The Practice Interview (Part 6 of 6)

To prepare a practice interview, have your friend act as the administrator/professor role conducting a 30-minute interview (standard interview length) from beginning to end. This mock interview should start with the your friend introducing themselves as if they were the interviewer, and asking you to tell a bit about yourself.

Treating the practice interview as a real interview, deliver your introduction with as much authenticity as possible. Once the intro is done, spend approximately 20 minutes answering questions from the interviewer. Finally, spend about 5 minutes on your questions, and finish with your conclusion.

The questions your interviewer chooses can be based on the list provided earlier or ones they create on their own. You have to be ready for anything on the real day, so being flexible here is important also. During the interview, pay particular attention to the question and be sure to answer each question thoroughly. It is common to be nervous and not truly hear the question, so you’re welcome to have a pen out and write notes to yourself about what you should cover.

Have your interviewer take notes on your delivery and communication style throughout. Once you’re done, spend a half an hour going over their commentary. Remember—it’s more comfortable to choose your best friend, but it’s advantageous to choose someone who will be honest about your delivery. You won’t be perfect the first time, so having someone who will tell you areas to improve is really important!

Keep repeating this process until you feel comfortable, at least two more times. Work on timing, presentation, authenticity, and conquering nerves. Do each practice with a different set of questions, and you’ll be in a good spot come interview day!