How to Do a Practice Interview That'll Actually Help You

Interviews can be super intimidating. Not only are you trying to get a feel for your prospective boss, but you’re also doing your best to make an incredible impression, flawlessly answer questions about that time you dealt with a difficult person (but totally won them over), and explain why you’re absolutely perfect for the job. No wonder so many people experience anxiety when they think about it.

On top of all that, the only time you get to exercise your skills is when you’re actually sitting across the table from the hiring manager. How on earth are you supposed to get comfortable with this whole process?

Enter the practice interview. Setting aside time to run through questions with a trusted friend is a great, low-pressure way to strengthen your skills, build confidence, and receive valuable feedback.

Here’s how to do it right:

1. Decide What You Want to Work On

Are you feeling iffy about the entire process, or do you get tripped up on a specific type of question? You may totally nail your elevator pitch but draw a blank on behavioral questions, or get super awkward when asked about your reasons for wanting to leave your current job.

Spend some time reflecting on the areas where you’d like to improve so that you can approach this with a clear goal in mind.

2. Make a List of Practice Questions

Start by making a list of questions or topics that you’ve struggled with in the past, keeping your end goal in mind.

Then, build from there, mixing in questions about your experience, goals, reasons for leaving your past or current job, and transferable skills. You’ll probably want to include a few behavioral questions, too.

Not sure which questions you want to practice? This list of 31 commonly asked interview questions is a great place to start.