Mock Interview Guide

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Fact Sheet

Mock Interview Fact Sheet

What is a Mock Interview?

A Mock Interview is a highly structured Career Awareness activity in which students/learners are paired one-on-one with a business partner who interviews each student/learner as if he/she were being interviewed by an employer for a paid internship or job. Mock Interviews can be held at the school but are more valuable if held at a workplace.

The experience allows students/learners to practice their interviewing skills and professional behaviors while at the same time developing a level of comfort in communicating with professionals. A Mock Interview also offers the chance to demonstrate the connection between academic concepts being taught in school and how they are applied in the workplace.

Mock Interviews are one activity in the continuum of authentic work-based experiences provided to all students/learners engaged in career-related programs or course of study in the Earn & Learn community.

Mock Interviews Are Designed To:

  • Provide students/learners an opportunity to practice and demonstrate key work-readiness skills, including communication, critical thinking, workplace appearance and timeliness.
  • Help students/learners practice a workreadiness skill.
  • Allow students/learners to develop a level of comfort in communicating with adult professionals.

Mock Interviews Are Structured To:

  • Enhance workplace knowledge.
  • Expose students/learners to the skill sets and education/training required for jobs.
  • Simulate an actual job interview.
  • Promote student/learner and adult interactions.

Mock Interviews Are Supported By:

  • Student/learner preparation and research in the classroom and online.
  • Opportunities to reflect upon the experience verbally and in writing.
  • Employer assessment and feedback regarding students’/learners’ interviewing skills.

Mock Interviews Are Connected To:

  • Classroom learning.
  • Individual career development/training plans.
  • The development or updating of a resume.
Mock Interview Format Options
  1. Group Visit: Students visit a worksite as a group and participate in one-on-one mock interviews with employee volunteers. Can happen as part of a Workplace Tour or as a separate activity. Students interview for a generic position, but scenarios may be used to provide context. Group orientations are provided for students/learners (at the school) and employee volunteers (at the workplace).
  2. At The School or College: Employer volunteers are recruited and come to the school to conduct mock interviews for a number of students/learners in sequenced one-on-one settings. Can happen as part of a Career Day or as a separate activity. Students conduct research on the industries and kinds of positions available, but not on a specific company or position. Scenarios may be used to provide context. Group orientations are provided for students/learners (and the employee volunteers.
  3. At The Worksite One-on-One: Students meet with an employee volunteer at their place of work and conduct a mock interview for a specific position on which s/he has developed an interest and conducted research. The interviewing employer is given information about the student, including a resume.
  4. Virtual One-on-One: Students/learners meet with an employee volunteer remotely via telephone, Zoom or Facetime.
Support Materials
WBL Connector Checklist

WBL Connectors Mock Interview Checklist

Quick tips for Work-Based Learning Connectors to ensure successful mock interviews.

Before The Mock Interview:

  • Identify how many students/learners will be ready for a mock interview and begin scheduling.
  • Determine how you will structure the mock interviews.
  • Work with teachers/faculty to conduct a resumebuilding workshops with students/learners.
  • If a group activity at the school, make sure that space is set up for one-on-one interviews—the right number of tables and chairs and that there are enough employer volunteers to conduct the needed number of interviews in the set period of time.
  • If the mock interviews are happening at the place of business, it may be considered a field trip and school district policies regarding transportation, Workers Compensation and liability insurance may apply. Make sure you plan ahead and address all logistics.
  • Create and provide appropriate support materials for distribution to employee volunteers.
  • Brief the employer on the career pathways students/learners are pursuing and what’s going on in the classroom.

During The Mock Interview:

  • If rotating students/learners through a group of employers, make sure you have a schedule and that someone is keeping track of time and coordinating the activity.
  • Check in with the employers to see if they need anything, such as water, pens, or forms.

After The Mock Interview:

  • Conduct follow-up activities by reviewing the completed evaluations or assessments with the students/learners.
  • Help students/learners update their career development plan and think about any next steps they would like to take to further their career goals. Coordinate opportunities for student/learner reflection with teachers/faculty to help students/learners make the connection between the mock interview, classroom learning and next steps.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the mock interview and make recommendations for adjustments in the future.
  • Document the experience in ELENA.

Go Deeper

  • Make the interview part of a project and have students/learners prepare and deliver a presentation to others at your school about the company.
  • Consider any potential public relations benefits and opportunities for the participating companies and share that with them.

This includes Earn & Learn work-based learning connectors and others who facilitate, arrange and support work-based learning activities for students or other learners.

Sample Timeline
  • Beginning of the school year: Communicate with potential hosts. Determine dates and student/learner cohorts with school community.
  • Three months in advance: Confirm dates and format, conduct resume-building workshop and recruit students/learners.
  • Two months in advance: Hold employer orientation and elevator pitch workshop. Do portfolio review and assembly.
  • One month in advance: Send/receive forms, confirm logistics and review resumes.
  • One week in advance: Cover travel, safety and attire protocols, resume and portfolio folder.
  • During Mock Interview: Facilitate agenda, student/learner management and social media.
  • After Mock Interview: Oversee thank-you notes, reflection and career development plan update.
Tips For Success
  • Conduct Effective Planning
  • Prepare for Success
  • Identify Learning Objectives
  • Create Authentic and Engaging Experiences
  • Connect to Careers
  • Support Student/Learner Growth
  • Ensure Activities are Safe and Legal
  • Provide Ongoing Support
  • Provide for Reflection, Presentation and Feedback
  • Connect to the Student/Learner Next Step
  • Assess and Document the Experience
Tools & Documents

Mock Interview Downloads

Student/Learner Preparation
  • Support students/learners in recognizing the curriculum connection.
  • Help student/learner practice their elevator pitch and update their resume.
Student/Learner Reflection
  • Structure a reflection activity based on a “What? So what? Now what?” format.