For many experienced applicants, it may have been years since one has been on the candidate side of the interview table. And too often we overestimate our interviewing abilities. Even if it has only been 1-2 years since you have had to answer questions from a prospective hiring manager, it is still a wise idea to conduct a mock interview.
The first step is to identify someone you trust who will conduct a practice interview with you. I recommend identifying an individual whom:
- you trust to give you very honest feedback, even if it is tough to deliver and to hear.
- you respect enough to listen and accept the criticisms
- has been a hiring manager several times for either a similar role to which you are applying or at least the position/experience level to which you are applying.
The reason I stress the last point is you need to have someone who will ask you appropriate questions and have the right expectations. The skills, experience, and management expectations for a position requiring 2-3 years experience will be vastly different from the expected levels for a position requiring 10-15 years experience. Whereas the junior role may be more focused on technical proficiency, the latter will desire leadership and vision in candidates. The questions will be different and the answer expectations will be vastly different.
Another helpful tip would be to provide the interviewer with your application materials and a copy of the job description beforehand. Conducting a mock interview is a great way to dust off the interviewing skills and ensure your approach is aligned with the needs of the future position level.