© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Another phrase for a sample job interview is a practice job interview - a time in which you rehearse the skills and interview techniques before you go in to a real interview. A sample job interview is a great idea for anyone who is scheduled to meet with a company rep and wants to get familiar with the techniques and strategies of interview success. To be useful, however, the sample job interview should match as closely as possible the actual interview format. This means that the practice interviewer should focus on the same questions a real employer would ask. Therefore, in a sample job interview the focus should be on the candidate's experience, behavior in specific job scenarios, and personality and attitude in the workplace.
The sample job interview should also cover the informal, presentational aspects of the job interview that people may not be aware of. For instance, the sample interview might want to start with the kind of idle chit-chat that real interviews do and get the candidate comfortable with small talk in a stressful environment. Fairly rapidly, though, the practice interview should turn to matters of job performance. In a real interview, the first priority of the employer is to learn whether the prospect has the technical skills to do the job. If that piece is missing, there is no point to continuing the interview. Consequently, the answers to the first questions will determine how proficient the candidate is.
Just like an actual interview, a sample job interview might use the "case study" technique or the "behavioral interview" technique to determine how technically proficient the candidate is. In the case study format, the interviewer presents the candidate with a theoretical scenario or problem and asks how he or she would solve it. Typically, the interviewer is less interested in the answer the candidate comes up with than in learning how the candidate thinks and goes about solving problems. The best way to prepare for this is to do some research to discover what kinds of case studies the target company has given in the past, or to determine what kinds of problems the company solves as a part of their business.
A sample job interview using the behavioral interview strategy doesn't cover theoretical problems, but rather past problems. For example, the interviewer might ask the candidate to think of a time in the past when he or she solved a problem or encountered an opportunity or took a specific action. The candidate is then prompted to describe what he or she did and what the results were. The best way to prepare for these kinds of questions is to think of your key successes and challenges in your career and prepare yourself to steer the conversation towards those when you are given the chance.
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