The importance of Mock Interviews
A mock interview is nothing but a simulation for an actual interview. Like one takes a lot of mock tests before the written exam, a mock interview is a good idea too before the actual interview.
A mock interview can help in many aspects, like what to expect, knowledge, behavioural aspects, communication skills, how to tackle difficult questions and help reduce your stress before an actual job interview. Let us discuss the benefits one by one.
What to expect?
In actual RBI interviews, usually, there are 5 members on the panel. The Chairman of the panel is usually from the RBI Services Board or sometimes maybe a retired Senior Official from RBI or an external senior person. The other members on the panel usually consist of the Executive Director from HR, external members (like a banker, academician, or a psychologist), HoD of any department and a representative of the SC/ST from among a senior RBI official. This is done to assess the candidate on various parameters like knowledge, personality, communication skills, etc. A mock interview is best when it is done by a panel that is well-diversified with experienced people from different backgrounds. Such a mock interview will give you the closest feel of an actual interview and prepare you better for what to expect by familiarising you with the situation of facing 5-6 senior members. The mock interview will help you to practice engaging all panel members with your answers and through proper eye contact will all.
Candidates often ask me what all to study for the interview and what all books they should revise. Well, there are some common grounds that one must prepare for on the knowledge aspect. These I discussed in detail in my earlier blog on what to prepare for the RBI Grade B Interview. Nonetheless, one can never be sure which direction a conversation will end up in. A mock interview helps you to identify such areas where the conversation is likely to go based on the current economic topics, your own profile and key areas of interest for RBI. This helps to strengthen your knowledge base and prepare you better for the actual interview.
Many times candidates list down a host of qualities while telling about their strengths. However, when probed further on how they have exhibited such qualities in the past, they draw a blank face and are unable to recall an example to support their initial answer. A mock interview helps you prepare for such situations which you may not have anticipated or thought through.
Mock interviews can be of immense help to improve communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal. Speaking out in a mock interview helps to articulate our thoughts in a more structured manner and helps us know the gaps in our communication style. It helps us to overcome nervousness which in turn improves our delivery of the answer.
Equally important is non-verbal communication in the form of our body language, eye contact, voice modulation and facial expressions. A mock interview prepares for these aspects when the panel members give you feedback on your non-verbal communication which otherwise may be completely unknown to you.
Overcome anxiety and stress
A mock interview can reduce stress levels, remove anxiety and boost your confidence level before the actual interview.
You must be thinking that these are some obvious and well-known benefits of a mock interview. So what is so different in me writing this blog? Read on to know the answer.
A mock interview has become very common (obviously because of the above-mentioned ‘obvious’ benefits) and almost every candidate appears for at least one mock before the actual interview. However, the caveat is that the mock interview benefits you only when you take the feedback constructively and leave yourself with enough time to work on the feedback.
Candidates will often take mock interviews a few days or a week before the actual interview. Their reason is that they are preparing for the interview and will give the mock after preparation. No points for guessing that the preparation is never really completed and they end up taking a mock very close to the actual interview. This strategy is completely flawed and goes against the very spirit of taking a mock interview in the first place. If you perform poorly in a mock interview, it leaves you with no time to work on the areas for improvement.
If only knowledge is to be improved, one may still manage by cramming information like one does before an exam (although this is also risky as in interview knowledge is usually more in-depth or view oriented unlike an MCQ based exam). However, if it is related to communication or behavioural aspects, it is difficult to improve them in a short duration. And this may lead to a vicious cycle of low confidence and higher stress levels.
A mock interview helps you to know the gaps in your preparation, not just related to your knowledge but also related to your profile, yourself and softer aspects like communication, articulation and personality. So allow yourself enough time to work on these, if required.
I have also noticed that many candidates will wait for the actual interview dates to be revealed before they start preparing or appearing for a mock interview. Well if that is the case, I think you seriously need to come out of the student mindset and take your career a little more seriously. It’s like students asking about exam notification dates all year round and then failing because there wasn’t enough time to prepare the huge syllabus once the notification is out. Let’s be more proactive and less reactive if we want to succeed in our objectives.
Meet the Mock Interview Panel
While we have already met ixamBee’s Mock Interview panel in the first blog, but now is a time as good as any to meet them once again. Our distinguished panelists will evaluate your strengths and shortcomings during interviews and advise you accordingly on how you can maximize your strengths and overcome your foibles.
Hope this blog will help you to choose the timing and panel for your mock interview wisely to reap maximum benefits.
My next blog will be the final piece in this blog series where I will discuss how aspirants should use their past experience with UPSC preparation favorably to ace their interviews.
At ixamBee you can find free Online Test Series, GK updates in the form of BeePedia, as well as latest updates for Bank PO, Bank Clerk, SSC, RBI, NABARD and Other Government Jobs.