.

 

10.  Can you explain your employment gap to me?

If there is an employment gap, this question is sure to come your way. Don’t worry and give an honest reply. Answering this question is like gliding through a not-so-great situation in life. Remember, no reason is ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’ for such a situation.

Tips to Answer:

Whether it was a personal reason to take a break from work or any other issue like “lay off”, there is no point in dwelling on for the gap, instead take this point to let the hiring manager know that you are willing to work.

Never badmouth your last employer or offer an exaggerated explanation.

To nail this interview question, make sure that you have utilized your time in a productive way, such as upgrading your knowledge, skills, social work or learning.

 

11.  Why should we hire you?

It is a challenging question where you need to convince others to buy your skills. However, if you are asked it, you can at least believe that your interview session is on the right track!

Tips to Answer:

Gear up to pitch yourself and convince the listener. Your focus should be to frame an answer that highlights three things; (1) you are capable to deliver great results, (2) you are open for more responsibilities and learning, (3) you are a right fit for the company’s culture and ethics.

You can support these pointers with some recent examples and your achievements in the last position.

 

12.  What is the minimum salary under which you would not want to work with us?

The rule of answering this question is related to understanding your research, knowledge and expectation on what you should be paid. Putting a number too high or too low, both can be unfavorable for you.

Tips to Answer:

You can come up with a range and state any number, however, be ready to justify it.

Whatever salary figure you mention, it should be based on your experience, skills, and education.

Do proper research through industry sources, colleagues, and online sources to get an appropriate number.

Let the employer know that you are open for discussion. This is the point where your negotiation skill will work!

 

13. Do you have any questions for us?

This is probably the closing question of your interview where the employer intends to know if you have any query regarding the job offered. Also, he is evaluating if you are knowledgeable and confident to share your doubts.

Tips to Answer:

It is an important question for you to know if the job is also a right fit for you. Take this time to know more about the team, company, department or the position.

Asking questions such as “What are the attributes required to work in the position offered?”, or “What are the growth opportunities?” shows that you are focused and clear about what you are looking for.

Good Luck!

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Categories: Interview Tips

About Swati Srivastava

Swati Srivastava is an avid writer who loves to pen down her ideas and career tips for professionals working across the globe. Her blog posts, new career stories, and articles inspire many job seekers.

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