If you are the type of person who gets very nervous during a job interview, practicing your interviewing skills in a mock interview setting may be for you. A mock interview is when you have someone such as a career coach, a counselor or a friend act as an interviewer to let you practice answering interview questions.
Most people are so nervous during an interview that they forget to listen for related questions. For example, the question “Tell me about your strengths” is related to the more challenging question of “Why should we hire you?” If you can list your strengths, you should be able to answer the second question by showing how your strengths and expertise would add value to the organization. Another interview question that throws people is, “Tell me about yourself.” Many people do not expect such an informal question. If you wrote a cover letter for this position in which you told the reader about your background, then use the cover letter as a starting point to answer the question. Highlight your skills and accomplishments and share why you would like this job and how you would be a good fit for it. Be careful that you are not confusing “Tell me more about yourself” with “tell me about your personal life”. The employer wants to hear about what your will bring to the organization professionally-not what is going on in your personal life.
Videotaping a mock interview is especially helpful because it can show you your body language and the unconscious messages it is sending. For example, raised or hunched shoulders may signal you are afraid, while excessively shifting your weight around and fidgeting may indicate that you are very nervous or have something to hide. Seeing how you act on video will allow you to eliminate distracting behaviors and concentrate on providing solid answers to the interview questions. Practice the answers to the mock interview questions and monitor your body language until you feel comfortable enough to do a real interview and you will see how calm and collected you will be the next time you are sitting across the table from a hiring manger.