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In today's job market, the best candidate for a job is not always the person hired. More often, the candidate with the best interview skills gets the job offer.
When a company is hiring, they will identify a number of candidates who can do the job and invite all of them in to interview. Demonstrating that you can do the job is what got you the interview, however, it will not get you hired. The candidate who is offered the job is the one that makes the best overall impression of the value they offer. In other words, the candidate who does the best job of interviewing will receive a job offer.
If your interview skills are not exceptional, you are going to struggle, and your search is going to take much longer than it needs to.
Mock interviews can dramatically improve your interviewing. They're like a secret weapon in your job search. While most candidates are going from interview to interview, never getting an offer, you can quickly improve your interview skills and stand out from the competition. Years of recruiting experience have shown us how the average job-seeker performs in an interview. Most do ok, but never do anything to get a hiring manager really excited. Despite this, they all say they are great at interviewing.
Recruiters always debrief candidates after an interview. The first question is often "how do you think it went?"
Although we didn't keep stats, we would estimate that more than 95% of the candidates would answer either good or great. Talking to the clients told a different story. Usually, the candidate did ok (recruiters shouldn't submit candidates who are going to bomb), but few did a great job.
This is based on our experience and other recruiters we have talked to. The experience is the same. Candidates very rarely perform as well in an interview as they think they did. The disconnect between the candidate's self-assessment and the hiring manager's assessment is understandable. Few candidates are interviewing experts, and it is very difficult to self-assess your performance in an interview. In addition, the hiring manager will almost always be very positive and courteous at the end of an interview. Most candidates misinterpret a polite end to the interview as evidence that the hiring manager thought the candidate did a great job.
The Office for Career Education and Professional Development offers interview practice (mock interviews) for undergraduate and graduate students to assist in preparing for an interview with an employer. The purpose of these practice sessions is to give students an appreciation of what to expect in a typical interview and an opportunity to refine their interviewing skills.
For additional information on interview preparation, see below.
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